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Poker Definitions - Poker Glossary

by Jesse Knight
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If you are new to poker, you might be having a hard time understanding some of the lingo being thrown around at the tables. Also, it will be tough to get through the strategy articles on Poker-Vibe without understanding some of the most common poker terms. To assist you in your growth as a player, we have compiled a list of poker definitions as a reference.

Ace - A card with a single spot to indicate it’s ranking as either the highest or lowest card in the deck.

Ace High - 1. A hand containing an ace but no pair or any other combination of value. 2. A term used to describe the rank of a straight or flush.

Act - To make a poker play when it is your turn. Plays include check, bet, call, raise, fold, bring in, complete, etc.

Action - 1. Used as an adjective to describe a game with lots of betting and raising: “It was an action game” (slang). 2. The wagering of money.

Action Card - A card that helps multiple players and produces a lot of betting and raising.

Action Only - An all-in wager which is not large enough to re-open the betting for someone who has already acted is referred to as action only (as opposed to a bet, which could be raised by someone who has already acted).

Action Player - A player who bets and raises a lot or is inclined to gamble.

Active Player - A player with a live hand.

Add-On - 1. A unit of tournament chips commonly purchased at the first break of re-buy tournaments. 2. The purchase of additional chips on top of the chips you already have.

Advertising - 1. The intentional use of misleading body language, verbal clues or betting in an attempt to deceive your opponent about the content of your hand. 2. Announcements by floorstaff or the board regarding open seating in shorthanded games.

Agent - A partner in cheating.

All Blue - A spade flush. Occasionally used to describe a club flush.

All-In - A wager of all of your chips.

Angle - 1. An unethically method of gaining a tactical advantage over another player. 2. An opportunity for profit in gambling.

Ante - A small amount of money used to seed the pot. Often used in the late stages of tournament play, or in ring games where blinds are not present.

Baby - 1. A small card. 2. A small completed hand, like a straight, flush or full house.

Back Door - 1. A draw that requires more than one card to complete. 2. Coming in for the minimum in late position is referred to as “Coming in the back door.”

Backer - One who bankrolls another player.

Bad Beat - A loss that was statistically unlikely to occur because your opponent had few outs.

Bait - A small or misleading bet or action intended to fool your opponent into calling or raising.

Bankroll - The total amount of funds a player has to play on.

Behind - Needing to improve to win the hand.

Bet - A wager of money or chips.

Bicycle - An ace to five straight. Also known as a wheel.

Big Blind - A blind wager used to seed the pot, usually to the left of the small blind.

Big Slick - A preflop holding of ace king in a holdem game.

Blank - A card that does not help to improve a hand.

Blind - A blind wager used to seed the pot, usually placed on or to the left of the dealer button in flop games.

Blind Off - 1. The process of continually taking someone’s blinds from their stack while they are away from the table. 2. The paying of blinds in a tournament without playing hands.

Blocker - One of your opponents outs, out of play because it is in a hand and not live in the deck.

Bluff - A wager with a hand that is unlikely to win if called.

Board - 1. The community cards in a flop game. 2. The up cards in a non-flop game.

Bottom End - The low end of a straight.

Bottom Pair - The smallest pair on the board in a flop game.

Box - 1. The area of the table that the dealer deals from. 2. A dealer’s tray.

Boxed Card - A card face up in the deck. By rule a boxed card is dead and disregarded, and replaced with the next card off the deck.

Break - 1. A rest period for players between tournament levels. 2. A rest period for dealers between dealer downs.

Breaking Stack - Getting involved in a hand for a portion of your stack.

Brick and Mortar - A physical card room or casino, rather than a virtual one.

Bring-In - A forced bet at the start of a non-flop game, based upon having the lowest or highest up card.

Brush - 1. A card room employee who assists players with seating, chips, etc. 2. The brush used to clean felt tables.

Bubble - Placement in a tournament just outside of the money.

Bug - A joker or other wild card.

Bullets - Pocket aces.

Burn - The top card which protects the deck between dealer actions. It is placed face down and discarded, so that the subsequent protected card can be delivered.

