Poker Terms

Poker terms, we have collected in this dictionary all the poker terms that are in poker games. Also in
This dictionary of poker terms has a complete description and meaning of all poker phrases. It will be very convenient for you to find any word that you do not know about poker and understand what it means in a poker game. 

And remember, understanding these words is very important in the game. Your winnings depend on it. You must learn them in order to be able to play poker around the world. These values are valid in all the countries of the world. You need to know them to avoid mistakes in the poker game.

To play well and win you need to know the rules and understand the opponent. It is also very important in the game to defeat strategy and luck. It is also very important to win poker, to understand the whole game as a whole. That’s why we created this dictionary!

And remember poker is just a game. And you need to enjoy the game. If you play with pleasure, then you will indulge in poker and win. This is not a way to make money! This is the same game as the others, you need to play it!

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All | A B C D E F G H I J L M N O P Q R S T U V W
There are currently 301 names in this directory
Ace in the hole
One of the hole cards is an ace.
Act
To make a play (bet, call, raise, or fold) at the required time.
Action
A player's turn to act. A willingness to gamble. A bet, along with all the calls of that bet.
Action card
In Texas hold‘em and other community card poker games, a card appearing on the board that causes significant betting action, because it helps two or more players.
Active player
A player still involved in the pot. If there are side pots, an all-in player may be active in some pots, but not in others.
Add-on
In live games, to buy more chips before you have busted. In tournament play, a single rebuy for which all players are eligible regardless of their stack size; this is usually allowed only once at the end of the rebuy period. The add-on often offers more chips per dollar invested than the buy-in and rebuy.
Advertising
To make an obvious play or expose cards in order to deliberately convey an impression to opponents about one’s style of play.
Aggression factor
A measure of a player's aggression in a betting round.
Aggressive, aggression
The tendency for a player to open bet or raise rather than call or check.
Air
A very weak hand that is lower in value than an ace high or face high card hand.
All-in
When a player bets all of his or her chips in a given hand.
Angle
A permitted but borderline unethical play.
Ante
A forced bet required of all players before the hand begins (note: only in some poker games).
Ante off
In tournament play, to force an absent player to continue paying antes, blinds, and other forced bets so that the contest remains fair to the other players; also called blinding off.
Any two cards
An expression used in Texas Hold'em to say that a player's cards do not matter in the decision of a given hand.
Back into
To win a pot with a hand that would have folded to any bet.
Backdoor
A draw requiring two or more rounds to make. A hand made which the player did not intend to make.
Bad beat
To lose to a weaker hand when one’s hand is considerably ahead of the eventual winning hand.
Balance
Playing very different hands similarly with the aim of making it more difficult for an opponent to gain useful information about one’s cards.
Bankroll
The amount of money that a player has to wager for the duration of his or her poker career.
Bankroll management
Choosing the correct stakes and game type to avoid exhausting a bankroll during downswings.
Behind
Not (currently) having the best hand. Money on the table but not currently in the pot, which can be bet later in the hand. Money in play but not visible as chips in front of a player.
Bet
Any money wagered during the play of a hand. The opening bet of a betting round. In a fixed limit game, the standard betting amount.
Betting structure
The complete set of rules regarding forced bets, limits, raise caps, and such for a particular game.
Big bet game
A game played with no limit or pot limit betting structure.
Big blind
The larger of two forced bets in certain types of poker.
Big blind special
A hand won by the big blind playing very weak pocket cards because there was no raise pre-flop.
Big full
The best possible full house in community card games.
Big stack
A stack of chips that is relatively large for the stakes being played. Also called deep stack. Also the biggest stack at the table.
Blank
A card, frequently a community card, of no apparent value.
Bleed
To consistently lose chips through bad play, possibly resulting from tilting.
Blind defense
To call or raise your opponent's raise when in the big blind, rather than folding an otherwise weak hand, in order to exploit overly aggressive players.
Blind steal
When all other players have folded, a raise with a weak hand from late position with the intention of winning the blinds and antes.
