Poker Glossary

If you get dealt cowboys and make trips on the flop, would you go all-in with the nuts if a King fell on the river? Are you getting confused with all of the "poker talk"? Decipher and understand any poker term using our comprehensive poker glossary - and start talking poker like a poker pro'.

Poker Terms Search

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ABC Player

An ABC player is a player who is very predictable. This player generally reads a poker book or two and follows them to the word. They always play hands the same way and are generally pretty tight. These types of players are often winners at lower stakes and loose games but are easily crushed by advanced players.

Ace High

A poker hand with no ranked cards (pair, flush, etc) but with an Ace as the high card. This hand beats all other unranked hands.

Ace in the Hole

Term used in a stud game, when one has an ace as one of their downcards.

Ace Out

Winning by bluffing or with an ace high hand.

Aces and Spaces

When you have an ace and low kicker in the hole and you make your pair of aces on the board, but your kicker doesn’t pair. “The river left me with aces and spaces..”

Aces Full

A full house with three aces and any pair. Also known as acey-uppy.

Aces Over

A hand with pairs, one of which is aces or a full house with a three of aces over any other pair.


Two pairs; one of aces, once of deuces


A hand with pairs, one of which is aces. Also know as aces full.


Betting, raising, and/or calling. A poker game with “a lot of action” is a game a lot of money is in play.


In a live game, to buy more chips before you have busted. In tournament play, a single re-buy for which all players are eligible regardless of their stack size. This is usually allowed only once, at the end of the re-buy period.


To advertise is to represent a method of play. For example, you play tight and only call when you have great cards, then show them. Next time you can call with rubbish (bluff) and players think you have another strong hand.


“Agressive Play” usually means a lot of betting and raising.


The holdem starting hand Ace-Jack (AJ). Also known as Blackjack and “The (Aussie) Jewel”.


The king of clubs. Probably derived from Alexander the Great.

Alligator Blood

A poker player who plays fearlessly when short-stacked and wins. A player who plays for a long time short-stacked, winning just enough to keep them in the game.

All In

In no-limit texas holdem, a player may declare himself “all in” and bet all of his chips into the pot.

All Red

Having a heart or a diamond flush.

American Airlines

The holdem starting hand Ace-Ace (AA). Also known as Rockets, Pocket Rockets.

Ammo, Ammunition

Chips in play.


This is characterized as any acting out of turn. It is considered angling when any player folds or bets out of turn. A player who uses constant angling is known as an “angle shooter”. Angling is used to make opponents bet or fold differently to that if they didn’t know what the anglers play was. For example, if the angler signals to bet before his turn, other players to the angler’s right react by not betting or perhaps even folding. When the round reaches the angler, the angler announces that he or she is not interested in betting after all, or winning a hand due to the opponents fold.


A small amount of chips placed into the pot before each hand. This acts as a “tax” for playing hands and is usually used in Stud games, whereas Hold’em games usually have blinds.


A big game, often the biggest game in a particular club.


An aquarium is a poker room or game that has a lot of fish in it.


The queen of clubs. May be an anagram of Regina (queen in Latin), or a corruption of Argea.

Assault Rifle

In Omaha, hole cards that are A-K-4-7 of any suit.

Bad Beat

A bad beat is a loss in which the losing player had the better odds on the winning player earlier in the hand. In general, the term is used when all the chips go in the pot when the losing player had odds. To take a bad beat means to be on the losing end of a bad beat; to lay a bad beat means to be on the winning end of a bad beat.

Back Door Flush

A three-card flush that requires suited cards on the turn and the river to complete.

Beer Hand

Generally a 2-7 offsuit, although some consider the 2-7 suited to be a beer hand as well. Considered the worst stating hand in hold em.

Belly Buster

An inside straight draw, synonym of gutshot. Also known as a Gutshot.


To put chips into the pot. Other players must either Call your bet, Raise you, or Fold.

Bitcoin Poker / BTC Poker

This refers to depositing or playing on an online poker site using the Bitcoin cryptocurrency. The process is simple – buy bitcoin, get a deposit address via your chosen poker room, and send the bitcoin to the specified address.
Read our guide: getting started with Bitcoin poker.

Big Blind

The larger of the two forced preflop bets. The player to the left of the small blind posts the big blind, the blinds ensure there is always money in the pot and “action” on every hand.

Big Slick

The holdem starting hand Ace-King (AK).

