Poker, like any activity, hobby or sport, has its own “poker terms” that to outsiders can seem alien. Poker has its own slang and poker terms, which when you’re new to the game, will confuse you. Don’t let it happen to you! When you’re learning the game, your overall enjoyment will increase when you know what people are saying. And when you enjoy it, you improve. Getting your ears around some of these poker terms will improve your knowledge of this beautiful game and let you talk that poker talk.

Find out what people mean when they talk about poker jargon like, “I got the nuts!”, “If only I reraised on the turn instead of folding after the flop,” and “Fishes always go on tilt after just a few bad beats.”

Go ahead and delve deep into the lingo of the most beautiful card game in the world with our Global Poker School Poker Terms.

Click on a letter to jump to that section.


ABC Poker

ABC Poker refers to the straightforward style of playing poker which means raising when you think you have the best card and folding when you don’t with rare bluffs thrown in.

Ace / Ace-High

The ace is the highest-ranked card in all types of poker but it also plays as a low card for straights (A-2-3-4-5). Having an Ace-High means the best possible hand you make is a high card of an ace.

Ace in the hole

When one of the hole cards is an ace.

Ace-to-five, Ace-to-six

These are two different methods of evaluating hands in lowball poker.

Aces up / Aces over

Two pair, one of which is a pair of aces.


Any action that is required to make a play in the game such as check, bet, call, raise, or fold.

Acting out of turn

When a player in a game either declares their actions or plays before their turn. Some players can act out of turn in order to get a read on other plays and in that context, it is known as angle shooting.


Action is most commonly used to refer to a player’s turn in a game. For example, if it’s your turn to make a decision, one would say that the action is on you. Examples of different actions that happen in poker are Bet, Raise, Call, and Fold.

Action button

It is a marker on which a player has to place an extra forced bet, similar to a kill button. In a seven-card stud high-low game, the action button is given to the winner of a scoop pot above a certain size.

Action card

A card that causes significant betting action when it appears on the board. For example, if a card comes on the turn which completes the draws of various players, the card can be said to be an action card.

Action only

A rule that is followed in some cardrooms that makes it mandatory to raise at least half or full bet in response to an all-bet. This means that a player can only call the all-in or raise it with at least a full or half bet, anything less than that is not permitted.

Active player

A player who’s still involved in the pot.


In a cash game, add-on means to bring more chips into the table. In the tournament context, add-ons are typically offered to all players once at the end of the rebuy period.


When a player makes an obvious play or exposes cards in a manner that is meant to deliberately create an image to opponents regarding his or her style of play.

Aggression Factor (AF)

A metric that measures a player’s aggression. It can be calculated for a particular hand or an entire session.

Aggressive / Aggression

The tendency for a player to be open betting or to raising more often than calling or checking.


A dead hand.

All blue, all green, all purple, etc.

Colorful names for a flush.


A player is said to go “all-in” when he runs out of chips while betting or calling. In the case that even all the chips of the player do not cover the pot, a side pot may be created in which the player would have no interest. For example, a player may go all-in on the turn and stay in the hand until the end with no interest in the side pot created by any betting after his all-in.

American Airlines

Pocket aces (dealt AA) in Hold’em.


A play that is permitted and within the laws of the game but is considered to be borderline unethical.

Angle shooting

When a player acts out of turn in order to get a read on their opponents.

Anna Kournikova

Slang term for the hand of Ace-King (AK) in Hold’em.


An ante is a small portion of a bet that is contributed by each player in the hand in order to seed the pot at the starting of the hand. Hold’em games usually do not have an ante and rather use “blinds” to get some initial money into the pot.

Ante off

In tournament poker, ante off means to force an absent player to continue paying antes, blinds, bring-ins, and other various forced bets so the contest remains fair to all players.

Any two cards

An expression commonly used in Texas Hold’em to mean that a player’s card does not matter in a decision.



Any of the four non-aces needed for the lowest possible hand, like 2,3,4,5.

Back door / Backdoor

A back-door hand requires both the turn and river card to complete the draw. For example, if you have three cards of a straight and require both the turn and the river to go your way, you have a backdoor straight draw.

Back in

To enter a pot by checking and then calling some else’s open on the first betting round.

Back into

To win a pot with a hand that would have folded to any bet.

Back raise

A reraise from a player who was previously called in the same betting round.

Back to back

Two of the same cards in a row, like two aces or two spades, etc.

Bad beat

A good hand that is beaten by a better hand that is usually way behind but hits a lucky draw and becomes the best cards in the hand.

Bad beat story

A story that involves the teller getting a bad beat.


A new type of poker game with its origin in Asia. Each player gets four cards and there are three draws. The player with the lowest hand wins the pot.


Playing different hands in the same way with the aim of making it more difficult for opponents to gain information about the player’s style and cards.

Banker / Bank

The player who takes care of the chips and all other monetary aspects of the game.


The amount of money set aside dedicated to poker.

Bankroll management

Choosing the correct stakes and game type to avoid running out of your bankroll during downswings.


Short for a full barn, which is a slang term for a Full House.


To continue betting on future streets after taking the betting lead on the current street.

Base dealing

A way of cheating in the game by dealing from the bottom (base) of the deck instead of the top.


A player who needs to catch cards to win the hand is said to be “behind”.

Belly Buster

Slag for an inside straight draw. Also called a gutshot draw.


A $100 bill.


The first bet made in a round of betting.

Bet for value

Betting based on the value of the hand, i.e. making a move where the odds are in your favor.

Betting on the come

Betting with a draw.

Betting round

A round of betting in the game.

Betting structure

The rules that control the betting and raising options for players. Some of the most popular betting structures include No-Limit Fixed Limit, Pot-Limit, and Spread-Limit.


The best possible low hand: A-2-3-4-5. Also known as a wheel.

Big bet

The larger of the two limits in a fixed limit game. It is normally used for the turn and river betting rounds.

Big blind

An early forced bet. It is usually a raise of an earlier blind which is usually known as the small blind.

Big blind game

A game played with a no-limit or pot-limit betting structure.

Big blind special

Any winning hand that is dealt for the player in the big blind seat for the hand.

Big bobtail / Bobtail straight

An open-ended 4-card straight flush.

Big full

The largest possible full house on the board.

Big slick

Slang term for the hand of Ace-King (AK) in Hold’em.


A card that does not add value to a hand.


A non-standard poker hand of five cards that outranks a flush.


Any player who is constantly losing their chips over a session is said to be bleeding.

Blind / Blinds

The mandatory bets made by the first two players to the left of the dealer button. Blinds are divided into small blinds and big blinds.

Blind defense

To call or raise an opponent’s raise when you’re in the big blind with a weak hand instead of folding it. It is used to exploit overly aggressive players.

Blind level

The size of forced blind bets in the current stage of a tournament. The blind size usually increases with every level.