Blocker
Holding one of the opponent's outs, typically when the board threatens a straight or straight draw. A blocker is also having a combination of cards that turn your opponent's outs into your own.
Blocking bet
An abnormally small bet made by a player out of position intended to block a larger bet by an opponent.
Bluff
A bet made with a hand that is mathematically unlikely to make money and can be made to disguise play patterns.
Bluff catching range
The number of hands that do not have any real value left on the river, but might still be good enough to catch the bluff of an opponent.
Bluff induce
To make an aggressive move with a strong hand to give the impression it is a bluff, in order to draw a bluff from an opponent.
Board
The set of community cards in a community card game. The set of face-up cards of a particular player in a stud game. The set of all face-up cards in a stud game.
Boat
Another name for a full house.
Bottom end
The lowest of possible straights that can be made in a given hand.
Bottom pair, bottom set
In a community card game, a pair (or set) made by matching the lowest-ranking board card with one (or two) in one's private hand.
Bounty
An aspect of some poker tournaments that reward players with a cash prize for eliminating other players (separate from the tournament payout structure).
Break
During a tournament, an intermission.
Brick
A blank, though more often used in the derogatory sense of a card that is undesirable rather than merely inconsequential.
Broadway
A 10 through ace straight; can also include any group of cards from 10 to ace.
Bubble
The period in a poker tournament just before entering the payout structure.
Buck
Marker to indicate which player is the dealer (or last to act). Also known as the button.
Bully
A player who raises frequently to force out more cautious players, especially one with a large stack for the given size of the game.
Busted
An uncompleted hand. To lose all of one's chips.
Button
Most commonly a marker that indicates the dealer position at the table (note: other specialized buttons do exist).
Buy short
To buy into a game for an amount smaller than the normal buy-in.
Buy-in
The minimum required amount of chips that must be bought to become involved in a game or tournament.
Call
To match a bet.
Calling station
A player who frequently calls bets, but rarely raises them. A calling station is usually a loose passive player.
Cap
A limit on the number of raises allowed in a betting round, typically three or four (in addition to the opening bet). In most casinos, the cap is removed if there are only two players remaining either at the beginning of the betting round, or at the point in time that would have otherwise been when the last raise was made.
Cap game
Similar to a cap, but refers to a no-limit or pot limit game with a cap on the amount that a player can bet during the course of a hand. Once the cap is reached, all players remaining in the hand are considered all-in.
Cash game
A game where each hand is played for real money as opposed to tournament play.
Catch
To receive cards necessary to make a hand on a draw.
Catch up
To successfully complete a draw, thus defeating a player who previously had a better hand.
Center pot
The main pot in a table stakes game where one or more players are all-in.
Chase
To call a bet with a drawing hand to see the next card when the pot odds do not merit it. To continue to play with a drawing hand over multiple betting rounds, especially one unlikely to succeed. To continue playing with a hand that is unlikely to be the best because one has already invested money in the pot.
Check
To bet nothing.
Check-raise
Deceptive play whereby a player initially checks with the intention of raising should another player bet.
Chip
A small disk used in place of money.
Chip dumping
A strategy whereby one player deliberately loses chips to ship them to another player. When players have agreed to participate in such action together, this is known as a form of collusion.
Chip leader
The player currently holding the most chips in a tournament.
Chip up
To exchange lower-denomination chips for higher-denomination chips. In tournament play, the term means to remove all the small chips from play by rounding up any odd small chips to the nearest higher denomination rather than using a chip race. To steadily accumulate chips in tournament play, typically by winning small pots with minimal risk-taking.
Chop
To split a pot because of a tie, split-pot game, or player agreement. An agreement by all remaining players in a tournament to distribute the remaining chips in the prize pool according to an agreed-upon formula instead of playing the tournament to completion. Usually occurs at the final table of a large tournament.
Click raise
Making the minimum raise. Refers to online poker where players click the raise button without specifying the raise amount.
Coin flip
A situation in which two players have invested all of their money in the pot and roughly have an even chance of winning.
