Poker Lingo

If you are a new player to the game of poker, or even a newbie to Texas Hold’em, you are probably a bit confused by a lot of the poker lingo that you hear at the table. You are not alone. The good thing is that most of the lingo in poker is easy to pick up and use once you know the poker terms mean. Let’s take a look at some regular terms you will hear in poker.

All-in – when a play puts all of their money at risk in a poker game.

Ante – money that all players must commit to the pot before receiving cards. This is different from the blinds and usually about 1/10th of the blind. Blinds are used to build a pot and force action.

Bad Beat – when a player that is a statistical favorite to win a hand loses the hand. Such as pocket aces losing to 7-2 offsuit.

Bankroll – the money a poker player has to play poker.

Big Blind – the second position to the left of the dealer. This player must post an amount that is double the small blind amount.

Big Slick – holding an ace and a king as your pocket cards.

Blank – a card on the board that does not improve your hand. Also known as a brick.

Blinds – the two positions to the left of the dealer that must post forced bets. These bets are used to induce action.

Bluff – when a player commits money to the pot when they know they are behind or when they have no hand.

Boat – a full house

Button – a white disc that is used to determine the dealer position. This is the last person to act in a hand and the last person to receive cards.

Buy-in – the amount of money used to buy into a poker game.

Chop – In a poker hand, when two or more players tie a hand. Can also refer to chopping up a prize pool in poker tournaments.

Community Cards – in Texas Hold’em and Omaha poker five cards that are dealt in the center of the table that may be used by any player. Also known as the board.

Cutoff – a player to the right of the dealer button

Dominated – when two players show their hole cards and they both have the same high card, but one player has a higher kicker than the other.

Donkey – a horrible poker player

Draw – when you have four out of five needed cards to make a hand, such as a straight or a flush.

Fish Hooks – pocket jacks

Flop – the first three community cards dealt in a Hold’em or Omaha game. This is followed by a round of betting

Freeroll – in a tournament, when an event is free to enter. In a hand, when a player has a made hand that is certain to win, but they can potentially make an even better hand.

Gutshot – when a players straight draw is not connected but needs a specific card, such as needed a five to complete a 2-3-4-6 draw.

Hijack – two positions to the right of the dealer button.

Hole cards – the first two cards dealt to a player in a Texas Hold’em game. These are face down.

Kicker – the next highest card in your hand after you make a pair. Sometime this refers to the card in your hand if it is higher than the other board cards

Kowboys – a term used for pocket kings

Ladies – pocket queen

Muck – to throw away your cards without showing.

Open ended – when you have a straight draw with four cards in sequence, such as 3-4-5-6. You can catch either a 2 or 7.

Out kicked – when you and another opponent have the same pair, but they have a higher kicker

Playing the board – in Texas Hold’em, when a player’s best hand is the five community cards, they are playing the board.

Position – this refers to your physical location in relation to the button. The later you are in position, the more action you see ahead of you.

Quads – four of a kind.

River – the fifth community card dealt in a Hold’em or Omaha game. This is followed by a final round of betting, followed by a showdown.

Rockets – a termed used for pocket aces

Set – Three of a kind made by a pair in your hand and one card on the board

Shove – same as moving all-in

Showdown – when the players show their cards at the end of a hand. The best hand takes the pot.

Slow play – playing a strong hand passively in the hope of inducing a player to bluff

Slow Roll – taking a long time to show down a hand, usually done to tilt a player

Small Blind – the first position to the left of the dealer. This player must post an amount that is half of the big blind amount.

Snowmen – pocket eights

Sucker Straight – when a player has a straight that is not the nut straight. Example – player holding 7-8 on a 9-10-J board.

The Nuts – when a player holds an unbeatable hand

Tilt – when a player is upset or mad due to a result of a hand, also called steaming

Trips – three of a kind where two or more of the cards are on the board.

Turn – the fourth community card dealt in a Hold’em or Omaha game. This is followed by a round of betting

Under-the-gun – the first position to the left of the big blind. He is the first player to act after cards are dealt.

Walking Sticks – Pocket Sevens

If you have some more poker terms you hear at the tables or have made up, please send them to us and we’ll add them to this page.



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