Poker Strategy VII - Glossary of Terms

Poker Jargon and Texas Hold'em Terms

An Act

An intentional tell intended to give false information about a hand. Calling for a heart or a specific card even though it doesn't affect your hand.


Refers to when players are betting and raising. "There's a lot of action on this table." 


Putting all of the chips you have at the table into the pot, creating a side pot for the remaining players. 


Adjective to describe a player who raises and re-raises and rarely calls. (Also loose money)


An action that isn't against the rules, but still incorporates unfair tactics such as raising when the player after you has checked out of turn.


Using unfair tactics such as string bets (a delayed raise)


The ante is the initial bet to build the pot. Hold'em uses blind bets, 7 stud typically uses a fixed ante.


Making a hand other than the one intended. Example: Having J/10 of Clubs with a flop of A of Clubs, 5 of Clubs. 6 of Spades. The turn and river are K & Q of diamonds. You made a straight instead of the intended (and more likely) flush.


A re-raise from a player who originally called or placed a bet and was subsequently raised..

Bad Beat

When a good hand is beat by a longshot draw.


The amount of money you have.

Bet Odds

The odds you get as a result of evaluating the number of callers to a raise. If 5 people have called then you are getting 5 - 1 odds for your wager.

Bicycle or Bike

A Straight Ace to Five

Big Blind

The largest blind posted prior to the dealing of cards. This is usually the player sitting two seats to the left of the dealer.

Big Slick

The name of an Ace and King in the pocket. Suited or otherwise.

Blank or Brick

A useless card.


A mandatory bet placed before the cards are dealt to force money into the pot. You usually have to post a blind when you join a game.


Betting even though you don't have a good hand.


A full house.

Board, The

1. The communal cards dealt face up in Hold 'Em that all players can use.
2. The surface these cards are dealt onto. Typically a tabletop.

Bottom Dealing

A form of live cheating where the bottom card is usually preset and dealt instead of the top card.

Burn Card

In Hold 'Em, the cards before the flop, turn, and river that are discarded to prevent reading of marked cards.


A symbol to designate which player is sitting in the dealer's position.


The necessary amount of money needed to join a game.


Matching a bet amount. If a player in front of you bets, you can either call (match the bet), raise (increase the bet) or fold.

Calling Station

A passive and loose player who does not raise much, but calls more than he or she should.

Cap or Capping

The idea that there can only be a raise, a re-raise, another re-raise, and one final re-raise. That's four bets total per player, per round, at most.

Cards Speak

Your hand is the most favorable possible combination of cards, no matter how you call it. Make sure you put your cards on the table where the dealer can read them - otherwise, your hand will play as you call it.

Cash Out

Taking your money and going home.


When no bets are pending, to pass your turn.


The act of calling, then re-raising a raise.

Cleaned Out

Being taken for all your money, in Hold 'Em or otherwise.

Cold Call

To call more than one bet at once as result of a re-raise.


A form of cheating where multiple parties help each other in deciding the best course of action.

Community Cards

Communal cards dealt face up in Hold 'Em that all players can use.

Computer Hand

The name of a Queen and Six in the pocket. Called that because computers have designated that as the perfect average hand.


Two sequential pocket cards. Examples : 10/J or 3/4.



Dead Man's Hand

Two Pair of Aces and Eights. The hand Wild Bill Hickock was holding when Jack McCall shot him in the back.


The man or woman who handles the cards, gives out the pots, and monitors the game.

Dealer's Position

Being the last to act in a betting round. On the button.

Dominated Hands

Hands that are okay to play, but tend to lose against similar non-straight/flush hands. Example: A2 is dominated because against other hands with an Ace, it loses or draws without improvement.

Dominating Hands

Hands that are not only good, solid hands, but have lots of room for improvement and if they connect are lock winners - example Ace High Flush with no possible full house or quads.


1. A drawing hand.
2. A game result where multiple players split the pot as result of having equal hands.
3. To take a card from a deck of cards.


Playing a hand to improve.

Drawing Dead

A drawing hand that will lose even if it improves.

Drawing Hand

A hand that needs improvement to win. Usually to a straight or flush.

Early Position

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

False Shuffle

A form of live cheating where the deck is shuffled in a manner to prearrange the cards.


1. n. the first three community cards dealt face up on the table.
2. v. used to describe what your hand was after the flop. "I flopped the nuts!"


Having a poker hand of five cards whose suits all match.


To give up your hand and forfeit the pot to the remaining players.


A poker hand consisting of all four cards of the same type.

Free Card

The card you get as result of semi-bluffing from late or last position so that all the players check to you.

Full House

A poker hand consisting of three-of-a-kind and two pair. Worded as the three-of-a-kind being "full" of the two pair. Example: Three Aces and Two Tens is verbally declared as a "full house, Aces full of Tens".


Playing in a style with minimal risk and modest gains over a long period of time.

Gutshot Draw

A straight draw where only one card will complete the hand. Make sure the return is worth the risk.


1. The complete playing of all the cards given out in one deal.
2. The cards used by a player.


When only two players are involved with a hand.


One of the four playing card suits. Formerly representing the clergy.

High Limit

A game where the amounts wagered are high.

House, The

The establishment where a game is being held. It may be a casino in Las Vegas, a kitchen table, or an online casino's server in Antigua. The house regulates and controls the game.


What kind of player others currently perceive you as.


A prize fund awarded to a player who meets a set of predetermined requirements. For example, some casinos will give a jackpot to someone who gets four-of-a-kind or higher and loses.


In a tie hand between one pair, two pair, or three-of-a-kind, the remaining card(s) that make up the hand. The player with the highest card(s) wins.

