Poker Glossary

Below you will find definitions of common poker terms found in both live and online poker. If you are looking for rules to a specific poker game visit our Poker Rules page. If you do not see your word here or feel we are leaving out an important word please let us know by Contacting Us.



Ace to Five - (1) A wheel, in games that involve a low hand Ace to Five the best hand is A2345. (2) A type of Five Card Draw Lowball known as A-5 Triple Draw. The best hand is a wheel with straights and flushes ignored.

Act - When the action is on a player it is their turn to act.

Action - (1) When it is a player’s choice to check, bet or fold it is their action. (2) A table with big pots and lots of betting and raising.

Add-on - Some tournaments have the option after the first break to pay an equal amount of the buyin. Usually an addon gives the players more chips then a typical rebuy would give. An addon usually ends the rebuy period in a tournament.

Affiliate - A person or company that helps promote a poker room. Sometimes affiliates give away free gifts, free bankrolls or in’s case pays out rakeback.

Aggressive - A style of play that is consistent with raising and reraising. An aggressive player will almost always raise instead of calling.

All-in - When a player has all of their chips in the pot. A player can either call a bet for the same amount or if that player has fewer chips then the original bet then they are all-in and there will be a side pot for the amount of chips they cannot cover. If the action is checked then a player can push all of their chips into the pot. If another player raises then the original bettor will be involved in the main pot and all other bets will go into a side pot.

Angleshooter - A player that makes a shady attempt to lure other players into calling or makes players consider a fold when they might otherwise call. An example would be a player acting like they were going to fold out of turn and then retrieving their cards and calling when the action gets to them.

Ante - In stud games players must put a small amount into the pot. Usually this amount is 10% of a small bet. An ante might also be required deep into tournaments.

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Back Door - A hand made that was otherwise dead without hitting the turn and river. If a player flopped nothing and hit a flush that needed the turn and river to make it then that player hit a back door flush.

Bad Beat - When a player loses as either a huge favorite or loses with a hand that would qualify as a bad beat jackpot.

Badugi - A four card triple draw game. The best hand is A234 rainbow.

Bet - Any time a player puts money in the pot.

Big Bet - In a limit game a big bet is the bet amount on the turn and river. In $1/$2 it would be $2. When a player’s winrate is described as 2bb/100 the bb stand for big bets.

Big Blind - The chips the player two seats to the left of the big blind must put up to see their cards. This amount is equal to one small bet.

Big Slick - In Texas Hold’em this is when a player’s whole cards are an ace and a king.

Blank - In flop games it is when a card on the board does not match the others. For example if the flop and turn were the 4567 of clubs and the river was a queen of hearts it would be a blank.

Blind - The chips the two players to the left of the dealer button must put up. The first player to the left posts the small blind and the second player posts the big blind.

Bluff - When a player makes a bet into a pot in an attempt to steal it with a weak hand.

Board - In flop games it is the five community cards in the center of the table. In stud games it refers to the five up cards.

Boat - Another name for a full house.

Bonus - An incentive poker rooms give to players to entice them into depositing into their poker room. Bonuses are often deducted from rakeback.

Bounty - Some tournaments will have bounties. This means a player gets extra cash for knocking out players. Sometimes poker rooms will put a large bounty on a house pro.

Brick - In Seven Card Stud, especially high/low, a card that completely misses a hand. For example if a player started out with four to a club royal flush and catches the 4 of hearts that card would be a brick.

Brick and Mortar - As opposed to online poker, it is when a poker room is played in a casino or poker room.

Bring In - In stud games it is when the low card makes the first bet to get the action started. If two or more cards are equal then the lowest suit makes the bring in bet. The order of suits from lowest to highest is clubs, diamonds, hearts and spades. In razz the highest card would bring in. The highest card would be the king of spades.

Broadway - An ace high straight.

Burn/Burn Card - To prevent potentially exposed cards from being played dealer’s discard a card before the flop, turn and river in flop games. In stud a card is burned at every street.

Bust - When a player goes broke or a player runs out of chips in a tournament.

Button - Refers to the chip that goes around the table in non stud games. It represents who has dealer’s position. The cards are dealt starting with the player to the left of the button also known as the small blind.

Buy - Another name for a bluff. A player buys the pot when they bet other players out of it, often with a weak hand.

Buy In - The amount of chips a player buys into a ring game with or the amount a tournament costs to enter.

