Ace-High. A hand that has no special card rankings (pairs, full house
etc.) and the highest card is an ace.
Aces Full. A hand with 3 aces and a pair of any other value.
Aces Up. A hand that contains two pairs: one pair of aces and another
pair of any other value.
Action. A check, bet, call, fold or raise.
Active Player. A player who is in the pot.
All-In. When a player bets all of his or her chips.
All-In Over the Top. Raising with all of your chips after opponents
Back Into a Hand. To draw cards that make a hand that is different
from the hand that you were originally trying to make.
Back-Door Flush. When you have three cards that would support a flush,
but you need the turn and river cards to make the flush.
Back-Door Straight. When you have three cards that would support a
straight, but you need the turn and river to make a straight.
Bad Beat. When a lucky hand beats a strong hand.
Bankroll. The amount of money that a player has to wager for the duration
of his or her poker career.
Battle of the Blinds. When everyone folds to the players who have forced
Behind. When your hand is not the best hand before all the cards have
Bet. To put money in the pot of your own free will.
Bet for Value. When you bet in order to increase the pot size, not
to make your
Bet the Pot. To make a bet that is the size of the pot.
Big Dog. An underdog; the person who has a very low chance of winning.
Big Blind. The forced bet that is made by the person sitting two seats
to the left of the button. This is the largest forced bet.
Big Slick. Poker slang for Ace, King; a very strong starting hand.
Blank. A card that is not of value to the players hand.
Blind. A mandatory bet placed by the two players to the left of the
Bluff. To raise or bet a weak hand in order to make your opponent think
that you have a strong hand.
Bust a Player. To eliminate a player from the game by taking all of
his or her chips.
Bust Out. To lose all your chips and thus be eliminated from a tournament.
Button. A white disc-shaped object that moves clockwise around the
table each hand and indicates where the action begins.
Buy-In. A minimum amount of money that must be paid in order to play
in tournaments and live games.
Call. To match (rather than raise) the previous bet.
Cap. The number of raises allowed in a game.
Change Gears. To strategically alternate your play between conservative
Check. To not bet, reserving the option to call or raise later in the
Come Over the Top. To raise or re-raise another players bet.
Community Cards. The cards that are played face up on the center of
and can be used by all of the active players.
Connectors. Consecutively ranked cards that can help a player make
Dead Man’s Hand. A pair of aces and a pair of eights; Wild Bill Hickock
was shot holding this hand.
Dead Money. Money that was put into the pot by players who have since
Double Up. Betting all your chips and winnings and ending up with twice
as many chips as you bet.
Down Cards. The players cards which are dealt face down.
Drawing Dead. When you cannot win, no matter what cards come up.
Early Position. The position in a round of betting where a player must
the other players. This is a disadvantaged position.
Fifth Street. The final round of betting and the fifth card on the
table. This is also
known as the river.
Fish. A poor player or sucker, who is losing all of his or her money.
Flop. The first three cards placed in the center of table that anyone
may use to form
Fold. To withdraw from the game and give up your cards rather than
Four of a Kind. Four cards with the same value. (i.e. J, J, J, J).
Fourth Street. The fourth card on the table, and the third round of
is also known as the turn.
Freeze Out. A game or a tournament that is played until one player
has all the
Full House. A hand that contains three-of-a-kind and a pair. (i.e.
J, J, J, 2, 2).
Get Full Value. To raise, bet or re-raise with the intention of getting
maximum pot odds if you win the hand.
Gut Shot Straight Draw. Four cards of a straight with a card in the
middle missing. (i.e. if you have a 9 and an 8 and the flop contains
a 7, then you need a 6 in the turn or river; if a 6 comes, then you
have made the gut shot straight
Jammed Pot. A pot that has been raised the maximum number of times.
Key Hand. In a tournament, this is a hand that proves to be a turning
point - for better or for worse.
Kicker. The highest card in a players hand that is not being used in
some other way (i.e. to create three-of-a-kind, a pair, etc).
Late Position. A position in a round of betting where a player can
act after most or all of the other players have acted. This is an advantaged
Lay Down. Folding a strong hand in a critical situation.
Legitimate Hand. A strong hand; a hand that is not a bluff.
Limp In. When a player enters the round by calling a bet rather than
Live Hand. A hand that is eligible to win the pot.
Long Odds. When there is a very low probability that something will
Loose Play. Playing many weak hands.
Main Pot. When a player goes all-in, he or she is eligible to win the
Any betting that is done after that is done in a side pot.
Monster. A hand that has a high probability of winning.
Muck. To discard a hand. This is also the pile of discarded hands.
No Limit Hold’Em Table Stakes. At any time, any player can bet some
or all of
his or her chips.
Nut Flush. The best flush available within each hand.
Nut Flush Draw. When one card will give you the best possible flush.
Nuts. A hand that cannot be beaten no matter what cards come up. Also
used as a superlative.
Odds. The probability of making versus not making a hand.
On a Short Stack. When a player has very few chips.
On the Button. The best table position in Hold’Em, benefiting from
acting last, the player who acts last in a round.
On Tilt. Playing recklessly due to frustration.
Open Card. A card that is dealt face-up.
Open End Straight Draw. Four consecutive cards, such as 9-10-Jack-Queen.
In this example, any King or 8 would make a straight.
Open Pair. Two cards of the same value that are dealt face-up.
Out. A card that is still in the deck that could improve your hand.
Out of Position. Being at the disadvantage of having to act before
Outdraw. When one person beats his or her opponent by drawing a better
Outs. The cards that will turn the statistical underdog into a winner.
Over the Top. Making a large raise.
Pair. Two cards that have the same value (i.e. 3, 3).
Pass. When a player folds his or her hand.
Play Fast. To bet aggressively on a hand.
Playing the Board. When your best five-card hand is the five cards
on the board.
Position. Where a player sits in relation to the dealer. This determines
his or her betting order.
Pot. The chips that have been bet.
Pot Odds. The amount of money in the pot versus the amount of money
to continue playing.
Protect a Hand. To bet in order to convince other players to fold,
and reduce the
risk of having them outdraw you.
Putting on the Heat. To pressure the other players by betting aggressively.
Quads. Four of a kind.
Ragged Flops. Flop cards that do not help any of the players hand.
Rank. The value of the card or hand.
Re-Raise. To raise on top of a previous raise within the same hand.
River. The final community card dealt. All players may use it to form
their best hand.
Rock. A tight and conservative player.
Round of Betting. The period in which each active player has the opportunity
check, bet or raise.
Rounder. A professional player who frequents high-stakes tournaments.
Royal Flush. A hand containing: A, K, Q, J, 10 in the same suit.
Running Bad. On a losing streak.
Running Good. On a winning streak.
See. To call a bet.
Short Odds. When there is a very high probability that something will
Short Stack. The player with the fewest chips at the table has the
Showdown. After the final round of betting, the players cards are turned
face-up to see who won.
Side Pot. A separate pot contested by other players at the table when
one player is all-in.
Slow Roll. Stalling before showing a winning hand to frustrate your
Small Blind. The forced bet that is made by the person sitting one
seat to the
left of the button. This bet is half the size of the big blind.
Steaming. Playing recklessly due to frustration.
Straight. Five consecutive cards of mixed suits
Straight Flush. Five consecutive cards of the same suit.
Structure. The schedule by which the antes and blinds (forced bets)