Poker Lingo


Common Poker Terms

 

Aces Up: A pair of Aces with any other pair.

Action: Betting or raising.

Advertising: Bluffing with a poor hand or raising with a big hand and showing it after no one calls.

Ajax: Ace-Jack

All-In: Betting all of your chips.

All Pink: A flush containing either diamonds or hearts.

American Airlines: A pair of aces.

Anna Kournikova: Slang for Ace/King.  (Due to the initials AK and because it looks so good and so rarely plays up to expectations.)

Ante: A prescribed amount posted before the start of a hand by all players.

Back Door Flush or Straight: A drawing hand that requires a player to hit two running cards on 4th and 5th street.  (Ex: You have two diamonds in your hand and there is one on the flop.  You have a "back door" flush draw.  If you hit running diamonds on the turn and the river, you made your back door flush.)

Bad Beat: To have a strong hand beaten by a hand that had a low percentage chance to win.

The Beast: Three sixes.

Belly Buster: An inside straight draw. Also called a "gutshot."

Bet: To place a wager.

Betting Pattern: The tendencies of a particular player to act in certain ways in specific  situations.

Big Blind: The larger of the two required pre-flop bets, used to force action.

Big Slick: Ace-King in the hole.

Blank: A card that has little or no chance of being valuable to anyone in a hand.

Blind: A required bet made prior to the dealing of the cards.

Bluff: A bet or a raise with a hand that has little or no chance to beat the other players should they call your bet.

Board: In Texas Hold'em the board is the set of five community cards which are dealt face up on the table.

Boat: A full house.

Bobtail: An open ended straight. Four cards of consecutive rank that will make a straight with the addition of one higher or lower card.

Bottom Pair: Pairing the lowest value card on the board. For example if board is 6,10,K and you have a six in the hole but no 10 or K, you have bottom pair.

Brokeback Mountain: Slang for a pair of Queens.

Bull: An Ace.

Bullet: An Ace. Aces in the hole are often preferred to as "bullets".

Button: The player who is in the designated dealer position for the duration of a hand is said to be "on the button" This player has a positional advantage as he will act last on each betting round. The term "button" arose from the round button-like disk used to designate this player in casino games.

Buy-in: The minimum amount of money required to initially enter a poker game.

Call: To equal a previous bet without raising.

Calling Station: A player who often calls but seldom raises making him impossible to bluff but easy to beat with good cards.

Capped: In limit poker this term describes the situation when the maximum number of raises allowed on a single betting round has been reached.

Chase or chasing: To continue with a hand that is probably not winning in an attempt to improve to a winner.

Check: To waive the right to initiate the betting in a round, but to retain the right to act if another player bets.

Check-raise: To waive the right to bet until a bet has been made by an opponent, and then to increase the bet by at least an equal amount when it is your turn to act.

Cheese: An extremely poor starting hand.

Cold Call: To call a previous bet or multiple bets on the first round.

Cold deck: Used to refer to a deck that a player feels is not yielding an average number of playable hands.

Community Cards: The cards dealt face-up in the center of the table that can be used by all players, in combination with their own cards, to form the best possible hand.

Cowboys: A pair of Kings

Crabs: A pair of threes.

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Dead Man's Hand: A-8. Wild Bill Hickock was fatally shot during a draw poker game while holding two pair, black aces and black eights.

Dead Money: The money in a pot that was bet by a player who has folded.

Deal: To give each player cards or put cards on the board.

Deck: A standard set of 52 playing cards plus the joker if it is used in the game.

Deuce: A two.

Dog: A hand or player that is not favored to win the pot.

Down to the Felt: All in or having very few chips.

The "Doyle Brunson": 10-2. Doyle Brunson won consecutive World Series' of Poker holding the 10-2 on the final hand of the game each year.

Drawing Dead: A hand that cannot win because someone already holds a hand that will beat the highest hand it can possibly make.

Drawing Hand: A hand that will need additional cards to become a complete hand, such as AK.

Draw Out: To improve your hand to a winner by drawing a card you needed on the turn or river when the hand was losing up to that point.

Dominated Hand: In Texas Hold'em a hand that has less than 25% chance to win preflop.  It is usually used in reference to two hands that share one card.  For instance, Ace/King dominates Ace/Jack.

Ducks: Deuces.

Early Position: A position in which you must act before most of the the other players in a round. Early position is a disadvantage in Texas Hold'em.

Face Cards: Aces, Kings, queens, and jacks.

Family Pot: A pot which involves nearly all the players at the table.

Fifth Street: In Texas Hold'em the last community card dealt. The river.

Fishooks: A pair of jacks.

Fixed Limit: In limit poker, any betting structure in which the amount of the bet on each particular round is predetermined and may not be exceeded.

Flat Tire: A hand that needs a Jack to improve.

Floor Person: A card room employee who may be called to make a ruling on a given hand or to handle complaints about player behavior.

Flop: The first three community cards dealt together face up on the table in Texas Hold'em.

Flush: A poker hand consisting of five cards of the same suit.

Fold: To surrender your interest in a pot by releasing your cards to the dealer.

Forty Miles: Four Tens.

Four Flush: Four suited cards that will become a flush if one more card of that suit is drawn or dealt to the board.

Fourth Street: In Texas Hold'em the fourth of five community cards, on the betting round following the flop.

Free Card: A card which is dealt after all active players checked, therefore requiring no further investment in the pot.

Freeroll: A chance to win something without any required investment before the game or tournament.

Full House: A hand consisting of three of a kind and a pair.

Grand Jury: 4-4-4.

Heads-up Play: A game involving only two players who play against each other.

Hollywood: Pretending that you are making a difficult decision when you already know what you are going to do.