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Call - When a player equals the amount bet in front of him so he can stay in the hand.

Call Station - A very passive player that calls very weak hands and draws. Call stations often do not bet their strong hands very well either.

Cap - In limit games this is when there are no more raises allowed. Typically a third raise caps the action on that street.

Case Card - The last card of the same value in the deck. If a player rivered four aces then they hit the case ace.

Check - The player with the first option may bet or check. When checking it means that the player is passing their option to bet.

Check/Raise - When a player first checks, then raises a player that bet behind them.

Chip - Instead of using cash at the table casinos use poker chips. They are made of clay.

Chip Dumping - Chip dumping is almost always associated with fraud. One form is where friends in a tournament will purposely lose their chips to another player so he can have an advantage with a bigger stack. Another form of chip dumping is where a player uses a fraudulent means of depositing and purposely loses the chips to a friend in an attempt to have the friend cash the fraudulent chips out. This is why it is so extremely important to use the transfer feature that is available at most poker rooms instead of giving chips away at the table to loan money to a friend.

Chip Race - During a tournament there comes a time when chips need to be colored up. At this point there is a chip race for the odd chips. The highest cards win the chip race.

Chop - In high/low games when a player wins high and another wins low the players chop the pot. Also some players will agree to chop blinds if all other players fold to them preflop. This means the small and big blind will take their blinds back and a new hand is dealt. The button moves after a chop.

Coaching - A professional poker player that gets paid to help players improve their game.

Coffeehouse - When a player table talks about another player’s hand. It is considered angle shooting to many players.

Cold Call - When a player calls two bets or more without having called a bet on that betting round. For example if a player opens with a bet and the next player raises a third player that called both bets will call two bets cold.

Color Up - When a player cashes in smaller chips for bigger ones. This happens in a player has too many small denomination chips or it happens in a tournament when smaller chips are no longer needed.

Comp - Short for complimentary, these are freebies given out by a poker room to reward players for their play.

Crazy Pineapple - Can be played high of high/low. It is similar to Texas Hold’em but players are dealt three cards and discard one after the flop bet.

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Dealer Button - Often referred to as simply the button. It is the chip that goes around the table in non stud games. It represents who has dealer’s position. The cards are dealt starting with the player to the left of the button also known as the small blind.

Dealer’s Choice - A format where the player with the dealer’s button decides what game will be played that hand. Usually it will be a mixed game of Texas Hold’em and Omaha High/Low as these games have blinds. In home games typically a player would declare their game of choice for an entire round.

Deduction - An items that is subtracted from rakeback such as a bonus or deposit fee.

Donk/Donkey - A poker fish, a very bad poker player.

Door Card - In Seven Card Stud this refers to the first up card dealt to players.

Double Belly - Similar to an open ended straight, this is a hand where there are two cards that make a straight. An example would be if on the turn a player holds 79 and the board is 58JQ. Either a six or a ten makes a straight.

Draw - Either refers to a type of game like Five Card Draw or 2-7 Triple Draw or it refers to a hand that needs to help to make. A player with four to a flush would be said to be on a flush draw.

Drawing Dead - A player that is drawing to a hand that can’t win if it hits is said to be drawing dead.

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Eight or better - Commonly a rule in high/low games. Hands that qualify for a low in Omaha High/Low, Seven Card Stud High/Low and Pineapple High/Low must have five cards eight or lower that do not pair to qualify for half of the pot.


Family Pot - When nobody fold before the flop.

Fish - A poor poker player. A player that usually loses.

Floor/Floorperson - The person in charge of the poker room. They make decisions when there are dealer or player errors and also helps seat players.

Flop - In Texas Hold’em and Omaha it is the three cards that players se after the first bet.

Flush - A hand where a player has five cards of the same suit.

Fold - When a player does not think his hand can win he throws his cards in the muck and folds. Once a player folds he cannot get back into the hand.

Four of a Kind - Also known as quads, a hand that has four cards of the same value.

Free Card - When everyone checks around the table players receive a free card.

Freeroll - A tournament that does not have an entry fee or when a player has the nuts one direction in a high/low game and has a draw fir the nuts the other direction and other players cannot outdraw him.

Full House - Also known as a boat, it is when a player has three of a kind and a pair in the same hand.

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Gutshot - An inside straight draw


Heads Up - A game or hand that involves only two players.

High/Low Split - Some games are split pot games. Usually a low hand must be eight or better to qualify. The high takes half the pot and the low, if one qualifies, takes the other half.

