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Table of contents:

Poker Glossary and Terminology 

Ace in the hole

An ace in the hole is when there’s an ace amidst the face-down cards in poker.


An ace-to-five/ace-to-six is a strategy for evaluating low hands in a poker game.


To take action, such as a bet, raise, check, or fold.

Acting out of turn

A poker player that intentionally or unintentionally plays before their turn or announces their actions. In some cases, players can act out of turn to get a reaction from other players. Angle shooting is another term for acting out of turn.


This is a player’s turn to act. A dealer will say “ you action” if a player does not realize it’s their turn to play.

Action Button

A marker on which a player places an extra forced bet. An action button is similar to a kill button. The action button is often awarded to the winner of a scoop pot in a seven-card stud high-low game.

Action card

A card that causes a significant betting action because it is beneficial to more than one player in a Texas hold’em and community card poker games.

Active Players

Players that are involved in the pot.


The act of buying more chips before bursting into a live poker game. In tournament play, however, players are eligible for an add-on, irrespective of their stacks' size.


To expose your card in such a way as to reveal your advantage over other players.

Aggression Factor

A player's level of aggression, either in a betting round or in all rounds.


A low-value hand in Poker.


All-in occurs when a player runs out of chips while calling or betting. If a player runs out of funds in poker, the dealer creates a side pot in which they have no interest. However, they can still win the pot in which they have chips. Dealers create a side pot to ensure that other players can continue with the game.


An unethical but permitted play in poker.


This is a percentage of a bet used to seed the pot at the beginning of a poker game. Each player must contribute an ante. Note there is no ante in Texas Hold’em.

Ante Off

To make the contest fair to other players, an Ante Off forces an absent player to continue paying blinds, antes, and other forced bets.

Any Two Cards

In Texas Hold’em, this is an expression used when a player's card does not matter in a decision.



A prefix for the least ranked hand on any board.


This is a draw that needs at least two rounds to fill. It is a player's alternative hand.

Back In

Quite common in Jackpot, a Back In occurs when a player enters without an opening. The player enters a pot by checking and calling another player's open in the first betting round.


Winning a bet with a hand that could've folded.

Bad Beat

The act of playing two different hands in the same way. This is to confuse an opponent who aims to gain information about your cards.


Also referred to as the house, the Bank is the person responsible for tracking buy-ins, distributing chips, and paying winners at the end of a game.


Money is used to wager for the duration of a poker session.

Bankroll Management

A strategy for selecting the best game type or stake to avoid going bankrupt in a poker game.


Players not have the best hand, i.e; having money on the table, but not in the pot.


Money wagered during a poker round. This is the standard betting amount in a fixed limit game.

Betting Structure

A set of guidelines that govern every aspect of a poker game.


A card with no apparent value.


This is a non-official hand that contains five face cards, and far superior to a flush.


Consistent loss of chips due to bad play.


A forced bet

Blind Defense

A way to take advantage of overly-aggressive players. In a blind defense, a player raise or call another player's raise when in the big blind.

Blind Steal

A means of winning the antes and blind by using a weak hand to raise from a late position. A blind steal occurs when other players have folded.

Blind Stud

A type of stud poker game in which all cards are dealt face down.

Blind Off

In tournament games, a blind off reduces a player's stack via the payment of increasing blinds.


A combination of cards that converts another player's out into your own. In community card poker,


The minimum amount a player must bring to participate in poker.

Buy short

To buy-in with an amount lesser than the normal buy-in.



An act of matching a raise or bet.

Call the clock

The anount of time a player has to make a decision in poker. A player can call the clock to prevent opponents from taking too long to act.


A restriction on the number of raises in a betting round.

Card protector

Items placed on cards to prevent them from being revealed or dicarded.

Cash plays

This rule enables players to bet the cash equivalent of chipc. A dealer announces a cash play if the chips are uncurrently unavailable.

Cashing out

Converting chips to real cash when exiting a game, or withdrawing your earnings in an online poker game.


To continue playing with a bad hand because you’ve already deposited money in the pot.
To continue playing a draw over different rounds, despite a low chance of winning.

Check out

To leave the game.

Chip declare

In a split-pot game, this is an act of announcing an intention to play low or high.

Chip up

Converting lower-denomination chips for higher ones. It also meansthe removal of all small chips by rounding them up to the next large denomination.


To split a pot or pool based on an agrrement. It also refers to the act of cashing out after playing a short game.

