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Poker Terms

Poker Terms: Dictionary & Glossary

When playing poker as well as reading about it you are bound to run into a large number of poker terms which you might be unfamiliar with.

In this dictionary and glossary, we go over 200 of the most common ones, in part courtesy of Party Poker.


  • Ace-High
    A five card hand that contains one Ace, with no straight or flush or a hand with no pair in it.
  • Aces Full
    A full house with three aces and any pair.
  • Aces Up
    hand that contains two pairs, one of which is Aces.
  • Action
    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.
  • Add-on
    A purchase of more chips (optional) at the end of the re-buy period in a tournament.
  • All-In
    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.
  • Ante
    Money placed in the pot before the hand is begun.


  • Bad Beat
    When a hand is beaten by a lucky draw.
  • Belly Buster
    A draw and/or catch to an Inside Straight.
  • Bet
    To place chips into the pot.
  • Bet the Pot
    When a player bets the amount of 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. (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.
  • Blind
    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.
  • Bluff
    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.
  • Boardcards
    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.
  • Bring It In
    To start the betting on the first round.
  • Bring-In
    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.
  • Broadway
    An Ace high straight (A-K-Q-J-10).
  • Broomcorn’s Uncle
    A player who antes himself broke.
  • Bullets
    A pair of Aces.
  • Bump
    To raise.
  • Button
    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.
  • Buy-In
    The minimum amount of money required by a player to sit down in a particular poker game.


  • Call
    When a player chooses to match the previous bet.
  • Cap
    To take the last of the maximum amount of raises allowed per round of betting.
  • Cardroom
    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.
  • Check
    When it’s a player’s turn to act and there has been no turn action in front of them and he opts not to bet, he “checks.”
  • Check-Raise
    When a player first checks and then raises in a betting round.
  • Chop
    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”.
  • Collusion
    When two or more players conspire to cheat in a poker game.
  • Community Cards
    Cards that are face-up and used by all players.
  • Cowboys
    Two Kings.


  • Dead Man’s Hand
    Two pair – Aces and Eights (Wild Bill Hickock was shot in the back while playing this hand).
  • Deuces
    A pair of Twos.
  • 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.
  • Drop
  • Ducks
    A pair of Twos.


  • 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.)


  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Floorman
    An employee of the cardroom who makes rulings and decisions.
  • Flop
    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.
  • Flush
    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.
  • Fold
    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.


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


  • Hand
    A player’s best five cards.
  • High-Card
    To decide the first dealer in the flop tournaments each user is dealt a single card and the player with the highest card (based on the card and the suit order – of spades, hearts, diamonds & clubs) becomes the theoretical dealer.
  • High-Low
    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 Poker Rules section.
  • Hole Cards
    These are the Down Cards in front of the players.
  • House
    The casino or cardroom that is hosting the poker game.


  • Inside Straight
    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.


  • 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.


  • 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.
  • Kick It
  • Kicker
    The highest unpaired side card in a players’ hand.
  • Kill Pot
    A method to stimulate action. It is a forced bet by someone who has just won a pot(s).
  • Knock
  • Kojak
    A hand that contains a K-J.


  • Ladies
    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.
  • Lead
    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.
  • 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.)
  • Limper
    The first player who calls a bet.
  • 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(s)
    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.
  • Look
    When a player calls the final bet before the showdown.
  • Loose
    Is a player who plays a lot hands.
  • Lowball
    Is a form of draw poker in which the lowest pothand 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
    To make the deck is to shuffle the deck.
  • Maniac
    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).
  • 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.
  • Muck
    To discard or throw away your hand. It’s also a pile of cards that are no longer in play.


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


  • Odds
    The probability of making a hand vs. the probability of not making a hand.
  • Offsuit
    Cards of a different suit.
  • Omaha
    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.
  • Open
    To make the first bet.
  • Open Card
    A card that is dealt face-up.
  • Open Pair
    A pair that has been dealt face-up.
  • Open-ended Straight
    Four consecutive cards whereby one additional (consecutive) card is needed at either end to make a straight.
  • 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 wishes to sit out a hand(s) but remain 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 five card hand is all five of the community cards.
  • Pocket
    The down cards 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, therefore establishing that 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 work as a shill.
  • Push
    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.


  • Quads
    Four of a kind.
  • Qualifier
    In High-Low games, it is a requirement the Low hand must meet to win the pot.


  • 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
    Someone who hangs around a poker room who watches the games and/or is looking to get into action.
  • Raise
    To increase the previous bet.
  • Rake
    Chips taken from the pot by the cardroom for compensation for hosting the game.
  • Rank
    The value of each card and hand.
  • Rap
    When a player knocks on the table indicating that he/she has checked.
  • Razz
    Seven Card Stud where the lowest five cards win the pot.
  • Re-buy
    The amount of money a player pays to add a fixed number 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 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.
  • Rounders
    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.


  • 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. 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.
  • See
    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
    Shills are paid props who help start and maintain poker games.
  • Showdown
    At the end of the final betting round, it’s when all active players turn their cards faceup 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.
  • 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.
  • Solid
    A fairly tight player (and reasonably good).
  • 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 particular game.
  • Stuck
    A player who is losing in a game.
  • Stud Games
    Games in which players get down cards and up cards.


  • 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”).
  • Tight
    A player who doesn’t play many pots. A tight game is one that doesn’t have 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.