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Poker jargon

Suitable Poker playing table: The best type of table would be a rounded/seven sided table. Players feel more confortable where everybody has equal access to the middle of the table. There is a range of different poker tops that could adapt any table, and for those who want that added extra, Shop4poker offer a great Pokerstuff Oak Poker playing table (see - gaming tables and home casino sets).

Felt Cloth: A cloth of some baize or felt like material makes it much easier to pick up and shuffle cards as well as stacking chips. The Pokerstuff brand offers a range of felts and can be found and purchased from Shop4poker.

Poker Chips: For ultimate enjoyment it is advisable to play with chips rather than coins. Sets can range from 200-500 chips, however it is wise to invest in a set of at least 300 chips. The cost of the sets is also dependant on the weight of the chip, these range from 4g to 14g.

Playing Cards: Several clean new packs of cards are necessary. The better quality ones last long and feel better. The majority of Pokerstuff chip sets are accompanied with 2 decks of Pokerstuff branded casino quality cards but can also be purchased separately

All In: When you have run out of chips during a hand, but wish to carry on playing and not to fold, you can continue playing by going All-In. This means that you have the potential to win a share of the pot up to and including your last contribution to the pot. However you would not be able to share any bets added after that. These will be placed in a side pot.

Away-from-table: When playing in tournaments you may not "sit out". However you are allowed to be "away from the table". This means that you are dealt into every hand, posting blinds when its your turn and then folded when there is a raise before the flop, or a bet after the flop.

Bad Beat: To be a heavy favourite in a hand and lose to an opponent who was statistically a severe underdog.

Beat the Pot: This term is used in pot limits and is when your bet matches the current amount in the pot. For example, if on your turn to bet, the pot is £150, and you bet the pot, your bet would be £150.

Ace high

A hand with no pair, and the highest card is an ace.

Aces up

A hand with two pairs, aces being one of them.


What's going on at the table - a measure of how lively the game is.

All in

When all your chips are in play.


The amount of chips put in at the beginning of a game.


A person who finances a poker player.

Bad beat

When a really good hand is beaten by an underdog with an improbably lucky draw.

Belly Buster or Gut Shot

When one inside card is needed to complete a straight. Eg: You have 5, 6, 8, 9. Drawing a 7 is a belly buster.

Bicycle or wheel

A five high straight: A, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5.


The compulsory bets at the beginning of the game.


An ace high straight: 9, 10, J, Q, K, A.



Dead Man's Hand

A hand with two pairs; aces and eights. This term comes from Deadwood, Dakota, where, in 1876, a man named Jack McCall walked into a saloon and shot Wild Bill Hickok in the back of the head. Hickok slumped over dead, still clutching his poker cards - a hand with two pairs, aces and eights. The hand has been known as Dead Man's Hand ever since.

Double Belly Buster

A hand of 5 cards were two ranks of cards will complete the straight. Eg: 7, 9, 10, J, K. The player needs an 8 or a Queen to complete the straight.


The first three community cards in Texas Hold'em.


The pile of discards.

The Nuts

When you have the highest possible hand on the table.


Any cards that, if drawn, will give you the winning hand.


Assuming or working out someone else's hand. Eg: "I put him on aces" means "I think he has aces".


4 of a kind.


House percentage of the pot in a real play game.


The last community card dealt in Texas Hold'em.


A player who has very few chances.


Three of a kind made while holding a pair in the pocket hands.

Six Tits

3 Queens.


When a player throws his or her chips into the pot before anyone can confirm how many he or she has put in.

Steel Wheel

A five high straight flush.


A player's mannerism that gives away his or her hand.


When a player gets distracted and starts playing badly.


Three of a kind when the pair is on the table, not in your hand.


The fourth community card in Texas Hold'em.

Pocket Card Lingo

More jargon to impress your friends and intimidate other players:


A A - American Airlines, or Pocket Rockets

A K - Big Slick

A J - Ajax

A 10 - Bookends

A 3 - Baskin Robbins (31 flavours)

K K - Cowboys

K Q - The Marriage (or the Divorce, if it doesn't work)

K J - Kojak

K 9 - The dog

Q Q - Dames, Broads, Ladies.