Bird on a Stick

The holdem starting hand Seven-Two (72).


The holdem starting hand Ace-Jack (AJ).


A card that is very unlikely to help, or scare, anyone.


That time and place, usually between the turn and the river, where you find you either have to bluff hard to force your opponent(s) to fold and steal the pot, or lay your cards down.  


A card that does not help any players hand.

Brick and Mortar

A card room with a physical location (e.g. at a Casino) as opposed to virtual.


In holdem, these are the forced bets that take the place of an ante. The player on the left of the dealer (or dealer button) must pay the small blind and the person after him must pay the big blind.


To bluff is to make a bet, when you know you have nothing. When you have no hand you hope that you are not called by your opponents. The aim of a bluff is to “buy” a pot because everyone else folds.

Board Cards

The cards in the middle of the table that are shared by everyone. “There were two Aces on the board”


A Full House. Also known as a full boat or simply full house.

Bottom Pair

When you make a pair on the flop with the lowest card on the board and one of your hole cards. The other cards on the board are referred to as “over cards” and may give another player the “middle pair” or “top pair”. The bottom pair is sometimes called “Third Pair”.


A break is when you bet your strong hand very forcefully to win the pot. Most often your opponent will need to go all-in.


If a player consistently loses over a night and loses a lot of his/her money, that player may be considered ‘broken.’


Broadway is a straight from ten to ace. This is the best possible straight.


The holdem starting hand 44. A pocket pair of fours.


The holdem starting hand AA. Pocket Aces. Also known as Rockets or American Airlines.


When the dealer discards the next card prior to dealing the flop, turn and river. The card that is placed down is termed the ‘burned/burnt card’.


As opposed to your home game, in casinos and big tournaments, they have a dedicated dealer and instead use a small plastic disc called the “dealer button” to indicate who is effectively the dealer. After the flop, the dealer is the last person to act in a round of betting. Being “on the button” is a good position as you are the last person to decide to call, raise or fold.


To bet an amount only equal to the previous bet. You must at least “call” other players bets to stay in the hand or you can raise, otherwise you must fold your hand. If no one before you makes a bet, you can also just “check” the hand and stay in the game until another player raises.

Calling Station

A calling station is a player who calls a lot. They do not consider other players hands, they just stay in to see if their hand will win, often drawing long odds to make a real hand. They do not bluff much and are generally not aggressive, they just call a lot.

Candy Canes

The holdem starting hand Seven-Seven (77). Pocket sevens.


The holdem starting hand King-Nine (K9), sometimes referred to as “The Dog”


In limit poker the cap is the maximum amount of raises allowed in each betting round. A common cap seen in online poker games is 4 bets per round (one bet and three raises).


The case card is the last card available of a particular rank in the deck. For example, if my hole cards are pocket fives and the board is AK5 and another five comes out on the turn, that final card (making a four of a kind using all available fives in the deck) is considered the case five.


To call in the hopes of hitting a draw. This word often describes someone who will call even with bad odds. For example, someone who “chases” a card to make a straight or flush draw.


In a betting round, if there are no previous bets or raises on a hand, players can “check” the hand and continue to play without wagering any more money. You must “call” to stay in the hand if someone raises. You can signify a check by tapping the table twice, and/or saying “check”.


Quite possibly one of the scariest plays in poker. A player “checks” the hand, to see what his opponents play will be, but has every intention of re-raising if his opponent raises him. This is a technique used to get more money into the pot and an effective play in a limit game.

Cold Call

A cold call is a call against a pot that has already been bet and raised. For example, preflop, you are in late position, two players have already raised the blinds and you call the two bets. It is a cold move because the other two players already believe they have very good hands, your call basically says you believe your hand is just as good.

Cold Cards

A player who is receiving cold cards is usually an experienced player who is having bad luck due to a long running string of bad cards.


Collusion is a form of cheating. Players will work in a team to try to gain an advantage over the other players. They will somehow signal to each other what their cards are. They will then use this information to gain an unfair advantage. Collusion is illegal. It is sometimes hard for brick and mortar cardrooms to detect colluders, but online poker rooms can track potential colluders because they can review hand histories.

Color Up

During a poker tournament or cash game, the house may elect to remove the smaller denomination chips from play. Usually a “color up” will result in removing those big stacks of chips from players and replacing them with a smaller quantity of higher denomination chips.

