poker glossary

Ace-HighAn expression for your hand strength if you did not make any form of connection with the community cards and are holding an Ace in your hand. An example would be you holding AK on a 247TQ board.
Add-onIn rebuy tournaments, an add-on is a rebuy, usually allowed once per player, that any player may purchase regardless of the size of his stack. The add-on is usually offered at the end of the rebuy phase.
All-InTo go all-in is to bet all the chips one has at the table. Once a player is all-in, he is treated specially since he can no longer make any more wagers or call any more bets. He cannot be forced to fold and will see the showdown for sure. The players in the game who are still active finish playing the round normally.
AnteThe ante is a form of forced bet that all players must pay before the cards are dealt. They are paid by all players at the table every round and do not count as bets made, but are a form of entry fee into the round. This is in contrast to the blinds, which are paid by two different players every round. Seven Card Stud and Five Card Draw often use antes, though the question of antes vs. blinds is ultimately determined by the house rules. In tournaments with blinds, it is usual to add antes after a particular blind level that every player must pay regardless of whether he paid a blind or not.
BankrollA player’s bankroll is all the money that he uses for playing poker. It is the sum of funds that he has designated for gambling. In online poker, it denotes the money that a player has in his account.
BetA bet is one possible action a player can take if there are no bets on the table. To bet is to make a wager. A player can only bet if nobody else has bet. If there is already a wager on the table, then he needs to match that existing bet, although he can raise the wager if he wishes.
Bet the PotA bet having the same size as the current pot.
Big BlindThe big blind is the larger of the two forced bets in a game with blinds. The smaller of the two is called the small blind. The blinds are paid before the cards are dealt, always by different players from round to round. The player to the left of the dealer pays the small blind and the player to his left pays the big blind.
Board CardsCommunity or board cards are those cards dealt face up on the table, which every player may see and use. They belong to all the players, hence they are communal. In Texas Hold’em, for example, the three flop cards, turn card, and river card are the community cards.
ButtonThe button or dealer button is a chip that shows who the current dealer is. The position where the dealer sits is also called the button. We also say that the dealer is on the button.
Buy-InThe buy-in is the amount that a player must pay to enter a game. In a cash game, it is the amount he must bring to the table. In a tournament, it is the amount he must pay into the prize pool. The whole amount paid to enter the tournament is the buy-in plus the entry fee, where the entry fee goes directly to the host of the tournament. A tournament advertised as “$10+1” means that a player pays 11 dollars in all to enter the tournament, 10 for the prize pool and 1 to the host.
CallA call is one action a player can make when faced with an opposing bet. It means that he wagers exactly the amount of the opposing bet.
Calling StationA calling station, or station for short, is an extremely loose and passive player who plays too many hands and goes too far with them. He calls every bet, even with marginal hands and is not able to see when he’s beaten. He also plays good hands passively, meaning: he rarely makes a bet to build up a pot or protect a vulnerable hand. They are named calling stations because the call is their favorite move. Hence, they are not bluffable.
CapThe cap is the last possible raise in a round or the upper limit on how much can be wagered in one hand. Rounds are usually capped at 3,4, or 5 raises per round. The last raise is the cap. There is a particular form of pot- and no-limit game where a cap limits how much one particular player can wager over all the betting rounds. If he reaches this limit, he is considered all-in.
Cash GameCash games and tournaments are different poker variations. The participants play for and make wagers in cash. The participants buy into a table and can bring in new money to the table at any time, so long as they do not step over the maximum buy-in for the table. No-limit and Pot-limit games are often called cash games since the players bet as much as they want, as opposed to fixed limit variants where the bet sizes are constrained to discrete steps. Fixed-limit is not viewed as “real” poker in this sense.
Cash OutTo cash out is to get paid. The term is used when withdrawing money from a poker account, for trading in casino chips for money, or when a player leaves a table and the money he had at the table is credited back to his account.
ConnectorsConnectors are sequential cards like 87, 54, 32. If they are of the same suit, then they are called suited connectors, otherwise they are unsuited connectors. There are also one-gap connectors like 53 or 86, and two-gap connectors like 52 and 96.
DealerThe dealer is the one who gives out the cards. He doesn’t actually have to be dealing the cards, but he is the one who would do it according to the rules, and the order of action therefore progresses as if he were dealing. In Texas Hold’em, each player therefore takes a turn being dealer, even if the one actually giving out the cards is a casino employee or software program. The dealer designation moves clockwise around the table from round to round, even though the actual dealing is not performed by the players. At every stage the current dealer is denoted by a small chip, called the dealer button, which also moves around the table in clockwise fashion.
FlopIn poker variants with community cards like Hold’em and Omaha, the flop is the first three board cards to be dealt.