Q J - Oedipus Rex

Q 10 - Quint

Q 7 - Computer hand

Q 3 - A San Francisco Busboy (a queen with a trey)

J 5 - Motown

10 4 - Broderick Crawford. A tv cop who says "10-4" all the time.

10 2 - Doyle Brunson. He won the World Series of Poker twice hlding these cards.

9 8 - Oldsmobile

8 8 - Little Oldsmobile

7 6 - Union Oil

4 5 - Jesse James. He was thought to have been shot with a .45 caliber gun.

3 8 - Raquel Welch. She still claims to be 38 years old.

3 3 - Crabs.

ABC - An ABC player is somebody who plays solid starting hands and is usually predictable. In Holdem, the player might only play AA, KK, QQ, AK, and AJ. In Omaha Hi low, he might only play A234, A23K, AA23, A2KQ, and A235. Also can mean that you hold A23 in high-low or lowball games.


Action - A game in where there are a lot of players involved in many pots. It is also the checking, betting and raising in the game.


Active Player - Any player still involved in the hand.


Add-On - In some tournaments, you have the option to buy more chips at the end of the rebuy period. It is called an add-on.


American Airlines - Nickname for pocket Aces.


Ante - A small bet put up by each player to seed the pot before the hand is dealt. It is used to get initial money in the pot and help create action. Similar to blinds.


All-In - When all a player's chips are in the pot.


B&M - B&M stands for Brick and Mortar casino. It is a casino that has a physical address unlike online cardrooms.


Backdoor - Hitting a perfect turn and river card to make a drawing hand. For example, you have two clubs in your hand and there is only one club on the flop. You hit a club on the fourth card and another club on the fifth card to give you a flush.


Backer - A person who finances a player.


Bad Beat - When a player loses the hand because the other player got very lucky. For example, in No Limit Holdem, two players get all of their money in and one player is holding pocket Aces and the other player is holding pocket threes. The river card is a three giving the player with the weaker starting hand the winning hand and giving the player with the best starting hand a bad beat.


Bad Beat Jackpot - In some casinos, there are jackpots given to players at a table if one player loses with a big hand against a player with a bigger hand. The qualifying hands for jackpots vary from casino to casino. A standard qualifying hand in Texas Holdem is Aces full of tens or better beaten by four of a kind or better.


Bankroll - The money you use to play poker.


Belly Buster - An inside straight draw.


Bicycle - Another name for a "wheel". A straight from Ace to five.


Big Blind - A designated amount placed by the player sitting (normally) two seats to the left of the dealer button to help induce action.


Big Slick - Nickname for the Holdem starting hand Ace King.


Blank - A card that doesn't affect the hand.


Blind - A forced bet in flop games. Typically the player to the immediate left of the button is the small blind and the player to the small blinds left is the big blind. Similar to an ante.


Blind Raise - Raising the hand before looking at your cards.


Bluff - Betting a weak hand hoping to win the hand without a showdown.


Board - All the community cards on the table in a Hold'em game. It is also where players sign up to play a game.


Bottom Pair - A pair with the lowest card on board.


Boxed Card - A card that is face up in a deck with all other cards facing down.


Bring-In - It is a forced bet in Stud games. The player with the lowest card showing on the first round of betting must bet (the highest card if playing Razz).


Broadway - An ace high straight, AKQJT.


Brush - An employee of the casino that takes care of seating players.


Buck - Another name for the dealer button.


Bullets - Pocket aces.


Bump - It means the same thing as raise. "Bump" it up.


Burn - In between each betting round, the dealer discards the top card of the deck before dealing the next card. This is done to keep players from possibly recognizing the next card to be used.


Button - A small round disk moved clockwise from player to player. It is used to determine who the nominal dealer is and where the action begins.


