Appendix:Glossary of poker terminology

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The large and growing jargon of poker includes many terms. This page contains brief definitions of the most common terms you may encounter in text or at play. The list has been trimmed to primarily those poker-specific terms one might find in poker texts or in common use in casinos. Some terms link to a more complete article on the topic.

Various poker hands have been given many names, and these are listed in List of slang names for poker hands. Finally, this is not meant to be a formal dictionary; precise usage details and multiple closely related senses are omitted here in favor of concise treatment of the basics. See also card game terminology.

A[edit]

A-B-C, A-B-C-D
  1. A sequence of the lowest cards in a lowball game. For example, the hand 8-6-3-2-A might be called an eight-six-a-b-c.
  2. Uncreative or predictable play. He's an a-b-c player.
ace-to-five, ace-to-six
Methods of evaluating low hands. See ace-to-five low, ace-to-six low.

act
To make a play (bet, call, raise, or fold) at the required time. It is Ted's turn to act. Compare to "in turn".

action
  1. A player's turn to act. The action is on you.
  2. A willingness to gamble. I'll give you action or There's plenty of action in this game
  3. A bet, along with all the calls of that bet. For example, if one player makes a $5 bet and three other players call, he is said to have $5 "in action", and to have received $15 worth of action on his bet. Usually this term comes into play when figuring side pots when one or more players is all in. See table stakes.

action button
A marker similar to a kill button, on which a player places an extra forced bet. In a seven-card stud high-low game, the action button is awarded to the winner of a scoop pot above a certain size, signifying that in the next pot, that player will be required to post an amount representing a completion of the bring-in to a full bet. For example, in a stud game with $2 and $4 betting limits and a $1 bring-in, a player with the action button must post $2; after the cards are dealt, the player with the low card must still pay the $1 bring-in, then when the betting reaches the player who posted the $2, he is required to leave it in as a raise of the bring-in (and has the option to raise further). Players in between the bring-in and the action button can just call the bring-in, but they know ahead of time that they will be raised by the action button.
action card
In Texas Hold'em, a card in which two players hold that comes out on the Flop.
action only
In many cardrooms, with respect to an all-in bet, only a full (or half) bet can be reraised. Anything less than a full (or half) bet is considered to be action only, that is, other players can call the bet but not raise it. For example, Alice bets $100. Bob calls. Carol goes all in for $119. When the action returns to Alice and Bob, they may only call the extra $19; they cannot raise it. Carol's raise is called action only. Compare to "full bet rule", "half bet rule".
add-on
In a live game, to buy more chips before you have busted. In tournament play, a single rebuy for which all players are eligible regardless of their stack size. This is usually allowed only once, at the end of the rebuy period.
advertising
To make an obvious play or expose cards in such a way as to deliberately convey an impression to your opponents about your style of play. For example, to make a bad play or bluff to give the impression that you bluff frequently (hoping opponents will then call your legitimate bets) or to show only good hands to give the impression that you rarely bluff (hoping opponents will then fold when you do).

aggressive, aggression
See aggression (poker). Compare to "loose", "tight", "passive".

air
In a lowball game, "giving air" is letting an opponent who might otherwise fold know that you intend to draw one or more cards to induce him to call.

all day
The total current posted bet. Used to indicate that the speaker is referring to the total bet, versus the difference the acting player would need to post. Action is on Alice; twenty all day. Also "altogether" or "straight".

all in
The act of betting all of your chips against another player. See all in.

altogether
The total current posted bet. Used to indicate that the speaker is referring to the total bet, versus the difference the acting player would need to post. Action is on Alice; twenty dollars altogether. Also "all day" or "straight".

ammo, ammunition
Chips in play. I'm going to need more ammo for this game. Compare to "fire".

angle
A technically legal, but borderline unethical, play. For example, deliberately miscalling one's own hand to induce a fold, or placing odd amounts of chips in the pot to confuse opponents about whether you mean to call or raise. A player employing such tactics is called an "angle shooter".
ante
See ante.

ante off
In tournament play, to force an absent player to continue paying antes, blinds, bring-ins, or other forced bets so that the contest remains fair to the other players. Go ahead and take that phone call. We'll ante you off until you get back. Also "blind off".

B[edit]

baby
A low-ranked card, usually used in lowball games. Also "spoke" when between ace and five.

backdoor
  1. A draw requiring two or more rounds to fill. For example, catching two consecutive cards in two rounds of seven-card stud or Texas hold 'em to fill a straight or flush.
  2. A hand made other than the hand the player intended to make. I started with four hearts hoping for a flush, but I backdoored two more kings and my trips won.

back in
  1. To enter a pot by checking and then calling someone else's open on the first betting round. Usually used in games like Jackpots, meaning to enter without openers.
  2. To enter a pot cheaply or for free because of having posted a blind.
back into
To win a pot with a hand that would have folded to any bet. For example, two players enter a pot of draw poker, both drawing to flushes. Both miss, and check after the draw. The player with the ace-high draw "backs into" winning the pot against the player with only a king-high draw. Also to make a backdoor draw, for example, a player who starts a hand with three of a kind, but makes a runner-runner flush, can be said to back into the flush.

backraise
A reraise from a player that previously limped in the same betting round. I decided to backraise with my pocket eights to isolate the all-in player.

bad beat
See bad beat.
bank
Also called the house, the person responsible for distributing chips, keeping track of the buy-ins, and paying winners at the end of the game.
bankroll
The amount of money that a player has to wager for the duration of his or her poker career.
behind
  1. Not (currently) having the best hand. I'm pretty sure my pair of jacks was behind Lou's kings, but I had other outs, so I kept playing.
  2. Describing money in play but not visible as chips in front of a player. For example, a player may announce "I've got $100 behind" while handing money to a casino employee, meaning that he intends those chips to be in play as soon as they are brought to him.

belly buster
An inside straight draw. Also "gutshot".

berry patch
A game with many unskilled or "live" players; a lucrative opportunity for profit.

bet
  1. Any money wagered during the play of a hand.
  2. More specifically, the opening bet of a betting round.
  3. In a fixed limit game, the standard betting amount. There were six bets in the pot when I called.

betting structure
See betting (poker).
big bet
See big bet.
big bet game
A game played with a no limit or pot limit betting structure.
big blind
See blind (poker).

big blind special
A situation in which (assuming no raising) the player in the big blind is dealt weak hole cards, but ends up making the best hand because he or she was able to see the flop for free, often two pair with unusual cards such as 3-9 or 10-2. Compare to "small blind special".

blank
A card, frequently a community card, of no apparent value. I suspected Margaret had a good draw, but the river card was a blank, so I bet again. Also "rag". Compare to "brick", "bomb".

blaze
A Non-standard poker hand of five face cards that outranks a flush.
bleed, bleeding chips
To lose small amounts continually, so as to add up to a large loss. I won that large pot with my kings, but then I bled it all off over the next hour.

blind
  1. A type of forced bet. See blind (poker).
  2. In the "dark".

blind stud
A stud poker game in which all cards are dealt face down. Was popular in California before legal rulings made traditional stud legal there.