Hit and Run - When a player wins a big pot just after sitting down and leaves.

Hole Cards - The two down cards a player starts with in most games.

House - The establishment that hosts the poker games.

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Inside Straight - Also known as a gutshot, it is when a player needs a card in the middle of their four card straight draw to make it.


Kicker - The highest card or cards in your hand that may be used to break a tie. If two players have a pair of aces and one has a king and the other has a queen, neither card pairing, the king kicker would win the hand.

Kill - A variation in limit poker where if a player wins two pots in a row they must put up a double big blind and the limits double for that hand and until another player wins a hand. Sometimes, especially in Omaha, a kill would happen when a player scoops a ten big bet pot.


Limit - Structured betting where a player is forced to check or bet a certain amount.

Limp - To call the single bet preflop as opposed to raising.

Lowball A five card draw low hand. The best hand in lowball is a wheel.

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Monthly Gross Revenue (MGR) - This is the number a players rakeback is based on. MGR is figured out by taking the total rake generated by a player and subtracting any deductions such as bonuses or deposit fees. Multiplying MGR by a player’s rakeback percent wil give a player their rakeback amount.

Muck - To fold your cards or the pile of discards in the center of the table.


No Limit - A form of poker where a player may bet all of the chips in front of them at any time.

Nuts - Having the best possible hand given the board.


Offsuit - When a players hole cards are not the same suit.

Online Poker - Poker played on the internet as opposed to live.

Omaha - Can be played high or high/low. It is a game similar to Texas Hold’em but players get dealt four cards. Players must use two cards from the hand and three cards from the board.

Open Ended Straight Draw - When a player has four cards in a row and two cards, one on either side of his four card straight, will make a made straight.

Outs - Cards that will help a player make their hand. If a player is drawing to a flush they would have nine outs.

Overpair - In Texas Hold’em it is where a player’s whole cards are a pair that is higher then any card on the board.

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Pair - Two cards of the same value.

Passive - A style of play where a player calls often but rarely raises.

Pat - In draw games it is when a player does not draw a card.

Pineapple - A variation of Texas Hold’em where players are dealt three cards and must discard before the flop.

Pocket Cards - A player’s hole cards.

Pocket Pair - When a player’s whole cards are two of the same value.

Poker Coaching - Professional poker players that get paid by players that wish to learn the game or improve their play.

Poker Pro Tables - Video Texas Hold’em tables manufactured by Pokertek. These tables are commonly found on cruise ships or in jurisdictions where live poker is not allowed.

Post - When a player puts a blind in front of them in flop games. “Sir, please post your blind”.

Pot - The chips in the middle of the table that go to the winner of the hand.

Pot Limit - A type of poker where players can bet the amount of the pot.

Prop Player - Short for propositional player, this player works for the house to help get games started. Prop players play with their own money.

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Quads - Four of a kind

Qualifier - In high/low games there is a qualifier for a low hand. This qualifier is usually eight or better.


Rabbit Hunting - When a hand ends because nobody called a bettor it is when the next card that would have been in the board is shown.

Rack - The plastic item used to hold poker chips. It also describes $100 in white chips or $500 in red chips.

Rag - A useless low card or cards in a board that do not usually help a hand.

Rainbow - When the flop or flop and turn are all different suits. A Badugi hand is also a rainbow as it is a four card hand with four different suits.

Raise - If a player wants to bet more then the original bet was then that player would make a raise.

Rake - The money that is taken out of the pot. This money goes towards labor, cards, poker tables, chips, comps and of course profit.

Rakeback - A promotion used by affiliates of poker rooms that gives players a part of their rake back that they generate at the tables. It is one of the most important things to an online poker player. Rakeback is what specializes in.

Rake Race - Contests held by poker rooms or affiliates to encourage players to play more and reward the highest volume players.

Razz - Seven Card Stud Lowball. A wheel is the best hand.

Rebuy - Some tournaments have rebuys. This is when a player drops below a certain number of chips, usually the starting amount, and can pay the amount of the buyin to get the same number of chips added to their current total.

Reload Bonus - A bonus given to existing players to entice them into returning to play at a poker room. Sometimes reloads are given to high volume players to reward them for their play.

Reraise - A raise that is the 3rd or more bet in a round.

Ring Game - As opposed to a tournament, a ring game is a cash game.