Cold call
To call an amount that represents a sum of bets or raises made by more than one player.
Collusion
A form of cheating involving cooperation among two or more players. See cheating in poker.
Community card
Card opened in the middle of the board. These cards can be used by all players.
Completion
To raise a small bet up to the amount that would be the normal-sized bet.
Connectors
Two or more cards of consecutive or close to consecutive rank.
Continuation bet
A bet made after the flop by the player who initiated the betting before the flop.
Cooler
A situation in which a player holds the second best hand, which is strong considering the circumstances, and apt to lose the maximum with it no matter how he or she plays it.
Crying call
Calling even though a player thinks he or she does not have the best hand.
Cutoff
The seat immediately to the right of the dealer button. In home games, the player on the button actually shuffles and deals the cards while the player in the cutoff seat cuts the deck (hence the name).
Dead blind
A blind that is not live such that the player posting it does not have the option to raise if other players just call. Usually involves a small blind posted by a player entering, or returning to, a game (in a position other than the big blind) that is posted in addition to a live blind equal to the big blind.
Deal
To distribute cards to players in accordance with the rules of the game being played. A single instance of a game of poker beginning from the shuffling of cards and ending with the awarding of the pot; also called a hand. An agreement to split tournament prize money different from the announced payouts.
Deal three times
In a cash game, when two players are involved in a large pot and one is all-in, they might agree to deal the remaining cards three times. Each outcome is worth ⅓ of the pot.
Dealer
The person dealing the cards. The person who assumes that role for the purpose of betting order in a game, even though someone else might be physically dealing the cards.
Deep stack
A stack of chips that is relatively large for the stakes being played. Also called a big stack.
Defense
Making a play that defends the player against a bluff by forcing the suspected bluffer to fold or invest further.
Deuce
The 2 card. Also called a duck.
Dominated hand
A hand that is extremely unlikely to win against another specific hand, even though it may not be a poor hand in its own right. Most commonly used in Texas Hold 'em.
Donk bet
A bet made in early position by a player who did not take the initiative in the previous betting round. It was named so because this move is often indicative of a weak player (since it is more often reasonable to expect a continuation bet).
Donkey
A weak player, also known as a fish or a donk.
Double belly buster straight draw
A combination of hole and exposed cards in hold'em or stud games, which does not include four connected cards, but where there are two different ranks of cards that complete a straight.
Double suited
An Omaha starting hand where two pairs of suited cards are held.
Double up, double through
Usually in a game with a considerable pot size, to bet all of one's chips on one hand against a single opponent (who has an equal or larger stack) and win, thereby doubling the stack.
Downswing
A period during which a player loses more than expected.
Draw, drawing hand
A drawing hand is when a player has a chance to improve their hand to something considerably stronger by drawing the required cards on the flop, turn or river.
Drawing dead
Playing a drawing hand that will lose even if completed. Playing a hand that can never improve beyond the opponent's hand.
Drawing live
Not drawing dead, that is, drawing to a hand that will win if completed.
Drawing thin
Not drawing completely dead, that is, chasing a draw while facing poor odds.
Drop
To fold.
Dry ace
An ace in one's hand with the other hole card not of the same suit; when the board presents a flush possibility and the player does not hold a flush at that time, holding the ace presents some bluffing or semi-bluffing opportunities as well as a redraw in case the flush draw comes on the turn.
Dry board
The texture of the community cards. A board is considered dry when the cards on the table show that it is unlikely or impossible for any player to make a strong hand like a straight or flush.
Dry pot
A side pot with no money created when a player goes all-in and is called by more than one opponent with no subsequent raises. If subsequent betting occurs, the money will go into the dry pot.
Equity
One's mathematical expected value in a current deal, calculated by multiplying the amount of money in the pot by one's probability of winning. If a split is possible, the equity also includes the probability of winning a split multiplied by the size of that split.
Expectation, expected value, EV
Used in poker to mean profitability in the long run.