blind off, blinded
  1. To "ante off".
  2. To have one's stack reduced by paying ever increasing blinds in tournaments. Ted had to make a move soon or he would be blinded away in three more rounds.

blocker
In community card poker, refers to holding one of the opponent's outs, typically when the board threatens a straight or straight draw. The board was A23 but with my pair of fives I held two blockers to the straight. Compare to "dry ace".

bluff
See bluff (poker).

bluff-catcher
On the last betting round, a hand that cannot win if the opponent is making a legitimate value bet, but that might win if the opponent's bet was a pure bluff. It looked like Jim and I were both drawing for a flush. I missed and he bet, but I figured the pair of nines I caught along the way made a bluff-catcher, so I called.

board
  1. The set of community cards in a community card game. If another spade hits the board, I'll have to fold.
  2. The set of face-up cards of a particular player in a stud game. Zack's board didn't look too scary, so I bet into him again.
  3. The set of all face-up cards in a stud game. I started with a flush draw, but there were already four other diamonds showing on the board, so I folded.

boat
Slang for a full house. Named for its resemblance to a boat structure; the pair making up the bow and stern, and the three of a kind as the hull.

bomb
A "brick". Compare to "blank", "rags".

bone
A chip, often of small denomination.

both ways
Both halves of a split pot, often declared by a player who thinks he or she will win both low and high.

bottom end
The lowest of several possible straights, especially in a community card game. For example, in Texas hold'em with the cards 5-6-7 on the board, a player holding 3-4 has the bottom end straight, while a player holding 4-8 or 8-9 has a higher straight. Also "idiot end".

bottom pair, bottom set
In a community card game, a pair (or set) made by matching the lowest-ranking board card with one (or two) in one's private hand. Compare second pair, top pair.
box
The chip tray in front of a house dealer, and by extension, the house dealer's position at the table. You've been in the box for an hour now; don't you get a break?

boxed card
A card encountered face-up in the assembled deck during the deal, as opposed to one overturned in the act of dealing. Most house rules treat a boxed card as if it didn't exist; that is, it is placed aside and not used. Different rules cover cards exposed during the deal.

break
  1. In a draw poker game, to discard cards that make a made hand in the hope of making a much better one. For example, a player with J-J-10-9-8 may wish to break his pair of jacks to draw for the straight, and a lowball player may break his 9-high 9-5-4-2-A to draw for the wheel.
  2. To end a session of play. The game broke at about 3:00.

brick
A "blank", though more often used in the derogatory sense of a card that is undesirable rather than merely inconsequential, such as a card of high rank or one that makes a pair in a low-hand game. Also "bomb". Compare to "rags".

brick & mortar
A brick & mortar or B&M casino is a term referring to a "real" casino based in a building, as opposed to an online casino. This term is used to refer to many real world locations vs. their Internet counterparts. It is not just a poker term.

bring in
  1. To open a betting round. Alice brought it in for $4, and Bob raised to $10. Ted posted the bring-in.
  2. A type of forced bet. Rather than (or in addition to) antes or blinds, some games, like seven card stud use a bring-in. The advantage of bring-in games is that the player can look at their hand before betting and can then bet the minimum bring or a full bet (usually 2.5X the bring in amount). So even though it is a forced bet, it is not considered a [blind bet] because the player can look at their cards before acting.
Broadway
The Ace high straight. AKQJT (offsuit) is Broadway.
Broomcorn's Uncle
This is a colorful term for calling a player overly tight.
Mike Sexton used this term on the World Poker Tour Ladies Night 2006 episode. The pop-up defined it as "Losing all your chips by never playing a hand". Broomcorn is an other name for boring common millet. Also see "ante off", "blind off".
brush
  1. A casino employee whose job it is to greet players entering the poker room, maintain the list of persons waiting to play, announce open seats, and various other duties (including brushing off tables to prepare them for new games, hence the name).
  2. To recruit players into a game. Dave is brushing up some players for tonight's game.
bubble
The last finishing position in a poker tournament before entering the payout structure. He was very frustrated after getting eliminated on the bubble. Also can be applied to other situations like if six players will make a televised final table the player finishing seventh will go out on the "TV bubble". Also used to describe any situation close to the payout structure.
buck
See button (poker).
bug
See bug (poker). Compare to wild card (poker).

bullet
  1. An ace.
  2. A chip. Also "ammo".

bully
A player who repeatedly makes large bets. This prevents opportunities from getting free or cheap cards that may complete a drawing hand. Also see buy the pot. Compare to "run over".
bum deal
A mis-deal
bump
To raise. Alice bet $5 and Bob bumped it to $20.
burn, burn card
See burn card.

busted
  1. Not complete, such as four cards to a straight that never gets the fifth card to complete it.
  2. Out of chips. To "bust out" is to lose all of one's chips.

button
See button (poker). Also "buck" or "hat".

buy-in
The minimum required amount of chips that must be "bought" to become involved in a game (or tournament). For example, a $4-$8 fixed limit game might require a player to buy at least $40 worth of chips to play. This is typically far less than an average player would expect to play with for any amount of time, but large enough that the player can play a number of hands without buying more, so the game isn't slowed down by constant chip-buying.

buy short
To buy into a game for an amount smaller than the normal buy-in. Some casinos allow this under certain circumstances, such as after having lost a full buy-in, or if all players agree to allow it.

buy the button
  1. A rule originating in northern California casinos in games played with blinds, in which a new player sitting down with the button to his right (who would normally be required to sit out a hand as the button passed him, then post to come in) may choose to pay the amount of both blinds for this one hand (the amount of the large blind playing as a live blind, and the amount of the small blind as dead money), play this hand, and then receive the button on the next hand as if he had been playing all along. See public cardroom rules (poker).
  2. In games with blinds, usually done by the person sitting to the immediate right of the dealer, who will make a position raise, acting much like the dealer might have done, when only the blinds are still in the hand. Every time he dealt, the dealer let the blinds see the flop, so I started buying the button to force them to fold.

buy the pot
Making a bet when no one else is betting so as to force the other players to fold in order to win the pot uncontested.

C[edit]

call
See call.

call the clock
A method of discouraging players from taking an excessively long time to act. When someone calls the clock, the player has a set amount of time in which to make up his mind; if he fails to do so, his hand is immediately declared dead. In tournament play, a common rule is that if a player takes too long and no one calls the clock, the dealer or floor personnel will automatically do so.

calling station
See calling station.
cap
A limit on the number of raises allowed in a betting round. Typically three or four (in addition the opening bet). In most casinos, the cap is removed if there are only two players remaining either (1) at the beginning of the betting round, or (2) at the time that what would have otherwise been the last raise is made.
Also, term for the chip, token, or object placed atop one's cards to show continued involvement with a hand.
cap game
Similar to "cap" above, but used to describe a no-limit or pot limit game with a cap on the amount that a player can bet during the course of a hand. Once the cap is reached, all players remaining in the hand are considered all-in. For example, a no limit game could have a betting cap of 30 times the big blind.[1]
cards speak
See cards speak (poker).

case card
The last available card of a certain description (typically a rank). The only way I can win is to catch the case king., meaning the only king remaining in the deck.

cash plays
An announcement, usually by a dealer, that a player requested to buy chips and can bet the cash he has on the table in lieu of chips until he receives his chips.

