Poker Articles


Poker Jargon Glossary

ABC Poker

Playing a “standard” game based on poker theory without any “fancy moves”.

Ace High

A five-card hand that has no hand combinations (flush, straight, pair etc), but contains one Ace.

Aces Up

2 pair, the top pair being aces.


When players put chips into the pot (bets or calls).

Ace High

A five-card hand that has no hand combinations (flush, straight, pair etc), but contains one Ace.

Aces Up

2 pair, the top pair being aces.


When players put chips into the pot (bets or calls).

Active Player

Any player still involved in a hand.

Add On

The option (available to all players, regardless of stack size) to purchase a specified amount of additional chips, at a specific time during a tournament.


Showing hold cards after a bluff in the hope of getting more action in a later hand.


When you bet all your money on a hand, either voluntarily in the belief that you have the strongest hand, or because do not have enough money to cover the full amount bet by someone else. You then contend for the pot in an amount proportional to what you contributed.

All-in Disconnect

A system where a player is considered all-in for the amount bet so far if they disconnect, and are unable to reconnect within the time limit.


The minimum bet that players must place into the pot by each player before betting begins. The ante is placed before any cards are dealt.

Bad Beat

When a good hand that would have been expected to win the pot is beaten by a lucky draw. For example, you have top 2 pair with A-K in the hole, and your opponent holds 6-8 and makes a straight on the river.


Making a hand you weren’t playing for,  eg. You play for a full house but make a flush.


The total amount of stake money a player has.

Belly Buster

An inside straight draw.  For example, if a player holds AK and the flop comes 10-Q-7 the J is needed to complete the straight.

Big Blind

The first bet posted by the player to the left of the player who posts the small blind. It is a forced bet. The big blind bet amount is equal to the lower bet. For example, in a $10 – $20 game, the big blind is $10

Big Slick

An A-K combination as pocket (hole) cards.


Putting in chips to increase the pot.


A card which doesn’t appear to improve any player’s hand. Also known as “brick”.

Blind Bet

A forced bet that is placed before any cards are dealt. It is considered a live bet for the first round of betting. You have big blind and small blind bets in the first round of betting


To pretend that you have a better hand than you actually do, by betting aggressively, in the hope that the other players will fold.


Slang for a full house.


The cards seen by all the players, the community cards in the center of the table or in a players hand in a game like stud poker


Short for “robot”, a computer program designed to play like a real person.  Banned on virtually all poker sites.


A card which doesn’t appear to improve any player’s hand. Also known as “blank”.

Bricks and Mortar (B&M)

A “real world” card room or casino, as opposed to an online card room.


An ace high straight (10-J-Q-Q-A), the highest possible unsuited straight hand.

Broadway Card

Any card that could be used in an ace-high straight (10-J-Q-K-A).


In a tournament, the point just before players reach the money.  For example, in a single table SNG when there are only 4 players remaining (and 3 players receive a prize), or in a 180 player tournament when there are around 19 – 25 players remaining (and 18 receive a prize).




Discarding the top card from the deck before a deal (to prevent cheating).

Bust Out

To lose all of your money on the table, or to be eliminated from a tournament.


The amount you must bring into a game.


When you place a bet equal to the previous bet.

Calling Station

A player who calls the time and can’t be bluffed.

Cards Speak

A house rule in many casinos where by the verbal declaration of a hand by a player is not binding – the actual value of a shown hand is what determines a winner.  If for example a player says they have a pair, but have not noticed that they have hit a straight, that player will be awarded the pot if the straight is the highest hand, even though they declared only a pair.

Case Card

The final card of a particular rank, when the other three are in play.  For example, a player might need to catch the “case ten” to make trips if his pocket tens are losing to another player.

Cash Out

To finish playing and exchange your chips for cash.


When a player makes the hand they were drawing to.

Chat Box

A window on most poker sites where players can type messages to each other, and see commentary on the game.  Most sites give options to turn chat off, mute players etc.


When you want to stay in the game but not place a bet. You can only check if no other bets have been placed in the betting round.


To check at the beginning of a betting round and then raise when a player to your left bets.


To split the pot when two or more players have the same strength hand at showdown.

Cinch Hand

A big hand that will win without a problem.

Cold Call

When a player who has not yet acted on a hand calls, after the pot has already been raised.

Community Cards

Cards that are dealt to the table. All players can use these cards to complete a five-card hand.


2 cards in running order such as 3-4 or 10-J.

Dead Man’s Hand

Two pair hand consisting of Aces & Eights, both black. This is reputed to be the hand that Wild Bill Hickock was holding when he was shot dead during a poker game.


A flat disk that is used to signify the Dealer’s position on the table in online poker. The disk is usually marked with a D.


A pair of Twos.


The worst hand (underdog)


Remaining in the round and accepting more cards.

Drawing to a hand

Remaining in the round with the hope of making one’s potential hand as more cards are dealt.

Drawing Dead

When a player is drawing to a hand that is not the best hand offered by the flop and will therefore is beaten even if the hand is made.


A 2 of any suit (also Deuce)

Early Position

In an early betting position for a hand weakest position


The average amount of money a hand would win, if the same situation was played out many times, or the amount of money in the pot multiplied by the percentage chance of winning.

Family Pot

When everyone at the table is still involved in the pot

Fast Play

Betting and rising aggressively

Fifth Street

The fifth card dealt, the river in holdem.


