Last updated on November 22nd, 2022
Our Poker Glossary is your top tool to help you navigate the often confusing world of online poker play. Whether you’re a newbie or a seasoned veteran, poker is jam-packed with jargon and slang and you can often find yourself wondering what’s going on!
Fortunately for you, we’ve consulted our poker experts, who have compiled this extensive Poker Glossary to help you in those moments that you get a little bit stuck. To make things even easier, we’ve formatted them in alphabetical order, so you can find the information you need fast.
- Ace high – a hand in which you don’t have at least a pair, but have an ace. It can be a winning hand, if your opponent also doesn’t have at least a pair and their highest card is lower than an ace.
- Aces Up – a poker slang term for a two pair hand that includes a pair of Aces.
- Alias – refers to the name that an online player adopts to play poker. Oftentimes this will not be close to their real name.
- All-in – this is the act of putting all of your remaining chips into the pot. Can be used tactically in many different situations.
- Ante – a bet that must be placed when playing before any cards are dealt to the table.
- Backing – lending money to a poker player and receiving a percentage of their profits in return.
- Backraise – this refers to a re-raise made after calling earlier on the same street.
- Bad beat – when you lose a hand by sheer bad luck it can be referred to as a “bad beat”.
- Bankroll – the total amount of money you have to play with on your account.
- bb – when shown in lower case as it is here, it refers to big blinds.
- Bet – to place your chips in the pot to stay in the hand.
- Big Blind – the position on the table always directly to the left of the small blind. When you are designated as the Big Blind, you must make a mandatory payment into the pot before any cards are dealt.
- Bluff – a bet made with a weak hand in the hope you can force your opponent to fold and you win the pot.
- Boat – a slang term for a Full House.
- Bottom Pair – a pair made with the lowest ranking cards on the game. Typically a pair of 2s.
- Bounty – an extra prize awarded for knocking out a specific player in a tournament.
- Burn – a common thing to occur in live poker. A dealer “burns” cards to help minimize a player’s ability to cheat.
- Buy-in – the amount that is required to join a game.
- Call – to “call” is to match the bet placed by the previous player(s) in that round.
- Calling your bluff – means that an opposing player suspects you are bluffing and calls you on your bet.
- Case card – the last card of a certain type in the deck. For instance, there are three 10s on the table, the last one if called the “the case 10” if it is dealt.
- Cash games – a popular version which involves chips that represent real money.
- Chance – the odds or probability that something will happen. Often expressed as a percentage in poker.
- Check – an action that means to make no wager. A check can only be made if nobody has placed a bet in that round.
- Cold Deck – a term used to express a bad run of hands being dealt to players.
- Community Cards – the cards that sit in the centre of the table and can be used by all players. Not all poker variants feature community cards.
- Cowboys – a nickname for getting dealt two Kings, the second best hand you can begin with.
- Dealer – the one who deals out the cards to players.
- Deuce – a common term for a number 2 card.
- Double Up – doubling your chip stack after going all-in and winning the hand.
- Downswing – a continuous run of losses.
- Ducks – a common nickname for a pair of twos being dealt.
- Early Position – often refers to the first two or three seats next to the dealer.
- Effective Stack – the shorter of two stacks in play. The larger stack cannot wager more chips than the short stack has in play. Therefore, the shorter stack is the effective stack.
- Face Card – any card that is a Jack, Queen, or King.
- Favourite – indicates which hand/player is most likely to win.
- Fish Hooks – a slang term for a pair of Jacks being dealt. One of the strongest hands you can begin with.
- Flop – the fourth community card dealt in a game of Omaha or Hold’em.
- Freeroll – a tournament that is free to join (no buy-in).
- Full House – a five card hand consisting of three of one card and a pair of others.
- Gap – refers to the gap between two cards. For example, the gap between a 5 and 7 is one card (a 6).
- Grinding – refers to playing the game for long periods of time.
- Hand Rankings – probably the most important thing to know in poker. Do not play until you know the hand rankings (which hand beats which).
- Heads Up – refers to a poker hand where there are two players remaining.
- High Hand – this is when you play a hand that doesn’t have at least a pair.
- High Roller – refers to a player who plays in the biggest prize games and tournaments.
- Hold’em – the most popular poker variant. Master this and you’ll be able to play almost any other.
- House – refers to the hosts of the game, typically a bricks and mortar or online casino.