catch
To receive needed cards on a draw. I'm down 300--I can't catch anything today. or Joe caught his flush early, but I caught the boat on seventh street to beat him. Often used with an adjective to further specify, for example "catch perfect", "catch inside", "catch smooth".

catch up
To successfully complete a draw, thus defeating a player who previously had a better hand. I was sure I had Alice beat, but she caught up when that spade fell.

catch perfect
To catch the only two possible cards that will complete a hand and win the pot, usually those leading to a straight flush. Usually used in Texas Hold 'Em. Compare with "runner-runner".

center
Synonym for pot. "Chips in the center..." means the chips that are in the main pot. "I'm going to center your stack" means that a player is going to force all of an opponents chips into the pot. "My stack got centered" means that a player was forced to wager his/her remaining chips.
center pot
The main pot in a table stakes game where one or more players are all in.

chase
  1. To call a bet to see the next card when holding a drawing hand when the pot odds do not merit it.
  2. To continue to play a drawing hand over multiple betting rounds, especially one unlikely to succeed. Bob knew I made three nines on fourth street, but he chased that flush draw all the way to the river.
  3. To continue playing with a hand that is not likely the best because one has already invested money in the pot.

check
  1. To bet nothing. See check.
  2. A casino chip.

check out
To fold, in turn, even though there is no bet facing the player. In some games this is considered a breach of etiquette equivalent to folding out of turn. In others it is permitted, but frowned upon. Also known as a "French raise".

check-raise
See check-raise.
cheese
A poor hand. Throw that piece of cheese in the muck and move on to the next hand.
chip
See poker chip.
chip along
To bet or call the minimum required to stay in, often done with little or no thought.
chip declare
A method of declaring intent to play high or low in a split-pot game with declaration. See declaration.
chip dumping
A form of collusion that happens during tournaments, especially in the early rounds. Two or more players decide to go all-in early. The winner gets a large amount of chips, which increases the player's chance of cashing. The winnings are then split among the colluders.
chip race
See chip race.
chip up
To exchange lower-denomination chips for higher-denomination chips. In tournament play, the term means to remove all the small chips from play by rounding up any odd small chips to the nearest large denomination, rather than using a chip race.
chop
  1. To split a pot because of a tie, split-pot game, or player agreement.
  2. To play a game for a short time and cash out. Also "hit and run".
  3. A request made by a player to a dealer after taking a large-denomination chip that he wishes the dealer to make change.
  4. To chop blinds.
  5. An agreement by all players remaining in a tournament to distribute the remaining money in the prize pool according to an agreed-upon formula instead of playing the tournament to completion. Usually occurs at the final table of a large tournament.
chopping the blinds
See chopping the blinds.

clean out
A card that is likely to make your hand the best at the table.

closed
See closed (poker).
coffeehouse
To make annoying smalltalk during a game, to make comments about a hand in progress, or to make deceptive comments about one's own play.
cold
  1. Consecutive. I caught three cold spades for the flush.
  2. Unlucky. I've been cold all week.

cold call
To call an amount that represents a sum of bets or raises by more than one player. Alice opened for $10, Bob raised another $20, and Carol cold called the $30. Compare to "flat call", "overcall".

cold deck
See cold deck. Also "stacked deck", "ice" or "cooler".
collusion
A form of cheating involving cooperation among two or more players. See cheating in poker.
color change, color up
To exchange small-denomination chips for larger ones.
combo, combination game
A casino table at which multiple forms of poker are played in rotation.
come bet, on the come
A bet or raise made with a drawing hand, building the pot in anticipation of filling the draw. Usually a weak "gambler's" play, but occasionally correct with a very good draw and large pot or as a semi-bluff.

come hand
See drawing hand.

community card
See community card poker.

complete hand
See made hand.

completion
To raise a small bet up to the amount of what would be a normal-sized bet. For example, in a $2/$4 stud game with $1 bring-in, a player after the bring-in may raise it to $2, completing what would otherwise be a sub-minimum bet up to the normal minimum. Also in limit games, if one player raises all in for less than the normally required minimum, a later player might complete the raise to the normal minimum (depending on house rules). See table stakes.

connectors
Two or more cards of consecutive rank.

continuation bet
A bet made after the flop by the player who took the lead in betting before the flop (Hold 'em and Omaha). Compare to "probe bet".

cooler
See cold deck.
countdown
  1. Especially in lowball, two hands very nearly tied that must be compared in detail to determine a winner, for example, 8-6-5-3-2 versus 8-6-5-3-A.
  2. The act of counting the cards that remain in the stub after all cards have been dealt, done by a dealer to ensure that a complete deck is being used.
counterfeit
See counterfeit (poker). Also "duplicate".
cow
A player with whom one is sharing a buy-in, with the intent to split the result after play. To "go cow" is to make such an arrangement.
crack
To beat a better hand, mostly heard in reference to the best Hold em hole cards, AA. eg "My aces were cracked again"

cripple
In some community card games, to cripple the deck means to have a hand that makes it virtually impossible for anyone else to catch up to. For example, in Texas hold 'em, if your hole cards are A-T and the flop is A-A-T you have "crippled the deck" and it is unlikely you will make much money from it.

crossfire
When a player is caught in the middle between two raisers and is induced to call each bet because of the pot odds. Compare to "whipsaw".

crying call
A call made reluctantly on the last betting round with the expectation of losing (but with some remote hope of catching a bluff).

cut
See cut.

cutoff
The seat immediately to the right of the dealer button. Also "pone".

D[edit]

dark
Describing an action taken before receiving information to which the player would normally be entitled. I'm drawing three, and I check in the dark. Compare to "blind".

dead blind
A blind that is not "live", in that the player posting it does not have the option to raise if other players just call. Usually refers to a small blind posted by a player entering, or returning to, a game (in a position other than the big blind) that is posted in addition to a live blind equal to the big blind.

dead button
When the button moves to the position of an eliminated player.

dead hand
A player's hand that is not entitled to participate in the deal for some reason, such as having been fouled by touching another player's cards, being found to contain the wrong number of cards, being dealt to a player who did not make the appropriate forced bets, etc.

dead money
See dead money (poker).
deadwood
The muck.

deal
  1. To distribute cards to players in accordance with the rules of the game being played.
  2. A single instance of a game of poker, begun by shuffling the cards and ending with the award of a pot. Also called a "hand" (though both terms are ambiguous).
  3. An agreement to split tournament prize money differently from the announced payouts.

deal twice
In a cash game, when two players are involved in a large pot and one is all-in, they might agree to deal the remaining cards twice. If one player wins both times he wins the whole pot, but if both players win one hand they split the pot.

dealer
  1. The person dealing the cards. Give Alice the cards, she's dealing.
  2. The person who assumes that role for the purposes of betting order in a game, even though someone else might be physically dealing. Also "button". Compare to "buck".

dealer's choice
A version of poker in which the deal passes each game and each dealer can choose, or invent, a new poker game each hand.

declare
To verbally indicate an action or intention. See declaration (poker).

decloak
To raise after slow playing for a time (making it clear that you were, in fact, slow playing). See "in the bushes".

