Poker Terms & Slang
Not only is poker one of the oldest real money casino games on the planet, but it is also attractive to a lot of players. There are a couple of reasons why so many people are fond of it.
For starters, the luck factor does not play a huge role in land-based and online poker. On the contrary, you must act strategically and find ways to outsmart your opponents. Thanks to the fact that many players can join this game, the rewards are always decent.
Before you start playing this game at free poker sites or for real money, you must get extremely familiar with it. One of the best ways through which you can do that is by learning poker terminology.
As always, we at BestPoker want to ensure that you have all the details in one place, which is why we are more than happy to share every poker term in alphabetical order and help you master this game.
The first poker lingo on our list is an add-on. This is used in a poker tournament and it means that you want to purchase more chips and add them to your stack. However, it is worth noting that it is not offered every time.
The beauty of playing poker is the fact that you can use various strategies. Some are harder to master than others. Players that use simple strategies which are easy to discover and bust are known as ABC players.
Ace in the Hole
This term is used when one of the hole cards of the player is the Ace.
Next up, we have an ante. This language represents the bet that you must place before a betting round in poker begins.
All in is a brave action by poker players. This means that a certain player on the table is betting all of his chips in the round. Players can either accept the bet or quit.
Assault rifle is slang that is used in Omaha poker. It is used when your 4-card hand has the cards A-K-4-7. As you can see, they form the expression AK47, which is synonymous with the famous Kalashnikov rifle.
Blind is a bet that two players need to make before a hand is dealt. It features two card terms – the big and small blind. According to poker rules, the small blind places a part of the bet amount, while the big blind places the full amount. The reason why it’s called a blind is that a bet is required before the players even look at their cards.
Bluff is an action by a player in a betting round. When your pocket pair is not strong, but you want to win the game, you bluff to try and fool your opponents. That way, they will think that your hand is the strongest in the hand rankings order and thus, will quit the game.
Bad Beat Story
There are two meanings behind these three words. A bad beat occurs when a player has a massive advantage over other players according to the odds calculator but ends up losing the round. A bad beat story is a retelling of a bad beat.
The poker terms for beginners use the full house. Advanced poker terminology substitute this phrase with the boat. A full house/boat is a winning hand in poker. It occurs when you have a three of a kind and one pair. These two expressions are explained further on in this guide on poker games.
Whenever the dealer displays the community cards, one card is left out of the equation in each round. For example, before the dealer displays the flop, it takes one card out of the deck. The same goes for the turn and the river. The card that gets left out is called a burn card.
Regardless if you are playing Texas Hold’em or another poker variant, if you want to join a table, you must stake a certain amount. The stake is called a buy-in. Since freerolls are not required you to wager money to enter, they don’t have a formal buy-in.
Poker can be played either online or in physical establishments. Physical poker rooms are also known as brick-and-mortar rooms. One additional term for a brick-and-mortar room is a land-based facility.
Whenever you’re playing poker, you can participate in a tournament or a cash game. A cash game is a poker game in which your chips are basically real money. The amount that you bet and win is not fictional.
When someone at the poker table raises the stakes, it is up to you to decide whether you want to follow the bet or quit. A call references the accepted bet. Once you call, the round goes on and the prize pool increases.
Apart from a call, the poker vocabulary features a few other bet options. If you don’t want to raise or fold, you check. With this move, you basically skip yourself and allow other players to continue the betting round.
When you decide to pass on your first opportunity to bet and then raise in the same betting round, then you use a check-raise move. First, you check, then wait for the opponent to place a bet and after that, you raise the pot.
Our poker jargon leads to the community cards, which we already mentioned a few times. This slang refers to the face-up cards that the dealer puts on the table. Players use these cards to form winning hands and thus, grab the prize pool.
A term similar in meaning to the assault rifle. It is used when you play a poker variant that has 2 hole cards. If the hole cards are 2 and 5 in any suit, then you have the famous Colt 45 hand.
