Poker Terminology and Slang

Poker is considered to be one of the most popular and widely played card games ever. It has many variations and is played in casinos, poker clubs, private poker games, or among friends. Element of poker’s character and its own allure is its terms and slang. You might like to get acquainted with these before you're able to the table again.

Some Common Poker Terms

Ante – A bet placed by every player after being dealt their hands. Also called blinds in certain types of poker.

All-in – A player bets all their chips at once.

Bet – The amount that a player bets.

Betting Round – The period in which players can make bets before play.

Blind – A forced bet by all players to ensure that there are chips in front of all players.

Big Blind – A forced bet placed by the individual to the left of the dealer to start the pot. Usually, double the worthiness of a small blind.

Bluff – Assuming you have a poorer hand, but still calling or raising to make your opponent fold.

Call – To imitate the most recent bet or raise by the minimum amount, without raising it further.

Check – If a round still has no bet, you can elect to check on, which can be betting an amount of zero. You could call or raise should yet another player place a bet.

Community Cards Cards placed face-up on the table for everyone to see.

Dealer – The main one in control of dealing the cards. In the event in which a player acts whilst the dealer, the dealer role moves one player left after every round.

Flop – The first 3 community cards. These are placed for all to see during the 1st round.

Fold – A player surrenders their hand and takes no further part in that round.

Heads up – Only two players are left competing, head to head, for the purse.

Kicker – The best unpaired card in your hand. In the eventuality of two similar hands, the bigger valued kicker wins.

Laydown - To fold.

Limit – The largest amount that can be bet or raised in one round.

Made hand – A hand good enough not to require drawing another.

Muck – Throwing a hand.

No-Limit – A game or round in which a player can bet as high as they want.

Pocket – Two cards that you were dealt, and still have in your hand.

Raise – Increasing a bet after you’ve called.

Rake – An amount taken as a commission by the game facilitator. This could be a set fee or a percentage.

Small Blind – A forced bet to start the pot. Usually half the value of a big blind.

Showdown – Showing of cards to determine who has the better round after all bets are placed.

Side Pot – Another pot created should a player have insufficient chips to produce a full bet. Should that player win, they'd draw from the side pot, because they didn’t contribute fully to the primary pot.

Split Pot – In case of two or more identical hands, the pot is divided equally between your relevant players.

Tell – An involuntary gesture or action which may show that a player is bluffing.

Tilt – Making emotional decisions during a game, instead of using odds and reason.

Turn – The fourth community card on the table, placed face-up after the second round.

Two pair - A hand containing two pairs.

Some Poker Slang

Backdoor – Whenever a bad is played, but the player obtains sufficient cards to make a winning round on the turn.

Bad Beat – A player wins with a weak hand that would not normally be played.

Blank – A community card that has no effect on any of the hands in the round.

Boat – A full house.

Board – All of the community cards.

Bullets – Pair of aces.

Burn – The dealer discards the first card from the deck to negate the main advantage of anyone who’s seen what card it's.

Button – A white chip placed in front of the current dealer.

Calling Station – A player who calls and folds repetitively without raising. Usually thought of as a weak player.

Chip Leader – The player with the most chips at any given point.

Crack – A player is dealt a superior hand, but is still beaten.

Dog – Underdog.

Draw – A potentially good hand that needs the right community cards.

Fish – An inexperienced player. Prone to losing.

Juice – The same as the rake. The fee that is taken by the game facilitator.

Junk – A poor hand.

Maniac – An aggressive player. Raising and betting at every opportunity.

Monster – Same as made hand; high probability of winning. Doesn’t need any more cards drawn.

Nuts – The best possible hand at any point in the round.

Offsuit – Cards not of the same suit.

Pocket – The two cards you are holding in your hand that you were originally dealt.

Quads – Four of a kind.

Railbird A non-participating spectator

Rainbow – A flush isn’t possible due to there being no more than two remaining cards of the same suit.

Rock – A new player that only bets once they have a good hand. Generally not typically the most popular player in the game.

Set – 3 of a kind, comprising two cards from your hand, and one from the board.

Slow Play – A new player has a potentially winning hand, but bets conservatively in order never to force other players in to folding.

Stack – The pile of chips owned by a player at any given stage.

Suited – Cards of the same suit.

Trips – Three of a kind.

Under the Gun – A player forced to take the first action in a round.

These terms and slang words or phrases are simply some of the most widely used. Each variant will likely have its terminology.

Now that you know the basics, it’s time to hit the poker table. Good luck!

Online poker casinos to try terminology

Related articles