deep
Describing a large amount of money, either in play or having been lost. How deep are you? (meaning "How much money do you have", in anticipation of making a very large bet). I won that large pot, but I'm in much deeper than that.
defense
See defense (poker).
deuce
  1. A 2-spot card. Also called a duck, quack, or swan.
  2. Any of various related uses of the number two, such as a $2 limit game, a $2 chip, etc.
deuce-to-seven
A method of evaluating low hands. See Deuce-to-seven low.
dirty stack
A stack of chips that has a chip of the wrong denomination mixed in.

discard
To take a previously dealt card out of play. The set of all discards for a deal is called the "muck" or the "deadwood".

dog
See underdog.

dominated hand
A hand that is extremely unlikely to win against another specific hand, even though it may not be a poor hand in its own right. Most commonly used in Texas hold 'em. A hand like A-Q, for example, is a good hand in general but is dominated by A-K, because whenever the former makes a good hand, the latter is likely to make a better one. A hand like 7-8 is a poor hand in general, but is not dominated by A-K because it makes different kinds of hands. See Dominating hand.

donation
A call made by a player who fully expects to lose; made either out of boredom or irrational optimism.

donk, donkey
Epithet for an inexperienced, unskilled, or foolish poker player. I played that hand like a donkey.

donk, donk down (verb)
To play a hand poorly. I donked off 15 bucks on that last hand.
donk, donkbet
Betting when one doesn't have the lead.
door card
In a stud game, a player's first face-up card. Patty paired her door card on fifth street and raised, so I put her on trips.
In Hold'em, the door card is the first visible card of the flop.
double-ace flush
Under unconventional rules, a flush with one or more wild cards in which they play as aces, even if an ace is already present.
double-board, double-flop
Any of several community card game variants (usually Texas hold 'em) in which two separate boards of community cards are dealt simultaneously, with the pot split between the winning hands using each board.
double-draw
Any of several Draw poker games in which the draw phase and subsequent betting round are repeated twice.
double belly buster, double gut-shot, double inside straight
See double inside straight draw.

double suited
Used to describe an Omaha starting hand where two pairs of suited cards are held. May be abbreviated "ds" in written descriptions. AAJT (ds) is widely considered a premium PLO starting hand.

double through, double up
In a big bet game, to bet all of one's chips on one hand against a single opponent (who has an equal or larger stack) and win, thereby doubling your stack. I was losing a bit, but then I doubled through Sarah to put me in good shape.

downcard
A card that is dealt facedown.
down to the felt
All in, or having lost all of one's money. Refers to the green felt surface of a poker table no longer obscured by chips.
drag light
To pull chips away from the pot to indicate that you don't have enough money to cover the bet. If you win, the amount is ignored. If you lose, you must cover the amount from your pocket.
draw, drawing hand
See draw (poker).

drawing dead
Playing a drawing hand that will lose even if successful (a state of affairs usually only discovered after the fact or in a tounament when two or more players are "all in" and they show their cards). I caught the jack to make my straight, but Rob had a full house all along, so I was drawing dead.

drawing live
Not drawing dead; that is, drawing to a hand that will win if successful.

drawing thin
Not drawing completely dead, but chasing a draw in the face of poor odds. Example: a player who will only win by catching 1 or 2 specific cards is said to be drawing thin.

drop
  1. To fold.
  2. Money charged by the casino for providing its services, often dropped through a slot in the table into a strong box. See "rake".
  3. To drop ones cards to the felt to indicate that one is in or out of a game.

dry ace
In Omaha or Texas hold 'em, refers to an ace in one's hand without another card of the same suit. Used especially to describe the situation where the board presents a flush possibility, when the player does not in fact have a flush, but holding the ace presents some bluffing or semi-bluffing opportunity. Compare to "blocker".

dry pot
A side pot with no money created when a player goes all in and is called by more than one opponent, but not raised.
dump, dumped
To lose a large quantity of ones stack to another player on a particular hand or set of hands in short succession. I dumped half my stack to John after he cracked my Kings.

duplicate
To counterfeit, especially when the counterfeiting card matches one already present in the one's hand.

E[edit]

early position
See position (poker).

eight or better
A common qualifier in High-low split games that use Ace-5 ranking. Only hands where the highest card is an eight can qualify to win the low portion of the pot.

equity
One's mathematical expected value from the current deal, calculated by multiplying the amount of money in the pot by one's probability of winning. For example, if the pot currently contains $100, and you estimate that you have a one in four chance of winning it, then your equity in the pot is $25.

expectation, expected value, EV
See expected value. Often used in poker to mean "profitability in the long run".

exposed card
A card whose face has been deliberately or accidentally revealed to players normally not entitled to that information during the play of the game. Various games have different rules about how to handle this irregularity. Compare to "boxed card".

F[edit]

family pot
A deal in which every (or almost every) seated player called the first opening bet.

fast
Aggressive play. I was afraid of too many chasers, so I played my trips fast. Compare to "speeding".

feeder
In a casino setting, a second or third table playing the same game as a "main" table, and from which players move to the main game as players there leave. Also called a "must-move table."

fence-hopper
Compare to "hop the fence".

fifth street
  1. The last card dealt to the board in community card games. Also "river".
  2. The fifth card dealt to each player in stud poker.

fill, fill up
To successfully draw to a hand that needs one card to complete it, by getting the last card of a straight, flush, or full house. Jerry made his flush when I was betting my kings up, but I filled on seventh street to catch up.

final table
In a multi-table tournament: to remain in the game long enough as to make it to the last round of players that can fit at one standard tournament table (usually 9 or 10 players).

fire
To make the opening bet of a round, following the same analogy by which chips are called "ammo". I called Ken's bet on fourth with a draw, but I bricked, and when he fired again I had to fold. or I think Randy suspected my earlier bet was a bluff, but when I fired a second shot he let it go.

fish
  1. An unskilled player who plays loosely and passively, calling a lot of bets.
  2. To risk money on a long-shot bet.
  3. The action of calling bets on the flop and the turn to make a hand on the river.

five of a kind
A hand possible only in games with wild cards, defeating all other hands, comprising five cards of equal rank.
fixed limit, flat limit
See fixed limits.
flash
  1. To show the bottom card of the deck while shuffling.
  2. To show one or more downcards from one's hand. After everyone folded, Ted flashed his bluff to the other players.

flat call
A call, in a situation where one might be expected to raise. Normally I raise with jacks, but with three limpers ahead of me I decided to flat call. Also "smooth call". Compare to "cold call", "overcall". See slow play (poker).

float
To call a bet with an inferior hand, with the intention of bluffing on a later betting round.

floorman, floorperson
A casino employee whose duties include adjudicating player disputes, keeping games filled and balanced, and managing dealers and other personnel. Players may shout "floor!" to call for a floorperson to resolve a dispute, to ask for a table or seat change, or to ask for some other casino service.

flop
See flop (poker)
flop game
A community card game.
flush
A hand comprising five cards of the same suit. See rank of hands (poker).
fold
See fold.

fold equity
The extra value gained by forcing your opponents to fold, rather than seeing the showdown. See also equity.

