The game of poker has a language all its own. Below are many of the common terms you will hear at the poker table.
At the end of a re-buy period in a poker tournament, a player may purchase additional chips for a fee. These can be purchased regardless of chip count.
Term for when a poker player has all of their chips at risk.
Nickname for pocket aces
Chips placed by each player into the pot prior to the start of the hand. Most common in stud type games but also used in Texas Hold’em in later levels.
Any draw where two cards are required to complete. Most commonly used after the flop in Texas Hold’em
Losing a hand when a player was a massive statistical favorite to win the hand.
The amount of money that a person has dedicated to play poker.
BB (No-Limit or Pot-Limit poker)
Abbreviation for big blind, a forced bet placed by the second player to the left of the button. Size is twice that of the small blind.
BB (Limit poker)
In Limit poker, this is the size of the bet on the turn and river. It is typically twice the size of the big blind.
The act of intentionally putting money into a pot
Big blind special
When a player wins a hand from the big blind where they did not have to commit extra money to the pot. Most often used when the holdings are inferior.
Slang for ace-king.
A card that did not help your hand. (Also called a brick.)
A forced bet that is put in before cards are deal by the two players to the left of the dealer button. The first player to the left of the dealer button is the small blind while the other is the big blind. The big blind is twice that of the small blind.
Betting on a hand where you do not hold a pair or better in the hopes of having your opponent fold.
The community cards in Texas Hold’em or Omaha Poker. In Stud based games, a board is the cards showing in each player’s hand.
Another term for a full house. A full house consists of three of a kind and a pair. Ex: 10-10-10-8-8.
A computer application that plays online poker by itself. Poker bots are not allowed on online poker sites.
Making a pair with the lowest community card on the board.
In certain tournaments, players have a cash prize attached to their elimination. Knocking this player out results in the bounty prize awarded.
After the deal in Seven Card Stud, the lowest card showing is forced to make a bring in bet. In Razz, this bet is for the highest card showing after the deal.
The player eliminated prior to payouts starting in a poker tournament.
When a player has been eliminated from a tournament or when they run out of money in a cash game.
The button indicates the dealer position in Hold’em, Omaha, and Draw poker games. This is the last player to act and typically has the strategic position.
The money used to enter a poker tournament or cash game.
Matching the highest bet placed before action reached your seat.
A player that tends to make a lot of calls but seldom raises or folds. Very passive style of playing.
In limit poker, the fourth and final bet in a betting round. Cap can also mean the maximum that a player can bet in a particular hand.
That card of a particular ranking remaining in a deck of cards. For example, if three aces are known to have been dealt, the last ace in the deck is the case ace.
A poker game played for money that can be entered or left at any time. The objective is to win money, not to eliminate players.
Choosing not to bet when it is your turn and no prior bets have been made before you.
Action for when a player raises an opponent after they initially checked their bet.
The player with the most chips at any given time during a tournament.
An agreement reached between players in a tournament to divide prize money rather than play normally. Typically done to ensure a larger payout to each player. Some tournaments end after a chop while others will put aside a little money or a trophy to play for.
When a player that raised pre-flop chooses to bet the flop.
Nickname for pocket kings.
Next to last position in Texas Hold’em One spot to the right of the button.
Nickname for a two.
Slang for underdog in poker. When a person is behind in a hand statistically.
Slang for a bad player in poker. Also known as a donkey.
To call bets with a non-made hand but can improve to either a straight or a flush.
Point where no card can come to improve your hand to the winning hand.
The last community card in Texas Hold’em or Omaha Poker. The third upcard in a Stud poker game.
Term for a bad poker player or a sucker at the table. The fish are the players you tend to make money off of in poker.
Simply calling a bet rather than raising
The first three community cards in Texas Hold’em or Omaha Poker that are dealt face up in the middle.
A poker hand consisting of five cards of the same suit, such as five clubs.
Poker hand with four cards of the same rank, such as four kings.
The fourth community card in Hold’em and Omaha Poker and the fourth upcard in Stud poker.
When all opponents fail to bet during a round of betting, the next card dealt is considered to be a free card.
A poker tournament where players can enter for free and receive a small cash prize. Most freeroll fields are massive but pay a very small percentage of the field.
Poker tournament with a single entry fee where a player continues until they are either eliminated or win the event.
A poker hand consisting of three-of-a-kind and a pair. For example: 8-8-8-6-6. Also known as a boat.
A straight draw where the needed card is a gap card. For example, a player has 5-6-8-9. Their gap card is a seven.
The recorded history of hands played online. Most can be downloaded through the poker software.
Poker played between just two individuals.
A poker hand devoid of any pair, straight or flush. Ace-high is the best high card hand.
The cards dealt to you face down in Hold’em, Omaha or Stud poker.
Nickname for pocket jacks.
Abbreviation for heads-up
In the money
Any place in a poker tournament that pays cash.
Inside straight draw
Another term for gutshot straight draw.
Folding a good hand when you think your opponent has a better one
Problems in a poker player’s game that cause them to lose money long-term.
Abbreviation for Limit Hold’em.
Simply calling pre-flop instead of raising.
A poker player that makes statistically inaccurate calls in hopes of getting lucky.
