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Poker glossary

A collection of poker terminology

[ A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z ]


If you have an amendment or addition to this glossary (which we know isn't complete, don't worry!), please mail sales@pokermind.net!

A

Aces UpA pair of aces with any other pair. All two pair are referred to similarly with the "highest of the two pair - up"
ActionA player's turn to act; as in, "The action is on you Sir." Also can refer to much betting and raising, "That game has a lot of action."
All-inBetting or calling all of your remaining chips. A player may not go into his wallet for more money during a hand. If he runs out of chips, a side pot is created in which he has no interest. However, he can still win the pot for which he had the chips.
AnteForced bet that players must make before seeing any cards. This guarantees money in the pot for each hand.

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B

Back DoorHand made in the last two cards. e.g. "Joe had a back door flush draw." also, "Joe back doored a flush."
Bad BeatLosing when you have a very strong hand, usually to a very unlikely draw on the last card.
BankrollThe total amount of money you have to gamble with.
Belly BusterAn Inside Straight draw.
Berry PatchAn easy game, with many poor players.
BlankPoor card that has no impact on the hand. Also called a Rag.
BlindA forced bet put in by one or more players before any cards are dealt. Blinds are put in by the players immediately to the left of the button. Also can refer to a hand that has not been looked at as in, "Joe played his hand blind."
BluffTo bet strongly with a poor hand, as if you have strong hand in an attempt to make others fold.
BoardThe community cards in a hold'em game.
BoatA Full House
Bottom PairA pair with the lowest card on the flop. ie: if you have a JT and the flop is AKT - you have bottom pair.
Bring inTo open a round of betting. e.g. "Joe brought it in for $75." The 'bring in" is a term borrowed from 7 card stud which signified a mandatory bet.
BroadwayAn Ace High Straight
BrushCardroom employee who handles the seating chart.
BumpTo Raise
BurnTo discard the top card of the deck. This is done to prevent anyone from being able to determine the next card.
ButtonA white puck to indicate who is the acting dealer. Also used to refer to the player on the button. The player with the button receives the last card dealt in a round.
Buy InThe amount of chips bought before the start of play. The minimum buy-in refers to the minimum number of chips one is allowed to purchase to be allowed to play. The maximum buy-in refers to the largest number of chips a player can purchase in a game.

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C

CallTo match the current high bet.
Calling StationA player who almost always calls and seldom raises.
CapIn limit games there is a restriction on the number of bets allowed each round. A player caps the betting by making the last allowable raise.
Cards SpeakA rule that says the cards determine the best possible hand, not the player. If a player has a better hand than he realizes, the better hand is the one that is used.
ChameleonPlayer in a game who changes and varies his style of play from wild and unpredictable to tight and aggressive.
ChaseCalling when you have not yet made your hand.
CheckTo basically skip your turn to bet. This still allows you to bet later in the round should anyone else bet. This is similar to betting $0.
Check RaiseTo check at first, then raise should anyone else bet. This is done as a way to lure other players into betting when you think they may fold if you bet outright.
ChopIn some poker rooms, if all players except for the blinds have thrown their hands away prior to the flop, the two remaining players have the option of taking their blinds back and proceeding to the next hand with no further action.
CoffeehousingExcessive, often distracting talking at the table.
Cold CallTo call both a bet and a raise.
Community CardA card dealt face up on the table that can be used by any player at the table.
ConnectorsPocket cards of sequential rank.
CounterfeitA card that does not help you, but is likely to make an opponents hand better or equal to yours.
Crying CallWhen some calls even though they are almost certain they are beat.

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D

Down to the FeltOut of money/chips.
Drawing HandAn incomplete hand such as four cards to a straight in which you are drawing cards, hoping to make your hand.
Double Belly BusterA draw that includes two gut shot straight draws. e.g. You hold JT and the flop is AQ8. You shall make a straight with a 9 or K.

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E

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F

Family PotA pot in which all (or almost all) of the players call before the flop.
FastAggressive as in, "Joe played his hand very fast."
Fifth StreetThe final card in games with five community cards.
FishPoor player
FlopThe first three community cards.
FoldTo give up on your hand and any chance to win the pot.
Four FlushFour cards to a flush.

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G

GutshotAn Inside Straight Draw

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H

Heads UpA pot that is being contested by only two players. Can also refer to a game in which only two players are involved.
High SocietyThe highest denomination of chips in a particular poker room.
HoleThe first two down cards in poker game. e.g. "Joe had AQ in the hole."

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I

Implied OddsThe odds you are getting from the expected calls in future betting rounds.
Inside StraightHand in which you have four cards to a straight, but are missing one in the interior. e.g. You have JT and the flop is AQ2. It would be said that you have an 'inside straight draw'.
IsolateBet or raise strongly in an attempt to make everyone fold except one other player.

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J

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K

KickerAn unpaired card used to determine the better of two near-equivalent hands. For instance, suppose you have AK and your opponent has AQ. If the board reads AT742 you both have a pair of aces, but you have a king kicker and would win the pot.

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L

Lay DownTo fold.
Limp inIn the first round of betting, simply calling the big blind rather than raising. This allows the big blind to see the flop for free, and indicates a weak hand.
LockA hand that is guaranteed to win at least part of the pot
LooseA player who stays in more hands than most and/or stays in them longer. e.g. "Joe is a loose player."

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M

Main PotThe first pot created during a poker hand. This is as opposed to one or more "side" pots that are created if one or more players goes all-in.
Make a HandTo complete a hand, particularly one in which you were drawing.
ManiacA very loose and aggressive player. Rarely folds or calls. Bluffs often and raises frequently.
MechanicSomeone who cheats by manipulating the cards while dealing.
MonsterA great, unbeatable or near unbeatable hand.
MuckThe pile of folded and burned cards in front of the dealer. Also, to throw away one's hand as in, "Joe mucked his hand."

