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Poker Glossary of Words and Terms

Poker has a language somewhat to itself. Here is a glossary to familiarize yourself with poker terminology



Aces FullA full house with three aces and any pair

Ace-HighA five card hand that contains one Ace, with no straight or flush or a hand with no pair in it

Aces UpA hand that contains two pairs, one of which is Aces
ActionChecking/Betting/Raising. A game in which players are playing a lot of pots is considered an "action" game
Active PlayerAny player who is still in the hand
Add-onA purchase of more chips (optional) at the end of the re-buy period in a tournament
All-InWhen a player bets all his/her chips: In online poker, you may be deemed "All-in" when you are disconnected (even if you have chips remaining)
American AirlinesTwo Aces
AnteMoney placed in the pot before the hand is begun


Bad BeatWhen a hand is beaten by a lucky draw
Belly BusterA draw and/or catch to an Inside Straight
BetTo place chips into the pot
Bet the PotWhen a player bets the amount of the pot
BicycleA straight that is A-2-3-4-5
Big BlindA designated amount that is placed by the player sitting in the second position, clockwise from the dealer, before any cards are dealt. (Players joining a game in progress must post a Big Blind, but may do so from any position.)
Big SlickA hand that contains an A-K
BlindThe bet(s) that must be made by the two players sitting directly to the dealer's left which will start the action on the first round of betting. The blinds are posted before any cards are dealt. (A "Blind" bet is one that is made in the dark without looking at your cards.)
Blind RaiseWhen a player raises without looking at his hand
BluffTo make other players believe that one has a better hand than he/she might otherwise have by betting or raising when they do not have the best hand
BoardcardsThe cards that are dealt face-up in a poker game for all players to see. In flop games, five cards are dealt face-up in the center of the table. In Seven Card Stud, four cards are dealt face-up in front of each player
Bottom PairWhen a player uses the lowest card on the flop to make a pair with one of his own cards
BroadwayAn Ace high straight (A-K-Q-J-10)
Bring-InThe forced bet made on the first round of betting by the player who is dealt the lowest card showing in Seven Card Stud and Stud 8 or Better. In Razz (Lowball) it is the highest card showing
Bring It InTo start the betting on the first round
Broomcorn's UncleA player who antes himself broke

BulletsA pair of Aces
BumpTo raise
ButtonAlso known as the dealer button, it is a small round disk that is moved from player to player in a clockwise direction following each hand, to theoretically indicate the dealer of each hand
Buy-InThe minimum amount of money required by a player to sit down in a particular poker game


CallWhen a player chooses to match the previous bet
Call ColdTo call both a bet and raise(s)
CapTo take the last of the maximum amount of raises allowed per round of betting
CardroomThe room or space in a casino where poker is played
Case ChipsA player's last chips
Cash OutTo leave a game and convert your chips to cash
CheckWhen it's a player's turn to act and there has been no action in front of them and he opts not to bet, he "checks."
Check-RaiseWhen a player first checks and then raises in a betting round
ChopTo return the blinds to the players who posted them and move on to the next hand if no other players call. It also means to "split the pot"
CollusionWhen two or more players conspire to cheat in a poker game
Community CardsCards that are face-up and used by all players
CowboysTwo Kings


Dead Man's HandTwo pair - Aces and Eights (Wild Bill Hickock was shot in the back while playing this hand)
Door CardThis is the first exposed card, or "up" card, in a player's hand in Stud games
Down CardHole cards. Cards that are dealt face down
Doyle BrunsonIt's a Holdem hand consisting of a 10-2 (Brunson won the world championship two years in a row on the final hand with these cards)
Draw LowballForm of poker where each player is dealt five cards with the option of discarding one or more and replacing them with new ones and the low hand wins
Draw PokerForm of poker where each player is dealt five cards down with the option of discarding one or more and replacing them with new ones to attempt to make a better hand
DucksA pair of Twos
DeucesA pair of Twos


Early PositionPosition on a round of betting where the player must act before most of the other players at the table. (It's considered the two positions located to the left of the Blinds.)


