Poker Glossary

Action (1) – Betting activity, i.e. the flush card hit the river and there was a flurry of action.

Action (2) – Player decision to check, bet, raise, call or fold.

American Airlines – Aces in the hole. See Pocket Rockets, Bullets.

Ante – A contribution to the pot made by all players before any cards are dealt. Does not represent a live bet.

All-In – The state of having all one’s chips committed to the current pot.

Backdoor – To make a winning hand with the turn and the river, even though it was not the hand a player was playing for. i.e. Hitting a runner-runner flush although you were actually drawing to an open ended straight.

Bad Beat – When a good starting hand loses to an inferior hand, generally after some “unusual” (read bad) play by the holder of the inferior hand.

Bankroll – An amount of money set aside purely for poker playing purposes.

Belly Buster – An inside straight draw. See Gutshot.

Bet – An amount of money wagered by one player requiring other players to match to remain active in the hand.

Big Blind – The larger of two forced preflop bets made without seeing one’s cards. The player two positions to the left of the dealer button is in the big blind at the table.

Big Slick – An Ace and King of any suits.

Blank – A card that doesn’t really affect the hand in any way

Blind (1) – To play without looking at one’s cards. “I was short stacked so I played the last hand blind, I went all in without looking.”

Blind (2) – One of the two forced bets made preflop. “I got to see a cheap flop because I was in a blind.”

Bluff – To make a bet in an attempt to steal a pot. A bet that is unjustified by the quality of the cards held.

Board – The cards dealt face up in the center of the table. Available for all players to use.

Boat – Another name for Full House.

Bottom Pair – One of a player’s hole cards matches the lowest card showing on the board.

Broadway – Straight, Ten to Ace

Bump – Slang for raise.

Button – Token used to indicate which player is currently being treated as the dealer.

Bullets – Pocket Aces. See Pocket Rockets, American Airlines.

Call – Match the bet of a player who has already acted during the current round of betting.

Calling Station – The most profitable opponent in poker. A player who calls all the way to river on many hands. See Chase.

Cap – Raise the bet to the maximum allowed for a given round of betting. In limit hold’em, this is generally a bet and three raises.

Case – The last remaining card of a particular rank in the deck. “The flop paired my 5, the turn gave me trip 5′s and the river gave me the only card I could win with, the case 5.

Chase – To make calls that are unjustified by pot odds, in effect “chasing” cards.

Check – The action taken when a player chooses not to bet, but does not wish to fold yet. Basically a “wait and see” move.

Check Raise – A check raise occurs when a player checks first, then raises after an opponent bets. Considered to be bad form in some circles, generally a signal of an extremely strong hand.

Cold Call – Calling two bets, that is, a bet and a raise.

Connectors – Two cards of adjacent rank i.e. Four and Five of any suit, etc.

Cowboys – Pocket Kings.

Crack – A weak hand beating a strong hand. Most commonly applied to aces. “In the final of the tournament Pocket Rockets were cracked by Six Three offsuit”.

Crying Call – A player calling against their better judgement. Being pretty sure that they’re beaten but feeling compelled to call anyway. Often followed by “but I had ACES!!”

Dominated Hand – A hand that has very few outs against a stronger hand. Good examples include AK vs AA and AQ vs AK.

Draw Dead – Call bets with a hand that has no outs.

Early Position – Position close to the blinds.

Expectation – A players expected return (or win rate) from a particular game. An expectation of 1 is break even. A positive expectation indicates a likelihood of winning money.

Face Card – An Ace, King, Queen or Jack.

Family Pot – A pot involving most, if not all, the players at a table.

Fish – A weak player.

Flop – The first three community cards dealt in holdem.

Free Card – On a round of betting

Gutshot Straight – An inside straight draw. See also Belly Buster.

Heads Up – A pot or table being contested by only two players.

Hole Cards – The two cards dealt face down to each player.

Hooks – Pocket Jacks.

House – The entity that collects the rake. The house provides the equipment, dealers, venues and runs the games, in return for a fee.

Kicker – Your unpaired hole card when the other has paired the board.

Ladies – Pocket Queens.

Late Position – Position close to the button.

Limp In – Call the blinds preflop. “No one raised so I limped in with suited connectors on the button.”

Mid Position – About halfway between the blinds and the button.

Muck (1) – To discard one’s hand. “I had pocket nines but the flop was three overcards, so I had to Muck.

Muck (2) – The pile of discarded cards on a poker table. A hand that hits the muck is dead.

Nuts – A hand that cannot be beaten. Can also be referred to as a nut hand. “I flopped the nuts and then check raised the guy on the turn.”

Offsuit – Hole cards of different suits.

Out – A card that you believe will make your hand into the winning hand. i.e. An open ended straight draw usually has 8 outs, 4 of the high card and 4 of the low.

Overcard – A card on the board that is higher than your pocket pair.

Overpair – A pocket pair that is higher than the cards on the board, usually applied to the flop.

Pocket Pair – Your hole. Also known as Bullets and American Airlines.

Pocket Rockets – A pair of Aces in the hole. Also known as Bullets and American Airlines.

Position – Where a player is relative to the blinds or the button. The closer one is to the button, the worse the position is considered to be.

Post – Put out a blind bet in order to join the game.

Pot Odds – The ratio of the amount of money in the pot to the bet required to stay in the hand. Used to determine whether one should draw a card. In a lot of low limit games, pot odds calculations are very important.

Quads – Four of a kind.

Rainbow – A flop of three different suits.

Raise – Increasing the bet after a previous player has made a bet. Requires all subsequent players, including the original bettor, to at least match the wager or drop out of the hand.

Rake – Commission taken from each pot by the house as a fee for running the game.

Ring Game – A game played for stakes that represent real money. As opposed to a tournament where a sliding scale is used to determine payout.

River – The fifth board, or community card. Also known as Fifth Street.

Rock – An extremely tight player.

Runner Runner – Using both the turn and the river to make a hand. Is likely to cause an opponent to go on tilt.

Set – Three of a Kind.

Showdown – The process of determining a winner after all betting has finished. Each player still active in the hand will turn their cards face up to determine who has the best and and wins the pot.

Side Pot – When a player is all in, they are only eligible to win that portion of the pot which their bets have covered. In this situation two pots are created, the one with the active players is the side pot.

Slow Play – To check and call with a monster hand in the hopes of winning a larger pot by not scaring away players.

Slow Roll – To intentionally delay the revelation of a winning hand. Usually done to annoy the player with the losing hand.

Small Blind – The smaller of the two preflop blind bets. The small blind is posted from the position to the left of the dealer button.

Split Pot – When two players have the same winning hand the pot is divided, or split, equally between them.

Steal – To bet at a point in the hope of winning it without good cards. Often, pre-flop, a player will raise in late position in an attempt to steal the blinds.

Suited – Cards of the same suit.

Tight – Having stringent requirements for starting cards. Can be in reference to a player or a game.

Tilt – A player who is not playing their normal game. Generally in response to taking one or more bad beats.

Top Pair – A hole card paired with the highest card showing on the board.

Trips – Three of a kind.

Turn – The fourth community card dealt. Also known as Fourth Street.

Under the gun – The first position to act in a hand. The player to the left of the big blind.