Buy - To bluff, as in "buy the pot"


Buy In - The minimum amount of money a player must sit down with in order to play a particular game.


Cage - The place where you exchange your cash for chips or vice versa.


Call - To accept the previous action. If another player bets, to continue to play you must call to match the wager (or raise).


Calling Station - A player who calls a lot, but doesn't raise or fold much.


Cap - To put in the last raise permitted on a betting round. In California, the standard is the third raise.


Case - The last card of a certain rank. If you flop three eights against three fives and the player makes four of a kind, he caught the case five.


Center Pot - The first pot in a poker hand. It is also referred to as the main pot. If a player goes all-in and there is more betting, a new pot is created on the side.


Chase - To try and make a longshot hand to beat your opponents. If you flop no pair and your opponent flops a pair of eights, you are chasing if you call. You need to improve your hand in order to beat him.


Check - To not bet.


Check in the Dark - Checking before you see the next card or cards that are dealt.


Check Raise - To check and then raise when another player behind you bets.


Chop - Divide the pot. In split games, there is a lot of chopped pots because half the pot is awarded to the high hand and half the pot is awarded to the low hand.


Chip - Typically a clay token used instead of cash at a gaming table.


Color Up - To change your small chips to higher valued chips. You color up five $1 chips for one $5 chip.


Come Hand - A drawing hand.


Community Cards - The common cards used by all players. The cards that are in the middle of the table during the hand.


Computer Hand - Q7.


Cold Call - To call more than one bet in a single action. If a player bets, another raises, and you call, you have cold called.


Connector - Starting hands that work together to make a straight.


Counterfeit - When the board duplicates a card in your hand.


Cowboys - Nickname for pocket Kings.


Crack - To beat a strong hand. You often hear players say they had their pocket aces "cracked".


Cut - To divide the deck in two sections and change the order of the cards.


Dead Man's Hand - Two pair, Aces and eights. Wild Bill Hickok was shot during a poker game while holding two pair, black aces and black eights.


Dead Money - Chips that are taken into the pot, but not considered part of a player's bet (normally when a player misses his blinds and posts both of them, the small blind is taken into the center of the pot and is dead). It is also used to describe a player who has little chance to win.


Dealer's Choice - A game where the dealer (person who has the dealer button) names the game to be played that hand.


Dog - A shortened version of "Underdog". A player who is behind at the moment.


Dominated Hand - Usually used to describe a hand where a player holds one common card with another player and the other player has a better kicker. An example of a dominated hand would be KQ vs. AK or AQ.


Double Gutshot - Two inside straight draws. An example of a double gutshot is a flop of 963 and a player is holding 57. If he hits a 4 or an 8, he will make his straight.


Doyle Brunson - The Holdem starting hand T2. Doyle won back to back World Series of Poker championships holding the T2 on the final hand.


Draw - An unmade hand. A player is said to be on a draw if he has four flush cards. It is also a type of poker game.


Drawing Dead - Trying to make a hand that will not win the pot. If you are drawing to a flush and your opponent already has a full house, you are drawing dead.


Equity - Your "rightful" share of a pot. If the pot contains $80, and you have a 50% chance of winning it, you have $40 equity in the pot. This term is somewhat fanciful since you will either win $80 or $0, but it reveals your current expected share of the pot.


Expectation - The amount you can expect to gain on average for a certain play. It is also the amount you expect to make at the poker table per hour.


Family Pot - A pot in which many players called before the flop.


Fifth Street - In flop games, it is the final board card.


Fire - To make the first bet in a betting round.


Fill Up - To make a full house.


Fish - A weak player who loses money.


Flat Call - To only call a bet.


Floorman - The person who makes decisions and rulings in cardrooms.


Flop - The first three community cards on the board.


Flop Games - Texas Holdem, Omaha, Pineapple and other games that feature community cards exposed that are matched with each individual player's cards.


Fold - To throw your hand away.


Flush - Five cards of the same suit.


Flush Draw - When a player has four cards of the same suit and is hoping to make a fifth to make a flush.


