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Poker Dictionary - A - Z of Poker Terms

Learn Your Poker Terms With This A - Z of Common Poker Language
There are numerous terms used in the game of poker. Here is an A - Z of many poker terms to help you understand the game of poker. From 'action' to 'small blind' this guide should help you improve your poker knowledge.

Poker Dictionary - Learn All The Poker Terms To Help Your Poker Knowledge
Another term for "betting," that is, to start the action is to start the betting.

A small sum of money, placed in the pot by each player. Antes are used in Stud and Draw, but not in Hold'em or Omaha.

Big Blind:
A bet that must be posted by the player two seats to the left of the button. It is equal to the amount of the smaller betting limit in a game, for example, in a 10-20 game, the big blind would be $10.

Forced bets placed in the pot by the first two players in front of the dealer button, in Hold'em and Omaha. See "small blind" and "big blind."

To bet when you hold a weak hand, hoping that the intimidation factor of your bet can win the hand.

In Stud, a bet that must be made on the very first betting round. Usually the player showing the lowest card is forced to make a bet; in some games, the player showing the highest card is forced. The bring-in applies only on the very first betting round, though. On all further rounds, the player showing the highest hand on board has the OPTION to bet first, but need not.

To match a bet that has been made.

To possess the option to bet, but decline. A player cannot check once someone else has bet; at that point, the player must call, raise, or fold. But if no one has yet bet, a player can check, allowing the betting option to pass to the next player.

To check, indicating weakness, with the intention of raising after someone else bets.
Check-raises are allowed in all casino poker games; in some home games, they are frowned upon.

Fifth Street:
The fifth community card in Hold'em or Omaha (in these games, 5th street is more often called "the river."). Also sometimes used to refer to the fifth card received in 7 Card Stud.

In Hold'em or Omaha, the first three community cards, turned up all at once.

To drop out of a hand.

Fourth Street:
The fourth community card in Hold'em or Omaha (in these games, 4th street is more often called "the turn."). Also sometimes used to refer to the fourth card received in 7 Card Stud.

Hole cards:
Cards that are face down and cannot be seen by the other players.

Two meanings.
1) A single card kept along with a pair, in Draw, in an attempt to make two pair. For example, someone might keep 3-3-K, drawing two cards, in the hope that he might get either a three (for trips) or a King (making two pair, Kings-up).
2) The highest single card held by two players in Hold'em who each hold the same pair. For example, if the board in Hold'em is A-10-8-5-2, and Player One holds A-J as his hand, and Player Two holds A-Q, each player has a pair of Aces, but Player Two has a better kicker and would win the hand.

Narrowing the Field:
To bet or raise in the hopes that you will drive out some players whose hands are currently worse than yours, but who might improve if allowed to stay in.

Nuts, The:
The best possible hand. This phrase is almost always used in the context of a particular hand (otherwise "the nuts" would just be a term for a royal flush). For example, in Hold'em, a player holding 8-9 would hold "the nuts" if the flop came 6-7-10. At that moment, the 6-7-8-9-10 straight is the best possible hand. However, if the Turn card were a Jack, and the River a Queen, a player holding A-K would then have the nuts-a 10-J-Q-K-A straight.

The money in the center of the table, being contested by the players still remaining in the hand.

The amount of money the casino takes from the pot to make money from the poker game. In low limit games, the casino usually rakes some percentage of the pot, usually a maximum of 10% of the pot. In higher limit games, the casino makes money either by charging players an hourly fee to play, or by collecting a fee each time a player holds the button.

In Hold'em or Omaha, the fifth and final community card. Also sometimes called fifth street.

A player known to be very conservative, who usually bets or raises only when he has a very powerful hand.

Small Blind:
A bet that must be posted by the player one seat to the left of the button. It is usually equal to one half of the smaller betting limit in a game, for example, in a 10-20 game, the small blind would be $5. Occasionally, the small blind is some other fraction of the big blind.


GLOSSARY Select a game Hold 'Em Omaha Omaha Hi/Lo 7 Card Stud 7 Card Stud Hi/Lo

Poker has a language somewhat to itself. Here is a glossary to familiarize yourself with poker terminology.

Click here for our Chat Glossary.


Aces Full
A full house with three aces and any pair.

A five card hand that contains one Ace, with no straight or flush or a hand with no pair in it.

Aces Up
A hand that contains two pairs, one of which is Aces.

Checking/Betting/Raising. A game in which players are playing a lot of pots is considered an "action" game.

Active Player
Any player who is still in the hand.

A purchase of more chips (optional) at the end of the re-buy period in a tournament.

When a player bets all his/her chips.: In online poker, you may be deemed "All-in" when you are disconnected (even if you have chips remaining).
American Airlines
Two Aces.