Coffee housing

An attempt to mislead other p;ayers about the strength of your hand.



Taking action without access to information.

Dead hand

Inability to participate in a deal. This is mostly due to a foul for touching another player’s card, or having the wromg number of cards.

Dead money

Additional cash other than the amount contributed by active players in a pot. Dead money may include contrivuted cash from players who have folded. The term “dead money” refers to money from unskilled players who are unlilely to win the pot.


Card distribution in line with the rules of the game. It is also an agreement to split payouts as opposed to the normal method.


The person responsible for dealing the cards.

Dealer's choice

A type of poker game in which the dealer chooses to invent a new rule with each orbit or hand.

Deep stack

Also referred to a big stack, a deep stack is stack of chips that is considered too large for the stakes being played.


A strategy against a suspected bluff. A defense enables you to force the suspected bluffer top either invest further or fold.


Also called a swan or quack. A duece refers to the number two in poker, such as $2 chip.


A strategy for evaluating low hands in poker.


An inexperienced or weak player.

Door card

A player’s first visible card in a stud game or Texas Hold’em. Sometimes, players may intentionally expose this card to mislead their opponents.

Double-ace flush

A flush that has more than one wild card that act as aces.

Double-board, double-flop

Variants of community card games in which a dealer simultaneously deals two separate boards of community cards. In a double-board, winning hands share the pot.


Effective stack

It determines the maximum amount either player can lose in a heads-up pot. The effective stack is most determined by the smallest stack among two players.

Eight or better

A common qualifier in high-low split games that use ace-5 ranking. Only hands where the highest card is an eight or less can win the low portion of the pot.
A player’s expected earnings from a current deal. Players can calculate equity by multiplying the probability of winning by the amount of money in the pot.

Exposed card

Intentional or unintentionally revealed card.


Family pot

A poker deal that allows almost all active players to call the opening bet.


A dominant hand. A hand is a small or big favorite, depending on the degreee of advantage over others.


In a land-based casino, this is usually the second or third poker table, from which players move to the main table as players are eliminated.


This is the cloth covering a poker table, or the table itself.\

Fifth street

In community card games, the fifth street is the last card dealt to the board.

Final table

The last table or round in a multi-table poker tournaments. Dealers set up a final table when enough people have been eliminated from the tournament.

First position

In Texas Hold’em or Omaha Hold’em, this is the playing position to the direct left of the blinds.


An inexperienced player. It is also a strategy again st aggressive players by chasing draws while holding a weak hand.


A card accidentally exposed to one player by the dealer during dealing. Dealers must show a flash card to all players before discarding it.

Flat call

Also referred to as smooth call, a player is expected to raise in a flat call.


The intention to bluff at a later round by calling a bet.

Floorman, floorperson

A land-based casino employee that keeps all games filled and balanced, handles all player disputes, and manages dealers and other casino employees.


To forfeit one’s participation in a current pot.

Fold equity

Expected winnings from a bed that forces an opponent to fold.

Full house, full boat, full hand, full

A poker hand with three cards of one rank and two of a second rank.

Ffull ring

A cash game with at least six active players.


Gap hand

A starting hand with a difference of one card separating two cards.

Get away

To forfeit a strong hand when faced with a more superior hand.

Going north

Buying above the table limit by sneaking in additional chips.

Going south

Also call ratholing, going south means sneaking out a portion of chips in an ongoing game.


A poker player who earns a living via small profits consistently via conservative play.

Guts, guts to open

Poker variants in which a player wins a pot accumulated over several hands. It is also a game that has no opening hand requirement.


To join a pot by calling a blind instead of raising.


Half bet rule

This rule states that placing chips more than the betting limit and beyond the amiunt needed to call, is a commitment to increase the betting limit.

Hand history

The history of a hand played.


A tell-late sign that the dealer is dealing from the bottom of the deck.

High hand, high

This is the best hand based on traditional poker values.

High card

Using high-ranking cards ro defeat another player.

Hijack seat

The seat to the second to the right of the button, or right of the cutoff.

Hit and run

The act of getting a payout shortly after winning a large pot in a ring game. This is generally considered a bad manner.

Hole cards, hole

Also called pocket cards or face-down cards.

Hole cam

Also called a lipstick cam, a hole cam reveals a player’s face-down cards to an audience.


This is a player bankrolled by someone else.



Independent chip model (ICM) is the act of assigning a monetary value to a stack of chips.