Jamming: A lot of players raising and re-raising are said to be jamming a pot.

Jay Birds: Jacks.

Kicker: An unpaired card that helps determine the value of a five-card poker hand when the opponents are otherwise tied.

King Kong: A pair of Kings.

Kojak: King-Jack.

Ladies: Queens.

Late Position: A position in which you act after most of the other players during a round, an advantageous position in Texas Hold'em.

Leak: A flaw in a players playing strategy that is causing him to lose money.

Leather Ass: The patience to wait on playable cards or winning situations to bet.

Limp In: In Texas Hold'em to call the blind on the opening betting round without raising.

Live One: A poor player who usually loses rapidly.

Loose: Not being selective about the quality of hands you are willing to play.

Loose Game: A game including a lot of players willing to play hands that have a low chance of winning.

Low-Limit: A poker game with a betting structure that is affordable to the average player.

Middle Pair: Pairing the second highest card on the flop.

Middle Position: A position in which you act before and after an equal, or close to equal number of players.

Missed Blind: Not posting the required pre-flop bet when it is your turn to post it.

Missed the Flop: Your hand did not improve on the flop.

Motown: Jacks and fives.

Move In: To bet all the chips you have in front of you in a no-limit Hold'em game.

Muck: The folded cards placed in a pile during a hand.

Mullets: A pair of 7's.

No-Limit: A betting structure where players are allowed to wager any or all of their chips in a single bet at any time.

Nuts: In Texas Hold'em the absolute best possible hand that can be made with the community cards present and two additional cards. An unbeatable hand.

Off-Suit: Used to describe cards that are not suited.

Open: To make the first bet other than the required antes or blinds.

Open ended straight: Four cards of consecutive rank that will make a straight with the addition of one higher or lower card such as 4-5-6-7. Either a 3 or an 8 will complete the straight, therefore it is open ended.

Option: The choice given to the blind player on the first betting round to raise if he desires.

Out and Out Bluff: An attempt to steal the pot with a hand that has little chance to win if called.

Outs: The cards or number of cards that will improve a hand to a likely winner.

Overcard: A hole card that is higher than any card on the board.

Overpair: A pair in the hole where the cards are higher than any card on the board. For example pockets Jacks is an overpair if the board contains no card higher than a 10.

Paint: Face cards.

Passive: The opposite of aggressive. A player who seldom bets or raises, preferring to check and call most of the time.

Play the Board: In Texas Hold'em: using the five community cards on the board as your best hand, disregarding your hole cards.

Pocket cards: Your hole cards in Texas Hold'em.

Pocket pair: A pair in the hole.

Position: The relation of a player‘s seat to the blinds or the button.

Pot-Limit: The betting structure of a game in which you are allowed to bet up to the amount in the pot at any given time..

Potting Out: Agreeing with another player to take money out of a pot, often to buy food, cigarettes, or drinks, or to make side bets.

Pot Odds: The odds the pot is giving you on your investment.

Pre-flop: The portion of a hand played before the flop including the deal of the hole cards and the first round of betting.

Premium Pairs: The hole cards in Texas Hold'em you would normally call a raise with from any position, QQ, KK, AA.

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Rags: cards with little chance of winning.

Raise: To increase the amount of a previous wager.

Rake: The percentage of each pot which is kept by the house as a playing fee.

Re-raise: To raise again when a player before you has raised.

River: The final card of the five community cards dealt in Hold'em.

Rock: A tight player.

Rockets: A pair of Aces.

Royal Wedding: King-Queen.

Rush: Several winning hands in a short period of time. A player who has won 4 out of 5 of the last pots may be said to be "on a rush."

Sandbagging: To check with what you believe to be the best hand with the intention of check-raising or raising on a later betting round.

Screwed Down: A player who is extremely tight may be said to be "screwed down."

Semi-bluff: Betting or raising with a hand that has a good chance to lose the pot but may be able to win if it improves or happens to be the best hand at the time.

Set: When your hole cards combine with the board to make three of a kind.

Showdown: The final act of determining the winner of the pot after all betting has been completed.

Shuffle: The act of mixing the cards before a hand.

Siegfried and Roy: A pair of Queens.

Slow-Play: To check or call with a very strong hand with the intention of raising on a future betting round.

Spike: To catch the river card you need to win the pot.

Small Blind: In a game with multiple blind bets, the smallest blind.

Snowmen: A pair of eights.

Split Pot: A pot that is divided among two or more players who have tied for the best hand at the showdown.

Stack: The available chips a player has in front of him.

Stand Alone Hand: A hand that may be able to win without improvement, such as a pair.

Steal: To bet or raise with a weak hand in an attempt to win the pot without a contest.

Steel Wheel: A-2-3-4-5 suited.

Straight: Five cards in consecutive rank.

Straight Flush: Five cards in consecutive rank of the same suit.

Suited: Cards are of the same suit.

Throwing a Party: When one or more players at a table are entering nearly every pot and refusing to fold regardless of the strength of their hand or hands.

Tight : A player who is selective about opening hands and therefore plays less hands than the average player.

Tight Game: A game which has several tight players.

Tilt: To begin betting and raising recklessly, especially in reaction to several frustrating losses.

Top Pair: Pairing the highest card on the board.

Tournament: A poker competition, normally with a set entry fee and prize structure.

Trap: Check-raising with a strong hand.

Turn: The fourth card dealt on the board during community card games. The third betting round.

Under the Gun: In Hold'em the first player to act on a betting round.

Weak: A player who folds more often than normal.

The Wisemen: Three Kings.

Wheel: A-2-3-4-5 straight. The lowest possible straight.

Wired: Paired hole cards. A player with a pair of Aces in the hole is said to be holding "Wired Aces".

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