Poker Glossary

ACTION n. Money that is being bet. "No action" means a hand or game has few bettors and fewer raisers. "Gimme some action" is ostensibly a plea for calls and raises.

ALL-IN adj. To have all of one's chips in the pot. A player who is all-in cannot be forced out of the pot by more betting, but is only eligible to win that portion of the pot he has contributed to. Generally, a SIDE POT is created each time a player is all-in.

ANTE n. A small bet all players are required to make before a hand is dealt. Not all games have an ante. Related terms: BLIND, FORCED BET.

BLIND n. A mandatory bet made by certain player(s) usually sitting left of the BUTTON before each new hand is dealt. Used in place of antes or in conjunction with antes.

BUY-IN n. The minimum amount of money necessary to join a game. Also, the amount of money one actually used to join the game. See also: REBUY.

BUY IN v.i. To purchase chips at the start of a game. Thus in a game with a $100 buy-in one might buy in for $147.

CALL v.t. To put in to the pot the minimum amount of money necessary to continue playing.

CHECK v.i. To bet zero, when it is legal to do so. Frequently a sign of only a fair hand, but may be a bluff.

CHECK RAISE v. To check initially, then raise a bet made later on in the same betting round. Frequently a sign of strength, but may be a bluff.

COMMUNITY CARDS n. Cards that are available for every player to use in making a hand. Usually dealt face up somewhere in the middle of the table.

COLD CALL n. Calling both a bet and raise at the same time, as opposed to calling a bet then later calling a raise made after the call.

DEAD MONEY n. Money contributed to the pot by players who have folded.

DOYLE BRUNSON n. In Hold'em, 10-2 in the hole. So named because Doyle Brunson won two straight WSOPs (q.v.) in 1975 and 1976 with 10-2 on the last hand. (Suited (spades) in 1975, unsuited in 1976).

DRAW OUT v.i. To catch a card that improves your situation from a losing hand to a winning hand, especially when you beat someone holding a hand that usually figures to win.

EVEN-MONEY adj. A bet that pays off exactly the amount wagered. E.g., "Double or nothing" is an even-money bet.

FISH n. A player who loses money. An old saying is "If you can't spot the fish at the table, *you* are the fish."

FLOP n. In Hold'em, the first three community cards, dealt simultaneously.

FLAT CALL v.t. To call a bet. Emphasizes that the caller did not raise.

FLUSH n. A poker hand consisting of five cards all one suit.

FOUR FLUSH n. Four cards to a flush.

FOUR OF A KIND n. A hand containing all four cards of the same rank.

FREEZE-OUT n. A table-stakes game that continues until a small number of players (possibly only one) has all the money. The major event in The World Series of Poker is a freeze-out game.

FULL HOUSE n. A hand consisting of 3-of-a-kind and a (different) pair.

GIVING AWAY v.t. Revealing one's hand by obvious play.

HEADS UP adj. Playing a single opponent.

HIT n. To make a hand or catch a card or cards that improves one's hand. "I hit a gut-shot draw on the river."

HOLD'EM n. [1] Generic name for a class of poker games where the players receive a certain number (2 to 4) of hole cards and 5 community cards. Usually there are betting rounds after dealing the hole cards, then after dealing 3 upcards (FLOP), after dealing a 4th upcard (TURN) and finally after dealing a 5th upcard (RIVER).

HOLE CARDS n. In stud and Hold'em, the face-down cards dealt to each player.

INSIDE STRAIGHT n. Four cards to a straight, where only one rank will complete the hand. E.g., 4-5-6-8 is an inside straight since only a 7 will fill (i.e., complete) the hand. Often called a GUT-SHOT.

LATE BLIND n. In addition to "regular" blinds, some games allow a player (particularly a new one) to post a blind bet in return for the right to enter the game immediately and act last on the first betting round. The amount of the blind is determined by house rules, usually somewhere between the last blind and double the last blind. It is frequently a LIVE BLIND.

LITTLE SLICK n. In Hold'em, hole cards of A-2, suited or not.

MAIN POT n. The main pot, as related to one or more side pots, when there are one or more all-in player(s). The main pot is the one in which all active players participate.

MUCK n. A collection of face-down cards near the dealer composed of discards, i.e., folded hands, burns and discards for drawing purposes.

NO-LIMIT POKER n. A game where there is no maximum bet; a player can wager any amount (perhaps above some minimum) up to whatever money is on the table in front of him.

NUT adj. The best possible hand of a given class. The "nut flush" is the highest possible flush, but might still lose to, e.g., a full house. Usually used in Hold'em games.

OMAHA n. A variant of Hold'em where each player receives 4 hole cards and must use exactly two of them (together with 3 of 5 board cards) to make a hand. Often played high-low split with an 8 qualifier for low.

ON THE COME adj. A situation where the player does not have a complete hand but hopes to make one if the right cards come up.

OPEN-ENDED STRAIGHT n. Four cards to a straight which can be completed by drawing a card at either end. E.g., 6-7-8-9 is an open-ended straight.

OPEN-HANDED n. A category of games characterized by a part of each player's hand being exposed.

OVERPAIR n. In Hold'em, a pair in the hole that is larger than any community card on the board.

PAIR n. Two cards of the same rank.

PASS v.i. Opposite of bet. To check, if checked to. To fold, if bet to.

POCKET [CARDS] n. Hole cards in stud and Hold'em.

POCKET ROCKETS n. In Hold'em, a pair of aces for hole cards.

POCKET PAIR n. Generic Hold'em term for 2 hole cards of the same rank.

QUADS n. Four of a kind.

RAINBOW adj. In flop games, a flop in which no two cards are of the same suit. "The flop was A 9 7 rainbow."

RAISE v.t. To wager more than the minimum required to call, forcing other players to put in more money as well.

ROYAL FLUSH n. An ace-high straight flush, the best possible hand in regular poker.

RUSH n. A winning streak. Also "ON A RUSH".

SANDBAG v.i. Playing a strong hand as if it were only a fair one.

SEE v.t. To call, as in: "I'll see you" or "I'll see that bet".

SHORT-STACKED adv. Playing with a only a small amount of money, thus limiting one's risk and reward.

SMALL BLIND n. In games with two blinds the first blind is the SMALL BLIND because it is usually one-half (or less) the second or large blind.

STAND OFF v.i. To call a raise. "Opener raises, I stand off."

STRAIGHT n. A hand consisting of 5 cards in sequence but not in suit.

STRAIGHT FLUSH n. A hand consisting of 5 cards in sequence and the same suit.

TABLE STAKES n. A standard rule whereby during a hand players can only bet the money they have on the table. If the bet to a player is more than the player's stack, that player may call with all his chips and be eligible to win only that portion of the pot he contributed to equally. A side pot is created, for which only the remaining players may compete.

THREE OF A KIND n. Three cards all the same rank.

TRIPS n. Three of a kind. In Hold'em the term SET is used when two of the three cards are hole cards.

TURN n. The fourth community card in Hold'em.

TWO FLUSH n. Two suited cards.

UNDER THE GUN n. The position that has to act first in a round of betting.

UP adj. Designates the higher card of a hand consisting of two pair. Thus, "Queens up" refers to two pair, of which the higher pair is queens and the lower pair is unspecified. See also OVER.

WALK n. A pot won by the last blind when no one opens.

(Glossary of Poker terms v2.0 31-Mar-1995 Copyright (C) 1993, 1995, John C. Hallyburton, Jr. Copying for noncommercial use is permitted provided all copies carry this copyright.)

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