Placing money into the pot. When there is a lot of action, there are several bets, raises, and re-raises. Action is initiated with binding verbal statements such as I raise. Giving action is placing money in the pot when someone else should be expected to win. Receiving action occurs when others put money in the pot that you expect to win.
The opportunity to buy additional chips in a tournament.
Giving the impression that you play a weak game so that other players will give you more action when you make a legitimate hand.
Also known as playing fast. A playing style marked by much raising and re-raising.
A player is all-in when he/she has put their last chips into the pot. Is eligible for the main pot but at table stake games, is not entitled to win any money bet above their final bet.
A compulsory, minimum opening or starting bet put up by players before each hand.
A hand made using the last two cards dealt in Seven-Card Stud or Texas Hold'em.
Bad Beat/Snapped Off
The loss of a pot when holding a very strong hand.
The financial backer of a gambling operation.
In a card game, usually the dealer who looks after the action of the other players.
(Noun) The total amount of money a player has the intention of gambling with. (Verb) To provide another with a sum of money for gambling, taking on part of the risk in exchange for profit.
Dealing from the bottom of the deck. A form of cheating.
Before the last cards have been dealt, if you don't have the best hand you are 'behind'.
Refers to a game where it is easy to win money.
The hand consisting of Ace-2-3-4-5, a straight. It is also called a wheel or bicycle.
The largest betting amount in limit games. In $5 -$10 Hold'em it is the $10 bet.
A four-card straight flush that is open-ended.
When a players hole cards are an Ace and a King, in Hold'em.
A card that looks useless to players.
In flop games, any bets are usually posted before any cards are dealt. It is above the required ante. All players must match if they wish to play out hand. Used as a means of creating the initial pot if an ante is not used.
A wager made with a weak hand often intended to entice other players to fold. Bluffers have little or no chance of winning a showdown.
The community cards dealt face-up in the center of the table in a flop game (e.g. Hold'em) or the up cards in a stud game (e.g. Seven- Card Stud).
Another term for a full house.
Making a pair with the lowest card on the flop.
Winning a championship event at the World Series of Poker (WSOP) earns the player a Gold Bracelet. Highly prized amongst poker professionals.
The best hand, also known as 'the nuts'.
A 'blank' in Seven-Card Stud (e.g. a card that appears not to help a players hand).
To 'bring it in' is to make the first bet on the first round of a hand. In seven-card stud, the bring-in is a mandatory bet made by the player with the lowest upcard in the first round of betting.
Term referring to an ace high straight.
The name to which an employee at a card room is sometimes referred.
A Joker or wild card in some games.
To increase an original bet.
A buried pair is a pair in the hole in Seven-Card Stud or a pair in the first two down cards.
A 'burn card' is a card discarded from the top of the deck at predetermined points in deals (in case a player has seen it). In card games after a shuffle and cut, one card is placed on the bottom of the deck or in the discard tray, which is called burning the card.
To run out of money. 'Busted out' in competitions means you lose.
A hand of less value than a pair, which is only good in low-ball situations.
To buy a pot is to make a bet large enough that other players would be unlikely to call. Similar to a bluff.
The amount of money spent to buy chips at the onset of a game.
To call is to match the current bet. If there was a bet of $5 and a raise of $5 then it costs $10 to call. Calling is the least expensive way to remain in a hand.
Limit on the number of raises (usually 3 or 4) in a round of betting in limit games. Caps make it harder for players to conspire. A player caps the betting when he/she makes the final raise.
A professional card player or one who is an expert at cards.
The separate room(s) in a casino where poker is played. Some card rooms exist independently from casinos.
A big card room with comforts.
Getting favourable cards that strengthen a hand.
Passing your turn (or calling a bet of $0). This is an option if no betting has yet occurred in a betting round.
Checked all around
Each player at a table checking in turn in the same round, which results in a free card.
To return Blind Bet to player and move onto the next hand. This occurs if no one else calls Blind Bet.
Players mislead other players by referring to possibilities in their hand. Being chatty.
To exchange one's chips for chips of higher value.
A hand that must improve to be able to win.
Cards dealt face-up in the middle of the table and shared by all the players.
