Poker Terms & Slang that you need to know

Ever wonder about the meaning of that poker terms when you are in a game ? Here are some basics and most common poker terms that play a big part of the game. Besides the terms listed,  there are thousands of common and uncommon poker terms and slangs. However, the terms below is the one you should at least know.

Used to describe your move at the poker table. Everything you do when it is your turn to act is called an action– betting, raising, folding, calling, or checking.

It is a bet that all players are required to make before the hand starts.

When the player bets all the remaining chips(his entire stack), he is all-in.

Ace high
A poker hand, in with the highest card is an Ace without making a pair or other stronger combination. For example, if you hold A5 and the board comes K J T 8 3, you have an Ace-high hand  because there is no other possible combination.

A type of draw that requires to hit both turn and river cards to make a winning hand. For example, if there’s one spade on preflop and you have two in your hand and two more spade show up on the turn and river, you’ve hit a “backdoor” flush.

Bad Beat
To lose a hand where one hand is considerably ahead of the eventual winning hand.

The amount of money that a player has to wager for the duration of their poker career

Big Blind
The position at the table to the direct left of the small blind. This position pays the mandatory big blind payment preflop.

Refers to making a bet after already being the last aggressor on the previous street.

An action, where player voluntarily puts chips into the pot

A card which does not influence the action in any meaningful way.

A “blocker” is a card that has a card removal effect on villain’s range. For example, if we hold a Queen in our hand, it’s less likely that the opponent has a Queen in his hand as we already have Queen blocker.

A bet made with a weak hand in the hopes of getting our opponent to fold a better hand.

Bomb Pot
A hand where each player agrees to place a predetermined bet amount into the pot on preflop.

A bounty is an amount of money that is given to one player who knocks out another.

In a tournament, the bubble is the top finisher out of the money. For instance, if there are 400 players in a tournament and the top 45 get paid, then 46th place is known as “the bubble.”

The position of the dealer. The button is in an advantageous position, for he acts last in a betting round.

Big slick
An ace and a king as a starting hand in Texas hold ’em.

To “call” means to match the existing wager on the current betting round.

Calling station
A player who frequently calls bets, but rarely raises them. A calling station is usually a loose passive player.

Card dead
A poker term that means we are on a run where we are only being dealt bad hands and spend most of our time folding.

To pass on betting. If there’s no action (bet) to you, there’s nothing to call. If you don’t want to bet, you can just “check.”

Cash games
A format where chips directly represent cash amounts. Players can leave or join the table at any time.

Combo draw
Having both straight and flush draws at once. For example, in a hold’em hand if a player holds and the flop comes. , that player would have both an open-ended straight draw and a flush draw.

Community cards
To describe cards that are dealt face up in the middle of the table and can be used by any player in the hand.

Continuation bet
Refers to betting on the current street after being the last aggressor on the previous street.

To beat a hand – typically a big hand. You hear this most often used to apply to pocket aces: “Third time tonight my pocket aces got cracked”.

Describing a situation where one player with a strong hand loses against even better holding. In most cases, it refers to a situation where the player could not avoid losing the hand because both opponents had very strong holdings and money was going into the pot no matter what.

The person who deals the cards. Sometimes it also refers to the person occupies the button position.

To “donk bet” means to make a bet out of position on the current street after closing the action by calling on the previous street.

A downswing is a phase or period of time in which a player sustains extended losses due to bad luck.

Drawing dead 
You’re drawing, but it’s futile because there is not one card in the deck that will create a winning hand for you. If you have two pairs and hope to make a full house on the river, but your opponent already has four of a kind, you are “drawing dead.”

Early position
Refers to the first two or three seats on a full ring poker table. It refers exclusively to the lojack on a 6-handed table.

Refers to your ‘rightful’ share of a pot as determined by your current chance of winning the hand. If you are heads-up with $180 in the pot and your chance of winning the hand is 50%, your ‘equity’ in the hand at that moment is $90。

Expected value
EV is the average return on each dollar invested into a pot. If a player can expect, given probability to make more money than he or she bets, the action is said to have a positive expectation (+EV).

A common term used to describe a weak player at the table.

The dealing of the first three face-up cards to the board, refers also to those three cards themselves.

To give up by placing your cards face down on the table, losing whatever you have bet so far.

A tournament that has no required entry fee or buy-in, while also still offering a real-money prize pool.

Full House
A full house is a hand that contains three cards of one rank and two cards of another rank, such as 3♣ 3♠ 3♦ 6♣ 6♥ (a “full house, threes over sixes” or “threes full of sixes” or “threes full”).

Refers to playing poker for long hours and slowly building up profit.