Forced Bet - A required bet that starts the action. Antes and blinds are forced bets.


Free Card - A turn or river card that you don't have to call a bet to see.


Free Roll - When two players are tied and one player has a shot at winning the whole pot. For example, one player has AK of clubs and the other player has AK of diamonds. If there are two clubs on the flop, the player holding the AK of clubs is freerolling. If the club does not come, the pot is split. A freeroll is also a tournament in which there is not buy-in.


Freeze-Out - A game where all players play until one player has all the money.


Full House - Any three cards of the same rank, plus two cards of another rank. Also called "full boat" or "boat".


Gutshot Straight - An inside straight draw.


Heads Up - A pot that is being played by only two players.


Hit - As in, "I hit the flop". It means the flop connected with or helped your hand.


Hit and Run - Winning big in a short amount of time and then leaving the table. Some players see it as poor etiquette to hit and run.


House - The casino or cardroom that is holding the game.


Implied Odds - Implied odds are similar to pot odds except the bets are not in the pot when making your decision. In calculating your odds you include bets you can expect to win if you hit your hand.


In the Air - A phrase that is used at the beginning of many tournaments to let players know the cards are being dealt. As in, "Sit down and take your seats, the cards are in the air."


Isolate - To raise with the intention of thinning the field of opponents down to one.


Jackpot - The same as a bad beat jackpot.


Kicker - An unpaired card in your hand often used to determine the winner between two like hands. A pair of sevens with an ace kicker beats a pair of seven with a nine kicker.


Kill Pot - A pot in which the betting round is double the normal round. In California, you will typically see kill pots in split games. If one player scoops the whole pot and if it is above a specified amount (dictated by the house), the next pot will be a kill. In some casinos, a kill pot is created when a player wins two consecutive hands.


Lay Down - To fold your hand.


Lead - To be ahead in the hand. It is also used to describe the player who is doing the betting. As in, "He lead out with his pair of tens."


Leak - The thing that causes player to lose all or some of his poker bankroll. Sports betting, slot machines, playing poker for too many hours when losing (trying to get even), and drugs are a few examples of leaks.


Limp - To opening the betting for the minimum bet, rather than raising.


Live One - An action player. A player who is involved in a lot of hands.


Lock - A hand that is guaranteed to win.


Loose - A player who plays a lot of hands.


Main Pot - The pot where all bets were matched by all players involved in the hand. If a player is not able to match a bet (because he is all-in), then a side pot is created.


Maniac - A player who plays very loose and aggressive.


Marked Cards - Cards that can be read from the backside because they have been (illegally) altered.


Marker - An IOU to the casino where you are playing for poker chips.


Misdeal - A hand that is dealt incorrectly and must be re-dealt.


Monster - A strong hand that is likely to win the pot.


Move In - To put all of your chips into the pot.


Muck - To fold a hand. It is also the pile of folded and burned cards in front of the dealer.


No-Limit - A game where you can bet all of your chips during any betting round.


Nuts - The best possible hand.


Odds - The ratio of the probability of making a hand vs. the probability of not making a hand.


Offsuit - Cards that are not the same suit.


Option - When a player posts his blind, he has the "option" of either checking or raising.


Out - A card that will help your hand. Usually one that will make your hand a winner.


Outdraw - To make a better hand than your opponents by drawing a card.


Overcall - To call a bet after one or more players have already called.


Overcard - A card that is higher than any other card on the board. If a player is holding KQ with a flop of 864, he is said to have two overcards.


Overpair - A pair higher than any other card on the board.


Paint - Picture cards.


Pass - To not play a hand if it has been bet or to check if it has been checked to you.


Pay Off - To call a bet where you don't think you have the best hand, but the pot is large enough to justify a call.


Picture Cards - Any card that has a picture on it. Kings, Queens, and Jacks are picture cards.


Play Money Games - Free poker games offered by online card rooms.


Play the Board - When the best five cards are the community cards on the board. An example of this is if one player is holding pocket threes and the other player is holding pocket fours and the board is A9988.