FlushA flush is a poker hand consisting of five cards of the same suit.
FoldA player who folds lays down his cards and withdraws from the current round of play. The bets he’s already made stay in the pot and he re-joins the game in the next round.
Four of a kindFour cards of the same kind/with the same value. Example KKKK or JJJJ
Full HouseA full house is a poker hand consisting of a pair and a three of a kind. A full house is also called a boat, full boat, full, or full barn. If two players have a full house, then the one with the highest three of a kind wins. If they have the same three, then the player with the highest pair wins.
GutshotAn inside straight draw, belly buster, or gutshot is a draw to a straight missing an inner card.
Heads-UpA poker game between just two players is called heads-up. The heads-up game is the most intense poker variant since a player never has a chance to wait for good cards, but must instead rely on his game and on finding weaknesses in his opponent.
Hole CardsThe hole cards are a player’s face-down cards that only he may see, for example the two starting cards in Texas Hold’em.
KickerKickers are those cards out of the five making up a poker hand that do not belong to any combination of cards but that determine the rank of hands with equivalent combinations. Accordingly, there are only kickers in hands with combinations of fewer than five cards i.e. four of a kind, three of a kind, pairs, and high cards. They decide the outcome when two players have hands that are otherwise equal in rank, beginning with the highest kicker. Narrower definitions specify just one kicker; the one that decides over a hand when two players have similar hands. If the players have exactly equal hands, then the kicker is the highest of the non combination cards and they split the pot.
LimpIn games with blinds, a player limps if he calls the blinds as his first action. He calls the big blind but does not raise.
LooseA loose player plays many hands, as opposed to a tight player, who plays just a few.
ManiacA maniac is an extremely aggressive player who plays many cards and hands and often tries to win by pure aggression. A maniac raises , bets and bluffs a lot. He plays an extreme form of the loose-aggressive style.
MuckThe muck is  an area of the poker table where all dead cards are laid to rest, i.e. all burn cards and the cards that players have folded. To muck is to lay ones cards down without showing them.
No LimitAlthough there are different formats of Texas Hold’em, Texas Hold’em No Limit is by far the most popular. This is because you can bet any amount at any time. As a result, you are always at risking of losing every single chip you have – or doubling up. This is what makes Texas Hold’em No Limit so exciting.
NutsThe nuts or lock is the best possible hand in a situation. A player has the nuts if he has the best possible hand given all the cards dealt so far. The term is also used in the context of a particular hand catagory. The nut-flush or nut-straight would be the best possible flush or straight, respectively.
OddsFor a given number of outs, i.e. cards that would complete a drawing hand, there is a unique probability that such a card will be dealt next. This probability is usually expressed as odds, or odds against; a probability that the draw does not hit.
OffsuitThe suit indicates the color of cards. In most card games there are 4 suits (hearts, clubs, diamonds and spades). If two or more cards have the same suit they are called suited. If they have a different color they are off suited.
OmahaPot Limit Omaha plays like Texas Hold’em, except for each player is dealt four hole cards instead of two, and they must use exactly two of them combined with community cards.
One PairTwo cards of the same value. Example: JJ
OutsDraws are unfinished hands that would not win as they are but could develop into powerful hands if the proper cards are dealt. Cards that would finish such a hand are called outs.
PassSame as Fold.
PositionPosition describes your place at the table relative to the dealer button. Players directly to the left of the big blind are in early position, followed by middle and late position. Late position is usually synonymous with the dealer. The term “Being in position” describes a situation where you have position on your opponent and are last to act on any given betting round.
PotThe pot is the prize pool consisting of all the bets made in a hand. If the pot is divided between two or more players, e.g. in Hi/Lo variants in which the best and worst hands win, or because two or more players have the same hand, this is called a split pot. There can also be more than one pot in the hand, i.e. when one or more players go all-in. All bets made above the all-in amount are put into a new pot, the side pot, so that only the players who have the necessary money can compete for it. The first pot is called the main pot.
RaiseA raise is an action that a player can make when confronted by another player’s bet. To raise means to bet over the amount wagered by your opponent. The number and size of raises per round may be bounded depending on the house rules. Usually, 3 or 4, or less often 5 raises are allowed per betting round. A raise that follows an opposing raise is called a reraise.
RakeThe rake or “chop” is the house’s cut of each and every pot. A hand where a rake is taken is called a raked hand. The raked amount is subject to certain conditions. In general, a rake of 5% of the pot is taken, as long as the pot has exceeded a predetermined size. The maximum rake per hand limit is also determined by the particular establishment and by the limit being played. A cardroom will not take a percentage rake when a hand does not have a flop. This is called “no flop, no drop”. Rake types:
Dealt rake: The rake collected at the end of a hand will be taken equally from all players who have been dealt into the hand.