Busted - 1. Having no money to play on. 2. Being eliminated from a tournament.

Button - 1. A disk placed in front of the nominal dealer to indicate the order of action. 2. Any of a variety of buttons indicating the state of play.

Buy-In - 1. The minimum amount required to play in a certain game. 2. The portion of a tournament cost which goes into the prize pool.

Buy Short - An allowed buy –in or re-buy which is less than the established amount.

Buy the Button - The posting of all owed blinds by a player so that they may be dealt in and receive the button on the subsequent hand.

Buy the Pot - A bet large enough to win the pot without a caller, often a bluff.

C-Note - A $100 bill.

California Lowball - A draw game where the lowest five cards win. 5-4-3-2-A is the best hand.

Call - A matching of another player’s wager, for the right to continue in the hand.

Call the Clock - When a player is taking too long to act on his hand, another play may “call the clock.” This initiates a process where the floor staff or tournament director will give the offending player a time limit to act on his hand or have it be declared dead.

Calling Station - A player who does not throw many hands away, or who usually calls when it is their turn to act.

Cap - 1. A limit to the number of bets or amount of betting for a given situation. 2. A limit to a buy-in for a game.

Cards Speak - A rule which states that cards must be face up on the table in order to play. It implies that verbal declarations about the content of a hand are non-binding.

Case Card - 1. The last remaining card in the deck of a particular value. 2. The last remaining one of your outs.

Cash Game - A ring game. A game played with money or chips with cash value.

Cash Plays - A rule that states that players are not required to buy chips; that bills of a certain denomination will play.

Catch - 1. To receive a card that improves your hand. 2. To win with an underdog.

Catch Up - To win the pot or take the lead after trailing.

Catch Perfect - To catch up by receiving the only card or running cards that will produce a winner.

Center Pot - The main pot in a situation where there are one or more side pots.

Chase - 1. To take a draw when you know you are behind. 2. To take a draw with a slim chance of winning. 3. To take a draw without pot odds.

Check - To pass on betting when it is your turn to act.

Check Blind - To check the next betting round before it happens.

Check-Raise - To raise the pot after feigning weakness by checking.

Chip - A small clay or plastic marker indicating value, wagered in place of cash.

Chip Dumping - The intentional losing of chips to a friend or partner.

Chip Leader - The person with the most chips. Often used as a watermark for tournament players comparing stack size.

Chip Race - A method for eliminating smaller denomination chips from tournament play as levels increase. Smaller chips are converted to larger chips. Each player receives one card for each smaller denomination chip possessed. Larger chips are distributed based upon card rankings.

Chip Up - 1. A more simple method than racing for eliminating smaller denomination chips from tournament play. Each player with fractional value is awarded the new minimum chip in play. 2. To convert from smaller denomination chips to larger.

Chop - To split a pot.

Chop the Blinds - When only the blinds remain preflop, they can elect to chop (take their postings back), and go on to the next hand.

Club - One of the two black suits.

Cold Deck - A deck intentionally rigged for certain players to lose.

Collection - The house drop or rake.

Collusion - A cheating conspiracy between two or more players.

Color Change - To change the value of your chips to a lower or higher denomination.

Color Up - To change the value of your chips to a higher denomination.

Come Bet - A bet on a draw, based on the belief your key card will likely come.

Community Cards - The cards on the board in a flop game, which all active players share.

Completed Hand - A hand where the draw has been made. Usually refers to a straight, flush, or full house.

Completion - The act of increasing the minimum bring in to the full size of the bet. Used primarily in stud games. Although it is an increased wager, it is technically not a raise.

Connectors - Cards of adjoining rank.

Continuation Bet - A bet made by the same player, after betting the previous betting round.

Counterfeit - 1. An Omaha hi-lo term used when a low card hitting the board compromises a made low. 2. A fake bill or chip.

Cowboys - Pocket kings.

Crack - To beat a stronger hand.

Crazy Pineapple - A poker game derived from Holdem. Instead of two cards, each player is dealt three cards. One card must be discarded after the flop betting, before the turn is delivered. Often played as a high-low game.

Cripple the Deck - The elimination of opponents outs, often through discarding. Used mostly in draw games.