In position

An in-position player is the last to take an action on the flop, turn and river betting rounds.

In the money

In a poker tournament, in-money is when a player finishes high enough to get a payout.

In turn

The next player to act under the rules.


This is an agreement in which players choose to split the pot based on their individual chances of winning.

Irregular declaration

A player’s unofficial gestures that are interpreted as an action by other players. For example, a player may do a thumb up gesture to signify a raise.



A five-card draw variant that require an ante from each player. It is also a large pot collected and awarded by the house for some rare occurrences.


It is the 53rd card, and it is often used in draw games.


This refers to money collected by the house.


A low-value hand.


Kill button

The button reveals the player that has a kill action in a kill game.


A money pool often used to buy cards or refreshments. It is buily bu collecting small amounts from different pots.



A means of outplaying opponents by playing many starting hands and lots of small raises.


A chip-shaped token that has a text inscribed on it.


Players have the lead at the beginning of the next round if they make the last raise or bet in a round of betting.

Leg-up, leg-up button

The button reveals the winner of a previous round in a kill game.

Limp, limp in

Entering a pot via calling a bet instead of raising.

Live cards

In stud poker games, live cards have the potential to improve a hand, but are not currently in any player’s upcard.

Live hand

A hand that has the potential to win the pot.

Live poker

Another name for a poker game in a land-based casino, as opposed to video poker or online poker.

Lock up

Placing a chip or a personal effect right in front of a seat to signify that the seat is occupied.



Measuring the health of a chip stack to determine the cost of playing each round.

Made hand

This is a hand that does not require an improvement to win a round.


An inexperienced and aggressive player who often bets and raises.


A player who is the center of attention at a poker table due to their inexperience.

Match the pot

A bet equal or larger than all the chips in the pot.


Micro-level limit refers to online poker games with extremely small stakes.


A ruined deal.

Move in

Placing your entire stake on a current hand.


A muck occurs when players discard a hand without showing their cards. This often happens after a win without a showdown. In addition, a muck also means to fold.

Multi-way pot

Also referred to as a family pot, it is a pot with many players competing for it.



To be unwilling to take risks by playing only premium hands in the top range.


These are rules that allow players to wager all or part of their chips in a single bet.

Nosebleed stakes

The highest stakes in a cash game poker. Most times, the blinds are least within $200 to $400.

Nothing card

An insignificant community card.

Nut hand (the nuts)

The best possible hand in any round.

Nut low

The best possible low hand in high-low split games.



Cards that are not in the same category.

On the button

Acting as the dealer, and it is the most profitable position in poker.


To bet first in a poker game.

Open-ended straight draw, open-ended

A double-ended or two-way straight draw.


In jackpot, these are cards that enables players to open the pot.


An optional bet or draw.


This is a complete rotation of all the blinds at a table, which is also equal to the number of active players.

Out of position

Players who are either first or not the last to act in a betting round.


In a no-limit game, this is a bet that surpasses the size of the pot.


An overcall is when you call a bet after other players have called.


A community card with a higher rank than a player's pocket pair.


Common in community card games like Omaha Hold’em, an overpair is a pocket pair with more value than the highest community card.


The choice to increase the stakes in limit games.



A royal card.


A pair of cards with similar ranks.

Pay off

Calling a bet when an opponent is likely to drawing dead.

Penny ante

A low-stake game.


Best possible cards in a lowball hand.


The house receives cash from the dealer after selling chips to players.

Play the board

Players are said to be playing the board when their best hand is on the board. A play the board often occurs in community card games like Texas Hold’em.

Pocket aces

A starting poker hand that has two aces.

Pocket pair

A pocket pair occurs when a pair is formed from two of a player’s private card.

Poker face

Showing no facial expression to avoid revealing information about your cards.

Poker table

A padded table top for playing poker. A typical poker table must support from two to ten players.


Splitting a range into a bluff or strong hand position.

Position bet

Making a bet based on the strength of your position rather than your card advantage.


In Texas Hold’em, this is the act of making the required blind bet.

Post dead

Placing a bet that is equal to both the small and big blind.


An inability to fold since the pot is much larger than a player’s stack.

Pot sweetener

A small bet amount for building a pot.


The period when no flop has been dealt, despite player already having their pocket cards.

Probe bet

Placing a bet after a flop after refusing to take the lead in betting before the flop.

Prop, proposition player

Someone who gets paid to help poker games stay active. Prop players use their money to play.