Community Cards

The 5 cards that are dealt on to the table that the “community” of players can use to make their best five (5) card hand. Sometimes known as the “board cards”.

Computer Hand

The holdem starting hand Queen-Seven (Q7). A starting hand that on average is the median of all other hands.


Connectors (connected) are hole cards are consecutive, like TJ, 56, 89. “Suited Connectors” are consecutive hole cards that share the same suit. JQ of spades, 78 diamonds.


Sometimes a card will come on the board that will destroy your hand because it makes a previously valuable card in your hand communal property. For example, suppose you hold A8 in a game of Holdem Poker. The board is 4567. You hold a straight to the 9! However, if the final card on the river comes a 8, your hand is counterfeited, because everyone has a eight high straight or a player with a 9 can beat you.


The holdem starting hand King-King (KK).


The holdem starting hand Three-Three (33).

Cutoff Seat

The seat to the right of the dealer, the second-best position to be on the table.

Dead Man’s Hand

The holdem starting hand Ace-Eight (A8) and making two pair on the board AA88. Legendary lawman and gambler Wild Bill Hickok was shot dead while holding this hand.

Dead Money

An novice player who has virtually no shot at winning a tournament. Their chips are said to be “dead money”.


The muck, discards.


To raise after having sandbagged for a time (making it clear that you were, in fact, sandbagging).


Gambling slang for $1,000. “He went over the top of me with a 2 dime bet”


Gambling slang for $100. “He raised five dollars (five hundred dollars)”

Dolly Parton

The holdem starting hand Nine-Five (95). Named after the movie she starred in, Nine to Five (1980)


In holdem poker, a hand that is similar to another hand but has a lower kicker, is a “dominated” hand. If you hold K8 and your opponent had KQ, your hand is dominated buy the higher kicker. You need to draw the 8 because the K won’t make your hand better against your opponent. Your hand can also be dominated if your hand has far less outs than your opponent.

Down Cards

Another name for your two hole cards in holdem poker.

Doyle Brunson

The holdem starting hand Ten-Two (T2). Doyle Brunson won the WSOP two years in a row with a ten and a two.


To draw for a card (Verb: draw, drawing) means hoping to improve your hand with the community cards. For example, your hole cards are 89 and the flop is JT3, you have an open ended straight draw, meaning you need to draw a 7 or Q on the turn/river card to complete your straight.

Drawing Dead

Drawing to a hand that will lose even if you make your draw. If you have a straight draw but your opponent already has a flush, you are “drawing dead”.


When you get beaten by someone who makes their draw and you lose the hand. You may have had better cards going into the play, but you get “out drawn” by an opponent. Often refered to as a “bad beat”.


The holdem starting hand Two-Two (22). Otherwise known as “dueces”.


The cards of the fifth suit in a sixty-two card deck.

Early bet

A small bet made after the first card in stud or the first two cards in draw.

Early Position

Being one of the first players to act in a betting round.


The player to the dealer’s immediate left.

Edge Odds

The relative advantage or disadvantage of a player compared to all other players.

Edge Shot

A bet made from an advantageous position.

Eldest Hand

The player immediately to the dealer’s left. Bbecause they received the first card during the initial deal their hand is considered the oldest. Also called age or edge.

End Bet

The last bet of a betting round.

End Bets

Last round bets.

End Stippers

Cards that are tapered or damaged along the ends for the purposes of cheating.

Entry Fee

An amount payable for all tournaments, with the exception of free rolls. The entry fee can be anywhere from a few cents to thousands of dollars.


Your “rightful” share of a pot. If the pot contains $100, and you have a 1 in 4 chance of winning it, you have $25 equity in the pot.

Even Money

When a player makes a wager with the hopes that they will earn the amount that was initially wagered.


Your typical win rate for a particular game, ignoring variance. That is, how much you expect to win (or lose) per hour or per hand over a specific time period. For example in 100 hours play you have won $437, then your expectation is $4.35/hr.

Expected Value, EV

In probability theory, the overall expected payoff of a particular event, calculated by multiplying the probability of each possible outcome by the payoff from each. For example, if there are two possible outcomes from an event (say, flipping a coin), one of which pays $2 and the other of which pays nothing, your EV for the event is $1 (in the long run, if this event happened many times, you would average $1 per event). In poker, one generally associates an EV with a particular action. One’s EV from calling a bet, for example, is the sum of all possible outcomes from calling the bet multiplied by the probability of each. Note that since a bet costs money to make, the payoff of some outcomes–and therefore the EV itself–may be negative.

