Poker Terms Glossary & Guide

So, you’ve finally decided to try out poker - one of the staple casino games out there. It can be difficult to understand initially, but we are here to help out. The many poker terms and options at the table can seem daunting the first time. But don’t worry. All that will change by the time you complete reading our guide explaining poker terms poker terms.

In this guide, we’ll walk you through the poker terminology and everything you might encounter on the table. We'll cover the terms used in poker - both the most popular ones and some lesser-known poker terms. You will find out about various poker variants, betting terminology, what each hand is called, and other terms expressed by poker players.

Our poker glossary will help you understand what poker terms are as you master the game. Knowing each term is a massive plus when entering a poker table.

A Poker Terms

  • Aces High - The highest-ranking base hand in poker. It consists of five cards with no pair or higher-value combination. A hand of mixed-colour A, 10, 8, 7, 3, for example, is an Ace High, and the holder of the Ace (or the next-highest card if the Ace is on the table) wins.
  • Action - Your turn to act (check, raise, call, or fold).
  • All-In - You bet all your chips on the current hand. After this one, you can’t make any further moves, but you can win the pot at the end.
  • Ante - A small forced bet placed by all players before the start of a hand. It ensures there's always something in the pot for which to play.

B Poker Terms

  • Bankroll - The amount of money you have left. It shows the chips you have set aside on the table, not the full budget on your account.
  • Big Blind - A mandatory bet made at the start of each round. It’s paid by the player seated next to the small blind or two seats left of the dealer. The big blind can also indicate the name of the player who ends the round, i.e., makes the last move. As the game progresses, the big blind can get larger.
  • Blind - A forced bet made by certain players at the beginning of each round. There are two blinds - big and small. They ensure there’s always some money to play for on the table.
  • Bet - Placing chips in the pot during a round. Indicates you are betting to win this hand.
  • Big Bet - The larger of two fixed-bet amounts in a fixed-limit poker game. Usually placed in the ending rounds, it’s used to force other players to fold under your pressure.
  • Bluff - A tricky poker terminology when a player is betting with a weak hand in an attempt to deceive the opponent that they have something stronger. This technique is highly used by professionals who have played the game for years and years and want to get in their opponent's head.

C Poker Terms

  • Call - Paying the raise made by another player before you in the round.
  • Cap - The maximum number of raises you can make during a round. It’s only seen during certain games where the casino wants to ensure the pot doesn’t become too large.
  • Check - Declining to bet when it’s your turn. It shifts the action to the next player. Checking is only available when there are no live raises to call.
  • Check Raise - This is a strategic move to check early in the round, only to raise on the next turn. It’s a tactic to trap opponents into thinking you have a weak hand and let them open the pot first.
  • Chance - The probability of a particular event occurring. In Texas Hold'Em, chances are usually displayed in odds or percentages.
  • Cold Call - Call after two or more raises have already been made before it is your turn.
  • Combination - A specific set of cards that form a strong hand. Indicates anything beyond a High Card (pair, three of a kind, etc.)

D Poker Terms

  • Dealer - The person dealing with the cards and collecting the bets at the table. In online poker, the dealer can be either a virtual or a live one, depending on which room you select. Like in person, you can communicate with the dealer in online poker by using the live chat option present in every live casino table.
  • Dead Man’s Hand - A hand of two pairs - Aces and 8s. This poker term is historically associated with Wild Bill Hickok, who died while holding the combination in a poker game.
  • Double Up - Winning a hand and doubling the amount of chips you have. It occurs after going all in and winning the round.
  • Downcard - Any card dealt face down. In Texas Hold'Em, all players get downcards before the community cards are drawn.
  • Draw - An incomplete hand that needs one or more cards (draws) to form a strong combination.

E Poker Terms

  • Early Position - The player who has to act first on the table. It’s usually indicated by seating right after the big blind.

F Poker Terms

  • Face Card - Any card with a face on it, like the Jack, Queen, or King. They have higher ranks than numbered cards and are depicted by letters and pictures rather than numbers.
  • Favourite - The hand or player with the highest chance of winning the round. Obviously, as you are playing, you don’t have a clue who is the favourite. However, this term is used for televised tournaments, where you can see each of the hands that the players have. As the round progresses, favourites can change.
  • Flop - The first three community cards are dealt face-up at the centre of the table. All players share the flop. The dealer draws the flop after all bets are placed.
  • Flush - A strong poker hand made up of five cards of the same suit. It ranks higher than a straight but lower than a full house.
  • Fold - A play where you give back the cards you are dealt and avoid playing the specific round. When you believe you have no chance of winning, the fold keeps any bets made before the fold in the pot.
  • Full House - A five-card poker hand consisting of a pair and a three-of-a-kind. It beats a flush but is lower than four of a kind.

G Poker Terms

  • Grinding - One of the poker game terms for players who bet round after round, aiming for a profit. This is a term used to describe a player who is constantly playing, betting on smaller hands rather than going for big payouts.

