Poker Terminology and Slang Words
Below is a list of poker terminology or slang words to help you understand the game better while playing or talking poker.
Ace-High: A five-card hand that has no hand combinations (flush, straight, pair etc), but contains one Ace.
All-in: When you bet all your money on a hand, either voluntarily in the belief that you have the strongest hand or because you do not have enough money to cover the full amount bet by another player. You then contend for the pot in an amount proportional to what you contributed.
Ante: The minimum bet that players must place into the pot by each player before betting begins. The ante is placed before any cards are dealt.
Bad Beat: When a good hand that would have been expected to win the pot is beaten by a lucky draw.
Big Blind: The first bet posted by the player to the left of the player who posts the small blind. It is a forced bet. The big blind bet amount is equal to the lower bet. For example, in a $10/$20 game, the big blind is $10. Applies to Texas Hold'em, Omaha and Omaha Hi-lo.
Big Pair: A pair with a value of 10 or greater.
Big Slick: An A-K combination as pocket (hole) cards.
Blind Bet: A forced bet that is placed before any cards are dealt. It is considered a live bet for the first round of betting. You have big blind and small blind bets in the first round of betting. Applies to Texas Hold'em, Omaha and Omaha Hi-lo.
Bluff: To pretend that you have a better hand than you actually do, by betting aggressively, in the hope that the other players will fold.
Boat: Slang for a full house.
Bullets: A pair of Aces. If these are your pocket cards, they are also known as "Pocket Rockets".
Burning a Card: Discarding the top card from the deck.
Buy-in Amount: The amount you must bring into a game.
Buy-in Limit: The minimum amount you must bring into a 1-on-1 game.
Applies to Seven-Card Stud Poker.
Call: When you place a bet equal to the previous bet.
Cap: The limit used to describe the third raise in a round. Betting is then capped and players can only call or fold.
Cash Out: To finish playing and exchange your chips for cash.
Catch: When a player makes the hand s/he was drawing to.
Check: When you want to stay in the game but not place a bet. You can only check if no other bets have been placed in the betting round.
Check-Raise: To check at the beginning of a betting round and then raise when a player to your left bets.
Coffeehousing: When players chat about a hand they are involved in, with the intent of misleading or manipulating other players.
Call Cold: Calling both a bet and a raise at the same time.
Collusion: When two or more players work together in order to win a hand or succession of hands.
Community Cards: Cards that are dealt to the table. All players can use these cards to complete a five-card hand.
Dead Man's Hand: Two pair hand consisting of Aces & Eights. Reputed to be the hand that Wild Bill Hickock was holding when he was shot dead.
Dealer-button: A flat disk that is used to signify the Dealer's position on the table in online poker. The disk is usually marked with a D.
Deuces: A pair of Twos.
Drawing: Remaining in the round and accepting more cards.
Drawing to a hand: Remaining in the round with the hope of making one's potential hand as more cards are dealt.
Drawing Dead: When a player is drawing to a hand that is not the best hand offered by the flop and will therefore be beaten even if the hand is made.
Equalized: When all players have contributed the same amount of credits to the pot.
Fifth Street: The third round of betting and is called Fifth Street because the players have Five-Cards each.
Flop: The first three community cards dealt to the table. Applies to Texas Hold'em, Omaha and Omaha Hi-Lo.
Fold: When players throw in their cards. They give up any claim on the pot in exchange for not having to contribute more money to the pot.
Fourth Street: The second round of betting and is called Fourth Street because the players have four cards each.
Flush Draw: When a player holds four cards of the same suit and is hoping to draw a fifth card of that suit to complete a flush.
Go on tilt: When a player loses emotional balance during a game and plays irrationally.
Gut Shot: To draw to an inside straight.
Hand: The best combination a player can make with the cards s/he holds plus the communal cards.
Heads Up: A game with only two players in it.
Hole Cards: These are the Down Cards in front of the players. (Also known as "Pocket Cards").
House: The host of the game (e.g. the casino).
Inside straight draw: Drawing to a straight where the cards needed to complete the straight are those in the middle of the straight. For example, you have 6-7-9-10 and need the middle card (8) to make the straight.
Kicker: The highest unpaired card of a player's pocket cards.
Limping In: Calling the big blind rather than raising.
Live Blinds: Blind bets that are in play. Player A posts a small blind bet. Player B joins the game and posts a big blind bet. Player A must now equalize the betting as the big blind bet is in play and is live.