Exposed Card

A card whose face has been deliberately or accidentally revealed to players normally not entitled to that information during the play of the game. Various games have different rules about how to handle this irregularity.

Exposed Pair

As opposed to a spilt pair or a hidden pair.

Family Pot

When more than three players are contending for a pot, the pot is often considered a family pot.

Fifth Street

The fifth dealt community card, more commonly known as the “river” card.


A fish is an novice or bad player, who often loses a lot of money.


Basically another way of saying “limit poker”, there are set bets. Poker with set betting limits. In a $5-$10 fixed-limit poker game all bets and raises preflop and on the flop are $5 each, and the bets and raises after the turn and river cards are $10 each.


Abbreviation for Fixed Limit.


The first three face up community cards in Holdem poker. First three board cards.


A poker hand with 5 cards of the same suit.


A player must “fold” or forfeit his hand if he/she does not want to match the current bet in the pot. A player should fold his/her cards when they think they can not win the hand. When folding against only 1 other player (or in a heads up game) you can choose to “show” your cards or “muck” the hand, which means to discard without revealing what cards you had.

Four Flush

When four cards to a flush appear on the board, giving every player with just 1 card of the particular suit to make the flush. Particularly annoying when you flop a flush but are holding generally “weak” kickers. The board then “four flushes” on the turn and gives others holding a higher card of that suit a chance to beat you.

Four of a Kind

Four of a kind is a poker hand with four cards of the same rank. For example, 9999K. A four of a kind is only beaten by a straight flush or royal flush.

Fourth Street

The fourth dealt community card, more commonly known as the “turn” card.


A Freeroll is an online poker tournament where the entry fee, the stakes, or both the entry fee and stakes are waived. Often online poker sites offer free entry but give real money prizes.


A winner-take-all tournament with no re-buys. That is, a game in which play continues until one player has all the chips.

Full Boat

Another name for a full house, a poker hand consisting three-of-a-kind and another pair.

Full House

A poker hand consisting of a three-of-a-kind and a pair. Also known as “boat” or “full boat”.


A semi-professional player who makes a living out of playing poker.


An inside straight draw. An example of a gutshot straight draw (also known as belly buster straight draw) is to have 4578, in an attempt to draw a 6.


To enter the pot cheaply by just calling the blind rather than raising. Also called limp.


To bet and raise aggressively.

High Card

In any round of poker no player makes a ranking hand (pairs or better) then the person with the highest card “High Card” wins. If two players have the same high card, then their second highest card is taken as the winning kicker, and so on. If the players have the exact same 5 card rank hand, then the pot is split.

High Society

Gambler slang for $10,000.00 in chips. Mike McDermott buys “3 stacks of high society” at Teddy KGB’s place in the film Rounders.

Hilton Sisters

The holdem starting hand Queen-Queen (QQ). Also called “The Ladies”.

Hole Cards

The cards dealt to each player face down at the beginning of each hand.


The holdem starting hand Jack-Jack (JJ).


A cold deck.

Idiot End

The idiot end straight refers to drawing to the bottom end of a straight. For example, if there is an open-ended straight on the board 789T and you have a 6, it is likely that someone has a Jack and will crush you.


An unbeatable hand.

Implied Odds

The same as pot odds except it takes into account making bets in the future. Thus, you may call a bet at the flop, but have implied odds of making bigger bets on later rounds if you hit your draw. So, if you have AK of diamonds and the flop comes two diamonds, your implied odds are what you have to call at the flop compared to how large the pot will be at the end of the hand.

Inside, Inside Straight

A draw to a straight with a single missing rank in the interior, for example, 8-9-J-Q, seeking a 10. Sometimes used to describe a one-end straight, which is mathematically equivalent.

In The Bushes, In The Weeds

A player sandbagging is said to be in the bushes during the time he is quietly checking and calling while others bet aggressively.

In The Money

To place high enough in a tournament to get prize money.


To play aggressively in order to drive out all but one specific opponent who you believe to be weak.

Jack Up

To raise.

Jackson Five

The holdem starting hand Jack-Five (J5). Jacks and Five.


The texas holdem starting hand of Jack-Queen (JQ).


A cheater’s technique to mark cards with his fingernail or a device.


A pot where several players are raising.


An unlucky player.