H Poker Terms

  • Hand Ranking - The ladder of poker hands, listed from best to worst. It starts with a Royal Flush and ends with a High Card.
  • High Roller - A poker term for a player who consistently plays on high-stakes tables and bets large sums of money.
  • Hit - Successfully completing a combination you were drawing for. It usually means getting the one card you need for a strong hand inside the community cards draw.
  • Hold ’em - The most famous poker variant. In this variant, you are dealt two face-down cards and try to make a strong hand using five other cards placed on the table by the dealer.
  • Hole Cards - The cards dealt face-down to each player. The name derives from the corner where you keep the cards, typically called ‘the hole’.
  • House - The establishment hosting the poker game. It can be a casino, cardroom, or private residence. The house may also refer to the operator running the game.

I Poker Terms

  • Insurance - Selling a portion of your potential winnings to another player, who gives you funds to complete the round during an all-in.

J Poker Terms

  • Jackpot - A large prize pool, often accumulated over time or through contributions from players. Jackpots are awarded for achieving rare hands or meeting specific conditions, both at brick-and-mortar and online casinos.
  • Joker - A wild card that appears in some poker variations, such as high draw and ace-to-five lowball. It’s an extra 53rd card that substitutes for another card, depending on the game rules.

K Poker Terms

  • Kickers - A card that isn’t part of a combination but may be used to tiebreak two even hands. If two players have a pair of 10s, the next strongest card not shared by them is a kicker.

L Poker Terms

  • Limit - The maximum amount you can bet during a raise and over a round. Depending on the poker variant you are playing and where you are playing, the limit can differ.
  • Limp - Calling the minimum bet to enter a hand rather than raising or folding. It’s often used when players only pay the blind without raising over it.
  • Low Hand - The weakest hand you can form in a poker variant.

M Poker Terms

  • Mid Stakes - Poker games with moderate betting limits, usually with blinds between $5 - $10 for online games and $2 - $6 for in-house betting.

N Poker Terms

  • No Limit - Games with no upper limits on bets and pots. This is an aggressive game variant in which you can bet any amount of chips during a round.

O Poker Terms

  • Omaha - A poker variant with four cards dealt to each player. Like many other variants of poker, Omaha also has sub-categories, including pot-limit Omaha and Omana hi-lo.
  • Offsuits - Two hole cards of different suits. Some examples include an Ace of Hearts and a King of Diamonds, a Seven of Spades and a Four of Clubs.
  • Open-raise - The first player to raise during a round. If everyone before you has limped or folded, your raise is called an open raise.

P Poker Terms

  • Pair - A hand in poker in which you have two cards with the same rank, such as two 7s.
  • Pocket Rockets - A pair of Aces, the strongest hold cards combination.
  • Postflop - Any action or betting round happening after the flop, i.e. the first three community cards.
  • Pot - Every bet or raise placed during a round of poker is collected in a pot. It is collected by the dealer and sits in the middle of the table.
  • Preflop - The game phase before the flop is dealt. It typically indicates actions taken during the first betting round when there are no community cards on the table.
  • Pot Limit - The maximum amount of money players can wager into the pot during a single round. The size of the pot limit depends on the casino you play.

R Poker Terms

  • Raise - A term used when you are increasing the bet amount during a hand.
  • Rank - The strength of a card, indicated by its numerical or alphabetical value.
  • Re-Raise - Raising after another player has already raised or one-upping them.
  • Royal Flush—The strongest hand in many poker variants, it consists of A, K, Q, J, and 10 of the same suit.
  • Run - A sequence of consecutive winning or losing hands. If you are winning, it is a hot run, but if you are losing, it is a cold run.

S Poker Terms

  • Sequence - A series of consecutive cards, such as 5, 6, and 7 or 10, J, and Q.
  • Side pot - A separate pot created when one or more players are all-in, but other players continue betting with their remaining chips. The remaining players contest the side pot.
  • Small Bet - The minimum amount you can bet during a betting round.
  • Small Blind - A mandatory bet paid by the player second-to-last. It’s usually half the size of the big blind, and as the game progresses, it will get larger.
  • Straight - A poker hand consisting of five consecutive cards of any suit, such as 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7.
  • Straight Flush - A poker hand consisting of five consecutive cards of the same suit, such as 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6 of diamonds.
  • Stud - A poker variant where players receive a combination of face-up and face-down cards in multiple betting rounds. In 5-stud poker, for example, you get one card face-up, and four face-down.

T Poker Terms

  • Tell - A term used by players that indicates a player’s behaviour, which can give out the straight of his hand.
  • Three Of A Kind - A poker hand consisting of three cards of the same rank, such as three 4s or three As.
  • Tie - A situation in which two or more players have equal hands, with no deciding kickers. In this case, the pot is divided equally between them.
  • Tilt - A state of emotional frustration or recklessness in which a player makes suboptimal moves after a losing hand or a cold streak.
  • Turn - The fourth community card is dealt face-up by the dealer on the table.
  • Two Pair - A poker hand consisting of two cards of one rank and two more of another rank, with a fifth unrelated card.

U Poker Terms

  • Upcard - Cards dealt face-up on the table and shared by all players. Also called community cards, these are used to form combinations in variants like Hold’Em or Omaha.

V Poker Terms

  • Variant - A different version or style of poker. Popular variants include Texas Hold'em, Omaha, or Seven Card Stud, each with different rules and gameplay mechanics.
Take Time to Think | | 18+

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