Cheat sheets are basically guides on poker variants such as Omaha poker. They contain valuable information related to the winning hands, probabilities, which starting hands are good and which are bad, etc. You are allowed to use them when playing at a poker table.
When you draw, it means that your hand has a lot of potential, but in later rounds. So, you stay in the game with the hopes of ending up with a powerful winning combination such as a straight, flush, a straight flush, etc.
Draw poker is a term that is often confused with the draw. However, there’s a difference. Draw poker is basically a 5-card game. Your hand features 5 cards and if you want to improve it, you can replace some of your cards.
The poker dictionary lists the flop as the reveal of the first three community cards on the table. Before the dealer reveals the flop, it burns one card. After the flop is revealed, the betting round starts.
Fish is a term synonymous with a newbie. It is used to describe a person that is new to a poker app and has little to no experience in playing it. Recreational players are also often referred to as fish.
Flush is one of the most powerful winning hands in poker. By definition, it means that you have 5 cards of the same suit. These cards can be in any order, just as long as all 5 are in hearts, spades, diamond or clover.
Next up, we go back to the vocab related to bets. When you think that your hole cards are not strong, then it is obvious that you will want to quit. The poker term for quitting the round is fold.
Four of a Kind
Four of a kind also represents a strong winning hand in both land-based and online poker. It is used when you have 4 cards of the same value and not necessarily in the same suit. For example, when you combine the community and hole cards, you can have four Js, four 7s, etc.
Speaking of winning hands, we go on to full house. According to the poker software, this hand is stronger than flush, but it gets beaten by four of a kind. A full house is a combination of three of a kind and one pair.
Grind is a term that describes a player who plays poker for a longer period, but with low risks. They do that so that they keep playing responsibly. One similar term that is often used here for these players is “grinders.”
High rollers are opposite players to newbies and recreational players. They are always after the biggest rewards and that is why they often participate in games and tournaments with high stakes.
Hi-Lo is a type of poker game in which players play for both the low and high parts of the pot. Omaha Hi-Lo is the world’s most popular game of this type.
In order for casinos to remain profitable, they must keep a portion of the stakes for themselves. The percentage that they keep for themselves is known as the house edge. Vice versa, the percentage that is given to the player is known as Return to Player (RTP).
We are all about definitions in this article and that leads us to the “hand.” The hand represents the pocket pair of the player. These cards are exclusive only to you and you cannot reveal them until the showdown. The number of cards in your hand depends on the poker game. Some variants come with a hand of 2 cards, some with as many as 5.
Poker games can either be limit or no limit. These are poker terms for winning. In other words, they represent the cap on the maximum raises in bets. Limit poker games have a certain max cap and as a result, the prize pool has a limit.
Each time a player raises and other players call, the pot in the game increases. The pot that contains all of the bets from all betting rounds is called the main pot. The one with the strongest hand in the showdown usually takes the full amount.
MTT stands for a multi-table tournament. This is a poker tournament in which players fill up multiple tables. Arguably the most famous MTT tournament in the world is the World Series of Poker (WSOP).
Opposite to limit poker games, no limit is a term which indicates that there are no limits in terms of the maximum bet raise in the round. No limit poker games are usually attractive for high rollers as they are after the biggest rewards.
Off-suit is a rather funny term which states that your hand contains cards that are not in the same suit. If you’re playing Texas Hold’em, your hand will have 2 cards. If they are off-suited, then that means that one is spades and the other one is hearts, for example.
When you’re playing No Limit Hold’em, the size of the bet can sometimes exceed the pot itself. When this occurs, we have an overbet situation. Players can overbet if they have an extremely strong hand such as a straight or a royal flush. However, this is sometimes used as a bluff tactic.
Pair is a winning hand in poker. One pair means that you have two same-ranked cards (ex: two 3s). There’s also the two pair winning hand which means that you have two sets of same-ranked cards (ex: two 3s and two 2s).
Pocket cards are among the advanced poker terms. They are synonymous with the terms hand and hole cards. They represent the cards that you have in your possession and that you combine with the community cards.