A player who is on tilt so badly that they literally throw away their money with no regard or go all in with a rubbish or semi-strong hand.

Key Card

A card that gives a player a big draw or makes a player’s hand.


A kicker is a player’s highest card that is used to break ties in poker hands. For example, if two players make a pair of Aces, one is holding AK and the other AJ, then the player with the K is the winner. If the players had A3 and A2, and the board was A8J5K then the two players tie with the pair of Aces, but split the pot because the best 5 card hand is made up of AAKJ8 and their kicker cards are too low. Kickers are also used to determine which player wins a flush or straight, if two players have a flush, the player with the highest of the suited cards is the winner. If the flush is made up of all over cards, then the players suited kickers do not count, and the pot is split.


The hold’em starting hand King-Jack (KJ).


The hold’em starting hand King-King (KK).

Komodo Dragoned

When a player’s hand is defeated because of an opponent completing a straight or flush on the river.


The holdem starting hand Queen-Queen (QQ).


Refering to a Queen. A pair of queens (QQ) is often referred to as ladies.

Let Slide

To not call another player one thinks is probably bluffing.


The top card of the deck.

Limit Poker

Poker with set betting limits. In a $5-$10 limit poker game all bets and raises preflop and on the flop are $5 each, and the bets and raises after the turn and river cards are $10 each.

Limp, Limp In

A player “limps in” if he does not bet or raise, and only calls the big blind.

Limp Raise

To make a small raise preflop. Usually used when you have a very strong hand like AA and wish to provoke a re-raise.

Little Slick

The holdem starting hand Ace-Queen (AQ).


A hand that cannot lose.


This refers to a poker game with seven or more people. The odds of high cards being played are increased due to the amount of cards out on the table.


Someone who plays a lot of hands. A loose player is often either a maniac or a calling station.

Luck Out

To outdraw and beat a good hand.


Nickname for a player who is very loose and/or plays aggressively. This type of player plays a lot of hands, raises frequently, and often bluffs.


The name of a Queen and Jack in the pocket, suited or otherwise.


A cheater who uses sleight-of-hand to arrange the deck or deal benefit himself or a partner.

Mid-Life Crisis

The holdem starting hand Four-Four (44). Pocket Fours.

Middle Pair

A pair made with one of your pocket cards where there are under and over cards on the board. You may be holding AT and the flop comes KT7. You have the “middle pair” of tens.

Middle Position

Somewhere between the early and late positions on a round of betting (the fifth, sixth and seventh seats to the left of the button).

Minimum Buy-In

The least amount you can start a game with.

Mites and Lice

A hand consisting of two pair; threes and twos.


The muck (noun) is the area on the table where all of the dead cards are placed once folded or burnt. To muck (verb) is to discard you hand in a showdown but not show your hand once you discover the other hand has beaten you.

Near Nuts

Almost the best hand possible, but may be only a couple of hands, or very unlikely hands that could beat you. For example, if you have KK, and the board is K6693, you have the near nuts, because someone else may make a full house or four-of-a-kind sixes.


Gambler slang for $500.


Abbreviation to indicated a No-Limit game.

No Limit

A betting structure in which there is no maximum bet. Players may bet as much as they want at any time, at any time they can declare themselves “all in” and put all of their chips into the pot.


To play conservatively because one is losing and has little money left.


The nuts is an unbeatable hand, there is no other hand that could win.


A holdem starting hand with two cards of different suits. These hands are weaker than suited hands because there are less “outs” in the hand, as the chance of a flush is significantly decreased.


The holdem starting hand Nine-Eight (98).

Online Poker

Playing poker over the internet. People play online poker for fun or for real money. Online poker allows players all over the world to compete against each other. The internet gives poker players a no-borders game any time of the day or night.

On The Button

Being the last player to act in a betting round.


Cards that can improve your hand. If you have a 4 cards of a flush draw, then there are 9 other cards left in the deck that can give you the flush (13 out of 52 total) so you have a total of 9 “outs” to complete your hand.


When a player beats another player by drawing a superior hand.

Overbet the Pot

In a no limit game if a player bets more than the total pot, they have “overbet the pot”.


An overpair is a pocket pair that is higher than any card on the board. For example, if you hold pocket kings and the flop is Q97, you hold an overpair.

On the Come

When a bet is made “on the come” generally is weak hand that will be very strong if completed. Generally betting or calling (possibly against pot odds) to make a big hand, usually a flush or straight draw.

