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Poker Terms Glossary

Poker Terms Glossary

Confused by a poker word you haven't heard before? Look it up in our handy Poker Glossary.



Action occurs when it is a player's turn to act. It can also mean a willingness to gamble or get involved in a lot of pots.



big blind

The larger of two forced bets in certain types of poker, including Texas Hold'em and Omaha.


A sort of forced bet of which there are usually two in each poker game.


To make a bet with a hand that is unlikely to be the best hand.


The Ace-high straight - Ten through Ace.


The position in a tournament that finishes right before the money.


A marker indicating the player on the button.




To equal a bet or raise made by an opponent.

calling station

A player who calls bets and raises but rarely takes the initiative to bet or raise.

cash game

A game where real money is exchanged on each hand.


To pass your turn and bet nothing.


A poker strategy move that involves checking in order to induce a bet from another player with a view to raising the bet.

community card

A card on the board that can be used by all players in the pot to make their hands.


Two cards or more that are consecutive or very close to being in sequential order.

continuation bet

A bet made after the flop by the player who raised pre-flop.


The seat located directly to the right of the button.


drawing dead

When a player has a hand that, even if it improves, cannot win under any circumstances.

dry board

A selection of cards on the flop, turn and river that provide no means for flush or straight draws.


early position

Early position in a nine-handed game is the first two seats located to the left of the big blind.


The amount that a player expects to win a pot.

expected value, EV

The average amount of money a player can expect to win or lose on a bet or play.


flat call

A call in a circumstance where a player would usually fold or raise.


The first three cards dealt in a community card game, after the players’ cards have been dealt out.

expected value, EV

The average amount of money a player can expect to win or lose on a bet or play.


A hand in poker that is made up of five cards in the same suit.

forced bet

An amount that is automatically bet at the start of each hand.


A tournament where the buy-in is zero and the prize pool is 100% guaranteed by the house – poker room or casino.


All players buy in for the same amount and are allocated the same number of chips.

full house, full boat

A poker hand with three cards of one rank/denomination and two of another rank/denomination. Also called a "boat".

full ring

A cash game or tournament with nine or ten players at the table.


gut shot, gutshot

A straight draw needing an inside card to make the straight.


heads up

Playing against a single opponent.

hijack seat

The seat located directly to the right of the cut-off and two seats to the right of the button.


inside straight

A straight draw needing an inside card to make the straight also called a gut-buster or belly-buster. See “gut-shot

in position, IP

A player who is last to act after the flop is said to be in position.

in the money, ITM

To be in a position high enough in a poker tournament to get paid when busting out.


junk hand

A starting hand that has little if any expected value.



A card in a poker hand that does not itself take part in determining the actual ranking of the hand.



A very loose and aggressive playing style that requires playing a lot of pots and raising pre-flop.


The smallest or largest amount that a player can bet.

limp, limp in

To simply call into a pot without raising or betting.


A player who plays a lot of hands from a lot of different positions at the table is said to be “loose”.


In a high-low split game, the low is one of the two possible hand rankings that can win.


multi-way pot

A pot where more than two players decide to play.



A game where players are allowed to wager all of their chips in a single bet.

nut hand (the nuts)

The best possible hand when all constraints of the board(s) are taken into account.



Cards that aren't of the same suit. For example Jd-10s is referred to as Jack-Ten off-suit.


To enter a pot first with either a call, raise or re-raise.

open-ended straight draw

A straight draw needing eight cards, on either side (open end) to make the straight.


Number of cards needed to make a draw. For example, a flush draw needs one of 9 flush cards, or “outs” to make the draw.

out of position, OOP

A player, who is first to act or not last to act after the flop.


A card on a community board that is higher than a players hole cards.


A pocket pair that is greater than any of the cards on the board cards in a community card game.



Any, King, Queen or Jack in a deck of cards.


Two cards in the same rank.


Style of playing involving checking and calling, as opposed to betting and raising.

pocket pair

A pair of hole cards of the same rank, e.g. Aces (AA).


Order players are seated at a poker table.


After the flop in a community card game has been dealt.

pot odds

The ratio of the size of a pot in relation to the amount of a call.


After hole cards have been dealt but before players see a flop.



Also known as Four-of-a-Kind. Four cards in the same rank, e.g. Js-Jh-Jd-Jc



The imaginary or real sidelines at a poker table.


A rainbow flop has three cards of different suits. A rainbow board has four cards of different suits.


To increase the size of the bet, forcing all players to call the increased bet in order to play the hand.


To raise after another player has raised. Also to “3-bet”.


In community card games like Texas Hold'em and Omaha, the river is the fifth card dealt on the board. In Stud, the river is the last card dealt face-down to each player.

royal flush

A straight flush to the Ace in any of the four suits. This is the highest traditional poker hand.



A tournament in which the prize is a free ticket to a larger tournament.


Three-of-a-kind. In Hold'em this occurs when a player has a Pocket Pair and there is a third card, matching rank, on the community board.


After all betting rounds are complete and remaining players get to show their hands.

sit and go

A single table tournament where players buy in for a fixed amount and play until the last player standing.

small blind

The smaller of the two forced bets. It is equal to 50% of the big blind forced bet.


The amount that a player can buy in for, in other words, table stakes. It can also refer to the size of the big and small blind – i.e. $1/$2 NLHE.

starting hand

The initial set of cards dealt to each player before any voluntary betting.


A poker hand ranking that consists of five cards in sequential order, with 2 being the lowest card and Ace the highest.


Cards having the same suit are said to be “suited”.


three bet, 3-bet

This is akin to the re-raise – raising an initial raiser.


Getting frustrated due to a loss, being dealt bad cards or getting out-drawn.


In community board games the turn is the fourth card on the board, dealt after the betting round on the flop ends.


under the gun, UTG

The position at the table located directly to the left of the big blind and is first to act pre-flop.


value bet

Betting an amount just enough to entice a call by a weaker hand.


A statistical measurement of how far real results lie from the expected results.


weak ace

An ace paired with a low or weak kicker. For example, Ace-Four is a weak ace.

wet board

The texture of the community cards on a board that provides coordinated outs for flush and straight draws.