When you're playing poker, you may come across words that are unfamiliar. To help you learn the lingo of poker, we've developed a handy glossary of poker terms. To help you understand the relationships between these terms, we've built links between many of them. Simply press your browser's 'back' button to return to your previous position in the glossary.

Aces Full

A full house with three aces and any pair


A five-card hand that contains one Ace, with no straight or flush or a hand with no pair in it

Aces Up

A hand that contains two pairs, one of which is a pair of Aces


An intentional tell intended to give false information about a hand


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


Adjective to describe a player who raises and re-raises and rarely calls.


The name of an Ace and Jack in the pocket, suited or otherwise


When a player bets all his/her chips

American Airlines

Two Aces


An action that isn't against the rules, but still incorporates unfair tactics


Using unfair tactics


Money placed in the pot before the hand is begun

Bad Beat

When a hand is beaten by a lucky draw


Making a hand other than the one intended. Example: Having J/10 of Clubs with a flop of A of Clubs, 5 of Clubs, 6 of Spades. The turn and river are K & Q of Hearts. You made a straight instead of the intended (and more likely) flush


A re-raise from a player who originally called


The amount of money you have

Belly Buster

A draw and/or catch to an Inside Straight


To place chips into the pot

Bet Odds

The odds you get as a result of evaluating the number of callers to a raise

Bet the Pot

When a player bets the amount of the pot

Bicycle or Bike

A straight: 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


A useless card


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 without looking at your cards.)

Blind Raise

When a player raises without looking at his hand


To make other players believe that one has a better hand than he/she might otherwise have, by betting or raising


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 7 Card Stud, four cards are dealt face-up in front of each player


A full house

Bottom Pair

When a player uses the lowest card on the flop to make a pair with one of his own cards


An Ace high straight (A-K-Q-J-10)


The forced bet made on the first round of betting by the player who is dealt the lowest card showing in 7 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

Broomcorn's Uncle

A player who antes himself broke


A pair of Aces


To raise


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


The minimum amount of money required by a player to sit down in a particular poker game


Matching the bet amount

Call Cold

To call both a bet and raise(s)

Calling Station

A passive and loose player who does not raise much, but calls more than he or she should.


To take the last of the maximum amount of raises allowed per round of betting.


The room or space in a casino where poker is played.

Cards Speak

Your hand is the most favourable possible combination of cards, no matter how you call it.

Case Chips

A player's last chips.

Cash Out

To leave a game and converting chips into cash.


When it's a player's turn to act and there has been no action in front of them and he opts not to bet, he 'checks.'


When a player first checks and then raises in a betting round.


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'.

Dead Man's Hand

Two pair - Aces and Eights (The hand Wild Bill Hickock was holding when Jack McCall shot him in the back).


The man or woman who handles the cards, gives out the pots, and monitors the game.

Dealer's Position

Being the last to act in a betting round. On the button.


One of the four playing card suits. Formerly representing merchants.

Disconnect Protection

A tool to protect players in the event that their internet connection is lost while involved in a pot.

Dominated Hands

Hands that are okay to play, but tend to lose against similar
non-straight/flush hands. Example: A2 is dominated because against other hands with an Ace, it loses or draws without improvement.

Door Card

This is the first exposed card, or 'up' card, in a player's hand in Stud games.

Down Card

Hole cards, or cards that are dealt face down.

Doyle Brunson

It's a Hold'em hand consisting of a 10-2 (Brunson won the World Championship of Poker two years in a row 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 - 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.


Playing a hand to improve.

Drawing Dead

A drawing hand that will lose even if it improves.

Drawing Hand

A hand that needs improvement to win. Usually to a straight or flush.




A pair of Twos.


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 each 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.


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.


An employee of the cardroom who makes rulings and decisions


Any five cards of the same suit

Flush Draw

When a player has four cards in his hand, all of the same suit and is hoping to draw a fifth to make a flush


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

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.

Free Card

The card you get as result of semi-bluffing from late or last position so that all the players check to you.

Full House

Any three cards of the same number or face value, plus any other two cards of the same number or face value


Playing in a style with minimal risk and modest gains over a long period of time.

Gut Shot

To draw to and/or hit an inside straight.


A player's best five cards.


When only two players are involved with a hand.


One of the four playing card suits.


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 Limit

A game where the amounts wagered are high.


Split pot games.


Also known as Texas Hold'em, where the players get two down cards and five community cards. See our complete Hold'em rules.

Hole Cards

These are the down cards in front of the players.


The casino or cardroom that is hosting the poker game.


The way other players see you.

Implied Odds

The odds you calculate, considering the assumed result of betting for the remainder of the hand.

Inside Straight

Four cards that require another between the top and the bottom card to complete a straight. Players who catch this card make an Inside Straight.


A prize fund awarded to a player who meets a set of predetermined requirements. For example, some casinos will give a jackpot to someone who gets four-of-a-kind or higher and loses.

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.


The highest unpaired side card in a player's hand.

Kick it


Kill Pot

A method to stimulate action. It is a forced bet by someone who has just won a pot(s)




A hand that contains a K-J


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 right of the button).