One-Way Straight

Or One-End. A four-card straight open only on one end, such as jack, queen, king, ace.

Open at Both Ends

A four-card sequence that can be made a straight by two different value cards. Also Open Ended Straight Draw.

Open Ended Straight Draw

Four cards to a straight, example 4567, drawing to either end of the straight, in this example a 3 or an 8. You have twice the chance of completing your straight with an open-ended straight draw than a inside straight where you are aiming to hit just 1 inside card.

Paint, Paint Cards

Picture cards or face cards (Jack, Queen and King). .


A pair is two cards of the same rank. In holdem poker, if you held A9 and the board cards were 5AJ you would have a pair of Aces. If you had the pair in your hole cards, it is called a “pocket pair”.


To fold.


Someone who does not bet and raise a lot.

Picked Off

To get called when you are bluffing.

Picture Cards

Face cards (Jack, Queen and King).


An easy player.


The spots or marks on the face of a card.


Abbreviation for Pot-Limit.

Play Money

Playing for fun or fake money. Usually online poker sites have free games with play money. This allows players to practice without wagering real dollars. Most online casinos and online poker rooms have “play money” games.

Playing the Board

In holdem if the five board cards make up a better hand than the players hands. For example a flush with 5 higher ranked cards than the players hole cards, then the player is said to be “playing the board”.


Abbreviation for Pot Limit Omaha.

Pocket Pair

In holdem if you are dealt two hole cards of the same rank.

Pocket Rockets

The holdem starting hand Ace-Ace (AA).

Poker Hand

A group of five cards which are ranked according to the hand rankings.


Your seating position at the poker table is referred to as “position”. While your physical seat stays the same, your “position” changes with each hand. The dealer (player with the dealer button) has the best position because he/she acts last in the betting round, therefore the dealer can see all other players actions before deciding whether how to play the hand. Preflop the person to the left of the big blind, or after the flop the small blind are the worst positions as the player has to act first and does not get any chance to read the other players from their bets before putting money into the pot. This position is sometime called “under the gun”.

Pot Committed

When you have put so much money into a pot it is not worth folding to another small raise, even if you think you may have been beaten.

Pot Limit

A betting structure in which the maximum size bet is the size of the pot plus the amount you would bet if you reraised.

Pot Odds

This is the odds you are getting when you are drawing, without considering future bets. Basically, if you are drawing to hit your hand, you want to make sure there is enough money in the pot to justify drawing. The way you do this is you calculate your expected value of hitting your hand, which is called pot odds.
The simple mathematical formula for pot odds is:
(pot + bet) * (chance of hitting) >= bet
For example, say you have a flush draw of diamonds. You are fairly certain you will win if you hit the flush but will lose otherwise. Thus, there are 9 other diamonds out there (13 – your two, – two on board), so you have a roughly 20% chance of hitting a flush on the next card. If the pot is 90, and the bet is 10, you have odds with your flush draw.
(90 +10) *.20= 20
18>10, so you should call
However, lets say the pot is 10, you’re at the turn (one card left) and your opponent bets 40. So the pot is 50 (including his bet) and the bet is 40 to you.
(50 + 40) *.20= 18
18 < 40, so you should fold.


The stage of a holdem game when you have two cards in your hand and there are no cards on the board yet.


Prop is short for proposition player. A prop player is paid to play poker. The player plays hands with his own money but has each hand subsidized; receive a payment for playing a certain amount of hands or are paid an wage per hour to play. A lot of online poker rooms use propositional players to keep their games active.

Puppy Feet, Pups

A club flush or just a suit of clubs.


To divide half a pot between two tying hands in split pot games. This is Applicable to Omaha Hi-Lo Poker.


Four of a kind. Holding a set of four cards of the same rank.


In High-Low games, it is a requirement the Low hand must meet to win the pot.


A straight flush.

Quint Major

A royal straight flush.


The minimum number of players needed to start a poker game.

Rabbit Hunt

When you win a poker hand, your opponent sometimes wants to know if they would have beat you if they stayed in the hand. When your opponent is “rabbit hunting” they ask the dealer to deal the flop, turn or river cards to see what would have come out. Rabbit hunting is frowned upon when playing poker and banned from most tournaments.


“Rake” is how poker sites make their money, for example in tournaments – by taking a portion of cash for entry fees (e.g. a $100 tournament will cost $100+$10, with $10 being the ‘rake’ or ‘juice’ for the house. a poker. Similarly rake is taken from cash-game pots (generally only when a flop is seen).