forced bet
See forced bets.
forced-move
In a casino where more than one table is playing the same game with the same betting structure, one of the tables may be designated the "main" table, and will be kept full by requiring a player to move from one of the feeder tables to fill any vacancies. Players will generally be informed that their table is a "forced-move" table to be used in this way before they agree to play there. Also "must-move".

forward motion
A house rule of some casinos states that if a player in turn picks up chips from his stack and moves his hand toward the pot ("forward motion with chips in hand"), this constitutes a commitment to bet (or call), and the player may not withdraw his hand to check or fold. Such a player still has the choice of whether to call or raise. Compare to "string bet".

fouled hand
A hand that is ruled unplayable because of an irregularity, such as being found with too many or two few cards, having been mixed with cards of other players or the muck, having fallen off the table, etc. Compare to "dead hand".

four-flush
Four cards of the same suit. A non-standard poker hand in some games, an incomplete drawing hand in most.

four of a kind
A hand containing four cards of equal rank. Also "quads". See rank of hands (poker).
four-straight
Four cards in rank sequence; either an open-ender or one-ender. A non-standard poker hand in some games, an incomplete drawing hand in most. Sometimes "four to a straight".

fourth street
  1. The fourth card dealt to the board in community card games. Also "turn".
  2. The fourth card dealt to each player in stud.

fox hunt
See rabbit hunt.

free card
A card dealt to one's hand (or to the board of community cards) after a betting round in which no player opened. One is thereby being given a chance to improve one's hand without having to pay anything. I wasn't sure my hand was good, but I bet so I wouldn't give a free card to Bill's flush draw.

freeroll
See freeroll (poker).

freezeout
The most common form of tournament. There's no rebuy, play continues until one player has all the chips.

full, full boat, full hand, full house
A hand with three cards of one rank and two of a second rank. Also "boat", "tight". See rank of hands (poker).

full bet rule
In some casinos, the rule that a player must wager the full amount required in order for his action to constitute a raise. For example, in a game with a $4 fixed limit, a player facing an opening bet of $4 who wagers $7 is deemed to have flat called, because $8 is required to raise. Compare to "half bet rule". See Public cardroom rules (poker) and "All in" betting.

G[edit]

gap hand
In Texas hold 'em, a gap hand is a starting hand with at least one rank separating the two cards. Usually referred to in context of one-gap and two-gap hands.

garbage
  1. The "muck".
  2. A worthless hand.

going south
To sneak a portion of your chips from the table while the game is underway. Normally prohibited in public card rooms. Also "ratholing".

grinder
A player who earns a living by making small profits over a long period of consistent, conservative play. Compare to "rock".
guts, guts to open
  1. A game with no opening hand requirement; that is, where the only requirement to open the betting is "guts", or courage.
  2. Any of several poker variants where pots accumulate over several hands until a single player wins. See guts.

gutshot
An inside straight draw. Ted has a gutshot draw. Also "belly buster".

gypsy
To enter the pot cheaply by just calling the blind rather than raising. Also "limp".

H[edit]

half bet rule
In some casinos, the rule that placing chips equal to or greater than half the normal bet amount beyond the amount required to call constitutes a commitment to raise the normal amount. For example, in a game with a $4 fixed limit, a player facing a $4 opening bet who places $6 in the pot is deemed to have raised, and must complete his bet to $8. Compare to "full bet rule". See Public cardroom rules (poker) and "all in" betting.

hammer
  1. To bet and raise aggressively. Nora kept hammering, so I folded.
  2. "Having the hammer" is being in last position, especially head up. You've got the hammer; I check to you.
  3. A "hammer lock" refers to a player with an almost 100% chance of winning the pot.
  4. In Texas Hold'em, The Hammer refers to a starting hand consisting of a 7-2 offsuit.

hand
See hand (poker).
hand-for-hand
See hand-for-hand.
hard
  1. Aggressive and uncompromising, said of one's play. Jim played me hard all night; I could never get a break.
  2. Chips, as opposed to paper money. I gave the floorman $100 for $50 hard and $50 soft.
hat
See button (poker).

head up, heads up
Playing against a single opponent. After Lori folded, Frank and I were heads up for the rest of the hand.

heater
If one is consistently getting favorable cards, then he or she is said to be on a heater.
here kitty kitty
A conspicuously small bet made with a very powerful hand in the hope of getting a call from one or more opponents who would otherwise fold to a normal-sized bet.

high, high hand
The best hand using traditional poker hand values, as opposed to lowball. Used especially in high-low split games.

high card
  1. A no pair hand, ranked according to its highest-ranking cards.
  2. To defeat another player by virtue of high-ranking cards, especially kickers.
  3. To randomly select a player for some purpose by having each draw one card, the highest of which is selected (for example, to decide who deals first). When all the players get here, we'll high card for the button. Often high card by suit is used for this purpose.
high-low, high-low split
See high-low split.
high society
  1. Large-denomination chips. Also "society".
hijack
The seat to the right of the cutoff.
hit and run
To play for a short time, make money, and leave. Also called "chopping" a game.
hog, hogger
To win all of the pot in a split-pot game, for example, by having both the best high hand and best low hand simultaneously. Also called "scooping" the pot.

hole, hole cards
  1. Face-down cards. Also "pocket cards". I think Willy has two more queens in the hole.
  2. A seat, often preceded by a number relative to the button. Sara opened from the 2-hole.

hole cam
a camera that displays a player's face-down cards ("hole cards") to television viewers. Also "pocket cam".

Hollywood
Overt acting to deceive other players. Karl had a big smile when he bet, but it seemed too Hollywood to me, so I called anyway. Also refers to taking excessive time to act — a common suspense-building feature of movies which highly irritates other players when carried out in real life.

home game
A game played at a private venue (usually the home of one of the players), as opposed to a casino or public cardroom.

hop the fence
The enter the pot with a cold call.

horse
A player financially backed by someone else. I lost today, but Larry was my horse in the stud game, and he won big.
H.O.R.S.E.
See H.O.R.S.E..

hunt
Looking further into the deck after the hand is over to see what cards would have come next. Also "fox hunt", "rabbit hunt".

I[edit]

idiot end, ignorant end
The bottom end of a straight. Compare to "sucker straight".

immortal
Unbeatable; often said of a hand that a player knows cannot be beaten under the circumstances of play. Also "lock", "nuts".

implied odds, implied pot odds
See implied pot odds.

improve
To achieve a better hand than one currently holds by adding or exchanging cards as provided in the rules of the game being played. I didn't think Paula was bluffing, so I decided not to call unless I improved on the draw.

inside straight
See inside straight draw. Also "belly buster", "gutshot". Compare to outside straight draw.
insurance
A "business" deal in which players agree to split or reduce a pot (roughly in proportion to the chances of each of them winning) with more cards to come rather than playing out the hand, or else a deal where one player makes a side bet against himself with a third party to hedge against a large loss.

in the bushes, in the weeds
A player slow playing is said to be "in the bushes" during the time he is quietly checking and calling while others bet aggressively. He will eventually "decloak".

in the middle
  1. In a game with multiple blinds, an incoming player may sometimes be allowed to post the blinds "in the middle" (that is, out of their normal order) rather than having to wait for them to pass.
  2. A player being whipsawed is said to be "in the middle".

in the money
To place high enough in a poker tournament to get prize money.

in the tank
When a player is facing a bet or raise, typically a large one late in the hand, and takes a long time thinking about whether to call is said to have gone "in the tank."

in turn
A player, or an action, is said to be in turn if that player is expected to act next under the rules. Jerry said "check" while he was in turn, so he's not allowed to raise.

irregular declaration
An action taken by a player in turn that is not a straightforward declaration of intent, but that is reasonably interpreted as an action by other players, such as pointing a thumb up to signify "raise". House rules or dealer discretion may determine when such actions are meaningful and/or binding.

irregularity
Any of a number of abnormal conditions in play, such as unexpectedly exposed cards, that may call for corrective action. See Public cardroom rules (poker).

isolation
See isolation (poker).