Court Card/ Paint
To split a deck of cards in the middle and reverse the halves. Done after the cards are shuffled and before they are dealt. Dealers split cards when poker is played in card rooms and the player next to the dealer when played in home games usually splits them.
Plastic card used to cut the cards after the shuffle.
A hand that is no longer eligible to win the pot.
Dead Mans Hand
(1) Two pair of aces and eights; (2) the black aces, black eights and nine of diamonds. Named so because it was the hand that Wild Bill Hickcock was holding when he was shot to death.
To give out the cards during a hand. In card rooms, a dealer is hired to do this and in private games, the players take turns dealing.
A person who distributes the cards.
A flat disk used to indicate which player is the last to receive cards on the deal. In poker games like Texas Hold'em, the player to the left of the dealer bets first.
A form of poker in which the dealer is given the responsibility of choosing the particular poker game that will be dealt. The dealer may do this before each hand or for an entire round. More common at private games.
A tray on the dealers right side that holds all the cards which are no longer in play.
Slang for a hand containing a pair of 9's and a pair of 5's.
Down Cards / Pocket Cards
Cards that are dealt face down.
Down to the Felt
Totally out of money, broke.
(Noun) The time players are allowed to exchange the cards in their hand for cards in the deck; (Verb) Receiving more cards in hopes of improving ones hand.
Games in which players are permitted to discard some or all cards and replace them with cards from the deck. Drawing three is exchanging three cards. A player is on the draw when he/she remains in the game, hoping to improve their hand by drawing cards from the deck.
To abandon a hand or throw away the cards without calling a bet.
The jack, queen, and king of any suit of cards.
When all players enter a pot.
Tough or expert players. Sometimes meaning unscrupulous.
The hand that is expected by other players to be the winning hand.
The fifth card dealt in a hand of stud poker. In seven-card stud, the third round of betting is called Fifth Street because players have five cards. In Texas Hold'em poker, Fifth Street is the fifth card on board and the final round of betting.
Fish/ Mark/ Rabbit
A poor player. Usually marked by giving away a significant amount of money.
A player who stays in a poker game generally waiting for or fishing for the card or two that will make the hand a winner.
A call unaccompanied by a raise.
Also known as the floor. Employees in the card room who manage seating, disputes, etc.
(Noun) A general class of games that are played with five community cards. The first three cards are dealt at the same time and are called the flop. Hold'em and Omaha are flop games; (Verb) To make a hand on the flop.
Five cards of the same suit.
Four of a Kind/Quads
Four cards of the same rank.
The fourth card dealt in a hand of stud poker. In seven-card stud, the second round of betting is called Fourth Street because players have four cards. In Texas Hold'em poker, Fourth Street is the fourth card on board and the third round of betting.
When a player has a hand that will at least share the pot but still has a chance of winning.
Free Roll Tournaments
Promotional tournaments that have no entry fee or initial buy-in so as to attract players. Promotional offers often depend on how many hours a player has spend in a particular card room.
Seeing the next card without having to call a bet.
Any poker tournament format in which a player cannot re-buy chips to remain in the game.
A hand consisting of three cards of one rank and two cards of another.
Go to the Office
To give a warning regarding cheating.
Folding of cards. No longer in hand.
A restaurant or bar that runs a regular card game hidden in a back room.
A player whose only aim is to win a little money each day. They grind it out.
The cards that a player holds, or to everything that happens in a card game between shuffles of the deck. A hand begins with the shuffling of the cards, dealing and then betting until a winner is declared which ends the hand.
A conspicuous, tell tale card that sticks out when a dealer is cheating.
A play between only two players.
Getting the best card that will improve a persons hand and chances of winning.
The highest denomination of chips in a card room.
To take a card. Usually indicates a player has a good hand.
Hit and Run
What happens when a player who stops playing after winning a large pot.
The first two down cards are said to be 'in the hole'.
In Stud and Texas Hold'em poker, the facedown cards dealt to each player. In Black Jack, the facedown cards that the dealer gets.
Giving a small amount of money to another player after winning a pot.
The card room. Has house rules and makes a profit from the pot.
An inside straight draw is a draw to a straight that's missing one of the cards in the middle. e.g. Needing a 6 when holding 4-5-7-8 or a 10 when holding 7-8-9-Jack.
Joker/ Wild Card
An additional card in the deck implemented in some games. If used in a serious poker game, the Joker represents a wild card.