Family pot
A deal in which every, or almost every, seated player called the first opening bet.
Fantasy Land
In Open Face Chinese poker, if you meet a certain condition, you get to play a hand in Fantasy Land which gives the player a big advantage.
Fast
Aggressive play comparable to speeding.
Favorite
A hand which, when matched against another in a showdown, has an advantage odds-wise over the other. A hand can be called a small or big favorite depending on how dominating it is in contrast to the underdog, to which the situation is reversed. Favorites are usually used to compare how one player’s two hole cards fare against another player’s two hole cards pre-flop.
Felt
The cloth covering of a poker table, regardless of its actual material. Metaphorically, the table itself.
Field
All players as a collective in a large tournament.
Fifth Street
The last card dealt to the board in community card games. Also known as the river.
Fill, fill up
To successfully draw a hand that needs one card to complete it by getting the last card of a straight, flush, or full house.
Final table
The last table in a multi-table poker tournament. The final table is set when a sufficient amount of people have been eliminated from the tournament leaving a specific amount of players to occupy one table (typically no more than ten players).
First position
Also known as under the gun. The player in first position must act first on the first round of betting.
Fish
A weak player. To chase draws holding a weak hand especially when facing aggressive players.
Flat call
A call in a situation in which one might be expected to raise.
Float
Calling a bet with the intention of bluffing in a later betting round.
Flop
The dealing of the first three face-up cards to the board, also referring to those three cards themselves.
Flush
A hand comprising five cards of the same suit.
Fold
To discard one's hand and forfeit shares, if any, in the current pot.
Fold equity
The portion of the pot one expects to win on average by placing a bet that induces your opponents to fold, rather than seeing the showdown.
Four of a kind
A hand containing four cards of equal rank. Also known as quads.
Four-flush
Four cards of the same suit. A non-standard poker hand in some games, while an incomplete drawing hand in most.
Four-straight
Four cards in rank sequence; either an open-ender or one-ender. A non-standard poker hand in some games, while an incomplete drawing hand in most. Sometimes four to a straight.
Fourth Street
The fourth card dealt to the board in community card games. Also called the turn.
Free card
A card dealt to one's hand (or to the board of community cards) after a betting round in which no player opened. One is thereby being given a chance to improve one's hand without having to pay anything.
Freeroll
A poker event with no buy-in.
Freezeout
The most common form of tournament. There are no rebuys, and play continues until one player has all the chips. At the start of tournament, the players will receive an equal amount of tournament chips. It is not possible to add-on more chips while the tournament is in play. If a player loses all of one's chips, then the player will be eliminated from tournament. If the tournament is not a rebuy tournament, then it will be freezeout tournament.
Full house, full boat, full hand, full
A hand with three cards of one rank and two of a second rank. Also known as a boat or tight.
Full ring
A full ring game is a cash game with more than six involved players, typically nine to eleven. This term is normally used in the context of online poker.
Gap hand
In Texas Hold 'em, a gap hand is a starting hand with at least one rank separating the two hole cards. Usually referred in context to one-gap and two-gap hands.
Get away
To fold a strong hand against a supposedly superior hand.
Grinder
A player who earns a living by making small profits over a long period of consistent, conservative play.
Guaranteed Tournaments
Guaranteed tournaments have a guaranteed prize pool (ex. $2000 guaranteed). The guaranteed amount will be distributed as promised even if the total collected buy-in amount falls short of the guaranteed amount. Please note that our regular tournaments contribute the collected buy-in amount to the prize pool. However, if there are more buy-ins than the guaranteed prize pool, the total money pool increases accordingly. The guaranteed prize amount for each tournament is indicated in the tournament lobby, if applicable.
Gutshot
Inside straight draw
Hand history
The textual representation of a hand(s) played.
Heads up poker
Playing against a single opponent.
Hero call
Calling when a player has a relatively weak hand but suspects his or her opponent may be bluffing.
High card
A no pair hand, ranked according to its highest-ranking cards.