- Insurance – a side bet made with another player at the table. If the hand doesn’t hold up, you’ll receive a payout from the other player.
- Jackpot – some online variants may offer a jackpot payout for certain scenarios.
- Jam – a slang term for shoving your chips all-in on a hand.
- Joker – an extra card in a deck that holds no value in the vast majority games. As such, it’s unlikely you’ll see one.
- Kicker – cards that don’t directly create a hand, but still contribute to the strength of hand. For instance, if two players have the same cards, the one with the best kicker will win.
- Laydown – another term for folding your hand.
- Limit – usually used to describe a game with fixed-limit betting.
- Mark – a term usually used in a derogatory way to indicate a weak player at the table.
- Mid-stakes – a game with higher buy-in than a low-stakes game, but lower buy-in than a high-stakes game.
- Monster - a slang term for a very strong hand.
- Nit – a term used for a player who is overly safe and only plays a strong hand.
- No-limit – a game variant that allows bets of any size to be placed.
- Nuts – a nickname for the best possible hand (a Royal Flush).
- Omaha – a poker variant very similar to Hold’em, only slight changes in the amount of cards dealt to players and the amount of community cards dealt.
- Open-raise – refers to making the first raise of the first round of betting.
- Overbet – placing a bet that is larger than current pot size.
- Overpair – refers to a pair in the hole that is higher than the highest card on the table in community card games like Hold’em and Omaha.
- Pair – two cards of the same value. Not a particularly strong hand, but solid enough if you’re dealt one before the community cards are dealt.
- Paint – a colloquial term for face cards.
- Pocket Rockets – a slang term for pocket aces, the best possible starting hand.
- Pot – the pot is the centre of the table where all chips are placed. The winner of each hand takes the pot.
- Pot limit – a variation of poker that only allows bets up to a maximum of the amount in the pot.
- Quads – a term for four of a kind (four cards of the same value).
- Raise – the action of increasing the size of the wager. Seen as an aggressive action.
- Rake – a small amount taken from the pot each hand as payment for running the game (the house takes the rake).
- Rakeback – a percentage of rake that is paid back to players.
- Rank – another term for the value of a card.
- Rebuy – the action of buying more chips after running out.
- Re-raise – a re-raise is to up the wager again when another player has already raised in that round of betting.
- River – the final community card that is dealt.
- Royal Flush – the best possible hand you can get. Made up of a 10, Jack, Queen, King and Ace all of the same suit.
- Satellite – a tournament in which the winner is awarded a ticket to an even bigger event.
- Set – a three of a kind hand made up specifically of a pocket pair in the hole.
- Short Stack – refers to not having many chips remaining in your stack.
- Shove – a slang term for going all-in.
- Showdown – the showing of cards to determine the winner of a hand.
- Side Pot – a second pot that is formed if one player is all-in, but other players are left with chips to play for in the hand.
- Sit and Go – a type of tournament that begins as soon as a certain number of players are at the table.
- Small Blind (SB) – the position on the poker table directly to the right of the button. Requires a mandatory payment into the pot before any cards are dealt.
- Split Pot – when two players have identical hands and cannot be separated, the pot is split between them.
- Stealing – an attempt to take the pot in the first round of betting. This usually involves raising aggressively.
- Straight – a five card hand that consists of all five cards in sequential order (any suit).
- Straight Flush – a strong hand to have. A five card hand that consists of all five cards in sequential order and of the same suit.
- Tell – a tell is an unconscious action that “gives away” the strength of your hand. Far more common in real life poker than online variants.
- Three of a kind – a hand in which you have three cards of the same value.
- Tie – when two hands are identical. This results in a split pot.
- Tournament – a poker format that has a fixed buy-in. Players play until they have no chips remaining. The last man standing wins.
- Trap – to play a strong hand passively in the hopes you can “trap” an opponent to put more chips into the pot.
- Two Pair – a hand that consists of two pairs of cards of the same value. For example, two 5s and two 6s.
- Underdog – a player that is, statistically, unlikely to win the hand.
- Upswing – a prolonged period of winning. Something you should definitely be aiming for!
- Up the Ante – a slang term for effectively raising your stakes on a hand.
- Variant – a certain type of poker game. Each variant will have its own set of rules and in some cases, different payouts.
- Villain – a common term used to describe another player at the table.
- WSOP – an acronym for arguably the world’s biggest poker tournament – the World Series of Poker. The tournament is held every year in Las Vegas, Nevada.