Poker Terminology Glossary

When you play poker, you’ll often be baffled by the different words and phrases used. That’s why we’ve come up with this comprehensive list of poker terminology, covering both table poker and video poker. So, when you hit the table or the slots, you’ll know exactly what all the other players are talking about!

Aces and Eights

A video poker variant, based on Jacks or Better, where there are bonus wins for quad Aces or Eights.

Aces and Faces

A video poker game based on Jacks or Better, where there are bonus wins for quad Aces or face cards (Jack, Queen, King).

All In

When a player bets all of their chips in a bet, therefore putting all of their chips at risk of being lost to an opposing player.

American Airlines

Another term used to describe a pair of aces in the hand.

Ante

At the beginning of every hand, players around the table will sometimes have to pay an ante, which is a small bet in order to start building the pot. It is not used as often as blinds, but is sometimes used in conjunction with them.

Average Payout

In video poker, the average amount of money you will win per £100 staked. For example, if the average payout is 98.5, you’ll win, on average, £98.50 per £100.

Bad Beat

When a player loses, even though they have a hand that would not usually be beaten. Bad beats also usually involve large amounts of money being lost, due to both players thinking that they are going to win.

Bankroll

The amount of money a player has in total on the whole site.

Bankroll Management

The practice of ensuring that a bankroll stays healthy, generally by playing games that do not put the bankroll under threat if the player does not win.

Blinds

Bets placed before the cards are dealt, usually by two players. One plays a small blind, while the other plays a big blind. Once the cards have been dealt, all other players will have to match the value of the big blind in order to continue.

Blocker Bet

A small bet used with the intention of stopping another player from making a larger bet. Often used by those looking to see the next card cheaply if they are trying to complete a straight or flush.

Bluff

A bet used to trick other players into thinking the bettor has a better hand than they really possess. It is made with the express purpose of the opponent folding – if they call, the bluffer will generally lose the hand.

Boat

Another term for a full house.

Bonus Video Poker

A video poker game that gives bonuses when certain hands are made.

Bounty

Some tournaments have bounties on each player. When they are knocked out, the player knocking them out receives a cash reward.

Bubble

The final unpaid position in a tournament. For example, if a tournament plays 1st to 10th places, 11th place would be the bubble.

Button

The button marking out which player is the dealer for the hand. It moves one place to the left every hand, and the player to the left of the button places the small blind. The next player places the big blind.

Call

When a player places money into the pot equal to the amount being asked. Placing more than asked would count as a raise.

Calling Station

A player who calls lots of bets, but does not usually make any raises. They are generally seen as weak players.

Cash Out

When a play leaves the table. Taken from brick and mortar casinos, where a player would swap their chips for cash before leaving the casino.

Check

When a players bets nothing, if they are allowed to do so. This can happen because the player is unsure of their hand, or they could be trying to check trap.

Check Trap

Deliberately checking in the hope that another player will make a bet, which is then called or raised in order to make even more money. Usually occurs when a player has a good hand but doesn’t think the opponent will call a bet, so they hope the opponent will perceive the check as weakness.

Chop

Another term for a split pot.

Community Cards

The cards dealt into the middle of the table, which can be used by all players in order to create the best hand in conjunction with their hole cards.

Connectors

Two hole cards that run sequentially, for example 8 and 9.

Continuation Bet

A bet made by the same player who made the first bet in the previous round of betting.

Cowboy

Another term for a king.

Credits

The amount of money available to play with in video poker.

Deal

When the hole cards are distributed to players at the beginning of a hand.

Deep Stack

When a player has a stack that is small compared to both the stakes and the rest of the players at the table.

Deuces Wild

A video poker game based on Jacks or Better, where the deuces are counted as wild cards and can therefore replace any other card to complete a hand.

Donk

A large bet made by a player who wasn’t the initial raiser in the previous round of betting. These are usually made by weak players, as most will wait for a continuation bet instead.

Double Bonus Video Poker

A video poker game based on Jacks or Better, where the player is given a bonus if they hit quad Aces.

Double Double Bonus Video Poker

A video poker game based on Jacks or Better, where the player is given a bonus if they hit a number of different quads.

Face Card

Either a jack, queen or king (cards that have “faces” on them).

Family Pot

When every single player calls the blinds and is still in the game when the flop is dealt.

Fish

A player deemed to be weak, and who other players can easily win money from. A common phrase says “If you can’t find the fish at the table, then it is you.”

Flop

Three community cards dealt after the first round of betting. They are then followed by another round of betting.

Four of a Kind

A hand where the player has four cards, all of the same value. Usually a very strong hand.

Flush

When a player makes a hand comprising of cards that are all the same suit.

Fold

When a player decides they don’t want to continue in the hand and therefore gives their cards back to the dealer.

Full House

When a player manages to have five cards comprising of two and three identical values. For example, two kings and three aces.

Gut Shot

When a player is waiting for a card to fill the middle of a straight. For example, when a player has 7, 8, 10, J, and they are waiting for a 9 to come down.