Hijack seat
The seat to the right of the cutoff seat, or second to the right of the button. In tournaments, this is generally considered to be the easiest position to steal the blinds, hence the name.
Hole cards
Face-down cards. Also known as pocket cards.
Horse
A player financially backed by someone else.
Improve
To achieve a better hand than what one currently holds by adding or exchanging cards as provided in the rules of the game being played.
In position
A player is said to be in position if the player is last to act on the flop, turn, or river betting rounds.
In the money, (ITM)
To finish high enough in a poker tournament to win prize money.
In turn
A player is said to be in turn if that player is expected to act next under the rules.
Isolation
A bet or raise made with the intention of isolating a player to play heads up.
Junk
A hand with very little to no expected value.
Lag
A loose aggressive style of play in which a player plays a lot of starting hands and makes many small raises in hopes of out-playing his or her opponents.
Last to act
A player is last to act if all players between the player and the button have folded.
Laydown
The act of folding a strong hand in anticipation of superior opposition, often depicted as a difficult decision.
Lead
The player who makes the last bet or raise in a round of betting is said to have the lead at the start of the next round. Can also be used as a verb meaning to bet out into the pot, or to lead into the pot.
Level
Used in tournament play to refer to the size of the blinds that are periodically increased.
Light
A hand that is not likely to be the best, usually used as an action descriptor (i.e. call light, or three-bet light).
Limit
The minimum or maximum amount of a bet.
Limp-reraise
A reraise from a player that previously limped in the same betting round.
Limp, limp in
To enter a pot by simply calling a bet instead of raising.
Live bet
A bet posted by a player under conditions that gives him or her the option to raise, typically because it was posted as a blind or straddle.
Live cards
A player's hand is said to contain live cards if matching either of them on the board would give that player the lead over his or her opponent; typically refers to a hand that is weak, but not dominated.
Live game
A game with a lot of action.
Live hand
A hand still eligible to win the pot; one with remaining live cards that has not been mucked or otherwise invalidated in order to complete and possibly win the hand.
Loose
To play more hands than one’s normal play style or the average player in the game.
Low
The lowest card by rank
M-ratio
A measure of the health of a chip stack as a function of the cost to play each round.
Made hand
A hand that does not need improvement to win.
Maniac
A very loose and aggressive player, who bets and raises frequently, and often in situations where it is not good strategy to do so.
Match the pot
To bet an amount equal to all the chips in the pot.
Micro-limit
Internet poker games with stakes so small that real cardrooms could not profit from them, are said to be at the micro-limit level.
Middle pair
In a community card game, making a pair with neither the highest nor lowest card of the community cards.
Missed blind
A required bet that is not posted when it is a player's turn to do so, perhaps occurring when a player is not present on the table. Various rules require the missed bet to be made up upon the player's return.
Move in
In a no-limit game, to move in or to go all-in means to bet one's entire stake on the hand in play.
Muck
To fold. The discard pile.
Multi-way pot
A pot where several players compete for it. Also known as a family pot, although a family pot sometimes refers to a pot where all players participate.
Nit
A player who is unwilling to take risks and plays only premium hands in the top range.
No Limit
Rules designating that players are allowed to wager any or all of their chips in a single bet.
Nothing
When a player only has the possibility of a high card and no other hand that will win.
Nut hand (the nuts)
The nut hand is the best possible hand in a given situation. Players sometimes evaluate hands by ranking them as being the second nuts or the pure nuts.
Off suit
Cards that are not of the same suit.
Open
To bet first to enter the pot.
Open limp
Being the first person in the pot pre-flop, but not raising.
Open-ended straight draw
An outside straight draw. Also known as a two-way straight draw or double-ended straight draw.
Option
An optional bet or draw. The right to raise possessed by the big blind if there have been no raises.
Orbit
A full rotation of the blinds at a table, equal to the number of people at the table.
Out of position
A player is said to be out of position, if they are either first to act, or is not last to act in a betting round.
Outs
Cards needed to make a certain player win the hand.
