Poker Jargon

Understand poker lingo so that you can follow the game, a beginners guide. Terms that are commonly used in playing poker or should you play multiplayer poker, but are not commonly used in everyday language.

Aces Full A full house with three aces and any pair
Ace-High A five card hand that contains one Ace, with no straight or flush
Aces Up A 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 pot
All-In When a player bets all his/her chips.: In online poker, you may be deemed "All-in" when you aredisconnected (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
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
Broadway An Ace high straight (A-K-Q-J-10)
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
Bring It In To start the betting on the first round
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
Call Cold To call both a bet and raise(s)
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 leave a game and convert your chips to cash
Check When it's a player's turn to act and there has been no action in front of them and they opt not to bet, they "check."
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 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)
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
Drop Fold
Ducks A pair of Twos
Deuces 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
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
Floorman An employee of the cardroom who makes rulings and decisions
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-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 Game 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 jackpo t to a player who has lost with a really big hand (usually Aces full or better)
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
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
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
Limper The first player who calls a Blind
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(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
Loose When a player calls the final bet before the showdown
Lowball A player who plays a lot of hands
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
Meet To meet is to call
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)
Muck 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
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 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 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 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. Click here for information on Seven Card Stud
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 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
Solid 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
Split Tie
Stack A pile of chips
Stay When a player remains in the game by calling rather than raising
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
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 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