Blind stealing

A raise before the flop with a weak hand with the intention of forcing all opponents to fold and take the blinds.

Blind stud

A stud poker game in which all the cards are dealt face down.

Blinded off / Blind off

This is a term used for players who allow the majority of their stacks to be consumed by blinds in tournaments.


A blocker is a card that you hold but your opponent needs in order to win the hand.

Blocking bet

A bet that is made with the sole purpose of blocking your opponent from making a bigger bet on the street.


Making a bet without having the best hand, usually hoping the opponent would fold and let you win the pot.

Bluff catcher

A hand that is not strong enough to beat an opponent who is betting for value with a made hand but strong enough to beat an opponent who’s bluffing.

Bluff catching range

The number of hands that do not have any real value left on the river but they can still be good enough to catch the bluff of an opponent.

Bluff induce

To make an aggressive move with a strong hand to give the impression to your opponents that it’s a bluff. It is used to get called by your opponents with weaker holdings.


The exposed cards in a game of Hold’em poker and stud poker.


A slang term for a full house.

Both ways

In a high-low split pot game, a player is said to have it “both ways” when he has the best hand to win both the high and the low.

Bottom dealing

Another term for base dealing, i.e., dealing from the bottom of the deck.

Bottom end

It refers to holding the lowest possible straight. For example, on the flop 6h7s9c, a player who holds 45 holds the bottom end of that straight.

Bottom pair / Bottom set

The lowest possible pair in a community card game.


Some tournaments have a bounty system that can apply to certain players or all the players. When you knock out a player with a bounty, you will get the full amount of bounty.


The tray in front of the dealer that holds the chips, cards, and lamers.

Boxed card

Any card that is shuffled “upside-down” in the deck.


Short for bankroll.


To end the session of play. It also is referred to as an intermission during a tournament.


To break-even means not making a profit but not losing anything too.


Also known as a blank card, i.e., a card that does not add value to a hand.

Brick and mortar

A term used to describe a physical poker room or casino. Often used in comparison with online poker sites.

Bridge order

While poker hand rankings are not affected by suits, the order of suits is used to determine the dealer at the starting of a game or in determining the bring-in bettor in a stud game. The following is the ranking used, from top to the bottom - spades, hearts, diamonds, and clubs.


A forced bet in stud that is usually placed by the player in the hand with the lowest ranking open card.


The highest possible straight in poker (Tc-Jh-Qc-Ks-Ah). Also used to refer to a single card, usually T-x or higher.


A casino employee who greets players and maintains the waiting list for tables among other administrative duties.


Bubble refers to any significant threshold in a tournament. The most common bubbles are the initial money bubble and the final table bubble.

Bubble boy

The player who’s eliminated just before the paid places are reached which means he’s the last one to get out of the tournament empty-handed.

Bubble factor

The factor by which odds in chips differ from the odds in dollars in a tournament.


Another name for the button.


A wild card Joker.


Ace(s). Also called Bull(s) in short.


An aggressive player who pushes around other players with bets.


Slang term for raise.


To discard the top card of the deck prior to dealing.

Burn card

The card that gets discarded by the dealer before the community cards are dealt on the table.

Busted / Bust-Out

When a player is eliminated after losing all the chips.


Slang term for getting busted, i.e., losing all your chips.


A plastic disc which is passed clockwise after every hand to mark the player who acts as the nominal dealer in a game of poker.

Buy short

To buy into a game for an amount smaller than the normal buy-in.

Buy the button

If a new player is seated between the small blind and the button, he can offer to buy the button by paying both the big blind and the same bling together which allows him to be dealt into the hand.

Buy the pot

When a player wins the pot with a single bet.


The amount of money a player needs to pay to enter a tournament. Most of the money goes to the prize pool but a bit being retained as rake by the cardroom.


California lowball

A popular form of poker in California during the 70s; A-5 lowball with a joker included.


To put into the pot an amount of money that is equal to the most recent bet or raise.

Call the clock

Calling the clock means discouraging other players from taking a long time to act. When someone calls the clock, the player in action will have to make a decision within a certain stipulated amount of time and in case they fail to do so, their hand would be declared dead.


The player who makes a call.

Calling station

A weak passive player who calls you a lot but doesn’t usually raise or fold a lot. A calling station is easy to play against.


To put in the last raise permitted on a betting round; it is typically the third or fourth raise.

Cap game

Similar to the concept of the cap but it refers to a no-limit or a pot-limit game with a cap on the amount that a player is allowed to bet during the course of a hand. Once a player has reached the cap, he is considered to be all-in.

Cards speak

A house rule in casino card rooms which means that any verbal declaration regarding a player’s hand is not binding. It basically means you can lie about your cards to other players as long as you follow the core rules of the game.

Case / Case card

The last card of a certain rank remaining in the deck. For example, if there are two aces on the board and you hold another ace, then the only remaining ace in the deck would be referred to as the case ace.

Cash game

A game where every hand is played for real money, as opposed to tournaments where the value of chips is different from the prize amount. Cash games are also known as ring games.

Cash plays

In some games, players are allowed to play cash which means cash on the table will be included and counted towards the total value of the player’s stack. Typically, only $100 bills are allowed to play.

Cashing out / Cash Out

Cashing out refers to exchanging chips for cash after leaving a game.


To get the cards needed for a draw. For example, catching a flush or catching a backdoor.

Catch perfect

To catch the best cards needed to complete a hand and win the pot. Usually used in Texas Hold’em.

Catch up

To complete a draw which makes your hand stronger than your opponents.

Center pot

The first pot that is created during a poker hand.

Change gears

It means changing the style of play used by a player.


To call a bet in order to see the next card when holding a drawing hand, even when the pot odds are not great for making the call.


One of the primary poker actions with bet, call and raise. It usually means not betting or calling and just waiting for the next round of betting in the game.

Check call

To check and then call an opponent’s bet.

Check out

To fold even when not facing a bet. Checking out can be considered to be a breach of rules in some games.

Check raise

To check and then raise when a player bets behind you. Sometimes considered unethical, it is still a permitted play in the game.


A small disk or tablet that is used to represent money in poker games.

Chip declare

A method of declaring intent to play high or low in a split-pot game with a declaration.

Chip dumping

Chip dumping refers to a strategy where one player deliberately loses chips to another player. It can be considered to be a form of collusion in some games.

Chip leader

The player holding the most chips. It is mostly used in the context of a tournament but also occasionally in a live no-limit game.

Chip race

An event in tournament poker where the chips of a value lower than the minimum required are removed from play.

Chip trick

Any type of chip manipulation typically one by players to keep their hands busy. Players often used elaborate tricks to show off their experience at the game.

Chip up

To exchange chips of lower-denomination for higher-denomination chips, typically in a tournament.