Crying Call - A borderline call.

Cut - 1. To randomly split the deck after shuffling. 2. A percentage of a pot or winning bet taken for some purpose.

Cutoff Position - The seat to the right of the dealer button.

Dark - 1. A poker room with no games going. 2. A declared intent to act before the betting round begins.

Dead Blind - A blind posting that is not credited toward the required amount to call, usually used when blinds are being made up.

Dead Button - A dealer button that does not move because a player in the blinds has left or been eliminated from tournament play.

Dead Man’s Hand - 1. Aces and eights. 2. The five card draw hand Wild Bill Hickok was holding when he was shot and killed, aces and eights with a king.

Dead Money - Money put into a poker game or tournament by a player who plays poorly and has almost no chance to win.

Deal - 1. The act of distributing cards during a poker hand. 2. A financial agreement made by remaining tournament players.

Deal Off - The act of playing your dealer button before taking a seat change.

Deal Twice - A type of optional insurance used by players in higher limit games. The pot is split in half and two turn or river cards are delivered instead of one. This makes a draw twice as likely to win half as much. It is a way for players to cut down their variance.

Dealer - 1. The person who distributes the cards. 2. The button that indicates the order of action in flop games.

Dealer’s Choice - A poker game where the types of games played are chosen periodically by the players or dealer.

Declare - A stated intention to go either high or low, required in some hi-lo split games.

Deuce - A two.

Deuce to Seven - A type of lowball where straights and flushes are counted as high hands. Also known as Kansas City Lowball, the best hand is 7-5-4-3-2.

Diamond - One of the two red suits.

Discard - The cards thrown away before a draw.

Dog - Short for underdog, a hand that is not a favorite to win.

Donk - Short for donkey. Used primarily online.

Donkey - A stupid player.

Door Card - The first up card in a stud game.

Double Bet - Normally, in a structured seven card stud (high only) game, the fourth street bet is a small bet and the fifth street bet is a big bet. When a player receives an “open” pair on fourth street, all players will have the option of making the big bet on fourth street, a round early. This is referred to as a double bet.

Double Draw - A draw game with two draws and an extra round of betting.

Double Gutshot - A straight draw with two ways to hit a gutshot.

Double Through - To double your chips by getting them all in against a single opponent and winning.

Double Up - To double your chips by winning a hand.

Down Card - The unexposed cards in a stud game.

Draw - The act of discarding and receiving new cards.

Draw Poker - A type of poker game where players discard periodically and receive new cards.

Drawing Dead - Continuing to play with no outs remaining.

Drawing Live - Continuing to play with at least one out remaining.

Drawing Slim - Continuing to play with few outs remaining.

Drop - 1. The house collection or rake. 2. To fold.

Dry Ace - The ace required to complete a nut flush, without the accompanying suited card also required. It presents a bluffing opportunity for Omaha or Holdem games.

Dry Pot - A small side pot not worth betting at, created when a player goes all in.

Early Position - Position in a flop game, relative to the dealer button, that requires you to act before most of the other players in the game.

Edge - An advantage over another player.

Eight or Better - The description of a low qualifier in a stud or Omaha game. Cards must have values of eight or less in order to be considered for low.

Equity - The value of your long term return, based upon your position in the pot. It can be positive or negative.

Etiquette - Unwritten rules or social norms to follow while playing.

Expectation, Expected Value - Similar to equity, the value of your long term return for a given situation. Also referred to as EV or ev. (article on expectation)

Exposed Card - A card accidentally turned face up.

Face Card - Any king, queen or jack.

False Shuffle - A shuffle that appears legitimate, but is not because the cards are not distributed randomly.

Family Pot - A pot where nobody has mucked.

Fast - A style of play that includes a lot of betting and raising.

Favorite - A hand that is in the lead or likely to win.

Feeder Game - The game that feeds the main game in a must move situation.

Feeler Bet - A small bet made to gauge your opponents reaction and evaluate their hand strength.

Felt - The soft material used to cover a poker table.

Fifth Street - The fifth card delivered, or the third round of betting in a stud game.

Fill Up - To complete a full house.