A hand with betting value after the flop. A pair and up. Most commonly a made hand refers to a straight or better.
Poker player that plays a very loose aggressive style of poker where it seems they will play any two cards and bet in any situation.
For online poker, limits below .25/.50. Can be as low as .01/.02
Players in seat three through five at a full Texas Hold’em table.
When a player goes all-in during a hand.
Short for multi-table tournament.
Folding your cards
Short for No-Limit Hold’em.
Form of poker where players can bet up to the total chips in their stack at any time.
When a player has an unbeatable hand.
When your hole cards are not the same suit. Such as Ad-Kc.
The first player to bet.
A card that can come to improve your hand to the winning hand.
A card in your hand that is higher than any on the board or in your opponent’s hand.
A pocket pair higher than the cards on the board.
Two cards of the same rank.
Poker playing style where the player does a lot of checking and calling and very little raising. If they raise, they typically have a monster.
When your two down cards make a pair in Texas Hold’em or when you have a pair among your hole cards in Omaha Poker.
In button based games, you location in relation to the button. Players to the left of the button are worst position with the players to the right and on the button in the best position.
Money available to win in a poker hand.
How much money that’s in the pot compared to what you must put into the pot to continue playing.
In pot-limit poker, you can bet up to the size of the pot.
The first round of betting, also known as the initial deal.
To move all-in
Also known as four of a kind.
In Hold’em or Omaha, when the flop comes with three different suits.
Betting more than the initial bettor. Typically, a raise must be twice that of the initial bet or greater.
The poker room’s cut of each poker pot. Varies according to each room and how far a hand plays out.
Information gathered from a player on how they play that allows you to make accurate decision on how to play your hand.
In some tournaments, the first few levels allow you to buy back into the event once you are knocked out or drop below a certain chip stack.
When you bet, someone raises you, and then you raise again.
Also known as a cash game.
The fifth community card in Texas Hold’em or Omaha Poker. In stud, the final card that’s dealt face down.
An player that will not commit chips to the pot unless they are certain they have an advantage. Very tight player.
When you need two cards after the flop to make a straight or flush.
Variance in poker where you lose for an extended period, typically running against normal statistics.
When you’re winning many hands in a short period of time.
A smaller tournament that pays out entries into a larger tournament.
Short for small blind
A card that comes on the board that could be bad for your opponent. For example, the board is king high through the turn and your opponent has been betting all the way. The river falls an ace and they slow down.
Winning the entire pot, especially in a split-pot poker game.
Betting a non-made hand but you have outs to make the winning hand. Semi-bluffs typically come on straight and flush draws.
When your pocket pair connects with a card on the board.
Poker tournament format where each table plays down to one to three players and those players advance to the next round. This sometimes continues for the entire event.
A small stack of chips in relation to the other players at the table.
When the table is no longer full. For example, six players playing at a normally nine-handed table.
To move all-in
When players remaining in a hand show their cards to determine a winner.
When a player is all-in and two other players have committed more chips than the all-in player. A second pot is then created for the other two players.
Sit and go
A poker tournament that starts when a set number of players have registered.
To simply check or call with a made hand instead of bet. This is done typically with a hand that’s the nuts so that one can extract maximum value.
Simply calling a bet or raise when you have a strong hand.
In certain poker games, half of the pot goes to the player with the highest hand and half goes to the player with a qualifying low hand. In Stud Hi-Lo and Omaha Hi-Lo, this is five unique cards eight and below. A split pot can also occur when two players have an identical winning hand.
A move made by a player in late position pre-flop where they raise in the hopes of winning the blinds and antes in the pot, typically in an unraised pot.
Poker hand consisting of five cards in sequence. For example, 5-6-7-8-9. Aces are high or low and can make a wheel (A-2-3-4-5) or Broadway (A-K-Q-J-10)
Five cards in both sequence and in the same suit. For example, 5-6-7-8-9 of clubs. The best straight flush is a Royal Flush (A-K-Q-J-10 of the same suit.)
When both hole cards share the same suit.
Information that a players gives off that indicates the strength or weakness of their hand.
The first upcard in Stud poker games.
The second raise in any poker game.
Poker hand consisting of three cards of the same rank. Example: Q-Q-Q-8-6
A player who will fold unless they have strong holdings.
Emotional state of a poker player where they play significantly differently then before. Typically brought on because of a bad beat or something else that upset them emotionally. Tilt does not necessarily mean wild better. A player can go on tilt and rock up.
When a player makes a pair with the highest card on the flop.
When a player makes a set with the highest card on the flop.
A poker game where the goal is to win all the chips in the game. A players continues playing until they have all the chips are they are eliminated.
Common slang for three-of-a-kind. In Hold’em and Omaha poker, trips are technically when a player makes three of a kind when a hole card matches a pair on the board.
In flop based games, the fourth community card. Also known as Fourth Street.
Under the gun
The player directly after the big blind. A raise from this position is typically considered to be strong due to poor positioning
A player who is behind in a hand statistically.
When a player makes a bet, they want called in order to extract maximum value on the hand.
The lowest possible straight or A-2-3-4-5. Wheels are desired in split pot games because they commonly scoop the entire pot.