Poker Glossary and terminology


• Act – (1) A tell that has the intention of fooling an opponent by giving false information about your hand. (2) To make a play at the required time. “s it my turn to act?”

• Action – (1) Yours or a players turn to act. “Your action, Mark” (2) A willingness to bet. “I’ll give you some action”. (3) An aggressive game in which players are playing lots of pots. “There’s lots of action in this game” or “This is an action game”.

• Action button – A forced bet in seven card stud high-low on the winner of a scoop pot above a certain size.

• Action card – A community card that causes significant betting action.

• Active player(s) – A player still involved in the pot.

• Add on – (1) In cash games, to buy more chips. (2) In a tournament game, an optional purchase of more chips at the end of the re-buy period.

• Ajax – An ace and jack in the pocket, suited or unsuited.

• All in – When a player bets all there available chips in the current hand.

• American airlines – Two aces in the pocket, also called pocket rocket.

• Ante – A small forced bet put in the pot by each player before any cards are dealt.


• Backdoor – Catching both the turn and river card to make a hand. A backdoor flush is made when both the turn and river card are used to make the flush.

• Bad beat – Although there is no consensus on what a bad beat is, the term generally refers to having a hand that is a heavy favourite at the time the money is put in out drawn by a weaker hand.

• Beer hand – A seven-two as hole cards.

• Big blind – A forced bet made by the player two seats to the left of the dealer. This bet is generally twice the small blind and equal to the minimum bet amount.

• Big slick – An ace and king in the pocket, suited or unsuited.

• Blank – A community card of no apparent value, also called a rag card.

• Bleed – consistently losing money / chips a little at a time. “I’ve been bleeding chips all night”

• Blind – A forced bet on the two players to the dealers left.

• Blocker bet – An unusually small bet by a player out of position. The intension of the bet is to put the next player(s) off of making a bigger bet.

• Bluff – A bet that makes others think your hand is stronger than it is.

• Board – (1)In Texas holdem the board is used to describe the 5 community cards, the 3 flop cards the turn card and the river card. (2) In stud the set of all face up cards.

• Boat – Another name for a full house. 3 cards of the same value plus another 2 of the same value.

• Bot – A bot, short for robot, is a computer program that plays poker with minimum human input. These are banned in most online poker rooms.

• Bottom pair – A pair made by matching the lowest value card on the board with one of the two pocket cards.

• Bring in – (1) A forced bet in stud poker made by the player with the lowest value faced up card. If two players have the same value card the suit of the card is taken into account. The suit ranking (weak to strong) is in alphabetical order, club, diamond, heart, and spade. (2) In razz poker the bring in is a forced bet on the player with the highest face up card.

• Broadway – An ace high straight that’s not suited. 10-J-Q-K-A

• Bubble – The final position in a poker tournament before players enter the payout structure.

• Bully – A play that continually raises with the aim of forcing out the more cautious players. This is normally done by a player with a larger than normal chip stack.

• Burn – A card that is discarded from the top of the deck before any community cards are dealt. This is to stop a player taking advantage of any card markings.

• Button – A marker (normally a circular disk) that indicates the dealer position. The marker is moved around the table in a clock-wise direction after each hand.

• Buy in – (1) In a cash game the buy in is the minimum amount of money a player must bring to the table before they can play. Generally there is also a maximum buy in. (2) In tournament poker the buy in is the amount that needs to be paid to enter the tournament. The buy in normally includes the house fees.

• Buy – (1) As in “buy the pot”. To make a bet, regardless of what cards you hold, when no one else is betting in order to win the pot uncontested. (2) As in “buy the button”. A bet with the intension of making all the players between you and the button fold, giving you position in the subsequent betting rounds.


• Call – To call is to match a bet or raise.

• Calling station – A player that constantly calls bets and doesn’t raise or fold much.

• Cap – (1) A limit (cap) on the number of raises in a betting round. (2) A chip or token placed on top of one’s cards to indicate involvement in a hand.

• Case – (1) As in “case card”. The last available card of a certain rank. If you have pocket aces and an ace comes on the flop, you need the case ace to make quads (4 of a kind). (2) As in “case chip”. A players last remaining chip.

• Cash game – A game played with real money at stake. Each chip represents its true monetary value. Players can generally join and leave the table at any time. Also called ring game.

• Centre pot – The first pot created in a game. Also called main pot.

• Chase – To call a bet hoping the next card will improve your hand.

• Check – A poker play where, if no one has opened the betting, a player declines to make a bet.

• Check-Raise – A common deceptive poker play where a player checks when the betting first arrives hoping someone else will open. Then, when the betting comes back round, the player raises the current bet.

• Chop – (1) A split pot, two or more players have a hand of equal value and therefore split the pot. (2) An agreement between players to return the blinds to the players who posted them if no call or raise has been made. (3) An agreement with all the players remaining in a tournament on how to split the remaining prize pool.

• Coffee housing – (1) When an active player talks about the hand with the intent of misleading opponent. (2) When a player talks with the intension winding up a player to take them off their game on future plays.

• Cold call – To call two or more bets. Two players have entered the pot before you if you call the bet, you have cold called.

• Cold deck – (1) A deck of cards that has been fixed by a cheat and switched for the deck that was in play. The term refers to the new deck being colder to the touch than the previous deck, as they had been warmed by being continually handled. (2) A term used when a player has had a strong hand beaten. It is used in referents to the previous description even though he knows no one has cheated.

• Community card – Cards that are dealt face up in the centre of the table and can be used by all the players.

• Connectors – A Texas holdem term for pocket cards with consecutive rank.

• Counterfeited – (1) When community cards do not make your hand weaker but makes your hand less valuable due to duplicates of your pocket cards. Your pocket cards are 9-10, the flop comes J-Q-K. At this point you have a good straight. The turn and river comes 9-10. Now your straight has been counterfeited. (2) Counterfeited can also be used to describe a hand that does get weaker. Your pocket cards are 7-2 and the flop comes down 2-7-Q, which is a good flop for 7-2. But the turn comes down a Q, this counterfeits your two pair as there is now a pair on the board.

• Cowboys – Two kings as pocket cards

• Crack – To beat a better hand. “I just had my kings cracked by 8-10”.

• Cripple – (1) As in cripple the deck. Having a hand that is almost impossible for anyone to catch up. Like flopping 4 of a kind. (2) As in cripple an opponent. Leaving someone with so few chips as to make any raise they make insignificant.

• Crying call – To call even though you fully expect to lose. The call is usually made based on pot odds but can be made just to see your opponents hand for future reference.

• Cut – To split the deck in two in order to change the order of the cards to counteract any cheating that may have happened.

• Cut off – The position at the table one to the right of the button (dealer).


• Dead money – The amount of money in a pot that has not been put in by the active players.

• Dog – Short for underdog.

• Dominated hand – A hand in which two players have one equal value pocket card and one different value pocket card. The hand with the higher value unmatched card is said to have the other hand dominated. A-K dominates A-4.

• Donkey – A player that is continuously playing bad poker. Also know as a "Donk" or a "Fish".

• Draw – When a player has an incomplete hand but has the possibility of making it stronger if the right card hits. This is normally said of flush draws and straight draws. If a player has 4 spades another spade would give the flush. Therefore it is a flush draw.

• Drawing dead – Playing a hand that no matter how much it improves will still get beaten.