Mastering the game of Poker does not only mean having the skills, keen eye and winning confidence, it also entails talking in the language of Poker.
As there can be a library of poker terms, we made you a comprehensive list of poker terminology that will surely make you talk the talk!
- One's turn to act during a hand.
- To place or raise.
- Used to describe a game in which there is a lot of placing sweeps coins and raising.
An ante is a forced bet in which all players put an equal amount of chips into the pot before the deal begins.
- Regular Tournaments - Ante will be applied immediately
- Bounties - Ante applies after late registration ends
- Sit n Go's - Ante varies, it applies usually 15 minutes for turbo and 4 0minutes for normal
A play that places all of your chips into the pot.
Hitting your needed cards on the turn and the river to make your hand. For example, if there's one heart on the board and you have two in your hand and two more hearts show up on the turn and river, you've hit a "backdoor" flush.
When you initially had a substantial statistical lead over an opponent then eventually lose your hand to that opponent after the flop, turn, or river.
BAD BEAT STORY
A retelling or recollection of a bad beat. These are often boring tales you already know the end of. For example: "I had ace-king, and my opponent had 2-3. There was an ace on the board. The turn was a 4, and then - Can you believe it? - the river was a 5!"
The amount of chips the second player to the left of the dealer has to play. The amount depends on the stakes. Like an ante, it is a posted amount that makes the pot worth playing for before the action begins. It is equivalent to one complete first round play. It's called a blind because it amounts to placing a play without seeing the cards first.
The generic term for either the big blind or the small blind. If you are one of the blinds, you are sitting either immediately to the left of the dealer button (small blind position) or one position farther left (big blind).
The community cards that everyone uses in combination with their pocket cards to form the best hand.
In a tournament, the bubble is the top finisher out of the money. For instance, if there are 450 players in a tournament and the top 45 get paid, then 46th place is known as "the bubble."
The discarding of the top card before each round. In the case that there is a distinguishing mark on the top card, the burn card keeps the next card to be dealt concealed before it comes out. That way no unfair information is being intentionally or unintentionally conveyed.
The position of the dealer. In live poker, it's usually denoted by placing a plastic disk in front of the dealer. It rotates clockwise each time the dealer shuffles for a new hand. The button is in an advantageous position, for he acts last in a playing round.
The cost to enter a tournament, or the minimum amount needed to sit down in a game at a specific table. Usually 20 times the big blind. So, for example, if you're at a SC5/SC10 table, you'll need SC200 to take a seat.
To contribute the minimum amount of money to the pot necessary to continue playing a hand.
To pass on playing sweeps coins. If there's no action (placed sweeps coins) to you, there's nothing to call. If you don't want to play, you can just "check." If there's subsequent action from your fellow players in the playing round, then the action will come back to you to either call, fold or raise.
A check-raise is made when a player checks on the first opportunity to place sweeps coins and later raises any subsequent play in the same playing round.
To call two or more placing sweeps coins on your turn. If a pot has been played and raised before it gets to you, and then you call, you're cold calling.
Sequential pocket cards. A 5 of clubs and 6 of hearts would be connectors. If the connectors are the same suit, they are "suited connectors" - e.g., 5 and 6 of clubs.
Cards that are dealt face up in the center of the table, available for all players to use in making a hand.
A duplicate card on the board that greatly devalues your hand. If you have a pair of 6's in your hand, and the board is ace-ace-7-4, and the river card is a 7, you've been "counterfeited." You had two pairs, but now the board has two better pairs. Any other player with a card higher than a 6 in his hand now beats your hand.
The position to the immediate right of the button.
The player who shuffles the deck and deals the cards.
The button (often a plastic disk in live poker) that indicates the dealer. It is passed clockwise after every hand.
Remaining in a hand in the hopes of improving it. For example, you don't have anything concrete yet but need one or more cards for a straight or a flush. If you call (or raise) a round of placing sweeps coins to see if the needed card(s) come, you are said to be "drawing." The two most common draws are flush draws (drawing for a flush) and straight draws (drawing for a straight). You can also draw for a three of a kind, full house, or better.
To receive a card that transforms your hand from a losing hand to a winning hand.
