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Action

Refers to betting, especially gambling (loose bets). The more


betting in a game the more action there is.
Advertise
To give off signals that you’re a particular type of player. Usually
involves making a loose play to induce later betting into your strong
hands.
All-in
Committing your entire stack to a bet. When you’re all- in, all of
your chips go in the middle.

American Airlines
A starting hand of pocket aces.

Ante
Amount you are required to put into the pot before a hand is dealt.

Backdoor
Two cards in a row that make a hand. For example, spades on the
turn and river that fill in a flush would be a backdoor flush.
Bad beat
Loosing a hand unluckily. Usually involves a heavy commitment of
chips when winning by a large margin, only to be beaten by an
unlikely combination of cards.
Bankroll
Amount of chips that you have in your poker account.

Bellybuster
Another term for an inside straight.
Bet
Starting the betting off after a new card is dealt. If you’re first to act
after the flop for example, you can either bet or check.
Bicycle
A straight A-5. The best possible low hand in Omaha Hi Lo (also
known as Wheel).
Big blind
The larger of the two forced bets required before any cards are
dealt in Texas hold ‘em and Omaha. The person playing two
places after the dealer posts the big blind that then must be at least
matched by every other player in order to stay in the hand for that
round of betting.

Big slick
Ace King starting hand.

Blind
Antes paid by the two players to the left of the dealer.

Bluff
A bet that suggests a player has strong cards when, in fact, he
doesn’t.

Board
The community cards dealt to all players face-up in the middle of
the table in Texas hold ’em, Omaha and Stud poker.

Broadway
An ace high straight.

Bubble
The last spot in a tournament that doesn’t pay.

Bullets
A starting hand of pocket aces.

Button
A physical disc that moves around the table to indicate who is
dealing.

Buy-in
The cost of getting into a game. Tournaments have set buy-ins
while ring games have minimum buy-ins (meaning that you must
have at least the minimum buy-in worth of chips to sit down at that
table).
Call
Matching a previous bet in a round of betting.
Calling station
A type of loose player that calls far too many hands.
Chasing
Staying in a round of betting when you are unlikely to have the best
hand but are hoping for a community card that will make your hand
good.

Check
If no one has bet before you in a round and you do not wish to bet
either then you can check which passes the action onto the next
player. This still allows you to play later in the round should anyone
else make a bet.

Check-raise
When a player initially checks but then raises after another player
makes a bet. This is usually an indication of a strong hand.

Cold call
To call more than one bet. For instance if one player makes a bet
and then a second player raises, if you call that raise you are said
to be cold calling.

Community cards
The five cards dealt into the middle of the table that all the players
can use.

Counterfeited
To make your hand weaker because of a community card that is
turned over that duplicates a card you have.

Cowboys
A starting hand of pocket kings.

Dead man's hand


Two pair of A-A-8-8 made famous because legendary lawman Wild
Bill Hickok was shot whilst holding this hand.
Early position
One of the first players to act in any betting round. Considered to
be a weak position.
Felted
Our very own Phil “the Unabomber” Laak coined this phrase for
losing all your chips.
Fifth street
The fifth and final community card.
Flush
A hand of 5 cards all of the same suit.
Fold
When you throw away your cards, losing any chance to win the
pot.
Fold equity
The marginal additional value you have in your hand from getting
your opponents to fold their equity in the pot. You can calculate
your fold equity using by calculating your equity in the pot, and by
estimating the breadth of the range of hands with which your
opponent would call.

Four of a kind
A hand containing four cards of the same value (e.g. 10-10-10-10).

Fourth street
The fourth community card turned over in Hold ’em and Omaha
(Turn).
Freeroll
A tournament that is free for a player to enter.
Gutshot
Another term for an inside straight.
Hand
A player’s best five cards.

Heads-up
When two players are left to battle it out for a pot or the last two
players left in a poker tournament.
Hold'em
An abbreviation of Texas Hold ’em (see definition below).

Hole cards
The starting cards that each player receives that no one else sees.
In Hold ’em, a player gets two hole cards and in Omaha a player
starts with four hole cards.
Implied odds
Pot odds that take into account what is probable in the future
rounds of betting.
Inside straight draw
When only one card can complete a player’s straight. For instance
if a player has a hand containing 4-5-7-8 then the 6 is the only card
that will make a straight.
Kicker
The highest card held in a player’s hand that is not paired. For
instance if your starting hand was A-K and the board came K-Q-9-
4-2, then you would have a pair of kings with an ace kicker.
Kojack
A starting hand of K-J.
Ladies
A starting hand of pocket queens.
Late position
The best position at the table. The dealer and players to the right of
the dealer are considered to be in late position and are the last
players to act in any round of betting.
Leak
A hole or flaw in your game which results in you getting involved in
situations where you consistently lose chips

Limit poker
A variety of poker where the value of bets allowed in each round
has a fixed limit..

Limp-in
When a player just calls the big blind in the first round of betting
rather than raising. Usually indicative of a weak hand.
Live hand
Any player who is yet to fold is said to have a live hand.