A Rakeback deal is an arrangement whereby the poker room will pay to the player a significant portion of rake generated by a player in a specific period. To find out more about rakeback and how to get a good rakeback deal, read our poker rakeback guide.


Useless cards or cards that don’t improve your hand.


This describes a flop of all different suits, reducing the chance of a flush.


To make a bet larger than the previous bet, thus forcing the original bettor to call the difference or fold.


This is the fee the poker rooms charge players. It is usually a percentage of the pot. For example, online poker rooms take up to 10% as a fee for hosting the game. However, brick and mortar casinos will charge players an hourly rate instead of raking hands.


The number or letter on the card. Ace is the highest rank and 2 is the lowest. An Ace can also be used as a one (1) when creating a straight. Ranks are abbreviated as follows: A – Ace, K – King, Q – Queen, J – Jack, T – Ten, 9 – Nine, 8 – Eight, 7 – Seven, 6 – Six, 5 – Five, 4 – Four, 3 – Three, 2 – Two.


The fifth and last community board card, after the turn. Also called fifth street.


This is a nickname for a type of player who will fold a lot. These types of players generally break even. They fold most of their losers, but will not aggressively bet their winners and will thus not make much money. They are also easily bullied out of pots.


The holdem starting hand Ace-Ace (AA).


A rounder is a semi-pro or professional player who makes a living or a significant amount of their income from playing poker.

Route 66

The holdem starting hand Six-Six (66).

Royal Flush

The poker hand consisting of AKQJT of the same suit. The royal flush is the highest ranking poker hand possible, the Ace high straight flush.

Runner/Running (or “Runner Runner”)

A hand that is completed by catching both required cards on the turn and river. “I was all-in with top two pair, and my opponent caught a running flush”.


The holdem starting hand Four-Four (44). Pocket Fours.


Sandbagging is another term for slow-play. To check or bet weakly when you have a strong hand.


A mini-tournament to gain an entry into a larger tournament.


A player who plays with no sense. Example (all in with a 2,9)


Similar to the slow play or sandbagging, betting a very strong hand fairly lightly in order to induce a call.


A semi-bluff is when a player makes a bet with a hand that is currently weak but has the potential to become a very strong hand. A common example is when someone has a flush draw and makes a bet into the pot. The bettor hopes that the other players will fold, and he wil win the pot right there. However, even if the other players do not fold, he still has a good chance at improving and winning the pot anyway.


Three of a kind where a player has a pocket pair and gets a third with the community cards. Also see Trips.


A shark is a good player and typically wins. A shark generally “eats” fish, the weaker amatuer players.


A shill player is a who is paid by the house and plays with the house money.


This refers to a poker game with six or fewer people.

Short Stack

A number of chips that is not very many compared to the other players at the table. If you have $10 in front of you, and everybody else at the table has over $100, you are playing on a short stack.


A tournament with no rebuys. When you lose all your chips, you’re out. More usually called a freezeout or, in the case of a single table, a sit-and-go.


In a multi-way pot, a sidepot is created for other players if one player goes all-in. These other players bets and raises will go to the sidepot, and only the players that participated in the sidepot are eligible to win it.


Slowplaying is a great poker play, basically the opposite of bluffing. It means to check or bet weakly on a strong hand. The point of the slowplay is so your opponent can get a better hand but you know that your hand can not be beaten (the nuts). The purpose is to get more money into the pot by “bluffing” that you have nothing.

Small Blind

The smaller of the two forced bets preflop. The player to the left of the dealer posts the small blind.


The holdem starting hand Eight-Eight (88).

Speed Limit

The holdem starting hand Five-Five (55).


Throwing your chips into the pot is called “Splashing the pot” and is considered bad etiquette in poker.


The holdem starting hand of Seven-Ten (7T). Named after a ten pin bowling term “the dreaded 7-10 split” the pins on opposite sides of the pin deck.


An adjective describing chips. For example, “He has a massive stack”.


Re-raising to make a player(s) call two bets instead of one.

Steel The Blinds

Win just the blinds by bluffing; get the blinds to fold, usually by opening in late position, and thus win the blinds.