You're drawing, but it's futile because there is not one card in the deck that will create a winning hand for you. If you have two pairs and hope to make a full house on the river, but your opponent already has four of a kind, you are "drawing dead."
The first three community cards dealt out after the first round of placing sweeps coins is complete.
A poker hand consisting of five cards of the same suit.
To give up by placing your cards face down on the table, losing whatever you have placed (sweeps coins) so far. You only fold when you think your hand is too weak to compete against the other players.
FOUR OF A KIND
A hand containing all four cards of the same rank.
A hand consisting of a three of a kind and a (different) pair.
A straight completed from "inside" by one possible card. For example, if your pocket cards are 5 and 6 and the flop shows 4-8-king, a 7 and only a 7 on the turn or river would complete your "gutshot" straight. It is the opposite of an open-ended straight, which is completed by any one of two cards from the outside. A gutshot is half as likely to hit as an open-ended straight.
Five cards, made of a player's pocket cards and the community cards
Playing a pot or tournament against only one other player.
Taking future calls from your fellow players into consideration when you are drawing to something. If you draw successfully, you expect they'll call with their hands. These funds are speculative and not concrete, as they aren't in the middle yet and won't be unless you hit your card and they call the sweeps coins you placed - hence, "implied."
If you have the same hand as another player at showdown, the one with the highest kicker wins the pot. If the board is 7-7-5-5-2, and you have ace-king and your opponent has king-queen, you win because your ace beats his king. Your ace is the "kicker." The highest card completing a five-card hand is the only determination between winning and losing in this example.
A slang word for calling, implying it's not an aggressive move.
A structure of the game in which placing sweeps coins and raises are capped at a fixed amount.
All the discarded cards in a hand. If a player folds, he tosses his hand "into the muck."
A structure of the game in which players can place (sweeps coins) their entire stack. There's a minimum to what you can place, but not a maximum.
The best possible hand one can have at a given moment. For example, if you have pocket 7's, and the flop is 7-6-2, you have the "nuts" at this point, as trip 7's would be the best possible hand. If the turn card is a 5, you would no longer have the nuts, as that honor now goes to anyone holding 8-9, making a straight. If the river is the last 7, you'd again have the nuts, as your hand is once again the best possible hand.
Holding pocket cards of different suits.
A variety of hold'em in which players receive 4 hole cards and must use exactly two of them, together with 3 of the 5 board cards, to make a hand.
A category of games characterized by a part of each player's hand being exposed.
In hold'em, a pair in the hole that is larger than any community card on the board.
A straight completed from the outside by one of two possible cards. For example, if your pocket cards are 5-6 and the flop shows 4-7-king, either a 3 or an 8 on the turn or river would complete your open-ended straight. An open-ended straight is twice as likely to hit as a "gutshot."
After each player at a table has served as the dealer for a hand. Each time the button passes you is a complete orbit.
A card that will improve your hand. If all the money is in the middle, and you turn over a pair of kings and your opponent has a pair of aces, you need one of the two remaining kings - your two "outs" - to beat your opponent.
Having cards higher than the board cards or your opponent's pocket. For example, if it's a heads up and someone's all-in, the two remaining players would expose their cards. If it is a pair of sevens versus ace-king, the ace and king are referred to as "over-cards."
Two cards of the same rank.
The cards in your hand that are not part of the community cards. In Hold’Em, it's your two down cards. In Omaha, it's your four down cards. Also known as hole cards.
A situation that likely requires you to call due to the amount of money in the pot vis-a-vis your remaining stack of chips. In these situations, it makes no sense to fold.
A structure of the game in which placing sweeps coins and raises are capped by the current size of the pot.
The ratio of money in the pot compared to what you need to call to keep playing. For example, suppose there is SC100 in the pot. Somebody places SC10, so the pot now contains SC110. It costs you SC10 to call, so your pot odds are 11-to-1. Do you think the odds of your hand being the best are better than 11-to-1? If so, you should call. Similarly, if you are getting the same 11-to-1 odds and you don't have a made hand but the odds of drawing to a better hand are greater than 11-to-1, it would also be correct to call.
Four of a kind.
