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Live Poker Glossary

The field of poker contains it's own unique language and terminology to describe the various aspects of gameplay. Some of these terms are relatively common and well-known among poker players at all levels. Other terms and phrases are more obscure and known only to the most hardcore poker aficionado.

The purpose of this glossary section is to familiarize you with the terminology to make you a more knowledgeable poker player and help you to win more money playing this fascinating game.

Featured below is important terminology every serious poker player should know:

Action: Opportunity to act by making a check, call, bet, raise or fold. It is also indicative of a very active game (i.e. lots of bets and raises)

Active player: Any player still remaining in a particular hand

Ante: Required money invested in the pot before any cards are dealt. The ante is not to be considered part of the bet

All-in: When a player bets all his/her remaining chips on a single hand

American Airlines: Pocket aces

B&M: Shortened term for a brick and mortar cardroom as opposed to an online cardroom

Backdoor: Catching two cards in a row, on the turn and the river, to complete a hand

Bad Beat: An unlucky turn of events that causes a player to lose a usually strong hand

Bet: To place money/chips into the pot

Bet Blind: To place a bet without looking at one's cards

Big Slick: Hole cards comprised of an Ace and a King

Blind: A required bet made before any cards are dealt. There are two types of blinds – a big blind and a small blind with the small blind typically being half the size of the big blind

Bluff: To bet or raise so to make other players believe that one has a better hand than he/she holds in order to win the pot

Boat: Poker hand that contains a full house. Also referred to as a full boat

Broadway: Poker hand that contains an ace high straight

Bubble: The last non-paying spot in a poker tournament

Burn: To discard the top card from the deck, face down. This is done between betting rounds before the next community card

Button: A white disk also known as the dealer button serves to recognize which player sitting at the table is the dealer for that particular hand. After each hand has completed, as with standard poker rules, the button moves clockwise to the next active player. This is done, because there is an advantage to having to act last and so each player gets his fair share of early, late and middle positions

Buy-in: The amount of money it costs to enter a poker tournament

Call: To place money/chips equal to another player's bet amount

Calling Station: A player who usually calls other player's bets instead of betting or raising

Canine: Hole cards comprised of a King and a Nine

Check: When a player's action is not to bet when there have been no other bets made in a particular round

Check-Raise: When a player initially checks and then raises in the same betting round

Community Card: A face up card that may be used by all players at a table

Connector: A starting poker hand in which your two hole cards are only one rank apart

Cowboys: A pair of kings

Crabs: A pair of threes

Dead Man's Hand: Poker hand that contains two pair; Black Aces and Black Eights. This was the winning hand that Wild Bill Hickok was shot with

Deal: To give players and the board cards throughout a poker game

Dealer: The nominal player, who distributes the cards during a hand of poker. Each player takes a turn dealing and is designated as such by a dealer button. Also called a button

Donkey: A disparaging insult that poker players use against other players. This is not allowed in the chat area

Double Up: To increase your chip stack by 100%

Down Cards: A player's cards that are dealt face down which only he can see. Also called Hole cards

Draw: A situation in which a player needs one card to complete a poker hand

Drawing Dead: A situation in which a player cannot statistically beat another player's cards regardless of what cards come up

Ducks: A pair of deuces

Early Position: One of the three positions to the immediate left of the big blind

Even Money Pot: A situation in which a player's chances of winning a pot are about 50%

Family Pot: A hand in which all the players call prior to the flop

Fifth Street: The fifth face up card dealt. Also known as the river

Flop: The first three community cards dealt face up

Flush: Poker hand that contains five cards of the same suit

Fold: Concede the pot by not calling a previous bet. A player who folds is no longer active

Forced Bet: A mandatory bet that starts the action on the first round of a poker hand

Four-of-a-Kind: Poker hand that contains four cards of equal rank

Fourth Street: The fourth face up card dealt. Also known as the turn

Free Roll: A tournament that requires no entry fee

Gut-shot Straight: Poker hand in which you need one card to complete a straight draw. Also called Inside straight

Hand: A player's best five cards

Heads-up: A situation in which poker is played one on one

Hi-Lo: A poker game in which the pot is awarded to both the highest and lowest hand

Hole Cards: A player's cards that are dealt face down which only he can see. Also called Down cards

Implied Odds: The odds that a player factors into his calculation of pot odds to account for being called if you complete your hand

Inside Straight: Poker hand in which you need one card to complete a straight draw. Also called a gutshot straight

