Poker Glossary – List of Poker Terms You Should Know
Confused by some of the conversations at the poker table? You are not alone. A lot of the poker terminology, whether for online poker or live play, can be hard to recognize for beginners who are trying to learn more about the game. Here is a list of commonly used terms and acronyms used in poker you should be familiar with.
All-in: If a player is all-in, he has put all his or her chips into the pot.
Ante: Only some poker games are played with an ante such as Stud. The ante is a forced bet each player must bring to each hand. In No-Limit Hold’em tournaments often after some levels an ante is introduced.
Bad Beat: The unfortunate loss of a hand, when it was actually a big favorite.
Bankroll: The money that is available for poker and for no other purpose.
Blind: A bet before the start of a hand. Here, the player to the left of the dealer pays the small blind and the player two seats to the left of the button posts the big blind. In general, the big blind is twice the small blind.
Blockers: Cards that you hold and block to potential premium hands.
Button: A large chip that goes around clockwise. It is used to determine the location of the dealer or dealers. At the casino this is done by an employee and automatically distributed online.
Cash game: Poker at a real money table, where there are no escalating blinds and players can always buy new chips.
Calling station: A player who plays many hands (loose), and rarely raises or folds.
Continuation bet: Bet on the flop by the player who made the last raise pre-flop, this is also called a c-bet.
Cut-off: The player to the left of the dealer. The cut-off is a very good position, because you can often act as the last player.
Draw: A hand that still needs one more cards to be complete in order to improve greatly.
Equity: Chance of winning multiplied by the size of the pot. Example: We have a 40% chance to win and the pot is $10, then our equity is $4.
Fish: A player who plays very poorly or is very inexperienced:
Flop: The first three community cards in Texas Hold’em and Omaha.
Flush: A combination of five cards of the same suit, such as 3s-6s-Ts-Qs-As.
Flush draw: It’s a combination of four cards of the same suit and there is only one card in the suit needed to complete a flush.
Full House: A hand consisting of three of a kind and a pair. For example, A-A-A-K-K.
Full Ring: A table with nine or ten players; opposite of shorthanded games.
Gutshot: A not yet made hand that is missing a single card to complete a straight.
Heads-up: Poker with two players. It can also refer to the final stage of a tournament, in which only two players are remaining and play against each other to compete for the first place prize money.
Hold’em: Short form of Texas Hold’em. A poker game that is played with community cards with betting in every round.
Implied odds: Used to calculate the estimated final size of the pot so you can better determine the expected return from later betting rounds. Example: You play Limit Hold’em, have an open-ended straight draw on the turn, and getting pot odds of 4.5:1. If you expect the river to win another big bet, if you hit, you get implied odds of 5.5:1.
Limping: A call before the flop.
MTT: Abbreviation for “Multi Table Tournament”. This term is mainly used for tournaments that start at a certain time (contrary to “sit and go”), but there are also multi-table SnGs.
Nit: A very tight and passive player.
Nuts: The best possible hand at this stage.
Omaha: A poker game in which you get four pocket cards. Of these pocket cards you must use two cards to form with three cards from the board to make the best hand.
Pot odds: The relationship between the investment that you have to make, and the current size of the pot. The larger the pot odds are, the better.
River: The fifth and last of the community cards.
Satellite: A tournament with a relatively small buy-in, in which you can win participation in a major tournament.
Semi-bluff: In poker, a semi-bluff is a bet or raise with a hand that is probably beaten, but which nevertheless has a chance to improve themselves to the river (eg, a flush draw). The aim is to get all the opponents to fold. If this fails, you still have a chance to win by improving on the next street.
Set: Three of a kind, made of a pocket pair and a community card.
Shark: Very strong player who consistently wins money. The opposite of a fish.
Showdown: Uncovering the cards at the end of a round. All players who are at this stage in the game, turn their cards over in order (starting with the player left of the dealer button) to determine the winner. If someone in the final round, however, makes a bet or a raise, with no other opponent at the table who calls the bet, there is no showdown.
Slow Play: A form of deception in the first rounds of betting done with a very strong hand, so as to keep as many players in the pot, to lure them into betting more on later streets.
Snapcall: Immediate call of an all-in. Usually with a very strong hand.
SnG: Abbreviation for “Sit and Go”. This type of tournament is usually made up of a single table. Unlike MTTs the tournament will start when all seats are filled.
Split pot: A pot that is shared between two or more players at showdown all with the same hand. Sometimes this occurs when you play the board.
Stack: Number of chips that a player has available standing in front of them at a table.
Stud: The term refers to any stud poker game. Seven Card Stud is now the only popular stud variant.
Suckout: A good hand is beaten by an opponent’s good luck, see also “bad beat”.
Tell: An unconscious movement, gesture or behavior made by a player inadvertently, which in certain situations reveals the strength of their hand.
Tilt: A phase in which you play bad, unfocused and emotionally. This usually happens when a player is taking several unlucky bad beats.
Turn: The fourth community card in Texas Hold’em and Omaha, also known as Fourth Street.
Under the gun: Also abbreviated “UTG”. Position at the poker table, which comes after the big blind. Poor position to play because you always have to act first after the flop.
Variance: The concept of variance in poker refers to the degree of upswings and downswings that all poker players experience. However, the higher the variance of a game, the greater the swings.
Walk: When all players fold before the flop, and the big blind therefore obtains a “walk” without having to defend their blind.
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