To win in the game of poker, before you learn the game’s strategy, you should be well versed with the poker terminology. Now that you have decided to acquire the master skills of the game, let us take you through poker lingo so that you can talk the talks. Pocket52 is breaking down all the essential poker terms in-depth, to navigate you through the game vocabulary.

poker glossary

All-in

In a table stakes game, when a player raises or calls the bet with all their chips, it is called all-in. In a table stakes game, once a player runs out of chips to bet on, a side pot is created which they cannot win. However, they are still eligible to win the main pot up to the point of their wager. If multiple people go all-in during a single hand, numerous side pots may be created.

 

Ante

Ante is a small forced bet contributed by each player before the deal. Antes are commonly used in tournaments along with blinds, while general Hold’em games do not have an ante.

 

Add-On

In certain games and tournaments, players can buy additional chips between hands and add them to their stack, irrespective of the size of their current stack. 

 

Bankroll

The total amount of money that players set aside exclusively to play poker is known as their bankroll.

 

Big Blind 

The larger of the two blinds, that are a full first-round bet, typically used in Hold’em poker. 

 

Bottom Pair 

When a player uses the lowest card from the community cards to make a pair, it is known as the bottom pair. 

 

Button

In a poker game, a puck or a dealer button is used to mark the player who is dealing. The player who is marked as the dealer is said to be ‘on the button’.

 

Bluff

A bluff is a single or series of cunning bets that are made with a hand that is believed to be weaker than the opponents. The primary intent is to induce a fold from at least one opponent who holds a much stronger hand.

 

Buy-in

Buy-in is an amount paid to enter into poker games or tournaments. Usually, the bigger the buy-in, the bigger is the tournament prize pool.

 

Bad Beat

A bad beat is a scenario where a largely weak hand beats a favoured hand after getting a great card in turn or river. Simply, the winner of a bad beat shouldn’t have been in the race to win, but due to the luck gods smiling on them they manage to get a card that changes the course of the game. Don’t look out for examples. You’ll have plenty of them in your online poker career.

 

Calling Station

A calling station is a player who calls a lot, doesn’t fold, but doesn’t raise much as well. This is the ideal target for good poker players as they increase the pot often and lose out on the majority of hands.

 

Check

To not bet on a particular hand, with the option to call or raise the pot in the betting round later on. The opportunity to decline a bet using a check is only open when there are no bets in the current round. If all the players decide to check and not bet, then the round is considered complete.

 

Cold Deck

While the original meaning of the phrase is fixing a deck with the intention of cheating in a game, a cold deck also means losing a substantial pot with a strong hand to another player with an even stronger one. 

 

Community Cards

Community cards are presented in the middle of the poker table face-up by the dealer and are shared among the active players in the game. Major poker variants that use community cards include Hold’em and Omaha.

 

Cut

After a shuffle, cut or cutting is the splitting of the deck into two halves and moving the bottom half on the top.

 

Cut Card

An opaque card placed at the bottom of the deck to ensure no players can see the bottom card. 

 

Dealer

The player in the game that deals the cards (theoretically in some games) is known as the dealer. However, in a professional casino poker game or an online poker game where a dealer is present, a player is identified as the dealer as the blinds and bets are to the left of the dealer. After each hand, the dealer position is shifted to the next player in a clockwise manner.

 

Dog

Used as an insult, a dog is a player that is losing to someone else in a hand.

 

Double Suited

In Omaha, if a player holds two cards of one suit and two cards of another, it is referred to as double suited.

 

First Position

Also known as Under the Gun, the player to the left of the big blind is known as the first position.

 

Fold

Instead of playing further in the hand, the act of giving up your cards and losing all the money bet so far is called fold. Players often fold when they believe that the chances of them winning are not substantial.

 

Flop

The first three community cards dealt on the poker table face-up. These cards are dealt after the first round of betting is complete.

 

Fish

A fish or poker fish is a player who plays poorly, bets on almost every hand without thinking and often loses. Want to know more about poker fish and other aquatic animals on a poker table? Then you can readPoker Fish vs Poker Shark – Who are you in a Poker game?

 

Fold Equity

It refers to the amount of equity a player will gain with the chance that their opponent folds their hand.

 

Freeroll

A tournament or event with no entry fee.

 

Full Ring

A full ring is a poker game with a full table of nine or ten players. 

 

Full House

A full house is a five-card hand which consists of three cards of one value and two cards of another. For example, a hand with three aces and two queens will be considered a full house.

 

Four of A Kind

Also known as quads, if a player has four cards of equal value in their five-card hand, it is known as four of a kind.