Final Table - The last table of players left in a tournament.

Fish - A player who is easy to beat.

Five Card Stud - A stud game played with five cards instead of seven.

Fixed Limit - A game where the betting amounts are predetermined and fixed.

Flat Call - To call when the opportunity to raise is present.

Floor - 1. The area of the poker room or casino where the games are spread.
2. Short for floorman or floorperson, the administrator responsible for running the game.

Flop - The first three community cards dealt in a flop game.

Flop Game - A type of poker game that uses community cards. Holdem and Omaha are examples.

Flush - A poker hand with five cards of the same suit. It beats a straight and loses to a full house, except in Mexican Stud poker where it beats a full house and loses to four of a kind.

Fold - To throw your hand away when facing a bet or raise.

Fold Equity - The long term return you receive by folding rather than calling, in a situation where pot odds are negative.

Forced Bet - A bet that you are required to make, like an ante, blind, or bring in.

Forced Move - A move from a “must move” game into the main game that is not optional.

Forward Motion - A motion toward the center of the table, by a player with chips in hand. Many casinos require you to bet if you have made this motion.

Fouled Hand - A hand that has been declared dead for any number of reasons, including, but not limited to, hitting the muck, containing too many or too few cards, containing cards that are not identifiable as the players, etc.

Four Flush - A flush draw that has missed or not been completed yet. Four of the five cards necessary for a flush.

Four of a Kind - A poker hand containing all of the four same valued cards in the deck. Beats a full house and loses to a straight flush.

Four to a Straight - Four of the five cards necessary to make a straight.

Fourth Street - The fourth card or second round of betting in a seven card stud game.

Free Card - A card delivered with no betting because all players checked on that betting round.

Free Ride - The rest of the hand delivered with no betting.

Freeroll - 1. A tournament with no buy-in. 2. A situation where two (or more) hands are tied, but one of those hands has outs to beat the other player.

Freezeout - A tournament where each table plays down to one person, then the table winners play off for the prize money.

Freeze Out - To raise with the intention of thinning the field.

Full Boat - A full house.

Full House - A five card poker hand consisting of three of a kind plus a pair. Beats a flush and loses to four of a kind.

Gap - The sequential space between non-sequential cards.

Grinder - One who plays middle and low limit poker for a living.

Gutshot - A straight draw with only 4 outs.

Gypsy - To limp into a pot.

Half Bet Rule - A rule that states that an all in bet must be fifty percent or greater of the bet amount in order to reopen closed betting.

Hand - 1. One complete poker contest, from shuffle to shuffle.2. An individual player’s cards.

Hand-for-Hand - A rule that requires tournament tables to synchronize their hands as they approach the money.

Hand History - A log of the actions taken during a particular hand in an online poker game.

Heads Up - A one on one poker game.

Heart - One of the two red suits in a deck of cards.

Help - A card that improves your hand.

Hi-Lo - An abbreviation often used for high-low games (h/l is also used).

High Hand - 1. The hand that wins the high side of the pot in a split game. 2. A promotion run by card rooms awarding cash to the best hand made.

High Card - The cards of greatest rank, usually ace, king, queen.

High Low Split - A type of poker game where half the pot is awarded to the high hand and half the pot is awarded to a qualifying low hand.

Hit and Run - The practice of playing only a few hands, winning, and then quitting the game.

Hit the Flop - When you flop a good hand, you “hit the flop.”

Hold’em - A type of poker game with two hole cards and five community cards.

Hole Cards - 1. The non-community cards which comprise your hand in a flop game.2. Your down cards in a stud game.

Home Game - A game that takes place in a private residence.

Hook - A jack.

Horse - A player put in by a backer.

H.O.R.S.E - Acronym for a mix game comprised of Holdem, Omaha, Razz, Seven Card Stud, and Eight or Better Stud (hi-lo).

House - A gambling establishment.

Idiot End - The low end of a straight or straight draw.

Implied Pot Odds, Implied Odds - Pot odds that take into account future events which are likely to occur.

Improve - To achieve a higher hand ranking.

In Between - The seat between two raising players.