To split a pot due to a tie, split-pot game, or agreement between players.

Chopping the blinds

When a hand ends with all players folding to the blinds and the blinds being returned to the players who paid them.

Click it back

Making the minimum raise after a player has bet a minimum raise into you. Often used in the context of online poker.

Coffee housing

Also known as speech play, it refers to talking to other players with the intention of misleading them about the value of your hand.

Coin flip

When two players or more players go to showdown with a roughly even chance of winning the pot.

Cold call

To call more than one bet in a single action. For example, suppose the first player to act after the big blind raises then any player acting after that must call two bets instead of one. This is different from calling a single bet and then a raise.

Cold deck

A “stacked” deck, i.e. a deck that is arranged in a particular order in order to create a specific situation.


It is a form of cheating where two or more players cooperate to affect the outcome of the hand.

Color change or color up

To exchange smaller denomination chips for larger ones.

Combo / combination game

A table where multiple forms of poker are played in rotation.

Combo draw

Having more than one possible draw such as having a straight and a flush draw.

Come hand

A drawing hand.

Community cards

Cards that are presented face-up in the middle of the poker table and shared among all players in games like Hold’em and Omaha. Also called the “board”.

Complete hand

A hand that is composed of all five cards, like a straight, flush, full house, or a straight flush.


To raise a small bet up to the amount that would be a normal-sized bet.

Concealed pair

When both of the pair cards are face down.


A Hold’em starting card in which two cards are one rank apart. Examples: QKs, 76.

Continuation bet

A bet that is made after the flop by the player who took the lead in betting before the flop in Texas Hold’em and Omaha Hold’em. It is also known as a c-bet.


A situation in the game where the player holds the second-best hand but is still going to lose the maximum with it no matter how they play it as their opponent has a stronger hand.


The act of counting the cards that remain in the stub after all the cards have been dealt. It is done to ensure that a complete deck is being used.


When the duplicate of your hand pops up on the board making it less valuable. For example, you have AK and the board is T-J-Q and another K comes on the turn, your hand is counterfeited.

Court card

A jack, queen, or king is usually called a court card.


A player with whom one is sharing a buy-in with the intention of sharing the results after the game is over.


Slang term for a king.


Slang term for pocket kings in Hold’em.


To beat a hand which is typically a big hand. You hear this mostly used for a pair of aces like “This is the third time I had pocket aces cracked.”


Used in the context of crippling a deck, which means that you have most of the cards that your opponents might want based on the board. For example, if the board has two 7s and your starting hands are pocket 7s, it means you have crippled the deck.


A bet between two players in the same event. The player who finishes lower in the payout typically has to pay the other player the difference between the prize money finishes multiplied by an agreed-upon percentage.

Crying call

Calling even when a player thinks he doesn’t have the best hand.

Cut / Cut the deck

It refers to the deck being split in half after the deck is shuffled by the dealer.

Cut card

A special card that is usually held against the bottom of the deck to prevent players from tampering with the deck.

Cut off

The position that is immediate to the right of the button.



An action that is taken before receiving information required by the player in a normal game.

Dark bet

To bet without taking a look at your hands.

Dead blind

When a player has missed a blind and must re-pay the blind before being dealt in. If the missed blind is the small blind, the blind is declared dead. A dead blind is not considered to be a part of the pot and is not included in the player’s bet or call in that round.

Dead button

A term that is exclusive to tournament play. It refers to when the player to be the button next hand is eliminated and the button is moved to the empty seat and is declared dead.

Dead hand

A hand that has been fouled or has too many or too few cards.

Dead man’s hand

A term used to refer to two pairs, Aces and 8s. It is the hand Wild Bill Hickok was holding when he was shot to death.

Dead money

Dead money refers to the amount in the pot that has been contributed by players who have already folded and cannot participate in the hand any longer.


It can mean two things - either the act of distributing cards to all players at the table and to negotiate the pay-out of the tournament rather than playing for the money prizes.

Deal twice

A rule used in some games which allows the players to deal the board twice, with each board being worth half the pot.


In live games, it refers to the person who deals the cards and manages the entire game basically. In online games, it refers to the nominal position of the dealer marked by the dealer button.

Dealer’s choice

In certain home games, the dealer can decide which poker game should be played for the hand.

Dealing from the bottom

This refers to dealing from the bottom of the deck instead of the top to get an unfair advantage. Also known as base dealing or bottom dealing.


In some high-low split games, players have to declare if they’re going for the high or the low but it is rarely found.

Deep stack

A stack of chips that is large for the stakes being played. Also called a big stack.


Making a play that defends the player’s hand, typically against a bluff.

Defending the blinds

When a player who’s in one of the blinds tries to retain their chips by winning the pot.


A term for cards with the rank of two.

Deuce to seven

A form of lowball poker in which straights and flushes count against you and the aces are always considered to be high. The best possible hand in Deuce to Seven games is 2-3-4-5-7.


Slang term for $1,000.

Dirty Stack

It refers to a stack of like-colored chips with a chip of a different value in the mix.


In draw games, players must discard cards before receiving their replacements.


Slang term for the underdog in the hand who’s behind.

Dominated hand

If two players hold a card with the same rank, the player with the better kick is said to dominate their opponent.

Donk bet

A term that is used for a bet that is made into the aggressor from the prior street instead of just checking to them.

Door card

The first open card dealt in stud poker games.

Double ace flush

In some forms of poker, it refers to a flush with one or more wild cards acting as aces, even if an ace is already present.

Double Belly Buster

It is used to refer to a hand with two inside straight draws. For example, if you have JK on a board of 79TJK, you have a double belly buster as you can get a straight with either an 8 or a Q.

Double belly buster straight draw

It refers to a combination of hole cards and exposed cards in Hold’em or stud gams which does not include four cards which are connected but where there are two different ranks of cards that complete a straight.

Double board

In some cash games, there are two boards that are dealt with each board being played for half the pot. Also known as dealing twice.

Double draw

Refers to any of the double draw poker games in which the draw phase and subsequent betting round are repeated twice.

Double pop

When the second player re-raises a raise.

Double raise

The minimum raise in a no-limit game or a pot-limit game; raising by just the amount of the current bet.

Double suited

A term used to refer to a starting hand in Poker that includes two cards from one suit and two cards from another. For example, As-Kd-Jd-8s.

Double up

To win while you’re all in against a player with more chips than you. This usually effectively doubles the size of your stack.

Down to the green

Slang term for a player going all-in.


Betting a smaller amount than the amount you bet in the previous round of betting.


A card that is dealt face down, for example, the last card dealt in a hand of a stud poker game.


A streak of bad luck which can cause some players to go on tilt and start playing badly.

Drag light

To pull chips away from the pot to show that the player doesn’t have enough money to even cover a bet. If their hand wins, the amount is ignored and if the hand doesn’t then they must cover the amount out of pocket. This is usually not allowed in casinos.