In a high-low split game, quartered is winning a quarter of a pot by tying either the low or high hand.


Rabbit hunt

The revealing or cards that would have been dealt if a round continued.


An inexperienced player.


A hundred chips of the same denomination.


A worthless card


An imaginary rail that separates the audience from the field of play.


To increase the size of an ongoing bet in the same round.
To raise is to increase the size of an existing bet in the same betting round. See main article: raise


The final card dealt in a poker hand, which was followed by a final betting round.


A long winning streak.



A tournament that serves as a gateway to accessing a larger tournament.


Betting less than the maximum with a strong hand in a bid to push more opponents to call the bet. A sell often occurs in spread limit poker.


Making a raise or a bet with a hand with potential in the hopes of making other hands fold in a betting round. Semi-bluff often occurs in a game with multiple betting rounds.


Land-based casinos use a set-up deck when bringing a new deck to a poker table. These casinos spread the set-up deck face-up to show that all the cards are present before shuffling it. A set-up is also referred to as spading the deck.


If there are more than one player after the last betting round, remaining active players may compare their hands to know the winner.

Slow roll

A form of poor etiquette in which a player delays or avoids showing the winning hand at showdown.

Snap call

An impromptu move in which players make a swift call due to their strong hand.


A form of bluffing by playing a worthless hand in draw poker.


To go easy on a player. This is not allowed in most card rooms, and may lead to penalties such as forfeiture of winnings or stakes, and forced sit-outs.

Soft break

Converting a large chip or cash into low-denomination chips or cash during buying.

Splash the pot

Throwing your chips into the pot in a disorderly manner. This is prohibited in casinos since dealers are unable to know the betting amount.

Split two pair

This is a two-pair hand, with each pair containing a player’s hole card and a community card.


The difference between a table’s maximum and minimum bets.


A type of limit poker in which the raises and bets are within the maximum and minimum value.

Squeeze play

In a no-limit Hold’em game, this is a bluff reraise using less-than-superb cards. This usually occurs after other players have called the original raise.The aim of a squeeze play is to steal the bets by bluffing other players out of the hand.


The total amount of currency or chip available for use in a poker game.


The amount used for buying in and playing a bet.


Hedging a bet on a poker player in the hopes that the player wins. There is usually a sharing ratio in place between the player and the backer.

Stop and go

Placing a bet on another player who has previously raised or otherwise shown aggression.

Strategy card

This is a wallet-sized card used for poker strategies either in land-based or online casinos.


Another term for a betting round or dealt card.

String bet

The strategy of calling with a motion and subsequently raising with another.


Table stakes

An aggressive form of play in which players play a series of strong starting hands, but when in pots plays aggressively.

Tainted outs

These are cards that make a hand better than others, but also improves other hands better.

Tank, in the tank

Taking too long to act.

Third Man Walking

This is the third player to stand up from a seat during a cash game. Casinos using the third man walking rule require the player to return their seat within 10 minutes or lose one rotation of the deal, or even lose their seat in the game.

Three Bet, Three Betting

The first player to put in a third unit of betting.


Playing a less-than-average number of hands.


A poor strategy due to a player’s mental confusion, emotional upset, mental confusion, or frustration. A tilt often leads to poor play and losses in the game.


In games like poker tournaments, a timer counts down the period when blinds are at certain levels. The blinds go to a higher level when the timer counts down to zero.

To go

The cash amount required to stay in the hand.


In land-based casinos, this is the tip given to dealers by winners of the pot.



A player with a less potential of winning another player.


A full house where the pair has a higher-ranking cards than the three of a kind.


Playing a card with its face revealed.


When a player wins more than expected.


Value bet

This is different from a protection bet or bluff. A value bet is made by a player who wants to reveal their hand.


The statistical measure of the difference between expectations and actual results.


Voluntary Put Poney In Pot (VPIP) is a measure of how loose or tight a player is. It is also the percentage of hands via which a player puts money into the pot pre-flop, without counting any blind postings


Wake up

To find a strong starting hand.


In poker, this is a situation when all players fold to the big blind.


A method of mixing a deck by spreading the cards face down on the table and shuffling them.

Weak ace

An ace with a low kicker.

Weak player

A player who is easily bullied out of a hand post-flop by any sort of action.

The quarterly results look great!

Revenue was off the chart.
Profits were higher than ever.

Everything is going according to plan.