Over card
A community card with a higher rank than a player's pocket pair. A higher card.
Overbet
To make a bet that is more than the size of the pot in a no limit game.
Overcall
To call a bet after others have called.
Overpair
A pocket pair with a higher rank than the highest community card.
Paint
Any royal card.
Pair
Two cards of the same rank.
Passive
A style of play characterized by checking and calling.
Pay off
To call a bet when the player is most likely drawing dead because the pot odds justify the call.
Penny ante
Games representing frivolous to low stakes, or for fun-only games; a game where no significant stake is likely to change hands.
Play the board
If one's best hand during showdown is on the board without the use of hole cards, then the player is said to play the board.
Pocket cards
Same as hole cards.
Pocket pair
When two of a player's hole cards make a pair.
Poker face
A player’s blank facial expression that does not reveal any information about his or her cards.
Position bet
A bet that is made more due to the strength of the bettor's position than the strength of the bettor's cards.
Post
To make the required small or big blind bet in Texas Hold'em or other games played with blinds rather than antes.
Pot
The amount of all the players’ bets in a given hand. Winner of the hand takes the entire pot.
Pot odds
The ratio of the amount of money in the pot to the amount of money needed to call the current bet. If the pot holds $100 and it will cost you $20 to call, the pot is laying you 5-to-1 odds.
Pot-committed
More often in the context of a no limit game, a situation where one can no longer fold because the size of the pot is so large compared to the size of one's stack.
Pre-flop
The point in which players have been dealt their hole cards but no flop has been dealt.
Private Tournaments
Private tournaments are held to a certain group of players for the purpose of promotion.
Probe bet
After the flop is dealt, a bet made by a player, who did not take the lead pre-flop, to gain knowledge about the strength of opponents’ cards.
Progressive Bounty
In Progressive Bounty tournaments, each player has a bounty on his or her head. When a player is knocked out of a tournament, the corresponding player's bounty is added on to the bounty of the player who knocks him or her out. The accumulated prize pool will be distributed to the players who make it in the money, at which point the winner will be decided like a normal freezeout tournament.
Protected pot
A pot that seems impossible to win by bluffing because too many players are committed and/or the chances of another player either calling on the river or raising beyond measure are highly likely.
Purse
The total prize pool in a poker tournament.
Push
To bet all-in.
Put on
To put on a hand is to deduce what hand or range of hands opponents may have based on their actions and gameplay style.
Quads
Four of a kind.
Rabbit hunt
After a hand is completed, to reveal cards that would have been dealt subsequently had it continued. This is usually prohibited in casinos because it slows the game and may also reveal information about concealed hands.
Raccoon
A poor player. To make calls based on the hopes of hitting runner-runner, inside, or backdoor draws.
Race
Same as a coin flip.
Rag
A low-valued and presumably worthless card.
Railbird
A non-participatory spectator of a poker game.
Rainbow
Three or four cards of different suits, especially said of a flop. Betting a rainbow is to make a bet of one chip of each color currently in play.
Rakeback
Rebate or repayment to a player, which is a portion of the rake paid by that player.
Range of hands
A range of possible cards that a player considers an opponent may have.
Rebuy
An amount of chips purchased after the initial buy-in. In some tournaments, players are allowed to rebuy chips more than once for a limited period after the start of the game, provided that their stack is equal to or under its initial level.
Rebuy Tournaments
At the start of tournament, the players will receive an equal amount of tournament chips. During the tournament, every player has the opportunity to rebuy, which is purchasing additional chips equivalent to the starting chip stack. Players have the option to rebuy at any time during the specified time period, when their current chip amount is equal to or below the starting chips. The time allotted for rebuys and the number of rebuys available are different depending on the tournament. Details regarding rebuy tournaments are indicated in the tournament lobby, if applicable.
Redeal
To deal a hand again, possibly after a misdeal.
Redraw
To make one hand and have a draw for a better hand. The second or subsequent draw(s) in a draw game with multiple draws.
Represent
To represent a hand is to play as if the player actually holds it whether it is or not.