In the Air - Cards that are being dealt are “in the air.” Often used to signal the start of a tournament.

In the Money - A tournament placement high enough to receive prize money.

In Turn - Describes an action made at the appropriate time.

Inside Straight - A completed gut shot straight draw.

Insurance - An agreement between players to split the pot or run the cards twice.

Isolate - To raise intending to get heads up with the bettor.

Jack It Up - To raise the pot.

Jackpot - A cash prize awarded to poker players.

Jam - To give a lot of action.

Joker - A non sequential card often added to the deck as a wild card.

Juice - Money collected as a fee for the house.

Kansas City Lowball - Also known as Deuce to Seven Lowball. Straights and flushes count as high. The best possible hand is 2-3-4-5-7.

Key Card - The card that improves or completes your hand.

Kibitzer - A person not playing in the game, who comments, often inappropriately, about strategy or hand possibilities.

Kicker - A Hold'em term for the highest unpaired hole card.

Kill Button - A two sided disk that reads “leg up” or “no kill” on one side and “kill” on the other. Used in kill games.

Kill Game - A type of game where the stakes double periodically when certain conditions are met. A common qualifying condition is that the same player must win two pots in a row for holdem games, or scoop a pot of a certain size in Omaha games. In a half-kill game the stakes increase by fifty percent when qualifying conditions are met.

Kill Pot - A pot in a kill game that has qualified to have the stakes doubled.

Kitty - 1. A fund derived from cutting the pot.2. The antes or blinds.

Knave - A jack.

Knock - To indicate that you are checking by rapping the table with your fist.

Lay Down - To throw your hand away.

Lay Odds - To give better than even money odds on a bet.

Lead - 1. To bet first after the flop. 2. To be ahead on a hand.

Leak - A bad habit that costs you money.

Leg Up - The fulfillment of the first of the two necessary conditions for a kill pot.

Leg Up Button - A plastic disk indicating that the player who possesses it has a leg up.

Lid - The cap or limit for betting.

Light - A bet, pot, or buy-in that is short of the proper amount.

Limit - The maximum bet amount allowed.

Limit Poker - A type of game where the betting is structured, and amounts of bets are set.

Limp In - To enter a pot without raising.

Live Action - A cash or ring game.

Live Bet - A bet waiting to be acted upon.

Live Cards - Cards that are still in the deck and therefore have the potential to come.

Live Game - 1. A ring or cash game.2. A game with a lot of action.

Live Hand - A hand that is eligible to win the pot.

Lo - An abbreviation for “low” in a high-low split game.

Lock - A hand that is sure to win.

Lock Up - To reserve an open seat in a poker game.

Look Up - To call another player’s last bet.

Loose - A style of play where many hands are played and few are mucked.

Loose Aggressive - A style of play where many hands are played, and raising is frequent. (read more about LAG strategy)

Loose Passive - A style of play where many hands are played, and calling is frequent.

Low - 1. A card of low ranking or value. 2. A qualifying low hand in a high-low split game.

Lowball - A draw game where the lowest hand wins.

Made Hand - A completed hand, as opposed to a draw.

Main Pot - The center pot, in a situation where side pots occur.

Maniac - An overly aggressive player.

Marker - A short term loan given by casinos to creditworthy customers.

Match - To call a bet of a stack of ships with an equal stack.

Mechanic - A person, often a dealer, who can discreetly manipulate the deck without the other players noticing.

Mexican Stud Poker (Mexican Poker)- A type of five card stud.

Micro-Limit - A game smaller than low limit. A game with bets of less than $1.

Misdeal - A hand that has be invalidated during the deal because of a rule violation.

Miss - To fail to make a draw.

Missed Blind Button - A button indicating that the player who has it owes blinds.

Mississippi Straddle - A straddle bet placed on the button.

Move-In - To go all in.

Muck - 1. The pile of discards.2. To throw your hand away.

Natural - A completed hand that does not contain wild cards.

No-Limit - A type of game where the betting is not structured, and any player may bet any amount from the big blind on up, at any time.

Nuts - The best possible hand.

Odds - The probability an event will occur.

Off-Suit - Cards of different suits.

