Poker Talk the language of the game

Poker Talk the language of the game

Poker like all things has a unique language with words that have a meaning all of their own.

To help you over come this hurdle we have compiled a useful user guide to the commonest phrases in use today. Download our free pdf booklet


The A - Z of Poker Play

Aces Full - A full house containing 3 aces and any pair.

Ace-High - a hand containing no other poker hand except a High card of an Ace.

Aces Up - Two pairs of which one pair is Aces.

Action - This is a game in which players are playing for lots of pots, this is considered an ‘Action Game’. Checking/Betting/Raising.
Active Player - Anyone still playing in thehand is an Active Player.

Add-on - An optional purchase of more chips at the end of a re-buy period in a tournament.

All-In - If player bets all his/her chips. they will be all in: When playing online, you may be deemed all in if you become disconnected. Even if you have chips left.
American Airlines - 2 Aces.

Ante - The money placed in the pot before the game begins.


Bad Beat - This is when a hand is beaten by a lucky draw.

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

Bet - The action of placing chips in the pot.

Bet the Pot - This is when a player makes a bet that is equal to the amount in the pot.

Bicycle - 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. (If you join a game that is already in progress you must post a Big Blind, but this can be from any position.

Big Slick - When your hand contains an A-K., then you have a Big Slick

Blind - This has two meanings, it is either the bet or bets that have to be made by the 2 players sitting immediately to the dealer’s left these will start the action on the first round of betting. They are posted before any cards are dealt. The other meaning is a ‘Blind Bet’ which is one that is made without looking at your cards.
Blind Raise - A player raises without looking at his hand.

Bluff - To convince other players that you have a better hand than you really have.

Boardcards - The cards that are dealt face-up in a poker game for all players to see.
Bottom Pair - If a player uses the lowest card of the flop to make a pair with his own card.

Broadway - An Ace high straight (A-K-Q-J-10).

Bring-In - This is the forced bet 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 Lowball it is the highest card showing

Bring It - In Starting the betting on the first round

Broomcorn’s Uncle - This is what you will be if you Ante yourself broke.

Bullets - A pair of Aces.

Bump - To raise.

Button - AKA the dealer button, it is the small round disk that is moved from player to player in a clockwise direction after each hand, to indicate the dealer of each hand.

Buy-In - This is the minimum amount of money required by a player to sit down and play in a poker game.

Call - When a player matches the previous bet.

Call Cold - When you call a bet and raise the bet.

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

Case Chips - A player’s last chips.

Cash Out - To quit a game and change your chips to cash.

Check - If it’s your turn to act but there has been no action in front of you then instead of betting you can ‘check’.

Check-Raise - This is when a player first checks, then raises in a betting round.

Chop - Another two meaning word, you can either return the blinds to the player who posted them and move onto the next hand if no other player calls. or It means to split the pot.

Collusion - Two or more players conspire to cheat

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

Cowboys - Two Kings.

Dead Man’s Hand - This is the hand held by Wild Bill Hickock when he was shot in the back and since then has been known as the dead mans hand two pair made up of Aces and Eights

Door Card - The first exposed card, in a player’s hand in Stud games.

Down Card - Hole cards. The cards that are dealt face down.

Doyle Brunson - This is an Holdem hand consisting of a 10-2 (The world championship was won two years running by Brunson 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 - Game of poker where each player is dealt five cards face down with the option of discarding one or more and replacing them with new ones to try to make a better hand.

Drop - Fold.

Ducks - Pair of Twos.

Deuces - Pair of Twos.

E to Q or Early Position to Qualifier

Early Position - The Position on a round of betting where the player must act before most of the other players at the table. (This is usually the two positions located to the left of the Blinds.)


Fifth Street - AKA the “river” card. In flop games, this is the fifth community card on the table and the final round of betting. Also the fifth card dealt in Stud Games and the third round of betting.

Five-card Draw - A form of poker where the player is dealt five cards down. With only one draw to replace them the best high hand wins the pot.

Five-card Stud - A well known poker game where each player is dealt 5 cards, 1 face down and 4 face up, the betting starts with card 2 and carries on through card 5.

Flat Call - Call a bet without raising.

Flop In - Hold’em and Omaha, games this is the first three community cards dealt these are face-up in the center of the table all at one time. The “flop” is also the second round of betting.

Flop Games - A form of poker (Hold ‘em and Omaha) Where community cards are dealt face up in the center of the table.

Flush - 5 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.

Fold - The act of throwing your hand in when it’s your turn.

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

Four of a Kind - Four cards the same e.g. 4 Aces, 4 Tens etc.

Fourth Street - In flop games, This is the fourth community card dealt (AKA “the turn”) is also the third round of betting. In Stud games, this is the 4th card dealt to each player and represents and is the 2nd round of betting.

Full House - Any 3 cards the same plus any other 2 cards the same e.g. 3 Fours + 2 Kings


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


Hand - What you hopefully make out of the cards dealt.

High-Card - To decide who deals first in flop tournaments each user is dealt a single card the player with the highest card (based on the card and the suit order Spades, Hearts, Diamonds & Clubs) becomes the

High-Low - Split pot games.