Reraise
Raise after one has been raised. Also known as coming over the top.
River
The river or river card is the final card dealt in a poker hand, followed by a final round of betting and, if necessary, a showdown. The river is the fifth and last community card to be dealt, after the flop and turn. A player losing the pot due to the river card is said to have been rivered.
Rock
A very tight player.
Rounder
An expert player who travels around seeking out high-stakes games.
Royal cards
Royal cards are also known as face cards or picture cards. These cards consist of the jack, queen, and king of any suit.
Royal flush
A straight flush of the top five cards of any suit. This is generally the highest possible hand.
Run it three times (RITT)
A gentleman's agreement, not allowed in some casinos, where the players (usually two) agree to draw each remaining card(s) to come in three different occasions/runs instead of just once after all parties have gone all-in. The winner of each run takes 1/3 of the pot. Running it three times is done to minimize bad beats and reduce bankroll swings.
Runner-runner
A hand made by hitting two consecutive cards on the turn and river.
Rush
A prolonged winning streak. A player who has won several big pots recently is said to be on a rush. A tournament in which the prize is a free entrance to another (larger) tournament.
Satellites
Satellite tournaments are qualifying events that give you an opportunity to win a seat to the main tournaments with a higher buy-in. · The Turbo Satellite tournaments run 30 minutes before the main event and the buy-in is ⅕ of the main event buy-in amount. · The regular satellites run 90 minutes before the main event and the buy-in is 1/10 of the main event buy-in amount.
Scare card
A card dealt face up (either to a player in a game such as stud or to the board in a community card game) that could create a strong hand for someone.
Scoop
To win all three rows in Open Faced Chinese Poker.
Second pair
In community card poker games, a pair of cards of the second-top rank on the board. Second pair is a middle pair, but not necessarily vice-versa.
Semi-bluff
When a player bluffs on one round of betting with an inferior or drawing hand that might improve in a later round.
Set
Three of a kind, especially a situation where two of the cards are concealed in the player's hole cards.
Shark
A professional player.
Shootout
A poker tournament format where the last remaining player of a table goes on to play the remaining players of other tables. Each table plays independently of the others; that is, there is no balancing as players are eliminated.
Short buy
In no limit poker, to buy into a game for considerably less money than the stated maximum buy in, or less than other players at the table have in play.
Short stack
A stack of chips that is relatively small for the stakes being played.
Shorthanded
A poker game that is played with six players or fewer, as opposed to a full ring game, which is usually nine or ten players. A tournament where all tables are shorthanded at all times is called a short table tournament.
Showdown
When, if more than one player remains after the last betting round, remaining players expose and compare their hands to determine the winner or winners.
Side pot
A separate pot created to deal with the situation of one player going "all in".
Sit & Go
A poker tournament with no scheduled starting time that starts whenever the necessary players have put up their money.
Slow play
To play a strong hand as if it were weak to trick your opponents.
Smooth call
Same as flat call
Soft-play
To intentionally go easy on a player. Soft play is expressly prohibited in most card rooms, and may result in penalties ranging from forced sit-outs to forfeiture of stakes or winnings.
Squeeze play
A bluff reraise in no limit hold'em with less-than-premium cards, after another player or players have already called the original raise. The goal is to bluff everyone out of the hand and steal the bets.
Stack
The total chips and currency that a player has in play at a given moment. A collection of 20 poker chips of the same denomination, usually arranged in an orderly column.
Stakes
The amount one buys in for and can bet.
Staking
Staking is the act of one person putting up cash for a poker player to play with in hopes that the player wins. Any profits are split on a predetermined percentage between the backer and the player. A backed player is often known as a horse.
Starting hand
Hole card hands that players can start with.
Steal
Betting and winning the hand pre-flop and taking the blinds is called stealing the blinds.
Steam
A state of anger, mental confusion, or frustration in which a player adopts a less than optimal strategy, usually resulting in poor play. Same as tilt.