Pocket - The two hole cards in Holdem or the first two cards in Stud. The cards only you can see.


Pocket Pair - Two pocket cards that are the same rank.


Position - Your place at the table. The order of betting within a particular betting round. Normally, it is better to be in late position with others acting before you because you can gain information before it's your turn to act.


Post - To put up your blinds before the hands are dealt.


Pot - The total amount of money to be won or lost during a hand.


Pot Limit - Games where the maximum bet that can be made is the size of the existing pot.


Pot Odds - The amount in the pot in relation to your chances of making a certain hand and the amount you must put in the pot to continue in the game.


Presto - The nickname of the Holdem hand pocket fives.


Prop - Short for proposition player.


Proposition Player - A person who is employed by the casino to help start games. They also help keep games going if they are in danger of breaking. Although props are paid by the house, the money they use at the table is their own.


Protect - To bet so the other player have less of a chance to outdraw you. If they outdraw you, they have to pay to do so.


Quads - Four of a kind.


Qualifier - In High-Low split games, the qualifier is the requirement that must be met in order to be eligible for the pot. In Omaha High-Low split, three cards on the board must be eight or lower without it being paired for a low hand to be possible.


Race Off - During tournaments, smaller denominations of chips are exchanged for larger chips. Any odd chips are "raced off". This is done by placing all odd chips for each player in front of them. A card is dealt for each chip and the highest cards receive the higher denomination of chips. (If there are ten $5 chips, then the players with the two highest card each receive one $25 chip.)


Rack - A place to store your chips while walking from the cage to the table or vice versa. Racks can hold 100 chips in five stacks of 20.


Rail - The place where you can watch poker being played. It is a barrier (sometimes imaginary) dividing the playing area from the public area.


Railbird - A person who is not playing poker, but watching a game from the rail. Usually used as a derogatory term.


Rainbow - In flop games, a flop where there is no cards of the same suit. In Omaha games (where you are dealt four cards), all four hole cards are different suits.


Raise - To increase the amount of the previous bet. The increase is determined by the type and the limit style of the game.


Ragged - A flop that doesn't seem like it would help anybody.


Rags - Bad cards. In Texas Holdem, 72 are the worst "rag" starting cards.


Rake - The amount of money the house is taking for running the game. The cardroom's income.


Rank - The numerical value of the cards.


Read - To look or listen to someone and be able to determine what their cards might be.


Rebuy - To buy more chips. The term is most often heard during some types of tournaments.


Represent - To bet in a way that it looks like you have a certain hand. If you are holding the Ace of diamonds (with no other diamond) and the flop brings two diamonds, you might be able to represent a flush draw. If the flush card comes on one of the later streets, you might be able to pick up the pot on a bluff.


Reraise - To raise after somebody has already raised.


Ring Game - Playing a game at the regular poker tables as opposed to a tournament.


River - The final community card in flop games. Another term for the river card is "fifth street", but it is not used as much.


Rock - A very tight player. A rock is a player who doesn't create much action at the table and if they are involved in the hand, they are usually the favorite.


Rolled Up - In Seven Card Stud it is the term used to describe three of a kind on the first three cards dealt.


Royal Flush - A straight flush AKQJT.


Runner - Normally said, "runner-runner" to describe a hand in which the turn and the river card help a player's hand.


Rush - A term used to describe a winning streak. As in, "The player was on a rush for two hours."


Sandbag - To conceal your strength for the purpose of profit. It usually means the same as slowplaying.


Satellite - A mini-tournament to win your way into a larger tournament.


Scare Card - A card which may turn the best hand into a loser. If you have a set on the flop, but there are two clubs. A scare card would be another club.


Scoop - In split pot games, to win the entire pot rather than splitting.


Second Pair - A pair with the second highest card on the flop.


Semi-Bluff - To bluff with a drawing hand.


Set - Three of a kind where the player is holding a pocket pair in the hole with one on the board.


Shark - A strong player who "feeds" on weaker players.