A weak or losing player.


The first three community cards dealt to the table


When players throw in their cards. They give up any claim on the pot in exchange for not having to contribute more money to the pot.

Forced Bet

A bet that a player has no choice but to make, a blind bet


5 cards all of the same suit.

Flush Draw

When a player holds four cards of the same suit and is hoping to draw a fifth card of that suit to complete a flush.

Full House

Also known as a full boat, a high ranking hand consisting of three of a kind and a pair.

Go on tilt

When a player loses emotional balance during a game and plays irrationally.

Gut Shot

To draw to an inside straight (i.e. player holds J-10, flop is K-7-8 so player has a “gutshot straight draw”

Heads Up

A game with only two players in it.

Hit and Run

A strategy for sitting at a table, playing very aggressively for a few hands, then leaving again quickly.

Hold’em Manager

A very useful software application which gives useful stats and information on your game, and your opponents.

Hole Cards

These are the Down Cards in front of the players. (Also known as “Pocket Cards”)


The host of the game (e.g. the casino).

Ignorant End

The low end of a straight.

Inside Straight Draw

Drawing to a straight where the cards needed to complete the straight are those in the middle of the straight. For example, you have 6-7-9-10 and need the middle card (8) to make the straight.


The highest unpaired card of a player’s pocket cards.

Lay Down

To fold (often when referring to a big hand)

Limping In

Calling the big blind rather than raising.

Locked Up

Holding the winning hands, or “nuts”.


A very aggressive player – will often bet and raise weak hands.


A very strong hand.


When you do not want to show your hand to the table. The hand is discarded without being displayed to the table. You can muck a losing hand in a show down, or the winning hand if everyone else has folded before you.

November Nine

The nine players who make the final table of the WSOP Main Event (2008 onwards) since the final table is played in November.


The best possible hand that cannot be beaten, at a particular point of the game.

Nut Flush

A flush containing the Ace.

Off Suit

Cards of different suits.


A flop game similar to Texas Hold’em, but the players are dealt 4 hole cards each, and mush use exactly 2 of their hole cards and 3 community cards to make a hand.


Cards that will make the hand that the player is drawing to.

Over Card

A card on the board higher than your pair

Paint Cards

The picture cards (King, Queen, Jack).


2 cards of the same rank


To fold.

Pocket Cards

The cards dealt face down to each player. (Also known as “Hole Cards”)

Pocket Rockets

A pair of Aces as your pocket cards (hole cards).


A player’s seat relative to the dealer.


The pot is the pile of chips that accumulates as each player ante, bet and raise. All winnings are paid from the pot. The value of the pot varies. It is dependant on the stakes involved and the amount the Players bet. The pot goes to the winner of each round.


The House takes a small percentage of the pot. This is known as the “rake”.  If two or more Players have the same winning hand, they split the pot equally.

Pot Limit

A game where a player’s maximum bet is the size of the pot

Pot Odds

The calculated odds the money in the pot represents in relation to how much it will cost to play and hand and the players chances of winning the hand

Pre-action Buttons

Check boxes allowing a player to call, raise or fold before the action reaches them.


Four of a kind (four cards of the same denomination).


Useless cards – cards that don’t improve a hand.


Percentage of the pot taken by the house.


The sideline around a poker table.


A non-playing spectator.


When the board contains 3 or 4 cards of different suits.


When you increase the bet made by a preceding player. This increases the stakes for remaining Players, who now have to match the total amount including the raise.


To attempt to determine what cards another player is holding


To bet in such a way as to suggest you are holding a particular hand.  For example, if the flop comes A-7-2 and a player bets they can be “representing” a pair of aces.

Ring Game

A normal real money table game, as opposed to a tournament game.

River Card

The final community card dealt.


A professional or semi-professional player who “does the rounds” of the local games on a regular basis.

Royal Flush

10-J-Q-K-A of the same suit.

Rush Poker

A unique and fast paced variety of poker exclusive to Full Tilt.  Now also available for mobile phones.

Scare Cards

High board cards (e.g. an Ace that appears on the flop).


To see someone is to call their bet.


To bluff with a hand that still has drawing potential and could improve to be the winning hand.

Seven Deuce

The acknowledged weakest starting card combination in Texas Hold-em (7-2)

Show down

After the last betting round when the remaining players compare hands to determine the winner. The player with the highest value hand wins the pot.

Sitting Out

When you choose to leave a table for a few hands.


If a player sits out for more than fifteen minutes, or has missed two rounds of blinds, they are usually removed from the table.

Slow Playing

Playing non-aggressively with a powerful hand; calling and betting instead of raising. This is done in the hope of not driving players out of the hand and thus sucking more money into the pot. This is also called “sandbagging”.

Small Blind

The first bet posted by the player to the Dealer’s left. It is a forced bet. The small blind bet amount is equal to half of the lower bet. For example, in a $10 – $20 game, the small blind is $5.


A player’s chips.


To try and win the pot by betting when everyone else has checked, or by making a large raise when everyone else has called.


Gestures or words by a player that give away the value of his/her hand


A tight player is a player who never bets unless they hold a good hand


The fourth community card dealt

Under the Gun

The player who must act first in the betting round.

Visible Cards

Cards dealt face up to each Player. Players use these cards to complete a five-card combination.


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