Undertanding Poker lingo is an essential part of playing the game. If you are new to poker, learning the poker terms and their meanings will help you understand the language of the game and in turn will greatly improve your gaming experience.
Below is a glossary of poker terminology, including popular phrases and lingos every player (and prospective player) needs to know.
ANTE The minimum amount any player must gamble to get into the action. This helps ensure everyone has a stake in the game and do not fold instantly if dealt weak cards. Common in stud poker.
ALL-INWhen a player put all of their chips and playable money into the pot during the course of a hand,.
BLIND Similar to an ante, except only two players are required to commit to the game before seeing their hand. Typically they are split into a big and small blind and will rotate players. All remaining players must either call or raise to stay in the game.
BLUFFRaising or better with a weak hand in an effort to get your competition to fold.
BOARD Term that can refer to the set of community cards in a game, or set of face up cards in a stud style game.
BOARDCARD A community card in the center of the table, as in Texas hold’em or Omaha
BUY-IN The minimum amount of money required to enter any game.
CALL To match, rather than raise, the previous bet in order to stay in the game.
CHECK To waive the right to initiate the betting in a round, but to retain the right to act if another player initiates the betting.
CHECK RAISE To waive the right to bet until a bet has been made by an opponent, and then
to increase the bet by at least an equal amount when it is your turn to act.
COMMUNITY CARDS The cards dealt face up in the center of the table that can be used by all
players to form their best hand.
DEAD CARD A card that is not legally playable.
DEAD HAND A hand that is not legally playable.
DEAD MONEY Chips that are taken into the center of the pot because they are not considered part of a player’s bet.
FACECARD A king, queen, or jack.
FLASHA card which has accidentally been exposed to at least one player must be shown to all players before being discarded to the muck pile.
FLOPThe three community cards that are dealt face up after the first round of betting is complete.
FOLDTo discard or throw away your hand, forfeiting all interest in the current pot.
FOURTH STREET The second upcard in seven-card stud or the first boardcard after the flop
in holdem (also called the turn card).
HAND A player’s best 5 cards
HIGH-LOW GAMESGame where the pot is split equally between the player with the best hand and the player with the low hand.
LIMITA game where the bet amount is pre-set (fixed), with a predetermined minimum, maximum and number of raises.
MUCKTo fold or discard your hand without revealing your cards, often done after a showdown. This is also a term for a pile of facedown cards in the center of the table near the dealer that are out of play.
NO LIMITA game where a player is allowed to wager any or all of their chips in one bet.
PLAY THE BOARD Using all five community cards for your hand in Texas hold’em.
POT The total amount of money in the center the player with the best hand will win.
POT LIMIT The betting structure of a game in which the maximum bet is equal to the total amount in the pot.
POTTING OUT Agreeing with another player to take money out of a pot, often to buy food, cigarettes, or drinks, or to make side bets.
PROTECTED HANDA hand of cards that the player is physically holding or has topped with a
chip or some other object to prevent a fouled hand.
PUSH When a new dealer replaces an existing dealer at a particular table.
PUSHING BETS The situation in which two (or more) players make an agreement to return bets to each other when one of them wins a pot in which the other plays. Also called saving bets.
RIVERIn community card style games, this is the fifth and final card dealt.
RAISE To bet more money than the amount required to call, this forces the other players to bet more to stay in the game. Raising the bet.
RERAISE To raise someone’s raise.
RAGSWeak or worthless cards in a hand.
RAKEThe amount of money taken in by the house after a hand.
SIDE POTA separate pot formed when one or more players have gone all-in.
SHOWDOWNThe final act of determining the winner of the pot after all betting has been
completed. All players remaining will show and compare their cards to determine the winner.
SPLASH THE POTA poker faux-paus where a player throws chips into the pot in an aggressive and disruptive way, making it hard for the other players to know how much was bet.
STRING BETAn often illegal move where a player does not verbally declare his intention to raise, pulls out chips to call and reaches back to his stack to grab more chips for a raise.
SLOW ROLLWhen a player makes another player believe they have won the hand and then reveals a much stronger hand.
SOFT PLAYHaving a strong hand (even the best hand) but not betting it. This refusal to bet with a good hand or bluff with a bad hand when facing a certain person, however motivated, is still improper poker behavior.
TABLE STAKESThe limit on the amount a player can win or lose in the play of a single hand. A player may bet no more than they had on the table at the beginning of that hand and cannot go back to their pocket for more money once a hand is dealt.
TURNIn community card style games, this is the fourth card dealt after the flop.
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