River - The fifth and last community card dealt in flop games.

Rock - A extremely tight player that gives little action unless he holds the favorite.

Rolled Up - In stud it is when a player’s first three cards are three of a kind.

Royal Flush - A straight flush that is ten-ace. A royal flush is the best possible hand.

Runner Runner - When a player hits the turn and river to make their hand. For example if a player flops three to a flush and both the turn and river give him the flush then that player hit a runner runner flush.

Rush - A player that has been running very well, hitting almost every hand.

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Scoop/Scooper - When a player wins an entire pot in a high/low split game.

Set - When a player has a pocket pair and hits one in the board for three of a kind.

Setup - In a live game it refers to the pair of decks used. Sometimes when players are running bad they will ask for a new setup and the house will bring over two new decks.

Seven Card Stud - A game with five betting rounds where a player is dealt three down cards and four up cards. Seven Card Stud can be played high or high/low. Low only Seven Card Stud is called Razz.

Shill - Similar to a prop, a shill is paid by the house and plays with house money. They are employed to help get games off the ground or help save short handed games.

Showdown - After the last betting round is completed and hands are shown there is a showdown to determine who has the best hand.

Side Pot - In a pot involving three or more players where there is an all in there is a side pot. The all in player is only entitled to the chips in the side pot if they win. If more then one player is all in then there will be more then one side pot.

Slowplay - To check or under bet a monster hand in the hopes of sucking in weaker hands or entice a bluff.

Slowroll - A very annoying practice in a live game where a player who knows he has the best hand slows the game down by not showing his winning hand in a timely manner.

Small Blind - The chips the player to the left of the button must bet to get dealt a hand. It is usually half of the big blind.

Split Pot - Either when two players tie for the best hand and each get half the pot or it refers to a high/low game where the high takes half the pot and the low takes the other half.

Spread Limit - A hybrid of limit and no limit. It is when there is a spread of bets allowed. In other words if a game is $3-$25 a player may bet anywhere between $3 and $25.

Stack - The amount of chips a player has in front of them.

Steel Wheel - A straight flush wheel which is a five high straight flush.

Straddle - In a limit or spread limit game it is when a player posts double the big blind which in effect is a blind raise. Most poker rooms will count this as a live blind and the player will have the ability to raise. Some poker rooms allow players to straddle in any position that is outside of the blinds but the rule of thumb is that only the player under the gun can raise.

Straight - Five cards in a row. The highest straight is known as broadway which is a ten through ace straight.

Straight Flush - Five cards in a row that are the same suit. An ace high straight flush is known as a Royal Flush.

Street - Describes each betting round in Stud. Third street is when players have three cards, fourth street is when a player has four cards etc. This can also be used in Texas Hold’em.

String Bet - In a live game this is when a player tries to raise without making it in one motion. This is an angle where a player could try to get reads on other players that might have thought he was just going to call.

Stud - Refers to a game where players have hole cards as well has up cards to help make a hand. Common stud games are Seven Card Stud, Seven Card Stud High/Low, Five Card Stud and Razz.

Suited - When a player’s hole cards are both the same suit.

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Table Stakes - The rule that states players can only bet or call with chips or cash they have on the table.

Table Talk - Discussing a hand while the cards are still out. This is considered very rude and is often against the rules, especially if more then two players are in the hand.

Tell - A body language that tips off players to whether a player has a good hand or not.

Texas Hold’em - The most popular poker game. It involves player getting dealt two cards and using a five card board with their two hole cards to make the best possible five card hand.

Three of a Kind - Three cards of the same value.

Tight - A player that plays few hands and does not give much action.

Tilt - Some players that lack discipline can lose their minds after a few bad beats and start playing very loose and poorly.

Tip - Proper etiquette states that one should tip the dealer $1 per winning hand at a live game. Winners of some higher limit games or big pots should consider tipping more.

Toke - Another name for a tip for the dealer.

Trips - Another name for three of a kind.

Turn - The fourth community card in flop games between the flop and the river.

Two Pair - A hand consisting of two cards of the same value and two paired cards of another value.

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Under the Gun - The player to the left of the big blind. He is the first to act before the flop. This also describes the first player still in to the left of the button at the start of a betting round.


VIP Program - Programs offered by poker rooms, often to higher volume players to reward them for their play.


Wheel - The best low in most low games. This is a five high straight which is A2345.

Wired Pair - In stud this is a pair in the first two hole cards.

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