Fifth StreetAlso known as the "river" card. In flop games, this represents the fifth community card on the table and the final round of betting. In Stud games, this is the fifth card dealt to each player and represents the third round of betting
Five-card DrawA poker game in which the player is dealt five cards down. They have one draw to replace them and the best high hand wins the pot
Five-card StudA poker game in which each player is dealt five cards, one down and four up, with betting after 2, 3, 4, & 5 cards
Flat CallCalling a bet without raising
FlopIn Hold'em and Omaha, the first three community cards that are dealt face-up in the center of the table all at one time. The "flop" also indicates the second round of betting
Flop GamesPoker games (Hold 'em and Omaha) that are played using community cards that are dealt face up in the center of the table
FloormanAn employee of the card room who makes rulings and decisions
FlushAny five cards of the same suit
Flush DrawWhen a player has four cards in his hand of the same suit and is hoping to draw a fifth to make a flush
FoldTo throw your hand away when it's your turn to act
Forced BetA required bet that starts the action on the first round of a poker hand
Four of a KindFour cards of the same number or face value ("quads")
Fourth StreetIn flop games, it is the fourth community card dealt (also known as "the turn") and represents the third round of betting. In Stud games, it is the fourth card dealt to each player and represents the second round of betting
Full HouseAny three cards of the same number or face value, plus any other two cards of the same number or face value


Gut ShotTo draw to and/or hit an inside straight


HandA player's best five cards
High-LowSplit pot games
Hold 'emAlso known as Texas Hold 'em, where the players get two down cards and five community cards
See our complete Texas Hold'em Basics Section

Hole CardsThese are the Down Cards in front of the players
HouseThe casino or cardroom that is hosting the poker game


Inside StraightFour cards which require another between the top and the bottom card to complete a straight. Players who catch this card make an Inside Straight


Jackpot PokerA form of poker in which the cardroom or casino offers a jackpot to a player who has lost with a really big hand (usually Aces full or better)
Jacks-or- BetterA form of poker in which a player needs to have at least a pair of jacks to open the bettin


Kansas City LowballForm of lowball poker in which the worst poker hand (2, 3, 4, 5, 7 of different suits) is the best hand. It's also known as Deuce to Seven
Keep Them HonestTo call at the end of a hand to prevent someone from bluffing
Key CardA card that gives you a big draw or makes your hand
Key HandIn a session or tournament, the one hand that ends up being a turning point for the player, either for better or worse
KickerThe highest unpaired side card in a players' hand
Kick ItRaise
Kill PotA method to stimulate action. It is a forced bet by someone who has just won a pot(s)
KojakA hand that contains a K-J


LadiesTwo Queens
Late PositionPosition on a round of betting where the player must act after most of the other players have acted (usually considered to be the two positions next to the button)
Lay Down Your HandWhen a player folds
LeadThe first player to bet into a pot
Limit PokerA game that has fixed minimum and maximum betting intervals along with a prescribed number of raises
LimperThe first player who calls a bet
Limp InTo enter the pot by calling rather than raising. (The usual concept of "Limp In" is when the first person to speak just calls the Big Blind.)
Live BlindAn instance where the player puts in a dark bet and is allowed to raise, even if no other player raises. It's also known as an "option"
Live Card(s)In Stud Games, cards that have not yet been seen and are presumed to still be in play
Live HandA hand that could still win the pot
Live OneA not so knowledgeable player who plays a lot of hands
LookWhen a player calls the final bet before the showdown
LooseIs a player who plays a lot hands


Main PotThe center pot. Any other bets are placed in a side pot(s) and are contested among the remaining players. This occurs when a player(s) goes all-in
MakeTo make the deck is to shuffle the deck
ManiacA very aggressive player who plays a lot of hands
Middle PairIn flop games, when a player makes a pair with one of his/her down cards and the middle card on the flop
Middle PositionSomewhere between the early and late positions on a round of betting (the fifth, sixth and seventh seats to the left of the button)
MuckTo discard or throw away your hand. It's also a pile of cards that are no longer in play
Minimum Buy-InThe least amount you can start a game with
MonsterA very big hand. In a tournament, a player who begins to accumulate chips after having a small stack is considered to be a monster


No LimitA game where players can bet as much as they like (as long as they have it in front of them) on any round of betting
NutsThe best possible hand at any point of the game. A hand that cannot be beat


OddsThe probability of making a hand vs. the probability of not making a hand
OffsuitCards of a different suit
OmahaA game in which each player is dealt four down cards with five community cards. To make your hand, you must play two cards from your hand and three from the board
OpenTo make the first bet
Open-ended StraightFour consecutive cards whereby one additional (consecutive) card is needed at either end to make a straight
Open CardA card that is dealt face-up
Open PairA pair that has been dealt face-up
OptionAn option is a Live Blind made in the dark before the cards are dealt. If no one raises, the "option" player may raise the pot
Out ButtonA disc placed in front of a player who wishes to sit out a hand(s) but remain in the game