A poker hand that requires additional hands to either improve or complete.

Draw out

To catch a card that will improve your situation from a losing hand to a winning hand.

Drawing dead

A draw in which, regardless of what card you get, you will lose.

Drawing live

A hand that can hit specific cards to win the hand is said to be drawing live.

Drawing thin

A hand which is drawing live but with very few outs required to win.


To fold or to discard.

Dry ace

Any hand in Texas Hold’em or Omaha that contains an Ace with no other suited or connected cards.

Dry board

A board is considered to be dry when the cards on the table mean that it is unlikely or even impossible for any player to make a really strong hand like a straight or a flush. Often used in contrast to the term “wet board”.

Dry pot

A side-pot that has no chips in it.


Another term for counterfeiting, especially when the counterfeiting card matches the one already present in the player’s hand.


Early position

Position refers to the seat of the payer at the table in relation to the dealer. Typically, the two seats after the big blind are considered to be early positions.

Effective Stack

When players have unequal stacks in a game, the effective stack is the smallest stack in the game. For example, if three players have the following stacks - $1000, $760, and $1300 then the smallest stack, $760 would be considered the effective stack in the game.

Eight or better

A common qualifier in high-low split games that use ace-to-five ranking. Hands that contain 8 or less as the highest card will win the low portion of the pot.


It refers to the player’s “rightful” share of a pot. For example, if the pot contains $100 and you have a 50% chance of winning it, then $50 would be considered to be your equity.


The amount you can earn if you make a certain play in the game. The mathematical expectation is used to make poker decisions. It can also refer to the amount you can expect to make at the poker table in a specific time period. Also known as the expected value or EV.

Exposed card

A card whose face has been deliberately or accidentally revealed to players who are normally not entitled to that information during the play of the game.

Exposed pair

An exposed pair, as opposed to a split pair or a hidden pair.

Extra blind

A blind that is put in by a player who just entered the game or changed his position at the table.


Face card

A jack, queen, or king.

Family pot

When everyone dealt into the hand is able to see the flop.


Any player who plays really aggressive and loose is said to be playing fast.


A hand which has an advantage odd-wise over the other hands in a showdown. A card can be a small or a big favorite.


When a “main game” is in effect, a feeder table is used to provide new players to the main game as players cash out.

Feeler bet

A feeler bet is a small to medium-sized bet that is made to gauge your opponent’s reactions. It is also known as a probe bet.


It refers to the felt playing surface of the poker table.


All the players in a large tournament.

Fifth street

The fifth street is the fifth board card dealt. It is also known as the river in a community card game. In stud poker, the fifth street refers to the round of dealing where each player receives their fifth card.


To draw a card that makes a five-card hand like a straight, flush, full house or a straight flush.

Fill up

To fill a full house.

Final table

The last table in a tournament. Typically, a final table has nine players or ten players who compete for the biggest cash prizes in the tournament.

First position

The position in a game that is directly left of the blinds in Texas Hold’em and Omaha Hold’em. This is also known as under the gun position. This is the first position to act in the game.


A bad or inexperienced player.

Five of a kind

Five of a kind is a special hand in games with wildcards where it is possible to have five cards of the same rank. It is the best possible hand and considered even better than a royal flush.

Fixed limit

A betting structure in a poker game where you can only bet and raise in predetermined increments.


When a player sees a card that they are not supposed to see.

Flat call

To call a bet instead of raising.

Flat limit

A variant of a fixed limit game where all bets are the same amount.


Making a play on the flop to take down the pot on the turn. This is most commonly done by calling a c-bet on the fop and then betting out on the turn.


A casino employee who mediates disputes between players themselves or between players and the dealer. A floorman usually has more authority than a dealer.


The first three community cards dealt on the board in games like Hold’em or Omaha.

Flop game

A community card game.


A combination of five cards from the same suit. Like Qs-Ts-3s-5s.

Flush draw

When a player has a combination of four cards of the same suite and needs one more card of the suit to complete the flush.


It refers to discarding your cards and placing them into the muck.

Fold equity

The probability that one or more players will fold after you.

Forced bet

In some stud games, a player might be required to make a bet in order to start the action on the first card.

Forced move

In a game which has a feeder table and the main game, players from the feeder table are required to move to the main game when requested by the staff of the casino.

Forward motion

In a lot of cardrooms, making a forward motion with your chips, i.e. moving your chips towards the center of the table is assumed to be a bet or a call.


A hand that cannot be played for one reason or the other. A player who has a foul hand may not make any claim on any portion of the pot.

Fouled hand

Any hand with an incorrect number of cards or breaks any other rule of the game is called a fouled hand.

Four flush

A card draw in which you need four more cards to get a flush.

Four of a kind

It means having four cards of the same rank. It is the third-highest hand ranking in poker after a straight flush and a royal flush.

Four straight

Having four cards to a straight and needing one more to complete the hand.

Fourth street

The fourth card dealt on the board in community card games. It is also called the turn. In stud, it is the fourth card drawn to each player.

Free card

A card dealt after every player checks in a betting round.

Free play

When a layer gets the chance to see the next community cards without having to place a bet.


It can refer to a free-to-enter tournament that requires no buy-in. Or it can refer to a chance to make a profit without any risk by investing money into the game.

Freeze out

A table-stakes game which keeps going until a small number of players or only one of them has all the money in the game.

Full barn

A slang term for a full house.

Full bet rule

In order to re-open betting a full raise is required. For example, if the bet is $100 and a player moves all-in for $175, they are short of a full bet by $25. The original betting can now only call the $175 or fold and would not be allowed to re-raise based on the full bet rule.

Full boat

A slang term for a full house.

Full house

A poker hand that consists of three of a kind and another pair.

Full ring

A cash game that has nine to ten players. Often used in contrast to shorthand.


Gap hand

Also known as a gapper, it is a hand that has a gap between two otherwise connecting cards. For example, 79 is one gapper and 8T is a two gapper.

Get away

To fold a strong hand against a relatively stronger hand.

Going north

It refers to adding additional chips to the table. It is considered to be illegal by the rules of the game.

Going south

Removing chips of your stack from the table and taking them out of the play. It is not legally allowed within the rules of the game.


A cheater.


A player who plays for long sessions, gradually accumulating profits over the session. It is different from a player who’s gambling for a big win.


A betting game that requires more guts than skill.


An inside straight draw that has only four outs. For example, 5-6-8-9 is a gutshot straight draw that would be completed with only four outs in the deck.


To enter the pot cheaply just by calling the blind instead of raising. It is also known as limping.



A mixed game where the players play half Hold’em and half Omaha. H.O. was the initial name for the game type but some online sites refer to the game as H.A.