Stop and go
When a player bets into another player who has previously raised or otherwise shown aggression.
Straddle
To post a bet two times the size of the big blind when sitting on the left of the big blind before looking at his/her hole cards. By straddling, the player is able to act last preflop.
Street
A street is another term for a dealt card or betting round.
Structured
A structured betting system is one where the spread of the bets may change from round to round.
Suck out
A situation when a hand heavily favored to win loses to an inferior hand after all the cards are dealt. The winning hand is said to have sucked out.
Suited
Having the same suit.
Suited connectors
Connecting cards with the same suit.
Super Satellite
A multi-table poker tournament in which the prize is a free entrance to a satellite tournament or a tournament in which all the top finishers gain entrance to a larger tournament.
Tag
A tight aggressive style of play in which a player plays a small number of strong starting hands, but when in pots plays aggressively.
Tainted outs
Cards that improve a hand so that it is better than the other current hands, but simultaneously improve other hands even more.
Tell
A tell in poker is a detectable change in a player's behavior or demeanor that gives clues to that player's assessment of their hand.
Texture
How well coordinated the community cards are to one another. This is used to estimate relative hand strength.
Three bet, three betting
To be the first player to put in a third unit of betting.
Three of a kind
A poker hand made with three cards of the same number.
Tight
To play fewer hands than average for the game or for the player normally.
Tilt
Emotionally upset, mental confusion, or frustration in which a player adopts a less than optimal strategy, usually resulting in poor play.
To go
The amount that a player is required to call in order to stay in the hand.
Top kicker
In community card poker games, top kicker is the best possible kicker to some given hand.
Top pair
In community card poker games, top pair is a pair comprising a pocket card and the highest-ranking card on the board.
Top two
A two pair, matching the highest-ranking two flop cards.
Trips
When one of a player's hole cards in Texas hold’em connect with two cards on the board to make three of a kind. This differs from a set where three of a kind is made when a pocket pair connects with one card on the flop to make three of a kind.
Turbo
A type of tournament where the blind levels increase much faster than in standard play.
Turbo Tournaments
Turbo tournaments are fast-paced variations of regular tournaments with shorter blind levels (may be 1/3 or 1/2 that of regular tournaments) and less time given to act.
Turn
The turn, turn card or fourth street is the fourth of five cards dealt to a community card board, constituting one face-up community card that each of the players in the game can use to make up their final hand.
Under the gun
The position directly left of the blinds in Texas hold'em or Omaha. The player who is under the gun must act first on the first round of betting.
Underdog
An underdog or dog is a player with a smaller chance to win than another specified player. Frequently used when the exact odds are expressed.
Underfull
A full house made where the three of a kind has lower-ranking cards than the pair.
Up
When used with a card rank to describe a poker hand, refers to two pair with the named card being the higher pair.
Up the ante
Increase the stakes.
Upcard
A card that is played face up.
Upswing
A period during which a player wins more (or loses less) than expected.
Value bet
A bet made by a player who wants it to be called (as opposed to a bluff or protection bet).
Variance
The statistical measure of how far actual results differ from expectation.
VPIP
Voluntary put money in pot. Represents the percentage of hands with which a player puts money into the pot pre-flop, without counting any blind postings. VPIP is an excellent measure of how tight or loose a player is.
Wake up
To "wake up with a hand" means to discover a strong starting hand, often when there has already been action in front of the player.
Walk
A walk is a situation where all players fold to the big blind.
Wash
To mix the deck by spreading the cards face down on the table and mixing them up.
Weak ace
An ace with a low kicker. Also called small ace, soft ace, or ace-rag.
Weak player
A player who is easily bullied out of a hand post-flop by any sort of action.
Webcam poker
A form of online poker which allows players to watch each other during play via a webcam.
Wet board
A wet board is when the cards on the table make it possible for players to have hit strong hands.
Window card
The window card is the first card shown when the dealer puts out the three cards for the flop.
Wrap
In Omaha, an open ended straight draw comprising two board cards and three or four cards from a player's hand.

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