Omaha:  A game in which each player receives 4 face-down cards and shares 5 community cards.  The winning hand must use exactly 2 down cards and 3 community cards.  This game also has a High/Low variant.

Omaha High/Low:  This game allows players to compete for a pot split between the highest and the lowest hands using 2 down cards and 3 community cards.  A player may use different sets of cards to make up the best high and the best low hands.

On the Button: Being the last player to act in a betting round. Dealer’s Position.

OPTION: This term refers to the option given the big blind player the option of raising before the flop.

OUTS: The number of cards left in the deck that will improve your hand.

OVERCALL: To call a bet after another player has already called.

OVERCARDS: When you have cards that are higher than all the cards on the board.

OVERPAIR: A pocket pair higher than any of the cards on the board.

PAIR: Also called two of a kind. This is a hand where the player’s best hand is made up of 2 cards of the same rank.

PASSIVE: Adjective to describe a player who frequently calls and rarely bets.

PF: (abbev.). Pre-flop.

PLAY BY THE BOOK: To play according to the conventional wisdom regarding basic poker strategy

PLAY THE BOARD: Using all the community cards in Hold’em as your best hand.

PL: (abbev.). Pot-limit.

PLO: (abbev.). Pot-limit Omaha.

POCKET CARDS: The term for the two down cards at the start of the hand.

POSITION: The location of the player relative to the dealer.

POT ODDS: The odds you get when analyzing the current size of the pot vs. your next call.

POT-LIMIT: A variation on betting where each player may bet up to the current amount in the pot (PL).

PROP PLAYER: A player who is paid by the house to play in games with their own money as a way to fill up games.

PROTECTING YOUR CARDS: (phrase): To place a chip over your pocket cards so the dealer doesn’t accidentally muck them.

RABBIT-HUNTING Asking to see additional cards even though the hand has already ended.

RAG: A useless card.

RAG FLOP: A flop with bad cards – usually low cards.

RAKE: The amount of money, in chips, taken by the house as the service fee.

RB: (abbev.). Rebuy.

READ: Analysis of a player based on how they play, mannerisms, and tells.

REVERSE TELL: Intentionally acting in a different way to give a false image.

RING GAME: Any non-tournament game.

RIVER: The fifth and last community card dealt face up in a Hold ‘Em game.

ROUND: This refers to the dealing of a set of cards and associated betting.  For example, the dealing of the river and the bets that follow are a round.

ROUNDER: Someone who plays poker for a living.

RUNNER-RUNNER: When a player hits two running cards to make a hand.

SANDBAGING: Holding back and calling despite the fact that you have a very good hand.

SATELLITE: A tournament that lets you enter another tournament if you win.

SB: (abbev.). Small-blind.

SHARK: A good player or player who disguises his skill to trick others.

SHILL: A player who is paid an hourly rate with house money to play in games as a way to fill them up.

SHOOTOUT: A tournament where there are several tables and the winners of each table plays against each other.

SHORT STACK: A player that doesn’t have many chips left. Usually used in a tournament or a no-limit cash game.

SHOWDOWN: After the final bet, when all players show their hands or muck, is known as the showdown.

SIDE POT: This is a pot created when a player goes all-in.  The side pot is the pot available to those players not all-in at that point.  There can, on occasion, be more than one side pot.

SNG: (abbev.). Sit N Go.

SOFT GAME: A game with a lot of bad players.

SPLASH THE POT: An illegal move where chips are placed in a haphazard way.

SPLIT POT: A pot where more than 1 person are tied for the best hand and they have to split the winnings.

SPREAD LIMIT: A game in which there are betting limits with a fixed minimum and maximum bet for each betting round.

STARTING HANDS: The first 2 cards a player receives in Hold ‘Em or first 3 cards in Seven Card Stud.

STEAL: To bluff and win a pot.

STEAL-RAISE: A raise by someone in late position in an attempt to reduce the number of players and/or steal the pot.

STEAMING: Being on “Tilt”.