The most popular form of a mixed game where the players rotate through five games - Hold’em, Omaha, Razz, Stud, and Stud Eight or better. Also known as H.E.R.O.S.

Half bet rule

In a fixed-limit game, if a player’s all-in bet is equal to half or more of a full bet, he all-in is considered to be a raise. The rule also affects players who wish to raise but don’t put enough chips or don’t announce the raise verbally.


In poker, a hand can mean two things. It can mean the hole cards you are initially dealt at the starting of the game. It can also mean everything that happens from one deal to the next.

Hand for hand

A stage in the tournament near the bubble where all tables are forced to play the same number of hands until the bubble is burst.

Hand history

A textual representation of a hand (or hands) played on an online poker site.


When someone is base dealing, a hanger is a card second to the bottom of the deck hanging over the side of the deck.

Heads up

A hand or game that is played between only two players.


To be on a lucky streak of getting good cards.

Help card

A card that helps in completely or improving a player’s hand.

Hero call

To make a call in the last betting round usually with a marginal or weak hand with the assumption that the opponent is bluffing.

High card

The lowest poker hand ranking, carrying less value than a pair.

High hand

In a how-low split game, the high hand is the winning hand for the high pot. If there is no low hand that qualifies, the high hand wins the entire game.

High low split

Forms of poker in which the pot is split between the best hand and the best lowball hand.

High roller

A player who usually plays for high stakes. It can also be used to refer to a tournament with a very high buy-in.

High society

Slang term for a stack of $10,000.

Hijack seat

The position to the right of the cutoff.


Used as the phrase “the flop hit me” which means the flop contains cards that help in improving or completing your hand.


Short term to mean Texas Hold’em Poker.

Hole cam

In televised poker, hole cams are special cameras that photograph a player’s hole cards.

Hole cards

The cards that each player is dealt face down at the beginning of every hand.

Home game

Any poker game that takes place in one of the players’ homes rather than a card room or a casino.


Slang term for a Jack.


A player who is financially backed by someone else. Also, see staking.


The casino or establishment running the game.

House cut

A term for the house profits from hosting the game. Also, see rake.



Short for Independent Chip Model, a system used in the later stages of a poker tournament to get the best results.

Ignorant end

Also known as idiot end. In flop games, a player drawing to a straight or flopping it with the undercards to the flop has the idiot end or ignorant end of it. For example, a player having 9-10 with J-Q-K on the flop is said to be on the ignorant end of the flop.

Implied odds

It represents the ratio of the total amount you can expect to win if you complete your hand to the amount you would need to call to continue. It is similar to pot odds but is not an exact calculation but involves a bit of guesswork.


To achieve a stronger hand than the one currently held.

In position

A player is said to be in position if the player is the last one to act on the flop, turn and river betting rounds of the game.

In the middle

In some games with multiple blinds, an incoming player may sometimes be allowed to post blinds in the middle rather than waiting for their turn to act.

In the money

To finish or play a poker tournament in a position that guarantees prize money.

In turn

A player is said to be in turn if that player is expected to act next under the roles of the game.

Inside straight draw

Slang term for a gutshot draw.


A deal in which players agree to split or reduce a pot with more cards yet to come. This is usually a side bet a player makes against himself with a third party as a hedge against a large loss.

Irregular declaration

A gesture made by a player in turn that is not a straightforward declaration of intent but that can still be reasonably interpreted as an action by other players. Examples include pointing a thumb up to signify a raise.


Any abnormal conditions in play that calls for corrective action such as unintentionally exposed cards.


It refers to making a raise with the intention of forcing other players to fold. It is typically used to play heads-up with a certain opponent, isolating them. Also known as isolation.



Many poker rooms often offer a jackpot prize when a specific criterion is met.

Jacks or better

A draw poker game in which a pair of jacks is the minimum hand that is permitted to start the action.


A term for a jack. It is also known as a J Hook.


Slang term for betting or raising all in.


A slang term for pocket jacks - JJ.


The joker is the 53rd card in the deck, which is usually distinct from the others, used as a wild card or as a bug.


Slang term for rake. It is also used to refer to interest owed on money borrowed.


A hand that has little expected value or a hand that is weak.



Slang term for a King.


A kicker refers to an unpaired card that is used to determine the better of two equivalent hands. For example, if you have AK and your opponent has AQ, your hand is the better one as it contains a higher kicker which is the King in this example as opposed to your opponent who only has a Queen for a kicker.

Kill button

In a kill game, the kill button is used to show the player who has the kill action.

Kill game

A game of poker that is played using fixed limit betting rules with a few changes. It provides for the play of kill hands.

Kill hands

A type of hand in a kill game that involves an extra blind bet and increased betting limits.


A pool of money that is built by collecting small amounts from certain pots. It is often used to buy refreshments, etc.



Slang term for a Queen.


Acronym for Loose Aggressive style of play.

Last to act

A player is last to act if all players between the player and the button have folded.

Late position

When a player doesn’t have to act until most of the other players have acted, the player is said to be in the late position.

Lay odds

To give favorable odds to an opponent.


Another term for a fold.


The player who was the first to bet is considered to have the lead. It can also be used to refer to the player having the best hand at the moment.


To unknowingly show one’s hole hands.

Leg-up, leg-up button

A button in a kill game that is used to signify the winner of the previous hand.


In a tournament, the level is the current size of the blinds and or antes.


A term that refers to the top card of the deck.


If a player calls or raises “light”, it means the player is doing so with a hand that is typically considered to be an underdog.


The minimum or maximum allowed size of a bet in a fixed limit game.

Limit poker

A poker game where the amount to be bet is fixed or variable within a prescribed minimum and maximum.


To enter a pot by just calling. Players who limped would have folded if they had to face a raise.

Limp in

To call with as few chips as possible.


A reraise from a player who limped previously in the same betting round. Also known as a backraise.


Term to refer to a face card.

Live bet

A bet posted by a player under conditions that give him the option to raise even if no other player raises first.

Live blind

The last and largest blind bet may or may not be live. If the blind is live, the blind bettor has the option of raising his own blind in case he bet is called to him.

Live card

A term used in stud poker for a card that has not been exposed.

Live game

A live game can refer to a game in a traditional casino or cardroom. It can also mean a game that has a lot of action. Also, known as live poker.

Live hand

A hand that is still eligible to win the pot.

Live one

A poor player with a lot of money to lose. Also known as a fish or a donkey.


A hand that cannot be beaten in the game. Also called the nuts!

Lock up

When a player agrees to take a seat but is unable to sit, the seat is locked up for that player and doesn’t allow other players to sit on it.


A playing style that is characterized by playing more hands than normal.

Lotto hand

When every player puts in a predetermined amount of money into the pot and then checking through all the other rounds of betting to see who wins.


The worst possible hand which usually wins the low half of the pot in a high-low split game.