ITM
Abbreviation of in the money.

J[edit]

jack it up
To raise.

jackpot
  1. A game of "jackpot poker" or "jackpots", which is a variant of five-card draw with an ante from each player, no blinds, and an opening requirement of a pair of jacks or better.
  2. A large pool of money collected by the house and awarded for some rare occurrence, typically a bad beat.
jam
To open or raise the maximum amount allowed. Players who "jam a pot" in limit poker keep putting in raises until the cap is reached.
joint
Jack-high straight.


juice
Money collected by the house. Also "vig", "vigorish". See Rake (poker).

K[edit]

keep (a bettor) honest
To call a final bet while not expecting to win, for the primary purpose of discouraging future bluffs.
kicker
See kicker (poker).
kill game, kill pot
See kill game.
kitty
A pool of money built by collecting small amounts from certain pots, often used to buy refreshments, cards, and so on. The home-game equivalent of a rake.

L[edit]

laydown
A tough choice to fold a good hand in anticipation of superior opposition.

lead
The player who makes the last bet or raise in a round of betting is said to have the lead at the start of the next round.
limit
The minimum or maximum amount of a bet.

limp, limp in
To enter a pot by simply calling instead of raising.

live bet
A bet posted by a player under conditions that give him the option to raise even if no other player raises first; typically because it was posted as a blind or straddle, or to enter a new game.

live cards
In stud poker games, cards that will improve your hand that have not been seen among anyone's upcards, and are therefore presumably still available. In games such as Texas hold'em, a player's hand is said to contain "live" cards if matching either of them on the board would give that player the lead over his opponent. Typically used to describe a hand that is weak, but not dominated.

live game
A game with a lot of action, usually including many unskilled players, especially maniacs.

live one
A weak player, especially a maniac.

lock up
To "lock up" a seat in a cash game means to place a poker chip, player's card, or other personal effect on the table in front of the seat, to signify that the seat is occupied even though the player may not be present.

loose
See loose/tight play. Compare to "tight", "aggressive", "passive".

loose cannon
A player who is not afraid to put money in the pot; one who is "gambling" a lot and liable to lose all his money at any given time.
low
  1. The lowest card by rank.
  2. The low half of the pot in a high-low split.

M[edit]

M-ratio
See M-ratio.
made hand
See made hand. Compare to a drawing hand.
maniac
A loose and aggressive player. A player who bets constantly and plays many inferior hands.
match the pot
To put in an amount equal to all the chips in the pot.

micro-limit
Internet poker games with stakes so small that real cardrooms couldn't possibly profit from them, are said to be at the "micro-limit" level (e.g. 25¢-50¢).

misdeal
A deal which is ruined for some reason and must be redealt.

move in
In a no-limit game, to "move in" or to "go all in" means to bet one's entire stake on the hand in play. See table stakes.

muck
  1. To fold.
  2. To discard one's hand without revealing the cards. Often done after winning without a showdown or at a showdown when a better hand has already been revealed.
  3. The discard pile "There were only a couple of cards in the muck"

N[edit]

natural card
A card that isn’t wild or otherwise modified by the game rules. In most houses, a natural hand beats an equivalent hand that uses wild cards. For example, a pair comprising a wild card and a natural (Joker, 2♠) would lose to one made from two naturals of the same number (2♥, 2♣).
no-limit
See no-limit.
negative freeroll
See negative freeroll.
nuts, the
See nut hand.

O[edit]

offsuit
Cards that are not of the same suit. The ace of clubs and the king of spades are called ace-king offsuit

one-eyed royals
See one-eyed royals.
open
To bet first. See open.
open ended, open ended straight draw
An outside straight draw. Also "two-way straight draw".
openers
The cards held by a player in a game of "jackpots" entitling him to open the pot. "Splitting openers" refers to holding onto one of your openers after discarding it to prove you had the necessary cards to open should you win the pot.

option
  1. An optional bet or draw, such as getting an extra card facedown for 50 cents or raising on the big blind when checked all the way around.
  2. The right to raise possessed by the big blind if there have been no raises.

out of pocket
A game which gives the players the ability to add more money to their stack in the middle of a hand. See Table stakes.

outrun
To beat another hand, usually by being dealt extra cards after the initial deal.

outs
See out (poker).
outside straight, outside straight draw
See outside straight draw. Also "two-way straight draw".

overcall
To call a bet after others have called, esp. big bets. Jim bet, Alice called, then Ted overcalled. Compare to "cold call", "flat call", "smooth call".

overcard
  1. A community card with a higher rank than a player's pocket pair.
  2. A higher card. Ted held two overcards to Jill's pair with two cards to come.

overpair
In community card games such as Texas Hold'em and Omaha, a pocket pair with a higher rank than any community card.

over the top
To reraise. Ted raised $20, then Alice came over the top for $60 more.

P[edit]

paint
The face cards, Jacks, Queens, and Kings, in a deck. In Texas hold'em, a flop can be said to be "all paint" if it consists of only these cards. This is also called a "Picasso Flop".

pair
See one pair

passive
A style of play characterized by checking and calling. Compare to "aggressive", "loose", "tight".

pat
Already complete. A hand is a pat hand when, for example, a flush comes on the first five cards dealt in Draw poker. Also see made hand.

pay off
To call a bet when you are most likely drawing dead because the pot odds justify the call.

penny ante
Frivilous, low stakes, or "for fun" only; A game where no significant stake is likely to change hands.

perfect
The best possible cards, in a lowball hand, after those already named. For example, 7-perfect would be 7-4-3-2-A, and 8-6-perfect would be 8-6-3-2-A.