Simple contributed: The rake collected at the end of a hand will be taken equally from all players who have invested money in the pot.
Weighted contributed: The rake collected at the end of a hand will be taken from all players who have invested money in the pot, but calculated
proportionately by the amount of money invested.
Actual rake: The rake of a hand will be assigned in full (100%) to the winner of the hand.
RebuyIn contrast to a freezeout tournament, in which a player is irrevocably eliminated when all his chips are gone, re-buy tournaments allow eliminated or shortstacked players to purchase more chips. Usually, this procedure, the rebuy, is such that as soon as a player’s stack is below the original starting amount for the tournament, he may pay the original buy-in and recieve the starting amount of chips again. This is only possible at the beginning of the tournament. After the rebuy phase, the play is normal freezeout. In a $20 rebuy tournament in which every player gets 2000 chips, a player can buy an additional 2000 chips for $20 as soon as he has fewer than 2000 chips. Instead of leaving the tournament when he’s lost all his chips, he can buy in a second, third, fourth…time and start all over.
RiverThe fifth and final board card in Hold’em or Omaha is called the river or 5th street.
RockA rock is a conservative player who only plays a few very strong hands. His strategy is to play only absolutely top cards, but he plays them aggressively and rarely folds, even if there are indicators that he’s been overtaken by the opposition.
Royal FlushA royal flush is a poker hand consisting of the cards from 10 to ace in the same suit.
SatelliteA satellite is a tournament in which participants can win a buy-in or entry into a larger tournament. If a player cannot or does not want to pay a large buy-in for a big tournament, then he may buy into a satellite and attempt to win the larger buy in.
Short-HandedA game of poker is called shorthanded, short, or 6max if 3 to 6 players take part. If more players are present the game is called full ring; games of just two players are called heads-up. The play at a shorthanded table is characterized by a higher level of aggression than at full ring tables.
ShowdownThe showdown is the final portion of a hand, where the remaining players show their cards and compare to see who has the best cards and is therefore the winner of the pot. The showdown takes place after the last round of bets have been made. If one or more players have gone all-in, i.e. bet all their remaining chips, and it is no longer possible for anybody to make new bets, then the revelation of the cards that follows and the playing out of the hand (without any further betting rounds) is also called the showdown. For example, in Texas Hold’em, any remaining community cards would be dealt (without betting in between) and all players cards would be revealed to see who the winner is.
Side PotThe side pot is a pot on the side in a hand with an all-in player. The main pot in a hand is the pot that all active players may win. If a player goes all in and at least two opponents are still playing and not all-in, then all successive bets are put into the side pot and only the non-all-in players may win them.
Small BlindIn a poker game with blinds, the small blind is the lesser of the two blind bets. It can also refer to the player who pays such a bet.
StackThe stack is the amount of money or chips that a player has at the table. He cannot bet more than his stack.
StraightA straight is a hand consisting of five cards in sequence.
Straight FlushA straight flush is a poker hand consisting of five sequential cards of the same suit.
SuitTwo or more cards are called suited if they are of the same suit.
TellA tell is some part of a player’s behavior that enables an opponent, who notices it, to deduce something about a player’s style or hand. We divide tells up into conscious and inadvertent tells, that is tells from players who act up and know or believe that they’re being observed and tells from players who feel unnoticed. The way a player pushes his chips in a live game can be a tell. Common and wide-spread among Beginners is the weak-means-strong tell, which occurs when a player tends to always play his strong hands weakly, or always play bluffs strongly. Some players have the habit of always looking up and to the left with an all-in bluff. A further group is known as timing tells, where a player gives away information about his hand by taking a certain amount of time over an action. Equally, a player’s demeanor, clothing and manner of speech can also be tells. It’s a wide spectrum.
Texas Hold’emThe game of Texas Hold’em is actually very easy to understand. Each player is dealt two face-down poker cards, the so called hole cards. After this a total of five cards are dealt face-up on the table; first three cards, then one more and finally a last one. These are called community cards, because everyone can use them in conjunction with their own two cards to form a hand. In between the dealing of these cards, there are four rounds of betting in which you can either bet chips, or fold your hand.
Three of a kindA set of three cards of the same value.
TurnIn poker variants with community cards such as Texas Hold’em or Omaha, the fourth community card is called the turn or 4th street.
Two PairA two pair is a poker hand consisting of two different pairs.
Under the GunWhen playing with blinds, under the gun (UTG) refers to the position immediately to the left of the blinds who has to act very early on in every betting round and therefore has an immense positional disadvantage compared to other players.
WSOPShort form for “World Series of Poker”, the yearly World Championships of Poker taking place in Las Vegas.
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The last changes of the page “Poker Glossary” was made by Daniel Berger on June 05, 2019