Shill - Similar to a prop player, but a shill gambles with the house money instead of his own. Rarely used in today's game.


Shootout - A tournament where the players continue play on their original starting table until there is only one winner per table. The winner from each table then plays each other for the prize pool.


Short Stack - A player who has less chips than the other players on the table is said to be playing on the short stack.


Showdown - The point at which all players show their cards to determine the winner.


Side Pot - A pot that is created when one or more players are all-in.


Slow Play - To play a hand in a manner to conceal the strength of your hand. If a player flops a straight, it might be correct to slowplay in order to maximize the chips won on the pot.


Slowroll - To wait and show the winning hand after another player already thinks he won the pot. It is poor table etiquette to slow roll.


Small Blind - The forced bet put up by a player to help create action in the game. The small blind is posted by the player to the immediate left of the dealer button and it is usually 1/2 of the limit of the game. In a $10-20 game, the small blind is $5.


Split Pot - A pot that is shared by two or more players.


Spread limit - A type of game where the players have to bet between the minimum and maximum on each round. In Vegas, it is not uncommon to find a $2-6 spread limit Holdem game.


Stack - The amount of chips you have in front of you. It is also 1/5 of a rack. In a rack of chips, there are five stacks of 20.


Stacked Deck - A deck that has been illegally arranged to help give a player an advantage.


Stand Pat - To not draw any cards.


Steal - To win the pot strictly on a bluff.


Steaming - A player who is on tilt is often said to be steaming.


Steel Wheel - A straight flush, A2345.


Straddle - An optional extra blind (twice the amount of the big blind) normally put up by the player to the immediate left of the blinds. The player who straddles has the last opportunity to act before the flop.


Straight - Five cards of consecutive rank, 98765.


Straight Flush - Five cards of consecutive rank and of the same suit, 98765 all diamonds.


String Bet - A bet in which a player doesn't get all of his chips into the pot in one motion. If a player can not get all of chips into the pot in one motion, then he must verbally declare the raise, otherwise it is a string raise and the raise will not be counted.


Structure - The details of the betting, including the antes, the blinds, and the amount that can be bet on each street.


Stuck - Losing money.


Suck out - Getting your money in with the worst hand, but winning the pot because you caught a lucky card.


Suited - A Holdem starting hand in which both cards are of the same suit.


Sweat - A person sitting behind a player or watching a player from the rail is said to be "sweating the player" if he/she is rooting for them.


Tell - A clue or hint that a player gives about their hand.


Tight - Not playing many hands.


Tilt - To make bad decisions out of frustration. Normally, tilt play is too loose and very aggressive because the player wants to win back money that he has previously lost.


Time - A player calls for "time" when he is taking longer than a second or two to act on his hand. It is also the collection taken by the house, called a time charge.


To Go - The amount it takes to enter the pot. In a $10-20 game, it is $10 to go if there is no raise. If there is a raise, then it is $20 to go.


Toke - A tip, usually given to the dealer after winning a pot.


Top Pair - The pair with the highest card on the flop.


Tournament - An event where a group of players sit down with the same number of chips and continue play until only one player has all of the chips. In tournaments, there is a buy-in for each player and all of the money is added up and divided into a prize pool. Usually nine players get paid for every 100 entries.


Trips - Three of a kind with two of them on the board. If a player is holding AJ and the board is JJ843, he is holding trips.


Turn - The fourth community card in a flop game.


Under the Gun - The first person to act on a betting round. The player to the left of the big blind is "under the gun".


Underdog - A person or hand who is not the mathematical favorite to win. It is also called "dog."


Value - The amount of return you get on your investment.


Variance - The statistical measure of how your results will be dispersed.


Wheel - Another name for Bicycle. A straight from Ace to five, A2345.


Wild Card - A card that can be played as any other card to help you make your hand. For example, if deuces are wild and you hold AAAK2, then you have four aces with a King.


Wired Pair - In Holdem, a pair in the hole. In 5 Card Stud, it is a door card that pairs the hole card.





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