Picasso flop
Slang for "paint". See Flop Slang.
pick-up
When the house picks up cash from the dealer after a player buys chips.
pigeon
A bad player. Also "donkey", "fish".

play the board
In games such as Texas Hold 'Em, where 5 community cards are dealt, if your best hand is on the board and you go to the showdown you are said to "play the board".

play twice
See deal twice.

pocket pair
In community card poker or stud poker, when two of a player's private cards make a pair. Also "wired pair".

poker face
A blank face that does not reveal anything about the cards being held. Often used metaphorically outside the world of poker.

porch
In seven-card stud, the four cards dealt face up to the player.
position
See position (poker).

position bet
A bet that is made more due to the strength of the bettor's position than the strength of the bettor's cards.

post
To make the required small or big blind bet in Texas Hold 'em or other games played with blinds rather than antes

post dead
To post a bet amount equal to the small and the big blind combined (the amount of the large blind playing as a live blind, and the amount of the small blind as dead money). In games played with blinds, a player who steps away from the table and misses his turn for the blinds must either post dead or wait for the big blind to re-enter the game. Compare to "dead blind".

post oak bluff
See post oak bluff.
pot
See pot (poker).

pot-committed
More often in the context of a no limit game; the situation where you can no longer fold because the size of the pot is so large compared to the size of your stack.

pot limit
See pot limit.
pot odds
See pot odds.

price
See pot odds. "The price was right for me to call."

probe bet
A bet after the flop by a player who did not take the lead in betting before the flop (and when the player that did take the lead in betting before the flop declined to act). Compare to "continuation bet".

proposition player, prop
A player that gets paid an hourly rate to start poker games or to help them stay active. Prop players play with their own money, which distinguishes them from shills, who play with the casino's money.
protect, protection
See protection (poker).

push
To put yourself all-in.

put the clock (on someone)
See call the clock.

put on
To put someone on a hand is to deduce what hand they have based on their actions and your knowledge of their gameplay. See also tells.

Q[edit]

quads
Four of a kind.

qualifier, qualifying low
A qualifying low hand. High-low split games often require a minimum hand value, such as 8-high, in order to award the low half of the pot.

quarter
To win a quarter of a pot, usually by tying the low or high hand of a high-low split game. Generally, this is an unwanted outcome, as it seldom wins enough money to cover the amount bet during the hand.

R[edit]

rabbit hunt
After a hand is over, a rabbit hunt means to reveal the last card that would have come up in a community card game with a fixed number of cards. Such activity is usually prohibited in casinos.

rack
1. A collection of 100 chips of the same denomination, usually arranged in 5 stacks in a plastic tray.
2. A plastic tray used for storing a rack of chips.

ragged
In community card poker games, if the community cards are likely to be of little or no use to anyone, they are said to be ragged.

rags
Worthless (or apparently worthless) cards. Most often refers to small cards in high-hand games, while high cards in low games are more often called "bricks" or "bombs". Also "blank".

rail
The rail is the sideline at a poker table - the (often imaginary) rail separating spectators from the field of play. Watching from the rail means watching a poker game as a spectator. People on the rail are sometimes called railbirds.

rainbow
Three or four cards of different suits, especially said of a flop.

raise
See raise.

rake
See rake (poker). Also "juice", "vig", "vigorish".

rakeback
Rebate/repayment to a player of a portion of the rake paid by that player, normally from a non-cardroom, third-party source such as an affiliate. Rakeback is paid in many ways by online poker rooms, affiliates or brick and mortar rooms. Many use direct money payments for online poker play. Brick and Mortar rooms usually use rate cards to track and pay their rakeback.

ram and jam
To aggressively bet, raise, and reraise.

ratholing
To "go south".

rebuy
An amount of chips purchased after the buy-in.

redeal
To deal a hand again, possibly after a misdeal.
redraw
  1. To make one hand and have a draw for a better hand. Ted made a straight on the turn with a redraw for a flush on the river..
  2. Second or later draws in a draw game with multiple draws.

represent
To represent a hand is to play as if you hold it (whether you actually hold it or are bluffing).

reraise
Raise after one has been raised. Also coming "over the top".

ring game
See ring game.
river
See river (poker).
river rat
A player whose hand was dominated from the start, but improves his hand on the river to win the pot. See "suck out".
rock
  1. A very tight player (plays very few hands and only continues with strong hands).
  2. A bundle of chips held together with a rubber band, or other token signifying an obligatory live straddle. If the player under the gun has the rock, he must use it to post a live straddle. The winner of the pot collects the rock and is obligated to use it in turn.
rolled-up trips
In seven-card stud, three of a kind dealt in the first three cards.
rounder
See rounder.
runner
A tournament entrant, a contestant.

runner-runner
A hand made by hitting two consecutive cards on the turn and river. Also "backdoor". Compare to "bad beat" and "suck out".

rush
Winning streak. A player who has won several big pots recently is said to be on a rush.

S[edit]

sandbag
See slow play (poker).

satellite
A tournament in which the prize is a free entrance to another (larger) tournament.

scare card
A card dealt face up (either to a player in a game such as stud or to the board in a community card game) that appears to create a strong hand for someone. The Jack of spades on the turn was a scare card because it put both flush and straight possibilities on the board.

scoop
In high-low split games, to win both the high and the low half of the pot.

second pair
In community card poker games, a pair of cards of the second-top rank on the board. Compare bottom pair, top pair.

sell
In spread limit poker, to sell a hand is to bet less than the maximum with a strong hand, in the hope that more of your opponents will call the bet.

semi-bluff
See semi-bluff.

set
Three of a kind, esp. the situation where two of the cards are concealed in the player's hole cards. Compare to "trips".

set-up
A deck that has been ordered, usually King to Ace by suit (spades, hearts, clubs and diamonds). In casinos, it is customary to use a set-up deck when introducing a new deck to the table. The set-up is spread face up for the players to demonstrate that all of the cards are present before the first shuffle. Also called to "spade the deck".
shark
A professional player.
shill
See shill. Compare to "proposition player".
ship it
Same as "send it." Phrase sometimes exclaimed by the winner of a big pot.

shootout
A poker tournament format where the last remaining player of a table goes on to play the remaining players of other tables. Each table plays independently of the others; that is, there is no balancing as players are eliminated. This format is particularly common in European televised poker programs, including Late Night Poker.

short stack
A stack of chips that is relatively small for the stakes being played.

shorthanded
A poker game that is played with around six players or less, as opposed to a full ring game, which is usually nine or ten players.
showdown
See showdown (poker).

side pot
A separate pot created to deal with the situation of one player going "all in". See table stakes.

sit and go
A "Sit and Go" is a poker tournament which has no starting time that will start as soon as a set number of players, usually 9 or 10, sign up. Also called sit n' gos and a variety of other similar spellings.

16-way straight draw
A hand in draw poker such as 6♥ 7♥ 8♠ (Joker), in which any of sixteen cards (4 fours, 4 fives, 4 nines, 4 tens) can fill a straight.
slow play
See slow play (poker). Also "sandbag".
slow roll
To delay or avoid showing one's hand at showdown, forcing other players to expose their hands first. When done while holding a good hand likely to be the winner, it is considered poor etiquette, because it often gives other players "false hope" that their hands might win before the slow-roller's is exposed.

small blind
See blinds.

small blind special
A situation in which (assuming no raising) a player is dealt weak hole cards in the small blind, but ends up making the best hand because they got to see a relatively inexpensive flop. Compare to "big blind special".

smooth call
See "flat call".

snow
  1. To play a worthless hand misleadingly in draw poker in order to bluff.
  2. The worthless hand in question.

soft-play
To intentionally go easy on a player (e.g. not betting or raising against him when you usually would).

speeding
To play very loose with no identifiable pattern, or to bluff frequently. Also known as speeding around. Compare to "fast".