PaintsFace or picture cards (Jack, Queen and King)
PairTwo cards of the same face or number value
PassTo fold
Pay OffTo call on the final round of betting when you may or may not think you have the best hand
Picture CardsFace cards (Jack, Queen and King)
Play BackTo raise or re-raise another player's bet
Playing the BoardIn flop games when your best five card hand is all five of the community cards
PocketThe down cards or hole cards
Pocket RocketsA pair of Aces in the pocket or hole
PositionWhere a player is seated in relation to the dealer, therefore establishing that player's place in the betting order
PostWhen you post a bet, you place your chips in the pot. (You must post the Blinds.)
PotThe money or chips in the center of a table that players try to win
Pot LimitThis is a game where the maximum bet can equal the pot
PropA person hired by the cardroom to work as a shill
PushWhen the dealer pushes the chips to the winning player at the end of a hand. It's also when dealers rotate to other tables
Put DownTo fold a hand


QuadsFour of a kind
QualifierIn High-Low games, it is a requirement the Low hand must meet to win the pot


RackA tray that holds 100 poker chips in five stacks of twenty chips each
RailThe rim of a poker table or a barrier outside a poker area
RailbirdSomeone who hangs around a poker room who watches the games and/or is looking to get into action
RaiseTo increase the previous bet
RakeChips taken from the pot by the cardroom for compensation for hosting the game
RankThe value of each card and hand
RapWhen a player knocks on the table indicating that he/she has checked
RazzSeven Card Stud where the lowest five cards win the pot
Re-buyThe amount of money a player pays to add a fixed number of chips to his/her stack in a tournament
Re-raiseTo raise a raise
Ring GameA "live" game that is not a tournament
RiverThis is the last card given in all games. In Hold'em and Omaha, it is also known as 5th street. In Stud games, it is also known as 7th street
Round of BettingThis is when players have the opportunity to bet, check or raise. Each round of betting ends when the last bet or raise has been called
RoundersGuys who hustle for a living. This is also the name of a popular poker movie starring Matt Damon and Ed Norton
Royal FlushThis is an Ace high straight (A-K-Q-J-10) of the same suit. It is the best possible hand in poker


SatelliteIt is a mini-tournament to gain an entry into a larger tournament
ScoopTo win the entire pot
Seating ListA waiting list. A player would put his or her name on this list if there were no seats at the table at which they wish to play
Second PairIn flop games, when you pair the second highest card on the board
SeeTo call
Seven-card StudA well-known poker game in which players get three down cards and four up cards. You play the best five of those seven cards. Click here for information on Seven-card Stud
Seventh StreetThis is the final round of betting in Seven Card Stud and Stud 8 or Better
ShillsShills are paid props who help start and maintain poker games
ShowdownAt the end of the final betting round, it's when all active players turn their cards face-up to see who has won the pot
Side PotA separate pot(s) which is contested by remaining active players when one or more players are all-in
Sixth StreetSixth Street
SolidA fairly tight player (and reasonably good)
Small BlindThe amount put in the pot by the person immediately to the left of the dealer "button" prior to the cards being dealt
Speed LimitIA pair of fives
StackA pile of chips
StayWhen a player remains in the game by calling rather than raising
Steel WheelA five high straight (A-2-3-4-5) of the same suit
StraddleA straddle is a Blind bet which is usually double the size of the Big Blind\ (and that player may raise when the action gets to him)
StraightFive consecutive cards of any suit
Straight FlushFive consecutive cards of the same suit
StructureThe limits put on the blinds ante, bets, and raises in any particular game
Stud GamesGames in which players get down cards and up cards
StuckA player who is losing in a game


Texas Hold'emThis is also the name for Hold'em, the most popular form of poker
Third StreetIn Seven Card Stud and Seven Card Stud 8 or Better, this is the first betting round on the first three cards
Thirty MilesThree tens
Three of a KindThree cards of the same number or face value ("trips")
TightA player who doesn't play many pots. A tight game is one that doesn't have much action
TOCTournament of Champions
Top PairIn flop games, when the player pairs one of his down cards with the highest card on board
TreysA pair of threes
TripsThree of a kind
TurnIn flop games, this is the fourth card dealt. It is the third round of betting
Two PairA hand consisting of two different pairs


Up Card A card that is dealt face-up


Walking SticksA pair of sevens
Wild CardA card that can be played as any value
Worst HandA losing hand
WPTWorld Poker Tour
WSOPWorld Series of Poker



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