Omaha - A flop type game where every player may use only two of the four cards from their hand and three of the five cards from the board. Often played as a high-low game.

On the Rail - Slang for being broke, or out of action.

One Eyed Jack - The jack of hearts or the jack of spades.

Open - To start the betting.

Open Ended Straight Draw - A straight draw that consists of four consecutive cards, and can be completed by drawing a fifth consecutive card on either end.

Open Cards - Cards that have been laid face of on the table.

Openers - A hand that opens the betting (because it is large enough) in jacks or better draw poker.

Option - When blinds are posted, the player will have the option to check or raise when it is their turn to act.

Outs - The cards you can catch that will cause you to win the hand.

Overcall - A call after others have called in front of you.

Over Card - A card of higher rank than any on the board.

Over Pair - A pair higher than any card on the board.

Overs - Sometimes a card room will not have a game of a high enough limit to satisfy all of their customers, and will offer “overs” play. Players who agree to play “overs” agree that the stakes will rise when only “overs” players remain in the hand.

Overs Button - A plastic disk indicating that the player who possesses it is an "overs" player.

Paint - Any face card.

Pair - Two cards of identical rank.

Pan - Short for panguingue.

Panguingue - A card game similar to gin-rummy, found in some card clubs.

Partners - A two person cheating team.

Pass - To pass the betting, or to check.

Passive - A style of play that includes a lot of checking.

Pat Hand - Used for draw games. A complete hand that does not require any cards drawn.

Pay Off - A call you make even though you strongly suspect you will lose.

Penny Ante - Very small stakes poker.

Perfect - In lowball, hands are often called by the worst card in the hand. 7-5-4-3-A would be a “7.” A “perfect 7” would be 7-4-3-2-A, because it beats any other 7 low hand. So a perfect hand is four nut low cards with a higher card (5-4-3-2-A is referred to as “a wheel” not a “perfect 5”). A perfect hand is also called a “smooth hand.”

Pick-Up - 1. To win money.2. To acquire a draw midway through a hand.

Picture Card - A faces card.

Pineapple - A poker game derived from Holdem. Players are dealt three cards instead of two, but must discard one after they see the flop.

Play At - To raise or bet without a hand because you believe your opponent is bluffing.

Play the Board - A situation in some flop games where none of your hole cards play, and therefore you must make your five card hand from the five community cards on the board.

Pocket Pair - A pair dealt to you in your first two cards.

Poker Face - A stony countenance adopted by players to prevent transmitting tells about their hand.

Position - A player’s placement in the betting order.

Position Bet - A bet made only because the player who acted before you had checked.

Post - To put up owed blind money.

Post Dead - To put up owed blind money that does not count toward your call.

Pot - The money that player’s are competing for on a given hand.

Pot Committed - Being forced to call because the size of the pot justifies it.

Pot Limit - A type of poker game where players can bet up to the amount that is in the pot.

Pot Odds - The odds you are getting when you compare the size of the pot to the size of the bet.

Price - The long term cost or benefit of a call, considering pot or implied odds. If a $6 call nets you $10 in the long run, you got the right price. If a $6 call nets you $4 in the long run, you got the wrong price.

Prop - Short for proposition player.

Proposition Player - A player hired by the house to start games and fill short games. (see link above for more info)

Protection - Betting or raising that thins the field, and improves your chance of winning.

Put On - When you guess what your opponent has, you “put” them on a hand.

Quads - Slang for four of a kind.

Qualifier - The highest ranking card which will be considered for low, often 8.

Quarter - One fourth of the pot, usually occurs in high-low games.

Rabbit Hunting - The act of looking through the deck for future cards after the hand has ended. It is against the rules in most card rooms.

Rack - 1. A unit of 100 chips. 2. A plastic chip holder that hold 100 chips.

Rag - A small card of little or no value.

Rail - A standing room area from where the games can be viewed.

Railbird - Derogatory term for a player who is always broke, or rarely in action.

Rainbow - A series of mixed suit cards, with no flush draw.

Raise - To increase the current wager.

Rake - The house collection.

Rakeback - A deal offered by some online card rooms to redeposit a percentage of a player’s total rake back into their poker account.