spike
When a flop is spread out, if the first card revealed is the card an underdog needs, they spike that card. More loosely, if any of the flop cards help you, then you spike it. I had Q9 to my opponent's pocket jacks, but I spiked a queen on the flop to take the lead.

splash the pot
To throw one's chips in the pot in a disorderly fashion. Not typically allowed, because the dealer can't tell how much has been bet.

split
See split (poker) and high-low split.

split two pair
In community card poker, a two pair hand, with each pair made of one of your hole cards, and one community card.

spread
The range between a table's minimum and maximum bets.

spread-limit
A form of limit poker where the bets and raises can be between a minimum and maximum value. The spread may change between rounds.

stack
A collection of 20 poker chips of the same denomination, usually arranged in an orderly column.

stacked deck
See cold deck.
stakes
The definition of the amount one buys in for and can bet. For example, a "low stakes" game might be a $10 buy-in with a $1 maximum raise.
stand pat
In draw poker, playing the original hand using no draws, either as a bluff or in the belief it is the best hand.
starting hand
See starting hand.

steal
See steal (poker).

steam
Act of playing recklessly when one is frustrated. Compare to "tilt".

stop and go
Stop and go or stop 'n' go is when a player bets into another player who has previously raised or otherwise shown aggression. Example: On the flop, Bill bets into Tom, Tom raises, and Bill just calls. On the turn, Bill bets into Tom again. Bill has just pulled a stop 'n' go play.
Another version of the "stop and go" is in tournament poker when a player raises pre-flop with the intention of going all in after the flop regardless of the cards that fall. This is typically done when the blinds are high and every chip becomes vital.
straddle bet
See straddle bets.
straight
  1. Poker hand: see straight.
  2. When used with an amount, indicates that the speaker is referring to the total bet, versus the amount being raised. Alice bets twenty. Bob raises to fifty straight. Also "altogether" or "all day".
straight flush
See straight flush.
strategy card
A wallet sized card that is commonly used to help with poker strategies in online and casino games.
street
The cards given to each player in a stud game or the shared cards in a community card game. Usually preceded by a number (i.e., fourth street is the fourth card given to each player in stud or the fourth community card to be exposed).

string bet
To call with one motion and raise with another, or to reach for more chips in the middle of laying a bet/raise without stating the intended amount. String bets are prohibited in public cardroom rules. Compare to "forward motion".

structured
A structured betting system is one where the spread of the bets may change from round to round.

stuck
Having lost money. I'm stuck $300 right now.
stud
  1. A variant of poker. See stud poker.
  2. A card dealt face up in Stud poker.
suck out
To draw a winning hand despite poor odds.

sucker straight
In community card poker variants, a straight completed on the low end of the possible straight on the board. Compare to "idiot end, ignorant end".

suited
Having the same suit. See card suits.

suited connectors
See suited connectors.
super satellite
A multi-table poker tournament in which the prize is a free entrance to a satellite tournament or a tournament in which all the top finishers gain entrance to a larger tournament.

T[edit]

table stakes
See table stakes.

tell
See tell (poker).

third man walking
A player who gets up from his seat in a cash game, after two other players are already away from the table, is referred to as the "third man walking". In a casino with a "third man walking rule", this player may be required to return to his seat within 10 minutes, or one rotation of the deal around the table, or else his seat in the game will be forfeited if there is a waiting list for the game.

throwing a party
A player who is playing like a fool and gambling all of their money away is said to be throwing a party.

three of a kind
See three of a kind. Also "trips", "set".

three pair
In a seven card game, such as seven card stud or Texas hold 'em, it is possible for a player to have 3 pairs, although a player can only play two of them as part of a standard 5-card poker hand. This situation may jokingly be referred to as a player having a hand of three pair. Note that in Omaha, it is possible to "have" 4 pair in the same manner.

tight
See loose/tight play. Compare to "loose", "aggressive", "passive".

tilt
See tilt (poker). Compare to "steam".

to go
A term used to describe the amount that a player is required to call in order to stay in the hand, "Alice was deciding whether to call now it was $50 to go."

toke
In a brick and mortar casino, a toke is a "tip" given to the dealer by the winner of the pot. Tokes often represent a large percentage of a dealer's income.

top pair
In community card poker games, top pair is a pair of the same rank as the highest ranking card on the board. Compare second pair, bottom pair.

top two
A split two pair, matching the highest-ranking two flop cards.

trey
A 3-spot card. Casino personnel refer to the 3♣ as the "trey of clubs".

trips
When one of a players hole cards in hold 'em connects with two cards on the board to make three of a kind. This differs from a set where three of a kind is made when a pocket pair connects with one card on the flop to make three of a kind.
Three of a kind. Compare to "set".

turn
See turn (poker).

12-way straight draw
A hand in draw poker such as 6♥ 7♥ (Joker) 9♣, in which any of twelve cards (4 fives, 4 eights, 4 tens) can fill a straight.

U[edit]

under the gun
The playing position to the direct left of the blinds in Texas hold 'em or Omaha . The player who is under the gun must act first on the first round of betting.

underdog
An underdog or dog is a player with a smaller chance to win than another specified player. Frequently used when the exact odds are expressed. Harry might have been bluffing, but if he really had the king, my hand was a 4-to-1 dog, so I folded.

underfull
In a community card game, a full house that is one of the lowest full houses possible. For example: in Texas hold 'em, a player holding a pair of deuces with a final board of 2A33Q holds an underfull (Deuces full of Treys). The highest possible full house is Aces full of Treys. Also "underboat".
up
When used with a card rank to describe a poker hand, refers to two pair with the named card being the higher pair. For example, a hand of QQ885 might be called "queens up".
up and down straight draw
An open ended straight draw. Also called an 'up and down' or an 'up and down draw'.

upcard
See upcard.

up the ante
Increase the stake. Also commonly used outside the context of poker.

V[edit]

value bet
See value (poker).

vig, vigorish
The rake. See vigorish.

vnh
Abbreviation for "very nice hand", used in online poker chat.

W[edit]

wake up
To "wake up with a hand" means to discover a strong starting hand, often when there has already been action in front of the player.

walk
A walk is the situation where all players fold to the big blind.

wash
To mix the deck by spreading the cards face down on the table and mixing them up. A dealer may wash the deck before shuffling.

weak ace
An ace with a low kicker (e.g. four). Also "small ace," "soft ace," "ace-rag."

wheel
A 5-high straight, with the Ace playing low. See wheel.

whipsaw
When a player is caught in the middle between two raisers and must call each bet because of the pot odds. Compare to "crossfire".

wild card
See wild card (poker). Compare to bug (poker).

window card
An upcard in stud poker. The first window card in stud is called the "door card".

wired pair
A "pocket pair".

wrap
In Omaha, the term for an open ended straight that consists of two board cards and three or four cards from a player's hand. An example would be a player holding 345A with the board 67K is said to have a "wrap" as any 3, 4, or 5, or 8 will make a straight. A hand of 4589 would also be a wrap draw, but would often be referred to as a "big wrap" due to twenty cards making the straight as opposed to thirteen in the first example.

X[edit]

Y[edit]

Z[edit]

z-game
The lowest-stakes game in the house.

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ "Cap Games", Full Tilt Poker. URL accessed on 2006-11-29.