Money placed in the pot before the hand is begun.

B Back to top

Bad Beat
When a hand is beaten by a lucky draw.

Belly Buster
A draw and/or catch to an Inside Straight.

To place chips into the pot.

Bet the Pot
When a player bets the amount of the pot.

A straight that is A-2-3-4-5.

Big Blind
A designated amount that is placed by the player sitting in the second position, clockwise from the dealer, before any cards are dealt. (Players joining a game in progress must post a Big Blind, but may do so from any position.)

Big Slick
A hand that contains an A-K.

The bet(s) that must be made by the two players sitting directly to the dealer's left which will start the action on the first round of betting. The blinds are posted before any cards are dealt. (A "Blind" bet is one that is made in the dark without looking at your cards).

Blind Raise
When a player raises without looking at his hand.

To make other players believe that one has a better hand than he/she might otherwise have by betting or raising when they do not have the best hand.

The cards that are dealt face-up in a poker game for all players to see. In flop games, five cards are dealt face-up in the center of the table. In Seven Card Stud, four cards are dealt face-up in front of each player.

Bottom Pair
When a player uses the lowest card on the flop to make a pair with one of his own cards.
An Ace high straight (A-K-Q-J-10).

The forced bet made on the first round of betting by the player who is dealt the lowest card showing in Seven Card Stud and Stud 8 or Better. In Razz (Lowball) it is the highest card showing.

Bring It In
To start the betting on the first round.

Broomcorn's Uncle
A player who antes himself broke.

A pair of Aces.

To raise.

Also known as the dealer button, it is a small round disk that is moved from player to player in a clockwise direction following each hand, to theoretically indicate the dealer of each hand.

The minimum amount of money required by a player to sit down in a particular poker game.

C Back to top

When a player chooses to match the previous bet.

Call Cold
To call both a bet and raise(s).

To take the last of the maximum amount of raises allowed per round of betting.

The room or space in a casino where poker is played.

Case Chips
A player's last chips.

Cash Out
To leave a game and convert your chips to cash.

When it's a player's turn to act and there has been no action in front of them and he opts not to bet, he "checks."

When a player first checks and then raises in a betting round.

To return the blinds to the players who posted them and move on to the next hand if no other players call. It also means to "split the pot".

When two or more players conspire to cheat in a poker game.

Community Cards
Cards that are face-up and used by all players.

Two Kings.

D Back to top

Dead Man's Hand
Two pair - Aces and Eights (Wild Bill Hickock was shot in the back while playing this hand).

Disconnect Protection
A tool to protect players in the event that their internet connection is lost while involved in a pot.

Door Card
This is the first exposed card, or "up" card, in a player's hand in Stud games.

Down Card
Hole cards. Cards that are dealt face down.

Doyle Brunson
It's a Holdem hand consisting of a 10-2 (Brunson won the world championship two years in a row on the final hand with these cards).

Draw Lowball
Form of poker where each player is dealt five cards with the option of discarding one or more and replacing them with new ones and the low hand wins.

Draw Poker
Form of poker where each player is dealt five cards down with the option of discarding one or more and replacing them with new ones to attempt to make a better hand.


A pair of Twos.

A pair of Twos.

E Back to top

Early Position
Position on a round of betting where the player must act before most of the other players at the table. (It's considered the two positions located to the left of the Blinds. )

F Back to top

Fifth Street
Also known as the "river" card. In flop games, this represents the fifth community card on the table and the final round of betting. In Stud games, this is the fifth card dealt to each player and represents the third round of betting.

The weakest player at the table who loses the most money.

Five-card Draw
A poker game in which the player is dealt five cards down. They have one draw to replace them and the best high hand wins the pot.

Five-card Stud
A poker game in which each player is dealt five cards, one down and four up, with betting after 2, 3, 4, & 5 cards.

Flat Call
Calling a bet without raising.

In Hold'em and Omaha, the first three community cards that are dealt face-up in the center of the table all at one time. The "flop" also indicates the second round of betting.

Flop Games
Poker games (Hold 'em and Omaha) that are played using community cards that are dealt face up in the center of the table.

An employee of the cardroom who makes rulings and decisions.

Any five cards of the same suit.

Flush Draw
When a player has four cards in his hand of the same suit and is hoping to draw a fifth to make a flush.

To throw your hand away when it's your turn to act.

Forced Bet
A required bet that starts the action on the first round of a poker hand.

Four of a Kind
Four cards of the same number or face value ("quads").

Fourth Street
In flop games, it is the fourth community card dealt (also known as "the turn") and represents the third round of betting. In Stud games, it is the fourth card dealt to each player and represents the second round of betting.