Rank - The value of a card relative to the other cards in the deck.

Rathole - To sneak money of the table in a table stakes game.

Razz - A variation of seven card stud, where the lowest hand wins.

Rebuy - To buy in again to a ring game or tournament that you have already been playing in.

Redraw - Occurs when a completed hand has a draw to a better hand.

Represent - To play as if you have a hand you do not, in hopes of convincing your opponent.

Reraise - To raise a pot that has already been raised.

Restricted Buy-In - A type of poker game with a maximum buy in.

Riffle - The act of meshing the cards during the shuffle.

Ring Game - A cash game.

River - The final card delivered in a poker hand.

Rivered - To lose the pot on the final card.

Rock - A conservative player who only plays strong hands.

Roll - Short for bankroll. The funds a player has available to play on.

Rolled Up - To have three of a kind on the first three cards in a stud game.

Rounder - A person who plays cash games for a living.

Runner Runner - A long shot two card draw.

Running Downhill - Slang for winning many hands in a short period of time.

Rush - Slang for winning a lot of money in a short period of time.

Sandbaggging - Feigning weakness when you are strong, usually to make a move later in the hand.

Satellite - A one table tournament awarding satellite chips or a buy-in to a larger tournament.

Satellite Chip - A chip won in a satellite, only valid for tournament buy-ins or entry fees.

Sawbuck - A ten dollar bill.

Scare Card - A card that could easily beat what was previously a strong hand.

Scoop - To win the whole pot in a split game.

Second Pair - The pair on the board below top pair.

Semi-Bluff - To attempt a bluff with a hand that still has drawing power if you are called.

Set - Three of a kind, usually with two of the cards concealed.

Set Up - A cardboard box with two decks of cards in it, used by most casinos so that the dealer my switch decks without a delay in the action.

Seven Card Stud - A type of poker game where players are dealt seven cards, from which they must make their best five card hand.

Shark - A player who plays very well.

Shill - A player who works for the house. A shill is similar to a proposition player, but proposition players play with their own money, and shills play with house money. Most poker clubs no longer employ shills, preferring proposition players that do not expose the club to financial risk.

Shootout - A tournament formatted so that each table plays down to one player, and then the table winners play off for the prize money. Also called a freezeout.

Short Buy - A buy-in short of the required minimum amount, allowed by some casinos in certain situations.

Short Stack - A small amount of chips.

Short Handed - A game with only a few players, and several open seats.

Showdown - The point at the end of the hand when players show their hands.

Show One Show All - Rules in many casinos that states that if you show any player a concealed card, you must show it to all players in the game.

Side Action - Bets made during the course of the game that are separate from the money in the pot.

Side Pot - A separate pot created when a player goes all in. Only players with money left are eligible to win the side pot.

Signals - Signs used by cheaters to communicate.

Sit and Go - The online term for a one table tournament or satellite.

Slow Play - To check or call with a strong hand with the intent of raising later in the hand.

Slow Roll - To delay showing the winning hand, until after your opponent shows their hand and believes they have won the pot. Many players consider this action highly offensive.

Small Blind - The smaller of two forced bets made to seed the pot in a flop game.

Smooth Call - To call with a hand you could have raised with.

Snap - To beat a better starting or made hand.

Snow - A bluff, often in lowball games.

Soft Play - To intentionally avoid betting or raising with the best hand, in an effort to take it easy on another player.

Spade - One of the two black suits.

Splash the Pot - To throw chips directly into the pot so that they can not be counted.

Split Pot - A pot with multiple winners.

Split Pair - In a stud game, a pair with one card up and one card down.

Spread Limit - A type of game where players may bet any amount within a designated range.

Stack - 1. All of your chips in a ring game or tournament. 2. A pile of an indeterminate amount of chips. 3. A unit of 20 chips.

Stakes - The betting limits that define the size of the game.

Stand Pat - To draw no cards.

Starting Hand - The portion of your hand delivered prior to the first round of betting.

Steal - To raise hoping your opponent will muck.

Straddle - An optional additional blind bet allowed by some casinos, usually double the big blind, which gets the last option to raise before the flop.