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N

No-LimitA version of poker in which a player may bet any amount of chips when it is his turn to act.
Nut flushHighest possible flush
NutsThe best possible hand, given the cards on the board.
Nut StraightHighest possible straight.

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O

OddsThe probability of making your hand.
Off SuitCards with different suits, usually referring to hole cards.
On TiltBetting wildly or making poor bets. Usually after a bad beat.
OpenMake the first bet in a round.
Open EndedA hand with four cards of consecutive rank. A straight can be completed by drawing the fifth card at either end. e.g. If you have a JT and the flop comes 982, then you can complete a straight with a 7 or a Q. You have an open ended straight draw.
OutsAny remaining card that will give you the winning hand.
OvercardA hole card higher than the highest card on the board. e.g. If you have AK and the flop comes 963, you have two overcards.
OverpairA pocket pair higher than any card on the flop. e.g. If you have QQ and the flop comes 963, you have an overpair.
Over the TopTo raise a player who has just raised.

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P

PaintFace Card
Pat HandIn draw games, being dealt a made hand.
Play the BoardTo show down a hand in hold'em when your cards don't make a hand any better than what is shown on the board.
PocketFirst two down cards in poker game. e.g. "Joe had QQ in the pocket." or "Joe had pocket queens."
Pocket PairTwo cards of the same rank in the hole.
PostTo put in a blind bet, often required when you first sit down in a cardroom game or change seats.
Pot LimitA limit on the maximum allowable raise. The limit is the amount currently in the pot.
Pot OddsThe ratio of the amount of money in the pot to the amount it will cost you to call the current bet.
ProtectTo keep your hand or a chip on your cards. This prevents them from being fouled by a discarded hand, or accidentally mucked by the dealer.
PutTo guess what someone is holding. If someone starts betting when an ace flops, you might "put" him on an ace.

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Q

QuadsFour of a kind.

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R

Rabbit HuntingLooking through the muck for undealt cards after a hand.
RagPoor card that has no impact on the hand.
RailbirdSpectator at a poker game. Often someone who is broke and used derogatively.
RainbowA flop containing three different suits.
RaiseTo increase the amount of an opponent's bet
RakeSet amount or percentage that the house claims from each pot.
RankThe numerical value of a card.
Rat-holingThe practice of taking money off the table after winning some pots. Usually done covertly as this practice is not allowed in casino's.
ReadTo be able to guess a person's hand based on their actions. See also: Put
RepresentTo have the appearance of a certain hand. e.g. If the flop brought three hearts - a heavy bettor might be said to be representing a flush.
Ring GameStandard non-tournament poker game. Also called a live game.
RiverThe last card dealt in a game.
RockA tight and passive player who folds often and doesn't play a lot of hands.
Rock GardenA game consisting of many rocks.

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S

SandbagTo play a strong hand as if it is weak in an effort to lure opponents into betting. See also: Slow Play
Scare CardA card on the board that could mean a monster hand for someone.
Second PairA pair with the second highest card on the flop.
SeeTo Call
Semi-BluffTo bet a hand which does not figure to be the best hand at the moment but which has good odds to improve to become the best hand.
SetThree of a kind when you have two of the rank in your hand, and there is one on the board.
Short StackHaving less chips than a typical player at the table.
Show DownWhen all cards have been dealt and betting is complete, player hands are revealed in a showdown.
Side PotIf a player goes all-in, and there are two or more bettors with more chips that call, they may continue to bet. Their future bets are placed in a separate pot.
Slow PlayWhen you have a strong hand, to represent that you have a weak hand, to encourage others to bet.
SNGSit n Go. Small (usually one table) tournament with no set start time. Players sit down and the tournament starts as soon as there are enough players.
SplashTossing your chips into the pot during a bet or raise before anyone can verify the amount.
Split PotA pot which is shared by two or more players because they have equivalent hands.
Spread LimitA betting structure in which a player may bet any amount in a range on every betting round.
Steal the PotTo make a strong bet without a strong hand based on the appearence that no one else has a good hand, causing everyone to fold.
StraddleAn optional extra blind bet, typically made by the player one to the left of the big blind, equal to twice the big blind. This is effectively a raise, and forces any player who wants to play to pay two bets. Furthermore, the straddler acts last before the flop, and may "re-raise."
String BetA raise in which a player doesn't get all the chips required for the raise into the pot in one motion. Unless he verbally declared the raise, he can be forced to withdraw it and just call.
SuitedCards of the same suit
Suited ConnectorsSequentially ranked hole cards in the same suit. e.g. 9h8h

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T

Table StakesA rule in a poker game meaning that a player may not go into his wallet for money during the play of a hand. He may only invest the amount of money in front of him into the current pot. If he runs out of chips during the hand, a side pot is created in which he has no interest.
TappedWhen a player runs out of chips they are said to be tapped. Also Tapioca or Tap City.
TellSomething a player will do that gives away the strength of his hand.
TiltTo play wildly or recklessly.
TokeA tip given to the dealer by the winner of a pot.
Top PairA pair with the highest card on the flop.
TripsThree of a kind when you have one of the rank in your hand and there are two of the rank on board.
TurnThe fourth community card. Also known as "fourth street."

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U

Under the gunThe position of the player who acts first on a betting round.

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V

Video pokerVideo poker is a poker variant where the player plays against the house.

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W

WiredPocket cards of the same rank.
W.S.O.PThe World Series of Poker. Annual series of poker tournaments held at Binions Horseshoe Casino in Las Vegas. The final event is a No Limit Texas Holdem tournament with a buy in of $10,000.

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X

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Y

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Z

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