Hold ‘em - Also known as Texas Hold ‘em, where the players get 2 cards dealt face down and 5 community cards. These are dealt face up.

Hole Cards - These are the Cards Face down in front of a player.

House - The casino or cardroom that is hosting the poker game. A place where you live when your not playing Poker.


Inside Straight - 4 cards needing another between the top and bottom card to complete a straight.

Jackpot Poker - A game of poker where the cardroom or casino offers a jackpot to a player who loses with a really big hand (usually Aces full or better).

Jacks-or- Better - Game of poker where a player needs at least a pair of jacks to open the betting.


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.

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

Key Hand - In a session or tournament, the hand that becomes a turning point for the player, either for better or worse.

Kicker - The highest unpaired side card in a players’ hand.

Kick It - Raise.

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

Knock - Check.

Kojak - A hand that contains a King, Jack.

Ladies - Two Queens.

Late Position - Position on a round of betting where the player must act after most of the other players have acted.

Lay Down Your Hand - When a player folds.

Lead - The first player to bet into a pot.

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

Limper - The first player who calls a bet.

Limp In - Enters the pot by calling rather than raising. (Usually a “Limp In” is when the first person to speak just calls the Big Blind.)

Live Blind - Where a player puts in a dark bet and is allowed to raise, even when no other player raises. Is also known as an “option”. Live Card(s) In Stud Games, cards that have not 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.

Look - When a player calls the final bet before the show down.

Loose - Is a player who plays a lot hands.

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


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.

Make or make the deck - is to shuffle the deck.

Maniac - An aggressive player who plays a lot of hands.

Middle Pair - In a flop game, when you make a pair with one of your face down cards and the middle card of the flop.

Middle Position - Somewhere between the early and late positions on
a round of betting (usually the 5th, 6th & 7th seats to the left of the button).

Muck - To discard or throw away your hand. Also a pile of cards that are no longer in play.

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

Monster - 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.


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

Nuts - The best possible hand at any point of the game. A hand that cannot be beat.

Odds - The likelyhood or probability that some thing will occur, in this case the odds of making a hand from the cards dealt.

Offsuit - Cards of a different suit.

Omaha - A game in which each player is dealt 4 cards face down with 5 community cards. To make a hand, you must play 2 cards from your hand and 3 from the board.

Open - 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.

Option - 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 wants to sit out a hand(s) but stay in the game.


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

Pair - Two cards of the same face or number value.

Pass - 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 hand is all five of the community cards.

Pocket - The down or hole cards.

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

Position - Where a player is seated in relation to the dealer, this establishes the player’s place in the betting order.
Post - When you post a bet, you place your chips in the pot. (You must post the Blinds.)

Pot - 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.

Prop - A person hired by the cardroom to start and maintain a card game see also shill.

Push - When the dealer pushes the chips to the winning player at the end of a hand. Can also mean when a dealer rotates to another table.

Put Down - To fold a hand.


Quads - Four cards the same, i.e.4 Kings,

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


R to Z or Rack to WSOP

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

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

Railbird - A person who hangs around a poker room watching the games and is looking to get into the action.

Raise - To increase the previous bet.

Rake - Chips taken from the pot by the cardroom for hosting the game.

Rank - The value of each card and hand.

Rap - If a player knocks on the table to indicate that he or she has checked.

Razz - 7 Card Stud where the lowest 5 cards win the pot.

Re-buy - How much a player must pay to add a fixed amount of chips to his/her stack in a tournament.

Re-raise - To raise a raise.

Ring Game - A “live” game that is not a tournament.

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

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

Rounders - Players who hustle for a living.

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

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

Scoop To win the entire pot.

Seating List - A waiting list. For a table.If you wish to play this table you must put your name on the list.

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

See To call.

Seven-card Stud - A well-known poker game in which players get 3 face down cards and 4 face 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 - Shills are paid props who help start and maintain poker games.

Showdown - After the final betting round, 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 7card Stud, this is the 4th face up card dealt to the player (their 6th card). It is also the 4th round of betting.

Solid - A fairly tight player

Small Blind - The amount put in the pot by the person immediately to the left of the dealerbutton before the cards are dealt.

Speed Limit - A pair of fives.

Split - Tie.

Stack - A pile of chips.

Stay - 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.

Straddle - 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).

Straight Five -consecutive cards of any suit.

Straight Flush - Five consecutive cards of the same suit.

Structure - The limits put on the blinds, ante, bets, and raises in any game.

Stud Games - Games in which players get down cards and up cards.
Stuck - A player who is losing in a game.


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

Third Street - In 7 Card Stud and 7 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”).

Tight - A player who doesn’t play many pots. or a game that doesn’t much action.

TOC - Tournament of Champions.

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

Treys - A pair of threes.

Trips - Three of a kind.

Turn - 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.


Up Card - A card that is dealt face-up.



Walking Sticks - A pair of sevens.

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

Worst Hand - A losing hand.

WSOP - World Series of Poker.


We hope you have found this dictionary useful. Be lucky! This dictionary has been compiled from various sources, and we have taken every effort to ensure it’s accuracy, however we cannot guarantee that it is without mistakes, if you spot any obvious howlers we would appreciate an email so we can update the next edition. If you feel that there should be a word or phrase included then please let us know.


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