STRING BET:  An illegal bet in which a player makes a bet with more than 1 motion.

T: (abbev.). Tournament.

TABLE STAKES: The value of the chips with which a player sits down at a table.  Also a term for no-limit poker.

TELL: An action that gives clues about the cards someone is holding.

TIGHT-AGGRESSIVE: A player who doesn’t play many hands but plays his hands aggressively.

TILT: To play badly as a result of losing.

TIMED-OUT: When an online game folds you hand because you didn’t act in time.

TRIPS: A nickname for three of a kind.

UNDERPAIR: A pair lower than any card on the board.

UPCARDS:  Cards that are dealt faceup.

UTG: (abbev.). Under-the-gun. To be the first one to act. The position to the left of the Big Blind.

WSOP: (abbev.). “World Series of Poker”. The most prestigious tournament in poker, held at Binion’s Horseshoe in Las Vegas.

WPT: (abbev.). “World Poker Tour”.


DEAD BLIND: In a situation where you have missed your blinds and wish to re-enter the game before your turn to post the big blind.  You must post both blinds and the small blind is termed a dead blind, meaning it does not count towards calling a bet.

DEAL: To distribute cards to the players.

DOUBLE-UP: To go all-in in a tournament and win the hand and double the amount of chips you have.

DOWNCARDS: The face-down cards dealt to a player.

DRAWING DEAD: This describes the situation when a player is trying to draw a card to complete a hand when there is already a hand that will beat it, even if made.

DRAWING HAND: A hand that needs improvement to win. Usually to a straight or flush.

EARLY POSITION: Being one of the first to act in a betting round.

FIFTH STREET: The term for the fifth card in 7 Card Stud and the fifth board card in Hold’em.

FISH: A weak player.

FIXED: A limit-game where the betting limits are fixed on each round.

FLOP: 1. n. the first three community cards dealt face up on the table.
2. v. used to describe what your hand was after the flop. “I flopped the nuts!”

FLOP %: The % of hands where you see the flop.

FOURTH STREET The term for the fourth card in 7 Card Stud and the fourth board card in Hold’em.

Flush:  Any 5 cards in one hand that are all the same suit.

FREEROLL: This term applies to poker tournaments where the entry fee, the stakes, or both the entry fee and stakes are waived. In some non-freeroll tournaments, the house may guarantee a minimum prize pool.

FREEZEOUT: A game in which players start with a specified amount and then can buy no further chips, with the game continuing until one player has all the chips.

GRINDING: Playing in a style with minimal risk and modest gains over a long period of time.

GUTSHOT: A straight draw where only one card will complete the hand.

Hand: 1. The complete playing of all the cards given out in one deal.
2. The cards used by a player.

HEADS-UP: To play against only 1 other player.

HIGH-LIMIT: A game that is played for higher stakes – usually $50/$100 or higher.

IMPLIED ODDS: The odds you are getting after the assumed result of betting for the remainder of the hand.

IN-THE-MONEY: In a tournament, to place high enough so that you will win a cash prize.

INSIDE STRAIGHT DRAW: The term applied when a player has 4 of 5 cards needed for a straight with the missing card being inside the sequence rather than at either end, and gets the missing card.  For example, a player holding 3, 4, 5, 7 needs a 6 to complete the straight.  Getting that 6 is termed “making the inside straight.”

KICKER: The term for the card used to break ties between two of a kind or between Two Pair.

LIVE BLIND: A blind that counts towards any bet you call or raise.

LOOSE: Adjective to describe a player who plays lots of hands and gets involved with a lot of pots.

LOW-LIMIT: A game where the amounts wagered are small.

MAIN POT: The initial pot of money.  When one or more players go all-in, a side pot is created for each all-in player.

MECHANIC: A player who has the ability to illegally manipulate cards for favorable results.


MICRO-LIMIT: Games that are played for very low stakes – usually $.50/$1.00 or less.

MONSTER: A strong hand.

MUCK: As a noun, this refers to the pile of folded cards and discarded cards.  As a verb, at showdown time, the act of returning a losing hand to the dealer face-down.