Refers to an “inside straight draw”. For example, we hold 5,6,7,9 and need to hit a 8 in order to complete our straight.

Heads up
Refers to a poker hand where only two players are involved.

Hero call
Calling when a player has a relatively weak hand but suspects their opponent may be bluffing.

High roller
A player that frequently plays in high-stakes tournaments and cash games.

The seat to the right of the cutoff seat, or second to the right of the button.

We “hit” when a card falls that gives us a decent hand. “We held a flush draw on the turn but hit on the river”.

Hit and run
Cashing out of a ring game shortly after winning a large pot.

Hole cards
Refers to cards that are dealt face down to the player and kept secret. In Hold’em players are dealt two hole cards while in Omaha they are dealt four.

Selling insurance in poker is selling equity of your hand to an outside party, who gives you money before the final cards are dealt.

ITM in poker stands for ‘in the money’ and refers to players in line for a cash prize since they have successfully passed the bubble.

A large pool of money collected by the house and awarded for some rare occurrence, typically a bad beat.

Colloquial term meaning to shove all-in.

A side card that does not make any combination, but can determine the winner of the hand if players have a similar hand. For example, if one player has A 8 8 7 7, and another has Q 8 8 7 7, the first one wins, because his “kicker,” Ace, is a higher card and determines the winner.

Lay down
The choice to fold a strong hand in anticipation of superior opposition. Sometimes implies reluctance to ditch the hand. “We thought for a long time but eventually made the laydown”.

To enter a pot by simply calling a bet instead of raising.

Stands for “Loose Aggressive” and describes a player who plays many starting hands in an aggressive manner.

To throw away or fold your hand without showing it to other players.

Colloquial term for a very strong poker hand.

The best possible hand. The nuts can never lose, it can only chop.

Cards that are not of the same suit.

is a community card poker game similar to Texas Hold’em, where each player is dealt four cards and must make their best hand using exactly two of them, plus exactly three of the five community cards.

Open-ended straight draw
A straight draw where a player is waiting for one of two cards on the outside of his structure. For example, we hold 5-6-7-8 and make a straight if we pick up any 9 or 4.

Open Raise
To make the first raise on the first betting round.

A card that will improve your hand. If all the money is in the middle, and you turn over a pair of kings and your opponent has a pair of aces, you need one of the two remaining kings – your two “outs” – to beat your opponent.

In community card games such as Texas Hold’em and Omaha, a pocket pair with a higher rank than the highest community card.

Two cards of the same rank.

Pocket rockets
Nickname for getting dealt AA (pocket Aces) in Hold’em. Pocket rockets is the best possible starting hand in Hold’em.

The place in the center of the poker table where wagered chips are placed. The winner of the hand wins all the chips in the pot.

Post flop
Describes everything from the second betting round (the flop) onwards.

Pot committed
Generally speaking, being pot committed means having arrived at a point in a poker hand at which folding to any bet or raise has become an incorrect play. For instance, The pot is $900, and your stack is $70. You are pot committed.

The first betting round in community cards games such as Hold’em and Omaha.

Also known as ‘four of a kind’.

 Used to describe a board texture (or sometimes starting hand) where every card is of a different suit.

A small amount taken from the pot each hand as payment for running the poker game.

River is the final card dealt in a poker hand.

Runner Runner
A hand made by hitting two consecutive cards on the turn and river.

Refers to three of a kind. For instance, you hold a pair of kings and there is a king on the board.

Short stack
A player without many chips in his stack. Certainly refers to stack sizes less than 100bb.

Slow roll
To take a long time to call when we are closing the action and have the effective nuts. It is widely regarded as poor etiquette.

A straddle bet is an optional and voluntary blind bet made by a player after the posting of the small and big blinds, but before cards are dealt.

Refers to playing poker with an affected mental state – especially anger, but also fear, lack of motivation etc.

Three bet
Three-bet (or 3bet)is the third bet (or second raise) in a betting sequence. There is a bet (1bet), a raise (2bet), and a re-raise which is the 3bet.

A poker format with a fixed buyin. Players continue playing until they run out of chips. The last man standing is typically the tournament winner.

Three of a kind especially a situation where only one card is from the player’s hole cards. For instance, you hold K8 where there is J-8-8 in flop. Then you have a trips of 8.

Under the gun
The player in the earliest position, the one required to act first. It is abbreviated as UTG.

Under bet
A bet sizing less than 50% of the pot.

Value bet
A bet with a made hand hoping to get paid off by a worse holding.

Voluntary put money in pot. Represents the percentage of hands with which a player puts money into the pot pre-flop, without counting any blind postings. VPIP is an excellent measure of how tight or loose a player is.

A particularly weak player with a very large stack or bankroll that can be targeted with minimal risk.