Loose
A style of play in which the poker player gets involved in a lot of
hands with not particularly strong starting cards.
Monster
A very strong hand.
Muck
The pile of cards in the middle of the table that people throw away
or discard.
No-limit
A variety of poker whereby a player’s bet is only limited by the
amount of money they have in front of them.
Nuts
If you have ‘the nuts’ you are holding the best possible hand.

Odds
The chances of something happening or the potential return from a
bet. Either can be expressed as a fraction (2-1), decimal (.5) or
percentage (50%). In poker players are primarily concerned with
the odds of certain cards showing up on the board compared to the
odds paid on bets (combined, these are called Pot odds).
Off-suit
A Hold ’em starting hand with two cards of different suits.
Omaha
A game similar to Texas Hold ’em except each player is dealt four
hole cards along with five community cards. Players make the best
available hand using two of their hole cards and three from the
board.
Open-ended straight draw
A four carded sequence that can be turned into a straight by cards
of two different values. For instance, if you have 5-6 as your
starting hand and the flop comes 4-7-J then either a 3 (3-4-5-6-7)
or an 8 (4-5-6-7-8) will give you a straight.

Out draw
A situation where a player in a losing situation ends up winning a
pot as favourable cards appear on the flop, turn and river.
Outs
The number of cards that remain unseen that could develop your
hand into a winner. For instance, if you require one diamond to
complete your flush after the flop you have nine outs.

Over card
A card you hold that is higher than any of the community cards. For
instance, if you hold K-J and the flop comes 2-5-9 you have two
over cards.
Over pair
A pocket pair you hold in your starting hand that are higher than
any of the community cards on show. For instance, if you hold J-J
and the flop comes up with 2-5-9 you are said to have an over pair.
Pocket pair
Two cards of the same value in your starting hand, such as 9-9.
Position
Where a player is seated in relationship to the dealer which
determines the order in which you bet. Late position is regarded as
advantageous as it is the last position to act on each betting round.
Pot control
The practice of controlling (or attempting to control) the size of a
pot with betting.

Pot limit
Poker game whereby each player can only raise by the amount of
chips the pot contains.

Pot odds
A way of working out the value of making a poker bet. It’s the ratio
between the amount of chips in the pot and the amount of chips
required to bet to stay in the hand.
Quads
Four of a kind.
Rag
Low, worthless card that doesn’t improve your hand.
Rainbow
When the three community cards (flop) are all of different suits.
Raise
To increase the amount of another player’s bet.

Read
When you can work out the strength of a player’s hand from their
actions.

Re-raise
To raise again in the same round of betting after a player has
already raised.

Ring game
A standard poker game as opposed to a tournament.

River
The fifth and final community card.

Royal flush
The best hand in poker consisting of A- K- Q- J- 10 of the same
suit.
Sandbag
Another term for slow- playing (see below).
Satellites
Mini tournaments that feed winning players into larger poker
tournaments at a reduced buy- in.
Set
Three of a kind made from a starting hand containing a pocket pair.

Short stack
When a player has relatively few chips left compared to the rest of
the table they are referred to as the short stack.

Showing down
After the final round of betting this is the stage where all the players
still involved show their hands to determine who wins.
Side pot
A pot created when one of the players go all in and then other
players continue to bet with more chips than the all-in player had.
Only players who add chips to the side pot can win the side pot.

Slow play
Playing a strong hand as if it were weak in order to trap opponents.

Small blind
The smaller of the two bets required before any cards are dealt.
The person playing immediately after the dealer posts the small
blind.

Split pot
When two or more players have the same value hand, the pot is
split equally between these players.

Stealing the blinds


To make a bluff in the in the first round that forces all other players
to fold - including the blinds.

Straight
A hand of 5 consecutive cards of varying suits.

Straight flush
Similar to a straight but with this hand all five cards are of the same
suit.

Suited
A poker starting hand that has two cards of the same suit.

Suited connectors
A poker starting hand that has two running cards of the same suit
(e.g. 10h-Jh).
Tells
Mannerisms or inadvertent habits a player has that give an
indication of the strength of their hand.
Texas Hold'em
The most commonly played game of poker, where each player has
two hole cards that only they see and five community cards that all
players can see. Players make the best five- card hand from the
seven cards available to them. There are four rounds of betting, the
first after each player sees their hole cards, then after three
community cards are dealt for all to see (the flop) then after the
fourth card is dealt (the turn) and finally after the last community
card is shown (the river).
The turn
The fourth community card turned over (aka fourth street).

Three-of-a kind
A hand containing three cards of the same value (e.g. 10-10-10).

Tight
A conservative player who plays only premium hands.

Tilt
A player who becomes reckless because they are upset is said to
be ‘on tilt’. The most common cause of tilt is losing a big hand
and/or because of a ‘bad beat.

Trips
Three of a kind.
Under the gun
The first person to act in each betting round.
Underdog
In poker the underdog is the player least favoured to with the hand.
For example, pre flop Q-J is an underdog to K-K.
Value bet
A bet that you should make as pot odds suggest in the long term
you will accumulate chips.
Wheel
A straight A-5, the best possible low hand in Omaha Hi Lo
(bicycle).