A generic term for poker games where the lowest hand wins.



M-ratio is used to measure the health of a chip stack as a function of the cost to play each round.

Made hand

A strong hand with very little potential for improvement as it is typically already completed.

Main pot

The main pot is the one in which all active players participate.


A player who plays a very loose and aggressive game and bets and raises frequently, even in situations where it is not a good strategy to do so.

Marginal hand

A medium strength holding. It can also be used to refer to as a weak starting hand.


A player who is the focus of attention at the table, often inexperienced.

Match the pot

To bet an amount that is equal to the pot amount.


Online poker games with stakes so small that real cardrooms cannot profit from them.

Middle pair

A middle pair is when you make a pair that neither the highest nor the lowest pair in the hand. Also called the second pair.

Middle position

A player is said to be in the middle position if he’s not in an early or late position at the table.


A deal which is ruined due to some problem.

Missed blind

When a player misses posting a blind.

Mites and lice

A slang term for two pair, threes over twos.

Mixed cards

Cards that are off suit.


A board with all cards having the same suit. It also refers to a starting hand in Omaha where all the four cards have the same suit.


A really strong hand that is very likely to be the winning hand.


To “make a move” means bluffing.

Move in

Another way of saying a player is going all in.


Mucking a card means folding a card. The pile of dead cards is called the muck.

Multi-table tournament (MTT)

A tournament that has a really large field and is played over multiple tables.

Multi-way pot

A pot that is being contested by several players. It is also called a family pot even though the two terms have a slightly different meaning.


Negative freeroll

A term used in poker, usually in no-limit or pot-limit games referring to a situation in all-in circumstances where the opponent gains an advantage.


Slang term for five dollars. It is usually represented by a red casino check.


A player who plays an extremely tight style of play.

No limit poker

A game where there is no maximum bet and a player can wager up to any amount that is on the table in front of him.

Nose bleeds

Games with the highest stakes. Also called nosebleed stakes.

Nut low

He best possible low hand in high-low split games.

Nut player

A player who only plays the best hands with a very tight playing style.


The best possible hand or the best possible hand of a given class.


A gutshot straight draw to the nuts.



The probability of making a hand in relation to the probability of not making a hand. For example, if you have a 20% chance of winning and an 80% chance of losing, the odds for you winning are 80:20 or 4:1.

Off suit

Two cards of different suits.


A poker game that is played with four hole cards and other rules that are identical to Texas Hold’em.

On the come

A situation where the player doesn’t yet have a complete hand.

On tilt

A player is said to be on tilt when he plays a worse and usually more aggressive game. A lot of players go on title due to emotional responses.

One chip rule

A player who throws one oversized chip into the pot without declaring a raise will be assumed to be called regardless of what the player intended.

One-eyed royals

Slang for Jack of Spades, Jack of Hearts, or King of Diamonds. All these cards show only one eye. The Jacks in the group are called one-eyed jacks.


The first person to bet in a pot has opened.

Open face Chinese poker

A different variant of poker which involves three sets of made hands and a point system to determine the winner.

Open limp

Open limp refers to a situation in the game where the first person to act in the hand limps.

Open pair

A pair lying openly on the board.

Open-ended straight draw

A straight draw where two ranks of cards can complete the straight. For example, holding JK on a flop of TQ8.


A category of poker games where each player’s hands are exposed.


The player who starts the betting in a game, usually in draw poker.


Cards in a hand that qualify a player to open the betting.


The choice of the player in the big blind to either check or raise.


An orbit is completed when each player at the table has served as the dealer for a hand.


An out refers to a card that can improve your hand or complete it.

Out of position (OOP)

A player is said to be out of position when you are the first player to act in a betting round.

Outside straight draw

Another name for an open-ended straight draw.


Betting more than the size of the pot in a no-limit game.


To call a bet after others have called ahead of you.


A card that ranks higher than the highest card on the board.


A pocket pair which is higher than all of the community cards on the board.



Slang term for a face card. Also known as paint.


Another word for checking.


A player who folds easily and who’s more likely to check than bet or raise.

Pat hand

A pat hand is a hand that is already complete.

Pay off

Calling a bet while having little expectation of winning, unless the opponent is bluffing.

Pay station

A pay station is a player who rarely folds. Also known as calling station.

Penny ante

Also known as penny game, it is a small stakes game played mostly for fun.

Pick up

When the house picks up cash from the dealer after a player buys in.

Picked off

Getting called when you’re bluffing.


Slang term for a face card.


An easy player.

Play the board

When the best possible 5-card hand you can make includes all the 5 cards on the board.


Staring hole cards in Hold’em and stud poker.

Pocket cards

Another term for hole cards.

Pocket pair

A pocket pair is a pair as hole cards.

Pocket rockets

A pair of aces as hole cards.

Poker face

A blank face with no expression; used usually to stop your opponents from getting a read on you.

Poker tracker

Software that tracks your online poker games and provides a detailed analysis of your play.


When a player in the hand can either have the nuts or a total bluff, they are said to have a polarized range.


One’s location in the betting sequence that is relative to the players in the hand.

Position bet

A position bet is one that is made more due to your position rather than due to the strength of your hand.


Posting means to pay the required number of blinds to be dealt into the hand.

Post dead

A player who misses the small blind must post the small blind dead before he is allowed to be dealt back in.

Post oak bluff

A post oak bluff is a very small bet in comparison to the size of the pot with the intention of getting the opponent to fold while holding little risk.


Play on the flop and the betting rounds after the flop.


The total amount that has been bet in the hand.

Pot committed

A term mostly used in the no-limit games; a player is considered to be pot-committed when he’s unable to fold due to the size of the pot and the size of the bet required to win it.

Pot limit

A game where players can only make a bet up to the amount that’s in the pot so far. A poker game with a limit determined by the pot.

Pot odds

The amount of money in the pot divided by the amount you must bet in order to call. It is used in poker strategy to make decisions.


Anything that happens before the flop.

Premium hands

The best possible hands in the game.

Preposition player

Also known as a prop, the term refers to a player who’s an employee of a gaming establishment whose primary goal is to keep enough players at the table.


The pot odds you get for a particular draw or call.

Probe bet

A bet with the intention of figuring out the strength of your opponents’ hands.

Prop bet

A prop bet is a bet that is made outside the standard bets made during the game of poker.

Protected pot

A pot that you can’t win by bluffing as there are too many players involved in the pot which ensures that you will get called to the end.


Raising over another player’s all-in to prevent other players from entering the pot.


Another name for the dealer button.

Puppy feet

Also known as pups, it is a slang term for a Club Flush.


The total prize pool in a poker tournament.


Another term for all in.

Put on

Guessing your opponent’s hand. For example, I put you on pocket rockets!

Put the clock

To call the clock on a player.