MTT: Abbreviation for Multi-Table Tournament.

NH: “Nice hand”.

No Limit: Considered one of the last true forms of poker, where the amount you can bet is limited by the number of chips in front of you.

NUTS: The best possible hand.

Find more poker terms in the next part


On this page we have provided you with the definitions for a list of some of the terms often used in poker, as well as a few computer related terms.

ACE-HIGH: A hand with an Ace but no flush, straight or pairs.

ACTION: Bets or betting. “There’s a lot of action on this table.”

ADD-ON: An option during a tournament to purchase more chips.

AGGRESSIVE: Adjective to describe a player who raises and re-raises and rarely calls.

ALL-IN: When you run out of chips during a hand, but don’t wish to fold, you are all-in.  This means you have the potential to win a share of the pot up to and including your last contribution to that pot.  You cannot share in any bets added beyond that point.  These bets form a side-pot.

ALL-IN PROTEECTION: When you cannot act in time, or disconnected from the internet, you are put all-in for the hand. The software is “protecting” your hand from being folded instead.

ANGLE-SHOOTONG: Using unfair tactics.

ANTE: A forced amount contributed by all players before cards are dealt as a way to create a pot.

AUTO-MUCK: To have the software automatically fold your hand at the showdown if it isn’t a winner.

AUTO-POST: To have the software automatically post your blind so it doesn’t have to ask you each time.

Avatar:  A term from computer gaming for an image or figure used to represent a person.

 BABY FLUSH: A flush made with a low.

BACKDOOR: Making a hand other than the one intended. Example: Having J/10 of Clubs with a flop of A of Clubs, 5 of Clubs. 6 of Spades. The turn and river are K & Q of Hearts. You made a straight instead of the intended (and more likely) flush.

BACK-RAISE: Re-raise another players raise.

BAD BEAT: When a good hand is beaten by a hand that gets lucky.

BANKROLL: The amount of money a player has.

BET: To place money in the pot.

BET OUT: To open the pot with a bet even though you have the opportunity to check.

BET THE POT: This term is used in pot limit games.  It means your bet matches the current amount in the pot.  If, when your turn to bet, the pot was at $14, and you bet the pot, your bet is $14.

BIG BLIND: The largest blind posted prior to the dealing of cards. This is usually the player sitting two seats to the left of the dealer.

BLIND: A mandatory bet placed before the cards are dealt to force money into the pot. You usually have to post a blind when you join a game.

Board: The community cards in Hold’em are collectively known as the board.

BOAT: A full-house.

BURN CARD: In Hold ‘Em, the cards before the flop, turn, and river that are discarded to prevent reading of marked cards.

BUST OUT: To lose all your chips.

BUTTON: A marker, usually disk-shaped, to indicate which player is the virtual dealer.  The button is used in games where position relative to the dealer is important.

BUY-IN: The amount a player spends to get into a game or tournament.

CALL: Matching a bet amount.

CAP: In a limit game, betting the last amount allowed before the maximum allowed number of raises is reached.

CARDS SPEAK: The rule that your hand is the most favorable possible combination of cards, no matter how you call it.

CASH GAME: A game played where the chips have a cash value, as opposed to a tournament where the chips do not have a cash value.

CASHOUT: To transfer money from a poker site to a personal account.

CATCH: To hit alot of your hands.

CHECK-RAISE: The act of checking, then re-raising a bet.

CHOP: To split a pot when both people have the same winning hand.

CHOP THE BLINDS: When all the players fold around to the blinds, the blinds decide to take their money back instead of playing the hand.

COLLUSSION:  A form of cheating where two or more players attempt to gain an unfair advantage by sharing information.

COMMUNITY CARDS: Communal cards dealt face up in Hold ‘Em that all players can use.

COVER:  To have more chips than another player.

Crazy Pineapple: A variant of texas holdem where each player gets dealt three cards preflop and discards one of them before the turn card is dealt.

Read more in the next article