Each table has seats known as poker positions. In this game, you can either be the big blind, small blind, have an early position, middle position or late position. The poker strategy suggests that the best position at the start of a game is the late position, while the worst is the early position.
Pre-flop is the first betting round in a poker round. It begins before the dealer shows the first three community cards (the flop). This is when the big and small blinds place the wager and others decide whether to call, raise or flop.
Earlier, we mentioned that four of a kind represents a winning hand that requires you to have four cards of the same rank, but not necessarily of the same suit. Quads is a synonymous term to four of a kind.
When the dealer reveals the flop, they put 3 face-up community cards on the table. Players use them to form winning hands. If these 3 cards are all in different suits, then this scenario is known as a rainbow.
From time to time, one player will have a pair of Kings in his hand, while another player will have a pair of Queens. If they compete for the pot, then this scenario is known as the race.
The river is a term that describes the fifth and final community card that the dealer shows on the table. After the river is dealt, the betting round begins and then, players reveal their cards and the showdown determines the winner.
Raise is yet another bet type in poker. If you think that your hand is strong or if you want to bluff, then it is logical that you will want to up the stakes. When you want to place a bigger wager on the table, then you raise.
Royals is a poker term that describes the face cards in the game. These cards are the Jack, Queen, King and Ace. Often the 10 is also considered a Royal card.
A royal flush is a winning hand that dwarfs all other winning hands. It is the most powerful hand in poker and its odds of dropping are extremely low. You form a royal flush when you have 10-J-Q-K-A in the same suit (spades, hearts, diamond, clover).
To explain satellite, we will go back to tournaments. Some tournaments pay out cash prizes, but some don’t. Tournaments that reward you with a spot in other competitions that have massive rewards are called satellite tournaments.
Apart from the main pot, a poker game can have a side pot as well. When a player doesn’t have enough chips to meet the bet, then they can win a prize adequate for their bet. The side pot is reserved for these types of players.
When we were explaining what bluff means, we stated that it is a move in which you are trying to fool your opponents that you have a strong hand. You do that by raising the stakes. Semi bluff is a similar move, but here, your hand is rather decent and there’s a chance that you will form a strong combination in later rounds.
When you participate in a tournament or a simple poker game, your total money is represented by chips. Chips are used to bet and raise. If your chip stack is lower than the rest of the players on the table, then you are short-stacked.
After the final betting round in a poker game is finished, it is time to determine which player is the winner. To do so, all players on the table reveal their cards and their hands are compared. This is known as the showdown.
In some cases, one player may not be the winner of the entire pot. Sometimes two players can have an equal hand. If this scenario occurs, then the pot is split between the two. Both players receive 50% of the total prize.
The big blind places the mandatory bet before the first betting round begins. The player left of the big blind can have the option to earn the big blind by placing a bet two times higher than the bet of the big blind. This deal is known as the straddle.
There are a total of 10 winning hands in a poker game and the one that we are going to explain now is straight. You form this winning hand when you have 5 cards in consecutive order. They don’t have to be in the same suit, though. An example of this winning hand is 4-5-6-7-8.
A straight flush, on the other hand, is a combo of both straight and flush. Here’s what that means. You form a winning hand of 4-5-6-7-8. However, instead of them being in various suits, they need to be in the same one. For example, all 5 cards have to be in spades.
After each betting round in a game of poker ends, the dealer reveals one of the community cards. At first, they reveal the flop – the first three cards. After the betting round ends, the dealer reveals the fourth community card. This card is known as the turn.
One of the skills that you need to possess to play poker is reading your opponents. A tell is used when a certain player makes an activity of some sort that gives out his hand. This activity can be a betting pattern, a facial expression, etc.
Often, players need some time to determine what their next move should be. However, if this takes too long, other players will call time to those who slow the gameplay.
Under the Gun
Under the gun describes the player that is first to act in a betting round. This player is located left of the big blind. The position in which the “under the gun” player is, is called the early position. As mentioned earlier, poker strategies suggest that these positions are the worst starting positions in a game of poker.