Slang term for four of a kind.


A qualifying low hand. High-low split games often require a minimum hand value such as eight-high in order to find a winner for the low half of the pot.


A $25 chip. It can also mean to win a quarter of the pot.


To win the quarter of a pot, usually by tying the low or high hand of a high-low split game.


Rabbit hunt

To rabbit means to see the cards that would have come on later streets after the hand had finished.


Another word for a fish.


Another term to describe a coin flip.


The trays that are typically used to carry chips. A standard rack will hold 5 rows of 20 chips.


A really weak starting hand; not suited and not in sequence.


It is the barrier that divides the card playing area from the public area.


Someone who’s watching the game behind the rail.


Small groups of cards that have no two in the same suit.


One of the three basic actions in poker, raising means to wager more than the minimum amount required to call.


A player who raises.


A percentage of money that is taken from each pot and given to the house for running the game. It is typically a small amount.

Rakeback pro

A rakeback pro is a poker player who might not be a winning player but supplements their winnings with a significant amount of rakeback by playing a huge number of hands.


The list of hands that a player considers an opponent might have.


The numerical value of a card, like six or seven or jack, etc.


To take away money or chips off the table during play.


To determine the strength of your opponent’s hand.


To buy more chips after your initial buy-in. Rebuys are also allowed in some tournaments.


To deal out a hand after a misdeal.


To make one hand but have a draw for a better one.


Another word for rebuy.


To play your hands as if it was a specific hand, regardless of what hand you hold. Mostly used to hide your hand’s value to your opponents.


A reraise is when a player raises after an opponent has raised.

Reverse domination

When you and your opponent hold a card of the same rank but you have a higher kicker, you’re said to dominate the opponent. Reserve domination happens when the other player hits a pair with the lower kicker on the flop.

Reverse implied odds

It is an estimate of how you can lose if you hit your draw but still lose out to a stronger hand.

Reverse tell

When a player acts in a way that suggests a common tell with the intention of deceiving your opponent.

Ribbon clerk

Slang term for a small-time gambler.

Ring game

A standard poker game where players can come and go as per their liking.


Slang term for betting or raising all-in.


The last card that is dealt in a hand of stud or Hold ‘em poker.


A player with a very sight and solid playing style.


Return on investment, mostly used by tournament players to figure out how much they are making. Calculated by dividing the profit by expenses and multiplying it by 100 to get the ROI percentage.

Roll your own

In seven-card stud, it refers to the situation where the player has some ability to choose which cards should be turned up.

Rolled Up

Being dealt three of a kind in the first three cards in seven-card stud.

Rolled-up trips

When three of a kind are dealt in the first three cards in seven-card stud games.


A professional poker player.

Royal cards

Another term for face cards.

Royal flush

The best possible hand in regular poker; an ace-high straight flush.


A hand made using both of the last two cards dealt, i.e. the turn and the river.


The second-place finisher in a tournament.

Running good

A stretch of good luck. Running bad, in contrast, means a stretch of bad luck.

Running it twice

It is an agreement where players agree to draw all the remaining cards twice, and the winner each time is given half the pot.


A term for a winning streak.



Hiding the real strength of your hand by slow playing it early with the intention of making a profit later in the hand.


A tournament with a moderate to low buy-in with the prize being a seat in a bigger tournament.

Scare card

A card dealt face up in case of stud poker and on the board in case of community poker games that can create a strong hand for one of the players in the game.


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


The seat at the table that a player gets assigned to.

Second barrel

A second barrel refers to a second bet on the turn after a flop bet. A third barrel refers to a third bet on the river.

Second pair

A pair of cards of the second-top rank on the board.


To call a bet.


In spread limit poker, selling means betting less than the maximum bet with a strong hand usually with the hope of getting the opponent to call.


A semi-bluff is a bet or a raise when you hold a hand that is not the best but still has a reasonable chance of improving up to the river.


If you hold a pocket pair and a card with the same rank hits the board, it creates a set. A three of a kind where you hold a pocket pair.

Set up

A deck that has been ordered, usually King-to-Ace and by suit.

Sevens rule

A rule in many lowball games that requires a player with a seven-low or better after the draw to bet rather than just checking or check-raising.


A player who’s very good, the opposite of a fish.


A player on the table who is playing with the support of the establishment.


A slanted container that holds the cards that are yet to be dealt on the table.


To make one final call, agreeing to check on all remaining streets.


A poker tournament format where the last remaining player of a table goes on to play the remaining players of the other tables. Each table in a shootout plays independently which means there is no balancing as players get eliminated from the tournament.

Short buy

In no-limit poker, short buy means to buy into a game for considerably less money than the stated maximum buy-in.

Short stack

A sack of chips that is small for the stakes being played.


A poker game with only three to six players playing. It is the opposite of a full ring game.


Another term for betting or raising all-in.


When all the players reveal their cards at the end of the betting rounds to determine the winner of the hand.

Side game

A ring game that runs concurrently with a tournament made up of players who have been eliminated from the tournament or opted not to play in it.

Side pot

A separate pot created to deal with the situation of one player going “all in”.


This refers to a starting hand in Omaha that contains two cards of the same suit and two cards of mixed suits. For example, Ah-Kh-5c-8h.

Sit and go

A poker tournament that has no scheduled starting time but starts whenever the necessary players have put up their money.

Slow play

Slow play refers to playing a cautious game even though you’re holding a pretty strong hand. It is usually done with the intention of deceiving your opponents into thinking you have a weak holding.

Slow roll

To delay or avoid showing the winning hand at showdown. Considered to be in poor taste.

Small blind

One of the two forced blind bets in poker.


When a player manages to catch a slightly better hand.

Smooth call

Another term for flat calling.

Snap call

When a player makes a really quick call due to the strength of the card, usually against an all-in bet or raise.

Snapped off

To get a good hand beat.


To play a worthless hand in draw poker with the intention of bluffing.

Soft break

Exchanging a large bill or chip into both chips and cash when a player buys in.

Soft play

To intentionally play weakly against a player.

Solid player

A strong player.

Speculative hand

A weak hand with a lot of potential to improve.

Splash the pot

To toss your chips into the pot.


Used to refer to poker games like high-low split.

Split openers

In draw poker, it means to discard one or more openers, usually with the intention of drawing to a straight or flush.

Split pot

A pot that gets split between two or more players is known as a split pot.

Split two pair

A two pair hand in community card games with each pair made up of one the player’s hole cards and one community card.


The range between a table’s maximum and minimum bets.

Spread limit

A form of limit poker where the bets and raises can only be between a maximum and minimum size.

Squeeze play

A bluff reraise in no-limit Hold’em with less-than-premium cards after another player or players have called the original raise. Squeeze plays are often used to bluff other players out of the hand.


Amount of chips or money that a player can use at the table.