Full House
Any three cards of the same number or face value, plus any other two cards of the same number or face value.

G Back to top

Gut Shot
To draw to and/or hit an inside straight.

H Back to top

A player's best five cards.

Split pot games.

Hold 'em
Also known as Texas Hold 'em, where the players get two down cards and five community cards. See our complete Hold 'em rules in our Game Rules section.

Hole Cards
These are the Down Cards in front of the players.

The casino or cardroom that is hosting the poker game.

I Back to top

Inside Streight
Four cards which require another between the top and the bottom card to complete a straight.\ Players who catch this card make an Inside Straight.

J Back to top

Jackpot Poker
A form of poker in which the cardroom or casino offers a jackpot to a player who has lost with a really big hand (usually Aces full or better).

Jacks-or- Better
A form of poker in which a player needs to have at least a pair of jacks to open the betting.

K Back to top

Kansas City Lowball
Form of lowball poker in which the worst poker hand (2, 3, 4, 5, 7 of different suits) is the best hand. It's also known as Deuce to Seven.

Keep Them Honest
To call at the end of a hand to prevent someone from bluffing.

Key Card
A card that gives you a big draw or makes your hand.

Key Hand
In a session or tournament, the one hand that ends up being a turning point for the player, either for better or worse.

The highest unpaired side card in a players' hand.

Kick It

Kill Pot
A method to stimulate action. It is a forced bet by someone who has just won a pot(s).


A hand that contains a K-J.

L Back to top

Two Queens.

Late Position
Position on a round of betting where the player must act after most of the other players have acted (usually considered to be the two positions next to the button).

Lay Down Your Hand
When a player folds.

The first player to bet into a pot.

Limit Poker
A game that has fixed minimum and maximum betting intervals along with a prescribed number of raises.

The first player who calls a bet.

Limp In
To enter the pot by calling rather than raising. (The usual concept of "Limp In" is when the first person to speak just calls the Big Blind.)

Live Blind
An instance where the player puts in a dark bet and is allowed to raise, even if no other player raises. It's also known as an "option".

Live Card
In Stud Games, cards that have not yet been seen and are presumed to still be in play.

Live Hand
A hand that could still win the pot.

Live One
A not so knowledgeable player who plays a lot of hands.

When a player calls the final bet before the showdown.

Is a player who plays a lot hands, good and bad including regular Flush and Str8 draws.

Is a form of draw poker in which the lowest hand wins the pot.

M Back to top

Main Pot
The center pot. Any other bets are placed in a side pot(s) and are contested among the remaining players. This occurs when a player(s) goes all-in.

To make the deck is to shuffle the deck.

A very aggressive player who plays a lot of hands.
Middle Pair
In flop games, when a player makes a pair with one of his/her down cards and the middle card on the flop.

Middle Position
Somewhere between the early and late positions on a round of betting (the fifth, sixth and seventh seats to the left of the button).

To discard or throw away your hand. It's also a pile of cards that are no longer in play.

Minimum Buy-In
The least amount you can start a game with.

A very big hand. In a tournament, a player who begins to accumulate chips after having a small stack is considered to be a monster.

N Back to top

No Limit
A game where players can bet as much as they like (as long as they have it in front of them) on any round of betting.

The best possible hand in any particular game that can't be beaten. Players often say 'I've got the nuts', however they are not always telling the truth.

O Back to top

The probability of making a hand vs. the probability of not making a hand.

Cards of a different suit.

A game in which each player is dealt four down cards with five community cards. To make your hand, you must play two cards from your hand and three from the board.

To make the first bet.

Open-ended Straight
Four consecutive cards whereby one additional (consecutive) card is needed at either end to make a straight.

Open Card
A card that is dealt face-up.

Open Pair
A pair that has been dealt face-up.

An option is a Live Blind made in the dark before the cards are dealt. If no one raises, the "option" player may raise the pot.

Out Button
A disc placed in front of a player who wishes to sit out a hand(s) but remain in the game.

P Back to top

Face or picture cards (Jack, Queen and King).

Two cards of the same face or number value.

To fold.

Pay Off
To call on the final round of betting when you may or may not think you have the best hand.

Picture Cards
Face cards (Jack, Queen and King).

Play Back
To raise or re-raise another player's bet.

Playing the Board
In flop games when your best five card hand is all five of the community cards.

The down cards or hole cards.

Pocket Rockets
A pair of Aces in the pocket or hole.

Where a player is seated in relation to the dealer, therefore establishing that player's place in the betting order.

When you post a bet, you place your chips in the pot. (You must post the Blinds.)

The money or chips in the center of a table that players try to win.

Pot Limit
This is a game where the maximum bet can equal the pot.