 

Flush

A hand which consists of five cards of all the same suit

 

Grinder

A poker player is known as a grinder if they play continuously to make a steady profit rather than a single big score.

 

Guts

A betting game similar to poker which often requires guts than skill.

 

Gutshot

A gutshot is a hand with four cards needed to make five cards straight, but missing the middle card.

 

Hand

The hand may refer to the private cards you are dealt with in a game or the game that happens between one deal to the next.

 

Hand-for-Hand

During a poker tournament, hand-for-hand is a situation where tables ensure each table players the exact number of hands until the bubble bursts.

 

Hijack Seat

The hijack seat or the hijack is the player that is seated right of the ‘cutoff’ and two seats to the right of the ‘button’.

 

Hole Cards

Private cards dealt to a player face-down by the dealer. The term is primarily used to describe the first cards dealt to players in Texas Hold’em Poker and Omaha.

 

Hold’em

Hold’em or Texas Hold’em is one of the most popular poker variants. Each player is dealt two private cards, known as hole cards, with five community cards dealt face up in three stages, the flop, turn and river.

 

No Limit

A form of a poker game where a player can bet any amount of poker chips (from their own stack) whenever is their turn to bet in the hand. On the contrary, limit poker has certain restrictions as to the number of chips one can bet in a hand or a game.

 

Omaha

One of the most famous variants of poker where each player is dealt 4 private cards and 5 community cards.

 

Pair

A hand which has two cards of the same value and three extra cards.

 

Player Liquidity

The number of players playing at a particular casino, poker site or platform at a given point. Poker players prefer high player liquidity as it translates to better games, bigger pots and more tables to choose from. Want to know more? Then read ‘How Pocket52 is acing player liquidity giving its players more tables and more fun!

 

Pot Odds

Pot Odds are the ratio of the total pot up until the bet, and the size of bet you must make to continue. Pot odds are substantially used to decipher which pots will be profitable for the player.

 

Rainbow

If a flop contains cards with three different suits, it is termed as a rainbow. Since it has three unique suits, a flush cannot be made on the turn. In some games, a rainbow is also associated with five community cards that have no more than two of the same suit, thus rendering a flush impossible.

 

Rake

The amount that the house takes out of every pot. This is the cardroom’s income and ensures capital stability for the organisers.

 

River

The fifth community card put face-up on the poker table. Also called as ‘fifth-street’ in many games, people who lose on the river card are often annoyed with the phrase ‘He drowned in the river’.

 

Royal Flush

If a hand consists of A, K, Q, J and 10 of the same suit, it is known as a royal flush and is considered the best hand in poker.

 

Sit and Go

Tournaments which begin as soon as the designated number of players register

 

Sell

Selling a hand includes betting less and carefully on a strong hand to lure in more players to call or raise the bet without any suspicion, to increase the pot. This is to ensure bets, in a scenario where the players would not have called a high or maximum bet. 

 

Straight Flush

The second most powerful hand in Hold’em, a straight flush consists of five straight cards in the same suit.

 

Straight

A straight hand has five cards of consecutive value, irrespective of their suit.

 

Shark

A poker shark is an excellent poker player who strategically plays each hand, often folding bad hands and analyses not only their bets but also their opponent’s. Do you think you are a poker shark? Read Poker Fish vs Poker Shark – Who are you in a Poker game? to find out.

 

Satellite

A satellite or a satellite tournament is a small tournament, which often holds an invitation to a major tournament as one of its prizes. 

 

Stop and Go

A poker play in which a player that has predominantly called and checked, suddenly takes the lead in betting. 

 

Three of a Kind

Often known as trips, a three of a kind is three cards of the same value with two side cards of different values.

 

Turn

Also knows as ‘fourth street’, the turn card is the fourth community card put face-up on the table. 

 

Two Pair

A five-card hand which has two sets of pairs with a side card.

 

Underdog

A hand or a player who is statistically not favoured to win a pot or a game is known as the underdog, or dog by many poker players. In your poker career, you will see many underdog players who win on the river card to take the pot.

 

Whale

A whale or a poker whale is a wealthy person who isn’t a very good poker player. Other poker players love to play with a whale as they often drop huge sums of money on the table and end up losing. Looking to play with a poker whale? Head over to Pocket52’s August Tournament Blue, and you may sight a whale on your table.

 

Wired

When the player’s hole cards make a pair, it is known as wired pair or a pocket pair. 

 

There are a lot more poker terms that often make their way onto the poker table, but the glossary mentioned above will definitely enhance your game. Learn more while you play more as poker isn’t a difficult game to learn, but a sport difficult to master. May the flop be with you.

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