The amount of a player’s buy-in.


The amount one buys in for and can bet.


Staking refers to a player sponsoring another player, usually in poker tournaments but stalking is also seen in cash games too occasionally too.

Stand off

To call a raise.

Stand pat

In draw poker, this means playing the original hand with no draws, either as a bluff or with the belief that it is the best hand.

Starting hand

It refers to the starting cards that the player gets dealt at the start of a hand.


To take a pot uncontested by making a well-timed but modest bet.

Steal position

The next to last or last position in the game is called the steal position.


To get annoyed due to losing and playing badly as a result. Also known as tilt.

Stop and go

When a player bets into another player who has previously raised or has shown aggression.

Straddle bet

An extra bet that is sometimes placed before the cards are dealt. It is usually equal to 2x the big blind.


A hand ranking in poker where five cards are in a row sequentially. For example, 5x-6x-7x-8x-9x.

Straight draw

A card combination that needs one more card to complete a straight. Also known as a gutshot draw.

Straight flush

A straight with all cards of the same suit. For example, 5c-6c-7c-8c-9c.

Strategy card

A wallet-sized card that contains information about poker strategies to use in online and casino games.


A street is a betting round in the game. Examples of streets include the flop, turn, and river.

String bet

An illegal move where the player doesn’t declare his intention to raise but put out chips to call and then reaches back to his stack to get more chips to make a raise.

Strip poker

A variation of poker where players have to remove an article of clothing every time they lose a hand.


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


The remainder of cards that have not been used during the active play of a particular game.


A significant amount of money lost.


Poker games in which players get dealt some cards face up as well as some cards face down.

Subscription poker

A form of online poker where users pay a monthly fee to become eligible to play in real-money tournaments.

Suck out

When a player is lucky and beats a superior hand. The player who gets sucked out is said to have a bad beat.

Suicide king

Slang term for the King of hearts.


Spades, clubs, hearts, and diamonds.


Cards of the same suit.

Suited connectors

Suited connectors are cards that are consecutive and in sequence. For example - 9h-10h or Ks-As.

Super satellite

A multi-table tournament in which the prize is a free entrance to a satellite tournament or a tournament in which all the top finishers are rewarded with an entrance to a large tournament.


Table charge

A fee charged for playing a particular game.

Table stakes

A standard rule that limits players to only betting the money they have on the table.


Acronym for Tight Aggressive Game, a common style of play.

Tainted outs

Cards that improve a hand so it is better than the other current hands but it also improves other hands even more.


A player is said to be tanking or be in the tank when he takes an excessive amount of time to act.


In no-limit games, it means to wager all of one’s money in one bet.

Tapped out

To run out of money.


Any personal mannerism that can be used to guess the player’s hand.

Texas Penny

A slang term for $100.


The texture is used to refer to how well connected the community cards are relative to each other. The texture is said to be dry or wet depending on how connected it is.

Third barrel

A bet on the river after betting both on the flop and the turn.

Third man walking

Only two players allowed to leave their seat from a poker table at a time. If a third person leaves the table, he’s said to be the third man walking.

Three bet

A reraise. Bet, Raise (2-bet), Reraise (3-bet).

Three flush

Three cards of the same suit.

Three of a kind

Three cards sharing the same rank.

Three pair

Even though it is not an official poker hand, it is possible for a player to have three pairs in a hand. However, officially the player is considered to be holding a 2-pair with the highest two pairs out the three.

Tied on

When your hand is good enough to play till showdown.


A style of player where you play fewer cards than average.

Tight player

A person who plays only premium hands. Opposite of a loose player.


Playing poorly due to losing too many hands, often making mistakes due to getting too emotional.


A request to suspend play by a player so he can think what he’s going to do.

To go

Another word for straight.


Slang term for a tip.

Top and bottom

Two pair with your hole cards pairing the highest and lowest cards on the board.

Top kicker

Having the best possible kicker, typically an ace.

Top pair

In flop games, having a hole card that matches the highest card on the community board.

Top set

The highest possible trips on the board.

Top top

Top pair with the top kicker on the board.

Top two pair

In flop games, having hole cards that make the highest possible two pairs on the board.


A poker event that involves one or more tables of players who each begin the tournament with a fixed amount of tournament chips. Players are not allowed to leave the tournament until it ends when all but one of the players are eliminated.


A player is said to be trapping another player when he’s slow playing his opponents.

Trash / Trash Hand

A very poor starting hand.


Slang term for a three.


Three of a kind, for example, trip sixes or trip fives.


A type of tournament where the level of the blinds increases much faster than in the standard play.


The fourth community card and the third betting round in Hold’em poker.

Two flush

Two suited cards.


Under the gun

The first player to the left of the button, who must act first.


An underdog is a player who has a lower chance of winning than another specified player.

Under full

A full house made where the three of a kind has lower-ranking cards than the pair.

Under pair

A pocket pair that is lower than some or all of the community cards on the board.


When used with a card rank to describe a poker hand, it refers to two pair with the name card being the higher pair.

Up the ante

Increasing the stakes.

Up card

A card that is played face up.


To chase or try to outdraw a stronger hand.


A slang term for stakes.


A streak of good luck.



Value refers to the strength of your hand in relation to the holdings of your opponents. When you bet for value, you’re usually betting with a strong hand and expecting the opponent to call you.

Value bet

A small bet to get calls and increase the pot.


A measure of the up and down swings that every bankroll goes through. Variance is not necessarily a measure of how well you play. The higher the variance, the wider the swings you’ll see in a bankroll.


Another term for rake; also called vigorish.


Acronym for Voluntary Put Money In Pot. It represents the percentage of hands with which a player puts money into the pot pre-flop, without giving any considerations to the blinds submitted. VPIP is an excellent measure of a player’s playing style.


Wake up

To “wake up with a hand” means discovering a strong starting hand, often when there has already been action in front of the player.


When all players fold to the big blind.


To mix the deck by spreading the cards face down on the table and mixing them up.

Wayne Gretzky

A nickname for the hand 99, which was Gretzky’s famous number.

Weak ace

An ace that has a low kicker. Also known as a small ace, soft ace, and ace-rag.

Weak player

A player with a bad game.

Webcam poker

A form of online poker that allows people to watch each other during the play via a webcam.

Wet board

A wet board is a set of community cards in games like Hold’em and Omaha that makes it easy for players to hit strong hands.


A five-high straight (A-2-3-4-5) with the ace being the lowest card in the straight.

Wild card

Another term for a bug.

Window card

A window card is an up card in stud poker.

Wired pair

Dealt hole cards that are a pair.


World poker tour.


A straight draw with nine or more outs made of two board cards and three to four cards of the player’s hand in Omaha.


World series of poker.


Zero sum game

A game where a player’s gain is exactly balanced by the losses of the other players and vice versa.