A person hired by the cardroom to work as a shill.

When the dealer pushes the chips to the winning player at the end of a hand. It's also when dealers rotate to other tables.

Put Down
To fold a hand.

Q Back to top

Four of a kind.

In High-Low games, it is a requirement the Low hand must meet to win the pot.

R Back to top

A tray that holds 100 poker chips in five stacks of twenty chips each.

The rim of a poker table or a barrier outside a poker area.

Someone who hangs around a poker room who watches the games and/or is looking to get into action.

To increase the previous bet.

Chips taken from the pot by the cardroom for compensation for hosting the game.

The value of each card and hand.

When a player knocks on the table indicating that he/she has checked.

Seven Card Stud where the lowest five cards win the pot.

The amount of money a player pays to add a fixed number of chips to his/her stack in a tournament.

To raise a raise.

Ring Game
A "live" game that is not a tournament.

This is the last card given in all games. In Hold'em and Omaha, it is also known as 5th street. In Stud games, it is also known as 7th street.

Round of Betting
This is when players have the opportunity to bet, check or raise. Each round of betting ends when the last bet or raise has been called.

Guys who hustle for a living. This is also the name of a popular poker movie starring Matt Damon and Ed Norton.

Royal Flush
This is an Ace high straight (A-K-Q-J-10) of the same suit. It is the best possible hand in poker.

S Back to top

It is a mini-tournament to gain an entry into a larger tournament.

To win the entire pot.

Seating List
A waiting list. A player would put his or her name on this list if there were no seats at the table at which they wish to play.

Second Pair
In flop games, when you pair the second highest card on the board.

To call.

Seven-card Stud
A well-known poker game in which players get three down cards and four up cards. You play the best five of those seven cards.

Seventh Street
This is the final round of betting in Seven Card Stud and Stud 8 or Better.

Shills are paid props who help start and maintain poker games.

At the end of the final betting round, it's when all active players turn their cards face-up to see who has won the pot.

Side Pot
A separate pot(s) which is contested by remaining active players when one or more players are all-in.

Sixth Street
In Seven-card Stud, this is the fourth "up" card dealt to the player (their 6th card). It is also the 4th round of betting.

A fairly tight player (and reasonably good).

Small Blind
The amount put in the pot by the person immediately to the left of the dealer "button" prior to the cards being dealt.

Speed Limit
A pair of fives.


A pile of chips.

When a player remains in the game by calling rather than raising.

Steel Wheel
A five high straight (A-2-3-4-5) of the same suit.

A straddle is a Blind bet which is usually double the size of the Big Blind\ (and that player may raise when the action gets to him).

Five consecutive cards of any suit.

Straight Flush
Five consecutive cards of the same suit.

The limits put on the blinds/ante, bets, and raises in any particular game.

Stud Games
Games in which players get down cards and up cards.

A player who is losing in a game.

T Back to top

Texas Hold'em
This is also the name for Hold'em, the most popular form of poker.

Third Street
In Seven Card Stud and Seven Card Stud 8 or Better, this is the first betting round on the first three cards.

Thirty Miles
Three tens.

Three of a Kind
Three cards of the same number or face value ("trips").

A player who doesn't play many pots. A tight game is one that doesn't have much action.

Tournament of Champions.

Top Pair
In flop games, when the player pairs one of his down cards with the highest card on board.

A pair of threes.

Three of a kind.

In flop games, this is the fourth card dealt. It is the third round of betting.

Two Pair
A hand consisting of two different pairs.

U Back to top

Up Card
A card that is dealt face-up.

V-W Back to top

Walking Sticks
A pair of sevens.

Wild Card
A card that can be played as any value.

Worst Hand
A losing hand.

World Series of Poker.


This chat glossary will help with the social side of Poker when you chat with the other players during the game. Remember that if you type in capital letters it appears you are SHOUTING!!!

GG - Good game - a comment usually made at the conclusion of an online tournament, by the winners only.

GH- Good hand

GP - Good play - comment from one player to another, very rarely made.

GTG - Got to go - usually from a player who has won money is about to leave.

HeHe - Cheeky acknowledgement by a player that he was lucky to win a hand.

LOL - Laugh out loud- player responds to good humour from another player or mocks his own bad luck, very common.

Str8 - Srtaight

OMG - Oh my god - when a good hand is beaten by an even better hand, also known as a bad beat.

NH -Nice hand

Tilt - I'm on a bad run.

TX - Thanks - comment from a player who has just won a big pot (various versions of this are used).

UW - You wish.

VNH - Very nice hand

WT... - What the...

WTG - Way to go - congratulatory remark from one player to another, usually well meant and quite rare.

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