Kicker: The highest unpaired card in a player's hand

King Crab: Poker hand containing a king and a three

Ladies: A pair of queens

Lay Down: To fold a hand

Limp In: To only call the big blind before the flop

Limit Poker: Variation of poker in which the bet amounts are preset

Main Pot: The initial pot where betting started prior to a player(s) going all-in

Maniac: A loose, aggressive player who likes to raise a lot of pots

Marginal play hand: A hand that is statistically weak and probably should not be played according to the odds

Missed Blind: A mandatory bet that is not posted

Muck: To discard or throw away your cards

No Limit Poker: Variation of poker in which there are no preset betting amounts

Nuts: The best possible poker hand given the face up cards

Off Suit: A term used to describe a hand with cards that are of different suits

Open-ended Straight: Poker hand in which two different cards can be used to complete a straight draw. The two cards being on either end of the four connected cards

Open Seat: A seat at a game that is currently available for any player to sit in

Out(s): A number of cards that are needed to complete a winning hand

Overcard: A card that is higher than any card on the board

Overpair: A pair of pocket cards which are higher than any community cards on the board

Pocket Pair: A pair of pocket cards

Post: To place money/chips in the pot

Pot: The money/chips where all bets go for players to win

Pot Limit Poker: Variation of poker in which the maximum bat that a player can make is the amount of the pot at the time of the bet

Pot Odds: A calculation that is used to decide if it is worth calling a bet to remain in a hand. Pot odds are calculated by dividing the size of the pot by the amount of money it costs to call a bet.

Qualify Low: Make a hand that is eligible to win half the pot in a high-low split game

Quads: Poker hand that contains four cards of equal rank

Rabbit Hunting: Looking for the cards that would have come up after all players have folded their hands. This is considered bad etiquette.

Raise: To increase the previous bet

Rake: Money/chips taken from the pot to compensate the site for hosting the game

Rathole: When a player is up in a particular poker session and then takes money/chips from the table and returns to play with a smaller bankroll

Railbird: Someone who looks on or watches a poker game after he has busted out or can't afford the stakes. It is bad etiquette to use the chat function in a game if you are a railbird

Read: To make your best guess at what your opponent's hand is

Represent: To pretend and play as if you have a strong hand when certain cards are shown on the board

Reraise: To raise against an existing raise

Ring Game: A real money game of poker at a regular table as opposed to a tournament game that is player with a preset number of chips

River: The fifth face up card dealt. Also known as fifth street

Runner: A poker hand that is made only by hitting the correct cards on the turn and the river

Satellites: Ten handed qualifying mini tournaments in which players put up a much smaller amount than the buy-in to a regular tournament in hopes of winning a seat to the much larger tournament

Seat position: The position of a player in relation to the dealer's button

Set: Poker hand that contains three cards of equal rank. Also call trips

Show: To expose one's cards

Shuffle: Mixing cards prior to the deal

Short Stack: A relatively small amount of chips compared with the other players at the table

Showdown: The point in a particular hand when all players remaining in the hand turn their cards over to determine the best five card hand

Slowplay: Intentionally underbetting a strong hand in order to lure other players into calling

Side Pot: The pot(s) from all side bets. Any player(s) All-in can not win any side pots that they did not invest in.

Sitting Out: A player leaving the table or being timed out is "Sitting Out". In a live game, if a player sits out, there is a time limit for a player to remain out at which time he will be removed from the game

Smooth-Calling: Intentionally calling other players bets with a strong hand in order to lure other players into the pot

Snowmen: A pair of eights

Split Pot: A pot which is shared and won by two or more players

Suck Out: A winning hand that is made by a player who catches a lucky card on the river

Suited Connectors: A starting poker hand in which your two hole cards are only one rank apart and are of the same suit

Tell: A hint or giveaway that a player unknowingly gives as to the strength of his hand

Tilt: Term for a player that is playing wildly and recklessly by playing far too many hands because they have become emotionally unbalanced

Top Pair: Poker hand in which you combine one of your hole cards with the highest exposed card on the flop

Under the Gun: The position to the immediate left of the big blind

Value Bet: A bet that you would like an opponent to call instead of fold because you believe the chances are better that you will win rather than lose the hand

Variance: The positive or negative swings in ones bankroll. This is not necessarily a measure of a player's skill level but it is a good indicator of a player's style

Village People: Poker hand containing four queens

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