Lay Down Your Hand

When a player folds


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.


The first player who calls a bet.

Limp In

To enter the pot by calling rather than raising. The most common understanding of limping in, is when the first person to speak only 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

An inexperienced player who plays a lot of hands.

Long Shot

Making a hand despite having few outs and/or poor odds.


When a player calls the final bet before the showdown.


A loose player plays a lot hands.


Is a form of draw poker in which the lowest hand wins the pot.

Low Limit

A game where the amounts wagered are small.

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.


To make the deck is to shuffle the deck.


A very aggressive player who plays a lot of hands.


The name of a Queen and Jack in the pocket. Suited or otherwise.


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).


Mental devices used to remember things. In Hold'em, often players have names for what pocket cards they have, like Big Slick or Maverick.


To discard or throw away your hand. It is also a pile of cards that are no longer in play.

Minimum Buy-in

The least amount of money with which you can start a game.


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.


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


The probability of making a hand vs. the probability of not making a hand.


Cards of a different suit.


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.

On the Button

Being the last player to act in a betting round. Dealer's Position.


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


An option is a live blind made 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.


The number of cards left in the deck that will improve your hand.


A pocket pair higher than any of the cards on the board.


Face or picture cards (Jack, Queen and King).


Two cards of the same face or number value.


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.


The down cards or hole cards

Pocket Cards

The two cards dealt to you at the beginning of a Hold'em hand that no one else is entitled to see

Pocket Rockets

A pair of Aces in the pocket or hole


Where a player is seated in relation to the dealer, therefore establishing that player's place in the betting order


If you miss the blind, then you must ‘post’ - add as many chips as were in the blind itself


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.


A person hired by the cardroom to work as a shill


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.


Four of a kind.


In Hi/Lo games, it is a requirement the Low hand must meet to win the pot.


A tray that holds 100 poker chips in five stacks of twenty chips each.


The rim of a poker table or a barrier outside a poker area.


Someone who hangs around a poker room who watches the games and/or is looking to get into action.


To increase the previous bet.


Chips taken from the pot by the cardroom for compensation for hosting the game.


The value of each card and hand.


When a player knocks on the table indicating that he/she has checked.


The illegal action of taking money off the table and putting it somewhere else.


7 Card Stud where the lowest five cards win the pot.


Analysis of a player based on how they play, mannerisms, and tells.


The amount of money a player pays to add a fixed number of chips to his/her stack in a tournament


To raise a raise

Ring Game

A 'live' game that is not a tournament.


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.


A passive, tight player

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.


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.


The act of playing with more money than is typical or reasonable.


A winning streak.


Holding back and calling despite the fact that you have a very good hand, usually to disguise strength, provoke bluffs, and to check-raise.


A mini-tournament to gain an entry into a larger tournament.


To win the entire pot

Seating List

A waiting list. A player can put his or her name on this list if there are 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.


To call.


Betting with a mediocre or drawing hand.


Having a pocket pair that matches one of the cards on the board.

7 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 7 Card Stud.

Seventh Street

This is the final round of betting in 7 Card Stud and Stud 8 or


Shills are paid props who help start and maintain poker games.

Short Buying

Purchasing chips after your initial purchase. Usually the minimum for a short buy-in is less than the initial buy-in.


A short-handed game has few players.


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 7 Card Stud, this is the fourth 'up' card dealt to a player (their
6 card). It is also the 4 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.

Soft Seat

A seat or game that is favorable because of the lack of skill at the table.


A fairly tight player (and reasonably good).

Speed Limit

A pair of fives.




A pile of chips.


When a player remains in the game by calling rather than raising.

Steal Raise

A raise by someone in late position in an attempt to reduce the number of players and/or steal the pot.


Re-raising to make a player(s) call two bets instead of one.

Steel Wheel

A five high straight (A-2-3-4-5) of the same suit.


A straddle is a Blind bet which is usually double the size of the Big Blind, (and one that a player may raise when the action gets to him).


Five consecutive cards of any suit.

Straight Flush

Five consecutive cards of the same suit.


The limits put on the blinds/ante, bets, and raises in any particular game.

Stud Games

Games in which players get both down cards and up cards.


A player who is losing in a game.


A characteristic of a playing card. The card being either of Clubs, Diamonds, Hearts, or Spades.


The surface on which poker is played


An action that gives clues about the cards someone is holding.

Texas Hold'em

This is also the name for Hold'em, the most popular form of poker.

Third Street

In 7 Card Stud and 7 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').


Either a player who doesn't play many pots, or a game that doesn't have much action.

Tilt, On

Behaviour as a result of losing, usually negative.


Tournament of Champions.

Top Pair

In flop games, when the player pairs one of his down cards with the highest card on board.

Top Two Pair

Having both your pocket cards match the highest two cards on the board.


A pair of threes


Three of a kind


In flop games, this is the fourth card dealt. It is the third round of

Two Pair

A hand consisting of two different pairs.


A pocket pair of lower value than the lowest card on the board.

Under the Gun

Being the first person to act, being in the earliest position.

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.


World Series of Poker.