Kill Game

A game where certain predetermined requirements creates higher stakes and/or create a third blind. Usually, if a player wins two hands in a row - the stakes for the next hand double on a full kill (6-12 goes to 12/24 and on a 1/2 kill the betting increases by 50% so 4 - 8  would go to 6 - 12)

Late Position

Being one of the last to act in a betting round. Usually an advantage.


Calling a blind pre-flop without raising.

Live Hand

An active hand. One that has not folded.

Live Game

A game where you are physically near the other players.

Long Shot

Making a hand despite having few outs and/or poor odds.


Adjective to describe a player who plays lots of hands and gets involved with a lot of pots.

Low Limit

A game where the amounts wagered are small.

Main Pot

The first established pot before a player goes all-in and creates a side pot.


A player who has the ability to illegally manipulate cards for favorable results.

Middle Position

Being in between early and late position.


Mental devices used to remember things. In Hold 'Em, often players have names for what pocket cards they have, like Big Slick or Maverick.


Another word for folding or refers to the discard pile

No Limit

Considered one of the last true forms of poker, where the amount you can bet is limited by the number of chips in front of you.

Nuts, The

The best possible hand.


1. The proportion by which one bet differs from that of another.
2. The ratio between the probability for and against something happening.

On the Button

Being the last player to act in a betting round. Dealer's Position.


The number of cards left in the deck that will improve your hand.


A pocket pair higher than any of the cards on the board.


A poker hand comprised of two cards of the same type and three others.


Adjective to describe a player who frequently calls and rarely bets.

Pocket Cards

The two cards dealt to you at the beginning of a Hold 'Em hand that no one else is entitled to see.


In a turn-based game like Hold 'Em, your rank in the order of turns. This is typically categorized into early, middle, and late position.

Pot, The

The total amount of all bets wagered on in a hand. 

Pot Odds

The odds you get when analyzing the current size of the pot vs. your next call.


The space of time after you've been dealt your pocket cards and before the flop is dealt.


Increasing a bet - You call $6.00 and raise another $6.00


Money taken by the house to compensate for expenses.

Rank of Suits

An uncommon ranking system to determine who wins in a game with no draws. The cards in your final five-card hand are evaluated. The winner is decided by the highest pocket card involved with that hand. The player with the better rank wins. In order the ranks are Spades, Hearts, Diamonds, Clubs. This is usually only used to determine the low card on a short handed game if the low card has a forced bet.


Putting in another bet on top of a previous raise or raises.


Analysis of a player based on how they play, mannerisms, and tells.


The fifth and last community card dealt face up in a Hold 'Em game.


A passive, tight player. No emotion - personality - or pulse.

Royal Flush

The highest ranking hand. Having a straight 10 to Ace of all the same suit.


A winning streak


Holding back and calling despite the fact that you have a very good hand, usually to disguise strength, provoke bluffs, and to check-raise. Some think it's rude - but then again, I don't get too many Christmas cards


Betting or raising with a mediocre or drawing hand with a chance of winning 


Having a pocket pair that matches one of the cards on the board.

Short Buying

Purchasing chips after your initial purchase. Usually the minimum for a short buy-in is less than the initial buy-in.


An adjective used to describe a game with few players.


The final phase after all betting has ended and players reveal their cards.

Side Pot

Bets made into a new pot after a player has gone all-in.


A system used by colluding players to let each other know what they hold. Watch out for this - it is cheating and treated accordingly - don't do it, and if you suspect it - talk to a floor person to move to another table (and have the suspected players watched).

Slow Playing

Playing deceptively with a strong hand by checking and calling with the intention of raising once the pot is larger.

Small Blind

The smaller or the two blinds posted prior to the dealing of cards. This is usually by the player sitting directly to the left of the dealer.

Soft Seat

A seat or game which is favorable because of the lack of skill at the table.

Splashing the Pot

An illegal move where chips are placed in a haphazard way. Such as being tossed directly into the pot before being counted. This is done so you can call $10 instead of $12 ... If you can't afford the game then don't play.

Spread Limit

A betting structure where you can bet any amount within a certain range. $ 1-4 let's you bet anywhere from $1 to $4 even in the later betting rounds.

Steal Raise

A raise by someone in late position in an attempt to reduce the number of players and/or steal the pot. If you suspect this, you can often steal from the button by reraising a strong hand if you are big blind.


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


Posting an extra blind when one sits to the left of the big blind.


A poker hand with five sequential cards. In Hold'Em, Aces can be high or low.

Straight Flush

A poker hand comprised of five sequential cards all of the same suit.

String Bets

Saying "I'll call your bet....and I'll re-raise!", instead of just "Raise" or "Re-raise". Generally not allowed because of ethics involving angle shooting.

String Calls

An illegal call like saying "I've got a pair of Jacks.", then after your opponents have revealed their hands or just simply reacted to that, saying "Oh, and I've also got a pair of sevens, too" or a similar situation.


A characteristic of a playing card. The card being either of Clubs, Diamonds, Hearts, or Spades.


Usually used in reference to your pocket cards when they are of the same suit.

Table Stakes

The rule that you can only play a hand with the money you have at the table.


An action that gives clues about the cards someone is holding.


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


Adjective to describe a player who selects hands very carefully and folds easily.

Tilt, On

Behavior as a result of losing, usually negative.

Top Pair

Having a pair with the highest card on the board and one in the pocket.

Top Two Pair

Having both your pocket cards match the highest two cards on the board.


The fourth community card dealt face up in a Hold 'Em game.

Under the Gun

Being the first person to act, being in the earliest position.


A pocket pair of lower value than the lowest card on the board.