Aces Up - A poker hand consisting of two pair, one of which is aces.
Ante - The amount of money (usually symbolised by poker chips) which is
invested in the pot at the beginning of a hand before any cards have been
Back-in - When a player checks a strong
hand, waits for another to bet, and then raises. This is only possible
in games which allow players to check and raise.
Back-to-back - When a five-card stud player holds a pair with one of his
hole cards and his first up-card. A back-to-back is also known as a "wired"
Bad-beat - A term used to describe a loss despite having a very good hand.
Betting-the-pot - This means betting the same amount as the current pot
in pot-limit poker games.
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Bicycle - The lowest possible holding (5, 4, 3, 2, 1) in high-low poker
and lowball games. This is also referred to as a wheel in some circles.
Big Blind - The larger or two forced bets, normally in Texas Hold'em.
The smaller forced bet is called the Small Blind.
Blind - A forced bet in games such as Texas Hold'em that needs to be made
before cards are dealt. Failure to pay a blind means that the player cannot
continue to participate in the game.
Blind bet - A blind bet is one made before the hand has been seen. The
player in this position is sometimes referred to as being "under
Bluff - A bet made to give the impression
that you have a better hand than you really do, usually with the hope
that your opponents will fold.
Board - The open or community cards in games
such as Texas Hold'em amd Omaha poker.
Bonus - An additional prize paid to players having a specific, and usually
rare, hand such as a Royal Flush.
Bring it in - To open a round of betting by making a forced bet (blind).
Bull - Informal term for an Ace.
Burn a card - To discard the top card of a deck before dealing.
Bust - To have a hand which cannot possibly win.
Button - The device used to mark the dealer in a game where a house dealer
deals on their behalf. The button shows who the dealer is for purposes
of betting at the tight time.
Buy - To receive a card in stud poker. Synonomous with "buy a card".
Call - To match a bet made previously by
another player in order to stay in the game. Calling a bet is also referred
to as "seeing" a bet.
Calling a hand - To match a final bet made
by an opponent at the showdown in order to see their hand.
Cards speak - Where cards are shown to decide
who wins the pot at the end of a hand (as opposed to players simply declaring
Case card - The last remaining card of a
specific rank or suit. For example, if a player buys a Queen and three
are already known to be out, that player is said to have bought the case
Check - Where no previous player has bet and the currently player does
not wish to bet, he can check. This is effectively calling a bet of zero,
and can also be referred to as a "pass".
Check-and-Raise - When a player checks ,
waits for another to bet, and then raises. This is only possible in some
Cowboy - Informal term for a King.
Cut - To split the deck after shuffling. The shuffled deck is placed on
the table and the player to the right of the dealer takes the top half
of the deck (by estimate only) and places it next to the bottom half.
The dealer then places the bottom half of the deck on the top half and
sqaures the deck before dealing.
Deadwood - The pile of cards that have been
discarded by players during a hand.
Deuce - Informal term for a 2.
Discard pile - The pile of cards that have been discarded by players during
a hand. Also referred to as "deadwood".
Draw - Cards dealt after the first round of betting in games of draw poker.
Drawing hand - A potentially good hand which
needs one more card to be a probable winner. For example, a four flush
is drawing hand because one more card of a particular suit would make
Drop - To fold your cards and thereby "drop" out of a particular
Face card - Any jack, queen or king (because they all have a face on them).
False openers - When a player opens a round of betting in jackpots with
a poor hand. Players should have jacks or better to open.
Fold one's cards - To drop out of a hand,
hence the synonymous term "drop".
Flop - The first three community cards dealt
in a game of Texas Hold'em after the first round of betting has ended.
Fold - To drop out of a hand and put your cards in the discard pile.
Four flush - Four cards of the same suit.
This is a drawing hand requiring one more card of the same suit to be
Free ride - Where all players at the table check in a betting round, and
thereby get a "free ride" to the next round.
High - The highest ranked card at the table. In games of stud poker, the
player with the high card bets first.
High hand - The hand ranked highest in a particular game.
Hole card - The card or cards dealt face down to players.
Inside straight - A drawing hand where one middle ranked card is required
to make a straight. For example, 3, 4, 6, 7 is an inside straight because
the player needs a 5 for the straight.
Jackpots - A form of draw poker in which a pair of jacks or better is
required to open the betting. See also "false opener".
Joker wild - A form of poker in which jokers
are treated as wild cards and can therefore be used in place of any other
card and the player's discretion.
Kicker - The highest unpaired card held by a player. The kicker is sometimes
used to determine who wins a tied pot.
Limit - In limit games, this is the highest amount than can be bet or
raised in a particular round of betting.
Live blind - A blind that can be raised when play reaches the player in
Nuts - A poker hand that is/was impossible to beat in the circumstances,
for example, "He had the nuts!"
Offsuit - Cards of different suits.
Open - The first bet in the first round of betting (thus "opening"
Open-ended straight - A drawing hand in which a player needs a card at
either the bottom or top of a four card straight to make a straight. For
example, if a player has 4, 5, 6, 7 then he needs a 3 or 8 to make a straight.
Openers - The cards required to open betting
in jackpots, generally jacks or better. See false openers.
Pass - Synonymous with "check".
Pat hand - A winning hand (for instance, a straight or flush) that is
dealt to you, usually in draw poker.
Pigging it - The act of calling both "high"
and "low" in a game of high-low poker, thereby "greedily"
claiming both halves of the pot, like a pig.
Pocket cards - A term sometime used in Texas Hold'em In Texas to refer
to the hole cards - the two cards dealt face down to each player at the
beginning of a particular game.
Pot - The total of chips (or money in some
cases) bet by players in a particular hand of poker.
Pot limit - A limit game where players can bet no more than the current
value of the pot.
Pot odds - The odds a player would get by betting a specific amount compared
with the size of the pot on offer.
Raise - A bet bigger than any previous bet in a round of betting. The
raise must be matched by all other players in order for them to stay in
Rake - The percentage of each pot that is retained by the house in order
to make a profit. There is usually a maximum rake which may vary according
to the game and stakes played for.
Royalties - Synonymous with "bonus" - an additional prize paid
to players having a specific, and usually rare, hand such as a Royal Flush.
Scare cards - Cards visible to opponents that look intimidating.
Seeing a bet - Matching a bet made by a previous player in order to stay
in the game. Also referred to as "calling".
Showdown - The last stage of a poker hand
where players reveal their cards and discover who wins the pot.
Sweetening the pot - Getting a pot started by posting an ante.
Table stakes - The maximum amount of money
that a player can bring to the table. A player can bet no more than he
has at the table.
Tell - A physiological characteristic or
habit (usually unconscious, such as a "nervous tic") which reveals
how a player feels about the cards he is holding.
Under the gun - The player seated to the
immediate left of the dealer and who must act first in each round of betting.
Wired - When a five-card stud player holds
a pair with one of his hole cards and his first up-card. A wired hand
is also known as a "back to back" hand.
Wild card - A card, usually a joker or deuce, which can be used as if
it were any other card, at the discretion of the player.