Stone Cold Nuts

The best holding possible in a hand of poker that will win the entire pot (as opposed to possibly winning only half or some fraction). Such an example would be holding a suited ace and making a flush with it on an unpaired board in holdem. This is in contrast to holding an ace high straight, which even though it may not possibly be beaten, could end up in a tie with another one.


A ‘straddle’ bet is a bet that can be made by the player to the left of the big blind, before the cards are dealt. It is simply like placing a third blind bet equivalent to or larger than the big blind, to encourage bigger pots. If straddles are specifically allowed or encouraged in the game being played, the player who made the straddle bet often will be given the option to raise after the blinds have acted. A straddle can also be known as a live blind or live raise.


A poker hand consisting of 5 cards in order of rank. For example, 45678.

Straight Flush

A poker hand consisting of 5 cards of the same suit and in order. A straight flush is a straight and a flush.

String Bet

In a live game, someone does a string bet if they act like they are going to call but then make a raise. For example, it is standard etiquette that putting the requisite chips for a call into the pot just means a call. If one wants to raise, he or she needs to announce raise before placing chips into the pot. They cannot say “I call your bet” … but then raise you; They must say “I raise.” String bets confuse players as to whether the player is calling or raising, so they are not allowed.


The portion of the deck which has not been dealt.


It means someone hit a draw against you to win the hand.

Suicide King

King of Hearts. So named because in the drawing the king appears to be stabbing himself in the head.


Spades, hearts, diamonds, or clubs. In holdem poker, no suit outranks another. A flush is the only hand that used suits.


Refers to a holdem starting hand with two cards of the same suit. Suited hands are slightly better than unsuited hands because there is a chance of a flush.

Sunset Strip

The holdem starting hand Seven-Seven (77).

Table Stakes

All poker games are played table stakes. This means one can only bet what one has in front of him on the table on any given hand. Players cannot reach into their pockets and add to their bets. If a player runs out of chips in front of him in the middle of a hand, he or she is considered all in.
In a no limit game, if you tap your opponent you are making a bet equal to all of his chips.

Tapping the Aquarium

To tell an amateur player what he/she is doing wrong.

Three of a Kind

A poker hand consisting of three cards of the same rank.

Three Wise Men

Three of a kind, with three kings.


Someone who does not play many hands.


Any player can go “on tilt”. Often when someone loses a big hand or has a good hand cracked (bad beat) it causes them to tilt. Tilt is when you play recklessly or emotionally based on previous hands, most often losses.


A slow-play that will entice your opponent to bet and stay in the pot, all the while you know you have an unbeatable hand.

Training (Poker Training)

Training in poker generally refers to poker training sites and courses, or poker tools, solvers and calculators.
Popular online poker-training sites over the years have included:

  • RunitOnce

View a breakdown of popular training sites and courses here.


The holdem starting hand Ace-Jack (AJ).


Three of a kind. Usually where the player has one of the cards in their hand and two on the board (eg a player has 8,3 and the flop is 8,8,4). Also see Set.


This is the fourth board card that comes out in holdem, the card after the flop.

Two Pair

Two pair is a poker hand consisting of two pairs.

Under the Gun

The position to the left of the big blind which acts first before board cards are dealt.


An underpair is a pocket pair that is smaller than any card on the board.


To make a small bet in the hope of drawing other players into the pot.


Any card that is dealt face up.


To chase or try to outdraw a better hand.


A Jack.

Village People

Four of a kind Queens.


A pot won by the last blind when no one opens.

Walking Sticks

The holdem starting hand Seven-Seven (77).


To Shuffle.

Wayne Gretzky

The holdem starting hand Nine-Nine (99).


A wheel is the poker hand A2345, the lowest possible straight.


To bet and raise aggressively on both sides of a calling player.

Wired Pair

A pair in your starting hand. Pocket Pair.

Wooden Hand

A hand that cannot improve or that cannot possibly win. Comes from deadwood, a term for the discards.


The holdem starting hand of Five-Ten (5T). Derived from the once-common nickname for Woolworth’s retail outlets: “five-and-ten cent stores”

World’s Fair

The nuts.


World Poker Tour


World Series of Poker


There are no X words yet.


$100; a $100 bill.


To raise.

Younger Hand

An archaic term for any player to the left of the eldest hand.

Youngest Hand

An archaic term for the player immediately to the right of the dealer.


The lowest stake game in the house.

Zilch, Zip

A hand consisting of no valuable or worthwhile cards; nothing.


A poker player with no tells; a player with an excellent poker face.

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