The highest unpaired card in a players hand that doesn't participate in a straight or flush - i.e., the card that does not contribute to the strength of your hand except by itself.
Ku Klux Klan
A slang term for a Queen.
Any game where there is a fixed limit on how much you can bet or raise in any round.
To flat call an opening forced bet is to limp into a hand.
A face card. Given its name because one can see a line when the card is facing down and the lower right corner is slightly lifted.
A fresh card or a card that has not been seen.
A game with lots of betting action.
Players who are predicted to lose their money at a stable rate due to poor skill or inexperience.
Load of Lumber/ Wood
A hand that is guaranteed to win at least part of the pot.
A loose player plays more hands and holds on to them longer.
Make a Hand
To get a hand that has good potential of winning the pot.
A player who plays loosely and aggressively. Generally trying to bluff other players.
The way a cheater holds the deck of cards to facilitate his manipulations.
When three cards of different ranks are exposed on the flop (up cards) in Hold'em, and a person holds a match for the middle value one, they have a middle pair.
Miles of Bad Road
Three cards of the same rank. For example twenty-one miles of bad road is three 7's.
Clubs where the house attempts to cheat the players and/or turns a blind eye to cheating in general.
An extremely strong hand, one that is almost certain to win the pot.
A hand consisting of A pair of jacks and a pair of 5's.
(Noun) The pile of discarded cards located in front of the dealer; (Verb) Putting cards in the discard pile.
Nits and Lice
A hand of two pairs consisting of a pair of 3's and a pair of 2's.
These games have no set limits on the amount that can be bid or the number of raises players can make.
The nut is the best possible hand that can be made from the combination of a players cards and the community cards.
The highest possible straight in a given hand.
On the Finger
The Jack of spades, Jack of hearts or King of diamonds. Named because the characters on the card face are in side profile, showing only one eye.
To make the starting bet in a round.
To make a better hand than an opponent by drawing better cards.
In flop games, a pocket pair higher than the highest card on the board. If a player holds Ace-Ace and the flop is King-6-2, they have a nice over-pair.
A card with a picture (Jack, King or Queen)
Any two cards that have the same rank.
Passive/ Weak Play
A style of play that is characterized by reluctance to bet and raise.
A hand that does not need any more cards. It is usually an indication that the hand is a straight or better.
To play back at someone is to raise the opening bet that person has made.
Play the Board
In flop games like Hold'em, if the best five cards that a player can use are the five community cards, they are playing the board.
Also known as American Airlines or Wired Aces. A pair of Aces as hole cards in a Hold'em game.
Any combination of 5 cards that constitute a hand according to the accepted list of hands.
The amount of money that accumulates in the middle of the table as each player antes, bets and raises other bets. The pot goes to the winner of the hand.
The ratio of the amount of money in the pot to the amount of money it will cost a player to call a bet in hopes of winning the pot.
Any game in which the maximum bet or raise is the size of the pot.
A player who allows others to profit at a table because they are good players but are playing above their level. Similar to the descriptive word fish but bears a less negative connotation.
Giving the chips in the pot to the winner of a game.
An agreement between two or more players to share part of the pots that they win.
In poker, the minimum standard a hand must meet in order for it to be eligible for part of the pot.
Plastic racks that hold 100 chips in five stacks of 20. Asking for a rack means the player may be about to leave the table and if one asks to buy a rack of red, it means they want to buy $500 worth of chips.
Winning a large sum of money.
Cards that do not help a hand.
In poker, a player raises by matching the previous bet and then betting more (adding more money to the pot), to increase the stake for remaining players.
The sideline at a poker table. May be physically present or imaginary and separates onlookers from the playing field. Watching the rail is to watch a game as a spectator.
Observers of a poker game.
Also known as the drop. The money eliminated from each pot by the house. High and medium-limit games usually have a time charge rather than a rake.
Progressive categorization of cards according to number. A seven of spades and a seven of diamonds have the same rank. A pair is two cards of the same rank.
The ability to estimate players hand by their body language, etc.
To bet in such a way as to indicate that a player may or may not have a certain hand.
The final (seventh) card dealt in Hold'em, Omaha or Seven-Card Stud. In Seven-Card Stud, staying in until the fifth and final round of betting is called going to the river.