In flop games, a flop in which no two cards are of the same suit. E.g., "The flop was an ace-9-7 rainbow."
The amount that the house takes out of a poker hand.
A standard poker game in which money is wagered during each hand.
The final of the five community cards.
Slang for a "tight" player. A rock can sit at a table orbit after orbit without playing for a pot. When he enters a pot, you know he's got the goods.
To wager more than the minimum required to call, forcing other players to put in more money as well.
An ace-high straight flush, the best possible hand in standard poker.
A tournament with a smaller buy-in that pools all the entrants' funds and awards seats to a higher-value tournament rather than cash. For example, a SC500 satellite that awards a WSOP.com Main Event seat (SC10,000 value) would award one seat for every 20 entrants in the satellite tournament. Satellites give players the chance to enter into an expensive tournament by winning or placing well in a less expensive tournament.
A bluff with a hand that has the potential to improve should the bluff itself be ineffective.
Having a pocket pair that hits on the board, making three of a kind.
Having fewer chips than the rest of the players at the table or in the tournament.
When, after the final round of placing sweeps coins, players turn their hands face-up. A poker hand will only reach a showdown if there are callers in the last round of placing sweeps coins, or if someone is all-in prior to the last placing sweeps coins round.
Separate from the main pot. If one or more players is all-in, the pot to which the all-in players contributed is the main pot. A side pot is created from any additional amount placed by the remaining players. There can be many side pots if there are more than one all-in player. An all-in player is only eligible to win a pot to which he has contributed.
A poker tournament that starts whenever a specified number of players have registered. As the name suggests, you "sit" (register), and, when there are enough of your fellow players to start the game, you begin, or "go."
When, in an attempt to have other players stick around and possibly call your plays, you play your hand less aggressively than necessary. For example, if you flop a full house, it is unlikely anyone is going to beat your hand. Slow-playing the hand may allow the other players to make their hands and therefore continue to call your plays.
The smaller of two blind plays. The position to the immediate left of the dealer button position, and to the right of the big blind position.
When two or more players make the same hand and the pot is divided between equivalent high hands.
An optional pre-deal play, typically made by the player to the left of the big blind. The straddle amount is twice the big blind (same as a legal raise). The straddler earns the "option" from the big blind. He may re-raise when the action comes around to him. A straddle is a game convention and is not usually permitted in a tournament.
Placing sweeps coins on the table in a staggered motion or multiple motions. String sweeps coins are not allowed, and the dealer will remove the added amount of the sweeps coins if he determines a sweeps coins to be a string play. It's not permitted because it could be used to gauge the reaction of other players before you commit the entire intended amount of the raise.
A hand consisting of 5 cards in sequence but not in suit.
A hand consisting of 5 cards in sequence and the same suit.
An interpretation of a physical action or a placing pattern that seemingly reveals how strong or weak a player's hand is. The best players do not provide many tells themselves and have an ability to detect tells of their opponents in order to determine how to play a hand.
Usually the result of taking a bad beat or series of bad beats, you can be said to be "on tilt" when you play with reckless abandon. Presumably, the term derives from tilting a pinball machine.
Requesting more time to think. It is when you call for time to avoid the dealer killing the hand due to inactivity. Conversely, you take excessive time to make decisions that may have a "clock" called on you by the other players who seek to keep the flow of the game going.
A pair with the highest card on the board. For example, if you have an ace and 7 in the hole, and it's a 3-4-7 flop, you've got a "top pair" with an ace kicker. If you had a pair greater than sevens in your pocket, you'd have an over-pair.
A poker event involving one or more tables of players who each begin with a fixed amount of tournament chips. They play until they have either lost that amount, are the last player remaining holding all the chips, or the remaining players enter into an agreement to end the game. In a tournament, players buy in for a certain amount, which goes into a prize pool that is distributed to the top performers, usually the final 10% of the remaining players. You cannot get up with your chips and leave the game. You are in the tournament until its conclusion.
Slang for three of a kind.
The fourth community card. Put out face-up, by itself. Also known as "Fourth Street."
UNDER THE GUN
When you are sitting in the first-to-act position. It's the position immediately to the left of the big blind, pre-flop, and to the left of the button for subsequent playing rounds.