Lowest Card: The card that has the lowest value. Aces are high. If two players have the same lowest card, the value is determined by suit. Suits are arranged in alphabetical order from lowest to highest value - Clubs, Diamonds, Hearts and Spades.
Maniac: A very loose and aggressive player, playing almost any hand and usually raising rather than calling.
Monster: A very strong hand.
Muck: When you do not want to show your hand to the table. The hand is discarded without being displayed to the table. You can muck a losing hand in a showdown, or the winning hand if everyone else has folded before you.
Nuts: The best possible hand, that cannot be beaten, at a particular point of the game.
Nut Flush: A flush containing the Ace.
Offsuit: Cards of different suits.
Outs: Cards that will make the hand that the player is drawing to.
Paint or Face Cards: The picture cards (King, Queen, Jack).
Pocket Cards: The cards dealt face down to each player. (Also known as "Hole Cards")
Pocket Rockets: A pair of Aces as your pocket cards (hole cards).
Post Now: A choice given to new players joining an existing game. They can either post now or wait for the big blind bet. If they decide to post now, they bet the equivalent of a big blind bet and receive cards immediately.
Pot: The pot is the pile of chips that accumulates as each player ante, bet and raise. All winnings are paid from the pot. The value of the pot varies. It is dependant on the stakes involved and the amount the Players bet. The pot goes to the winner of each round. If two or more players have the same winning hand, they split the pot equally.
Quads: Four of a kind (four cards of the same denomination).
Quartered: When Players tie with either a high or a low hand and earn a quarter of the pot. Applies to Omaha Hi-Lo Poker.
Rake: Percentage of the pot taken by the house.
Rags: Useless cards - cards that don't improve a hand.
Rainbow: When the board contains 3 or 4 cards of different suits.
Raise: When you increase the bet made by a preceding player. This increases the stakes for remaining Players, who now have to match the total amount including the raise.
Ring Game: A normal real money table game, as opposed to a tournament game.
River Card: The final community card dealt.
Rock: A player who will only play the best hands and nothing less.
Scare Cards: High board cards (e.g an Ace that appears on the flop).
See: To see someone is to call their bet.
Semi-bluff: To bluff with a hand that still has drawing potential and could improve to be the winning hand.
Seven Deuce: The acknowledged weakest starting card combination in Texas Hold-em (7-2).
Seventh Street: The fifth and final round of betting, and is called Seventh Street because the Players have Seven-Cards each.
The following applies to the Seventh Street: The river card is dealt face down. The player that played first on the Sixth Street plays first. If there is more than one player left in the game after another round of betting, the game is resolved by means of a showdown. You expose the best five-card hand possible. The winner is awarded the pot. Applicable to Seven-Card Stud Poker.
Showdown: After the last betting round, when the remaining players compare hands to determine the winner. The player with the highest value hand wins the pot.
Sitting Out: When you choose to leave a table for a few hands. Note:
If a player sits out for more than fifteen minutes, or has missed two rounds of blinds, they are removed from the table.
Sixth Street: The fourth round of betting and is called Sixth Street because the players have six cards each.
The following applies to the Sixth Street: Bet amounts are at the high limit. The player with the highest ranking hand begins the next round of betting. Betting limits are set by the card room. Applies to Seven-Card Stud Poker.
Slow Playing: Playing non-aggressively with a powerful hand; calling and betting instead of raising. This in the hope of not driving players out of the hand and thus sucking more money into the pot. Also called "sandbagging".
Small Blind: The first bet posted by the player to the Dealer's left. It's a forced bet. The small blind bet amount is equal to half of the lower bet. For example, in a $10 - $20 game, the small blind is $5.
Splash the pot: To toss chips into the pot instead of placing them. Seen as bad etiquette.
Stack: A player's chips.
Steal: To try and win the pot by betting when everyone else has checked, or by making a large raise when everyone else has called.
Suited Cards: Cards of the same suit.
Third Street: The first round of betting and is called Third Street because the players have three cards each. The player with the lowest card displayed brings-in the betting in this round. Applicable to Seven-Card Stud Poker.
Turn: The fourth community card dealt. Applies to Texas Hold'em, Omaha and Omaha Hi-Lo.
Under the Gun: The player who must act first in the betting round.
Visible Cards: Cards dealt face up to each Player. Players use these cards to complete a five-card combination.