A slang term for a team of dishonest players.
A poker player who is characterized by extremely tight playing and therefore does not contribute too much action. When rocks enter a pot, they are not usually favourites
Refers to either a round of betting or a round of hands.
An astute player who knows all the angles. Many of these players earn a living playing poker.
Royal Flush/Royal Straight Flush
An Ace-high straight flush; the best possible poker hand.
A player who wins a large number of pots in a short period of time is said to be on a rush.
The strategy of a player hiding the strength of hands to increase profit, commonly by slow playing in the early betting rounds to obtain more profit in later rounds.
A card appearing in the community cards that makes a better hand more likely.
To win an entire pot, especially in high-low, split the pot games.
A list for those who want to play poker in a card room that has no available seating. Games are listed across the top of board and the names of players are noted below each game.
Cheating by dealing the second card instead of the top card.
In Seven-Card Stud, the fifth and final round of betting is called seventh street because players have seven cards.
A good player who often pretends to be a fish at the start of a game to deceive his/her opponents.
A player who is on a card room payroll and gambles the card rooms money. Their job is to keep shorthanded games going.
Any reflecting device used by dishonest players to see unexposed cards.
A tournament format where one player in the room wins all the pot money.
Having too few chips to cover the likely betting in a hand.
A game that falls below a specific number of players. At a table that can seat nine or ten players, five is shorthanded. Some card rooms compensate for a shorthanded game by reducing the rake or blinds, or providing shills.
Show One - Show All
A rule noting that if a player shows their cards to another at a table they can be asked to show everyone else because it is illegal to show ones hand to someone who has cards.
When all the betting is done, the players remaining in the pot must show their hands in the showdown to determine the winner.
Before each hand the dealer mixes up the order of the cards.
Sign on Your Back
Refers to someone who has been identified as a dishonest player.
Any card that is the only one of its rank in a given hand.
In Seven-Card Stud, the fourth round of betting is called Sixth Street because players have six cards.
An annoying habit where a player slowly reveals their winning hand. Usually very irritating to other players who think they may have won.
A strategy to trap more money in the pot by calling one or more bets with a hand that has the strength to raise.
Splash (the pot)
When players throw their chips into the pot, instead of placing them in front of themselves.
A hand where two players show down the same hand that results in the pot split between the two players.
Betting limits in which there is a fixed minimum and maximum bet for each betting round, and any amount in between these limits may be bet.
Playing erratically, usually due to a string of losing hands.
Five cards of consecutive ranks or in sequence
A hand consisting of five cards in consecutive order/rank and of the same suit.
The betting interval in a hand, e.g. the fifth card dealt in Seven-Card Stud is Fifth Street
When a player loses money.
Any one of the four types of cards: clubs, diamonds, hearts or spades.
A player who calls in order to keep other players honest. Also a player who takes on the role of dealer by noting casino rules and violations.
A rule noting that players may only bet money they have placed on the table at the beginning of a hand and that money cannot be removed from the table. Money can be added to ones stack between hands.
To wager all money on a single bet in a no-limit game.
To run, or in the process of running out of money during a hand.
An unconscious gesture that reveals information about a players hand. For example, players rubbing their foreheads when they have a poor hand.
Three of a Kind/Trips
Three cards of the same rank.
Another name for a full house.
Refers to players who are expected to have high levels of skill.
If there are three cards of different ranks on the flop in Hold'em (or any flop game), and a player pairs the highest one, they have top pair.
A player is 'trapped' if after putting some money in the pot and is then faced with the proposition of calling a raise in order to continue, especially an uncomfortably large raise.
A hand consisting of two sets of pairs and an unmatched singleton card.
Under the Gun
The first player to act after the blind bet.
When two hands face off, the underdog is the one that is less likely to win.
The return you get on your betting investment.
An acronym for World Series of Poker.
Missing one more hands due to being absent from the table. Absence may be for reasons such as getting food, smoking, conversation etc. Card rooms usually have rules to deter walking. For example, a players chips may be picked up after a certain amount of time has lapsed since they have walked.
The profit realized by a player.
An extremely rare hand. For example, being dealt a royal flush in 5-card draw.
Having a pair in the first two cards dealt or three of a kind with the first three cards.