Straight - A hand comprised of five sequential cards. Beats three of a kind and loses to a flush.

Straight Flush - A hand comprised of five sequential suited cards. Beats four of a kind and loses to a royal flush.

String Bet - A bet or raise in which the player does not put all of the chips into the pot in one clearly defined motion, but rather makes multiple separate motions toward the pot. In many casinos this type of bet is not allowed.

Structured Bet - A bet required to be a specific size.

Stub - The cards that remain in the deck after the deal.

Stud - A type of poker game where players receive both unexposed and exposed cards.

Suited - Cards which display the same suit.

Suited Connectors - Holdem hole cards which display the same suit, and are sequential.

Super Satellite - A multiple table tournament in which seats are awarded to a high buy-in event.

Table Change - A player request to go to a different table of the same game and limit.

Table Stakes - A rule that states that money must be on the table in order to play, and all money on the table plays. Players may not bet more than they have in front of them, buy in the middle of a hand, or remove chips from the table. Table stakes apply in most casino ring games.

Table Talk - Inappropriate discussion about strategy or speculation on hand content that takes place during the play of the hand.

Take the Lead - To begin betting a hand before someone else does.

Tell - An unconscious habit or action that gives away your hand strength to your opponent.

Texas Hold’em - A flop type of poker game where each player is dealt two hole cards, and five community cards are placed face up on the board. Players must use these seven cards to make their best five card hand.

Third Man Walking - A rule in some casinos that states that if two players are away from the game, a third player may not get up also, or he will have his chips picked up and be replaced by another player. The rule is designed to keep shorthanded games from falling apart and breaking.

Thirty Miles - Three tens. Short for “thirty miles of railroad track.”

Three of a Kind - Three cards of the same rank.

Three Pair - A hand with three separate pairs. In most games only the best two will play.

Ticket - Slang for a playing card.

Tight - A style of play where only a few strong hands are played.

Tilt - A psychological response to losing that causes some players to play more poorly than they otherwise would.

Time - A request by a player for additional time to consider his hand.

Time Collection - A method of collecting fees for the house. A predetermined amount is collected from each player every half hour, rather than raking each hand. This method of collection is typically used in higher limit games.

To Go - The amount required to call.

Toke - A tip for a casino employee.

Top Kicker - The highest kicker possible.

Top Pair - A pair of the highest card on the board.

Top Two - The highest two pairs on the board.

Tough - A player who is difficult to beat.

Trey - A three.

Trips - Three of a kind.

Turn - The card delivered after the flop but before the river.

Two Way Hand - 1. A high-low hand that has potential to win both the high and the low. 2. Any hand that has a reasonable chance of being completed in more than one way.

Under the Gun - The seat immediately to the left of the big blind.

Underdog - A hand that is more likely to lose than win.

Up Card - An exposed card in a stud game.

Up the Ante - To increase the stakes.

Value Bet - A marginal bet that will yield a small profit in the long run.

Variance - The short term financial ups and downs you will go through based upon your playing style and ability.

Vigorish (Vig) - The house fee for taking a bet. Used primarily in sports betting.

Wake Up - To receive a big hand after a period of inactivity.

Walk - 1. To take a break from the game. 2. An uncontested pot won by the big blind or opener.

Wash - To scramble the cards before shuffling.

Weak Ace - An ace with a bad kicker.

Wheel - An ace to five straight. In Kansas City lowball 7-5-4-3-2 is called a wheel because it is the nut low.

Whipsaw - Two players raising on both sides of a calling player.

Wild Card - A card which can be played as any card of the players choosing.

Window - 1. The first card visible on the flop. 2. The door card in a stud game.

Wire - A set, or three of a kind.

Wrap - A straight draw in an Omaha game with at least 13 outs.

WSOP - Abbreviation for World Series of Poker. Held annually in June at The Rio in Las Vegas.

Now that you have read our poker dictionary and learned some of the most common poker terms, you should have an easier time understanding some of the conversation you will hear in poker rooms or see in an online chat window. There are plenty of strategy articles linked on the left to help you maximize your winnings once you get started.

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