All-comprehensive guide to poker terminology

Poker terminology

The following is an all-comprehensive list of terms and definitions used in both live and online poker. You are by no means obliged to know all the terms listed here when playing online poker. However, if you want to improve your chances of winning and to understand better the terms used by the dealer and other players, it would be best to have a good read of the below terms.

Ante: A bet that all players need to make prior to a hand being dealt. Similar to a Blind, everyone has to contribute prior to the game kicking off.

All-in: A bet that encompasses all the player’s chips into the pot.

Backdoor: Hitting the required cards on the turn and the river to accomplish the hand required.

Bad Beat: When a poker player who is statistically in the lead loses to an opponent after the flop, turn or river.

Big Blind: The amount of chips that the second player to the left of the dealer must bet.

Blind: The generic term used to refer to either the small blind or the big blind. If a player is either of the blinds, then they are sitting either to the left of the dealer button (small blind) or else farther left (big blind).

Board: The community cards that all the players use in combination with their pocket cards to establish the best hand.

Burn: The process of discarding the top card prior to each betting round.

Button: The position of the dealer.

Buy-In: The fee one must pay to participate in a tournament.

Call: To provide the lowest amount of money to the pot to continue playing a hand.

Check: To pass on betting.

Check-Raise: This is done when a participating player checks when it’s his turn to bet and later raises any subsequent bet in the same round.

Cold Call: To call two or more bets on your turn.

Connector: Sequential pocket cards such as 5 of hearts and 6 of clubs.

Community Cards: The cards that are dealt face up in the middle of the table and which can be used by all poker players to create a hand.

Cut Off: The position on the right-hand side of the button.

Dealer: Casino’s representative that shuffles and deals the cards.

Dealer Button: The button indicating who the dealer is and which is passed clockwise following each hand.

Draw: Staying in the game in the hopes of improving your hand such as if you need more cards.

Draw Out: A card that changes your hand from a losing one to a winning hand.

Drawing Dead: When a player draws but it’s fruitless since not a single card will successfully create a winning hand for you.

Flop: The initial three community cards dealt after the first round of betting has been completed.

Flush: Five cards of the same suit.

Fold: Giving up by placing your cards face down and thus losing your bet. Players usually fold when their hand is weak to compete with other poker players.

Four of a Kind: Four cards of the same rank.

Full House: Three of a kind and a pair.

Hand: Five cards encompassing player’s pocket cards and community cards.

Heads-Up: Playing a poker tournament against one other player.

Kicker: Having the same hand as another player at showdown. The player with the highest kicker wins the game.

Limit: When bets and raises are halted at a fixed amount.

Limp: Another term for a Call.

Muck: Discarded cards in a hand.

No-Limit: A poker game structure where players can bet their entire stack without any minimum or maximum thresholds.

Nuts: The best possible hand a poker player can have at any given moment.

Off-Suit: Having in hand poker cards of various suits.

Omaha: A variation of the game Texas Hold’em in which players receive 4 hole cards and must use two of them, in addition to the three of the 5 board cards to make a hand.

Over-Pair: In Texas Hold’em, a pair in the hole is more significant than any community card on the board.

Open-Ended: A straight completed by one of two feasible cards.

Out: A card that will enhance your hand.

Over-Cards: Having in hand cards that are higher than the board cards or the opponent’s.

Pair: Two cards of the same rank.

Pocket Cards: The cards in your hand that don’t form part of the community cards.

Pot-Committed: A scenario which requires you to call due to the money in the pot regarding your stack of chips.

Pot-Limit: When bets and raises are capped by the current pot size.

Quads: Four of a kind.

Rainbow: A flop in which there are no two cards of the same suit.

Rake: The sum the house takes out of a poker hand.

River: The last of the five community cards.

Raise: To bet more than the minimum required to call.

Royal Flush: A Royal Flush is the best possible hand in poker:  an ace-high straight flush.

Satellite: A poker tournament with a small buy-in that collects all participants’ funds and awards seats to a higher-value poker tournament than cash.

Semi-Bluff: A bluff with a poker hand that has the potential of developing into an effective bluff.

Set: A pocket pair that creates three of a kind.

Showdown: Revealing your hands after a final round of betting.

Side Pot: A side pot is separate from the main pot. A side pot is created from any extra money bet by the players who aren’t all-in.

Sit ‘n Go: A poker tournament that starts with a set number of poker players that have registered.

Slow Play: When a poker player plays less aggressively to have other poker players stay in the game.

Small Blind: The position to the left of the dealer button, the Small Blind is the smallest of the two blind bets.

Split Pot: When two or more poker players create the same hand and the pot is split between them.

Straight: A hand that is made up of 5 cards in sequence but not in suit.

Straight Flush: A hand made up of 5 cards in sequence and belonging to the same suit.

Tilt: When a poker player is losing many consecutive games is said to be “on tilt”.

Time: A request for more time to ponder the next move.

Top Pair: A pair with the highest card on the board.

Trips: Three of a kind.

Turn: The fourth community card also known as the “Fourth Street”.

Want to learn more about online poker? Check out our series of articles highlighting strategies, tips and other guides to help you become a professional online poker player.