Heads Up

When only two players are seated at the table. Usually found at heads up ring games, or at the very end of a tournament or sit & go.

High Card

A hand that does not even have a pair, therefore meaning that the best the player has is a high card. The weakest hand in the game.

Hole Cards

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

H.O.R.S.E.

A variant of poker that has hands of Hold ‘Em, Omaha Hi-Lo, Razz, Seven Card Stud and Seven Card Stud Hi-Lo played one after the other.

Jackpot

The highest possible win in video poker, usually paid when a Royal Flush is hit.

Jacks or Better

The first type of video poker game, on which most other video poker games are based.

Kicker

The kicker is a hole card that does not form a vital part of the hand, but can be used when two or more players have the hand. For example, if one player has A8 and the other has AK, and the community cards are A 7 5 6 2, the player with AK wins. This is because they have the higher kicker.

Lady

Another term for a queen.

Limit

A game of poker whereby players are restricted to the amount of money they can bet.

Micro limit

Games that have incredibly small buy ins. These are perfect for new players looking to build a bankroll.

Muck

Another term meaning to fold.

No Limit

A game of poker whereby there is no limit to the amount a player bets.

Nuts

The nuts is the best possible hand that can be made from the community cards when they are added to the hole cards.

Open Ended Straight Draw

When a player has four consecutive cards and therefore needs one of two cards to complete it.

Outs

The different cards a player can hit in order to turn a losing hand into a winning one.

Pair

When a player makes a hand that has two cards that are the same value, for example two kings.

Pocket Pair

Two cards of the same value that are dealt as the hole cards.

Position

The place a player is sitting on the table.

Pot

All of the money that has been bet throughout the hand. Called the main pot when a side pot is in play. The winner of the hand will take the pot.

Pre Flop

The time in a game when the players have been dealt their hole cards, but the flop has not yet been dealt.

Progressive Jackpot

A jackpot that grows larger and larger as more people play the game. These jackpots can reach astronomical amounts, but reset once they are won.

Race

When two players are in an all-in situation and they both have around a 50% chance of winning the pot.

Rainbow Flop

When three different suits are dealt on the flop.

Raise

When a player places money in the pot higher than the amount they are required to. This amount then has to be called by other players in order for them to stay in the hand.

Rake

The percentage of the pot taken by the mobile poker site.

Random Number Generator

The machine used in video poker to ensure that all hands are dealt completely randomly.

River

The last community card dealt in a hand.

Rock

A solid player who rarely makes risky plays or bluffs.

Royal Flush

A flush made up of 10, J, Q, K, A. The strongest hand in the game of poker. Extremely rarely seen.

Semi Bluff

A bluff that still had a chance of winning, if the correct cards are dealt further along in the hand.

Shark

A good player who pretends to be a fish, so that they can then win more money later on in the game.

Short Stack

When a player has a stack that is small compared to both the stakes and the rest of the players at the table.

Side Pot

If one player is all in, but the other players want to keep raising, a side pit is created. This is separate to the main pot, and can’t be won by the all in player. More than one side pot can created in particularly action-packed hands.

Split Pot

When two players have hands with identical strength, the pot is split equally between them, unless there is another play with an even stronger hand.

Stack

The amount of chips a player has in front of them.

Steal

When a pot is won by bluffing.

Stud

Any game of poker that sees one or more of the hole cards being exposed, so other players can see.

Straight Flush

A flush made up of five consecutive cards (unless the consecutive cards make a royal flush). An extremely strong hand, rarely seen.

Suited Connectors

Two hole cards that run sequentially (for example, 5 and 6), that are also the same suit.

Tell

Something about a player that gives an insight to their hand. Common tells in mobile poker include chatting too much or taking a long time to act.

Texas Hold ‘Em

The most common type of poker. Players are dealt two hole cards, then have to make the best five card hand from their hole cards and five community cards.

Tilt

This is when a player enters an emotional state whereby they make rash decisions and play over aggressively. Usually brought on by losing a large pot and usually leads to them losing even more money.

Tournament

A tournament can comprise of 2 through to thousands of players, all competing for a set prize. This prize can be in the form of cash, or can be tickets to better tournaments. The latter are called satellite tournaments.

Trips

A hand that comprises of three cards of the same value. Short for “triplets”.

Turbo

A tournament whereby the blinds go up faster than usual, therefore meaning that the tournament is over quicker.

Turn

The fourth community card dealt.

Two Pair

A hand that comprises of two pairs of values. For example, two kings and two aces.

Under the Gun

The position that means the player is first to act in a round of betting.

Value Bet

This is a bet made specifically in order to get other players to call. They are usually made when a player thinks that a larger bet will not be called, as the opponent doesn’t have a particularly strong hand.

Whale

A player with enough money to effectively bankrupt a casino in one night. Famous examples include Kerry Packer and Bruce Willis. Online, it can refer to a player with a huge bankroll, able to take massive downswings.

 

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