Below are various poker terms that are used often in the speech and discussion of the game. If you know of a term that is not listed here, please contact us
A hand that has no special card rankings (pairs, full house etc.) and the highest
card is an ace.
A hand with 3 aces and a pair of any other value.
A hand that contains two pairs: one pair of aces and another pair of any other
A check, bet, call, fold or raise.
A player who is in the pot.
When a player bets all his or her chips.
All-In Over the Top
Raising with all of your chips after an opponents bet.
Back Into a Hand
To draw cards that make a hand that is different from the hand you were originally
trying to make.
When you have three cards that would support a flush, but you need the turn
and river to make a flush.
When you have three cards that would support a straight, but you need the turn
and river to make a straight.
When a lucky hand beats a strong hand.
The amount of money that a player has to wager for the duration of his or her
Battle of the Blinds
When everyone folds to the players who have forced bets.
When your hand is not the best hand before all the cards have been dealt.
To put money in the pot of your own free will.
Bet for Value
When you bet in order to increase the pot size, not to make your opponents fold.
Bet the Pot
To make a bet that is the size of the pot.
An underdog. The person who has a very low chance of winning.
The forced bet that is made by the person sitting two seats to the left of the
button. This is the largest forced bet. In World Poker Tour (tournament play)
this amount increases after each timed round.
Poker slang for A, K; a very strong starting hand.
A card that is not of value to the players hand.
A mandatory bet placed by the two players to the left of the dealer button.
To raise or bet a weak hand in order to make your opponent think you have a
Bust a Player
To eliminate a player from the game by taking all of his or her chips.
To lose all your chips and thus be eliminated from a tournament.
A white disc-shaped object that moves clockwise around the table each hand and
indicates where the action begins.
A minimum amount of money that must be paid in order to play in a tournament
and live games.
To match (rather than raise) the previous bet.
The number of raises allowed in a game.
To strategically alternate your play between conservative and aggressive.
To not bet, reserving the option to call or raise later in the betting round.
Come Over the Top
To raise or re-raise another players bet.
The cards that are played face up on the center of the table, and which can
be used by all of the active players.
Consecutively ranked cards that can help a player make a straight
Dead Man’s Hand
A pair of aces and a pair of eights; Wild Bill Hickock was shot holding this
Money that was put into the pot by players who have since folded.
Betting all your chips and winning, ending up with twice as many chips.
The players cards which are dealt face down.
When you cannot win, no matter what cards come up.
A position in a round of betting where a player must act before the other players.
This is a disadvantaged position.
The final round of betting and the fifth card on the table, the river.
A poor player who is losing all of his or her money, a sucker.
The first three cards placed in the center of table that anyone may use to form
To withdraw from the game, and give up your cards rather than continue betting.
Four of a Kind
Four cards with the same value. (Ex: J, J, J, J)
The fourth card on the table, and the third round of betting. This is also known
as the turn.
A game or a tournament that is played until one player has all the chips.
A hand that contains three-of-a-kind and a pair. (Ex: J, J, J, 2, 2)
Get Full Value
To raise, bet or re-raise with the intention of getting the maximum pot odds
if you win the hand.
Gut Shot Straight Draw
Four cards of a straight with a card in the middle missing. (ex: If you have
a 9 and an 8 and the flop contains a 7, then you need a 6 in the turn or river.
If a 6 comes, then you have made the gut shot straight draw.)
A pot that has been raised the maximum number of times.
In a tournament, this is a hand that proves to be a turning point - for better
or for worse.
The highest card in a players hand that is not being used in some other way
(to create three-of-a-kind, a pair, etc).
A position in a round of betting where a player can act after most or all of
the other players have acted. This is an advantaged position.
Folding a strong hand in a critical situation.
A strong hand. A hand that is not a bluff.
When a player enters the round by only calling, rather than raising, a bet.
A hand that is eligible to win the pot.
When there is a very low probability that something will happen.
Playing many weak hands.
When a player goes all-in, he or she is eligible to win the main pot. Any betting
that is done after that is done in a side pot.
A hand that has a high probability of winning.
To discard a hand; also the pile of discarded hands.
No Limit Hold-em Table Stakes
At any time, any player can bet any or all of his or her chips.
The best flush available within each hand.
Nut Flush Draw
When one card will give you the best possible flush.
A hand that can’t be beaten no matter what comes. Also used as a superlative
(e.g. You’re the nuts!)
The probability of making versus not making a hand.
On a Short Stack
When a player has very few chips.
On the Button
The best table position in Hold Em, benefiting from acting last. The player
who acts last in a round.
Playing recklessly due to frustration.
A card that is dealt face-up.
Open End Straight Draw
Four consecutive cards, such as 9-10-J-Q. In this example, any King or 8 would
make a straight.
Two cards of the same value that are dealt face-up.
A card that is still in the deck that could improve your hand.
Out of Position
Being at the disadvantage of having to act before your opponent.
When one person beats his or her opponent by drawing a better hand.
The cards that will turn the statistical underdog into a winner.
Over the Top
Making a large raise.
Two cards that have the same value (Ex: 3, 3).
When a player folds his or her hand.
To bet aggressively on a hand.
Playing the Board
When your best five-card hand is the five cards on the board.
Where a player sits in relation to the dealer, which determines his or her betting
The chips that have been bet.
The amount of money in the pot vs the amount of money it costs to continue playing.
Protect a Hand
To bet in order to convince other players to fold, and reduce the risk of having
them outdraw you.
Putting on the Heat
To pressure the other players by betting aggressively.
Four of a kind.
Flop cards that do not help any players hand.
The value of the card or hand.
To raise on top of a previous raise within the same hand.
The final community card dealt; all players may use it to form their best hand.
A tight and conservative player.
Round of Betting
The period in which each active player has the opportunity to check, bet or
A professional player who frequents high-stakes tournaments.
A hand containing: A, K, Q, J, 10 in the same suit.
On a losing streak.
On a winning streak.
To call a bet.
When there is a very high probability that something will happen.
The player with the fewest chips at the table has the short stack.
After the final round of betting, the players cards are turned face-up to see
A separate pot contested by other players when one player is all-in.
Stalling before showing a winning hand to frustrate your opponent.
The forced bet that is made by the person sitting one seat to the left of the
button. This bet is half the size of the big blind.
Playing recklessly due to frustration.
Five consecutive cards of mixed suits
Five consecutive cards of the same suit.
The schedule by which the antes and blinds (forced bets) increase.
Two cards that are consecutive in rank and of the same suit.