Poker Terminology - Poker Dictionary and Lingo

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Poker Lingo - A Guide to Poker Terminology

Do you get confused when your friends use poker terms don't understand? Feel lame without the poker lingo? Well have no fear, with this poker terminology guide will help.

Aces Full

A full house with 3 aces and a pair.

Ace High

The best hand out there is only composed of the Ace being the high card.


Your turn to act in the hand. When there is a lot of betting and raising. "There's a lot of action in this game�.


To purchase more chips in a no limit tournament.


To push all your chips into the game. Used in No Limit Texas Holdem.

American Airlines

Pocket Aces.


To make a hand you didn't expect to make by catching 2 cards that you needed to complete the hand. (Ie. In Texas Holdem, if you have one spade and there are 2 on the flop and there are spades on both the turn and the river, then you have made a flush back door. (Also called Runner Runner)

Bad Beat

When the odds were stacked against the other player and he won anyway.

Belly Buster

A straight made in the middle. (Ie if you hold J/10, and the flop is 8/7/2 and the turn is a 9).


A straight, ace thru 5.

Big Slick

Ace King.


A forced bet to create action.


A poker player's money. Most players have a certain amount set aside just for playing poker.

Blind Raise

Raising without looking at your cards.


Pocket Aces


A Raise.


The amount of money or chips you initially buy to play.


To match the amount of money the better put in the pot.


The last raise that can be put into a round.

Cash Out

To quit and take the chips you've got and turn them into cash.


To split the pot because you have the same hand.

Cold Call

To call more than 1 bet. (ie. If a player bets, there is a raise and you call both bets. You have cold called the bet).


When players conspire to cheat in a poker game.

Come hand / Betting on the come

A drawing hand. To bet on the come means to bet in the hopes that you will make your hand (ie. Betting when you are trying to make a flush but don't have one yet).


When your hand is less valuable because of a card that comes. (Ie. If you have bottom 2 pair in Holdem and the board pairs the top pair which means you now only have middle pair).


Pocket Kings.


To decide to not bet when it is your turn to act.

Check Raise

To decide not to bet but then when it is bet and it is your turn again to raise. Generally considered a tricky play.


To beat a hand or player.

Dead Man's Hand

2 pair. Aces and eights. Wild Bill Hickock was shot in the back while playing this hand.

Dominated Hand

A hand which if played has significant odds against it to win if the other player has a likely hand. (Ie if you have Ace/Jack it is considered a dominated hand because it will usually lose to Ace/Queen, Ace/King, Kings, Aces, Jacks).

Doyle Brunson

Ten, 2. Doyle Brunson won the WSOP 2 times in a row with this hand.

Drawing Dead

To be drawing to a hand which won't make the best hand. (Ie drawing to a straight when your opponent has a flush). A terrible feeling in poker.

Drawing to the dummy end of a straight

To draw to the bottom end of a straight. (Ie. You hold 6, 7 and the flop is 8, 9, A. Your straight is the dummy end if you make it.

Early Position

Position in poker where the player must act before the others. Considered the first 2 people to act.

Fast � playing fast

To try and end a hand quickly by betting aggressively.

Fifth Street

The last card to come in Texas Holdem poker.

Filipino Big slick

3, 5 suited.


Bad player.


The first 3 cards to come in Texas Holdem poker.


5 cards of the same suit.

Fourth Street

The card after the flop. Also called the turn.

Free Card

When there is no bet in a round and so all players in the hand get to see the next card without calling a bet.

Full House

3 of a kind and a pair.

Gutshot Straight

A straight made in the middle. (Ie if you hold J/10, and the flop is 8/7/2 and the turn is a 9).

Heads up

Only 2 people in the pot or game.

High � Low

Games where the best and worst poker hands split the pot.


To help your hand by hitting something you hoped for.  To leave the game with profit.


Texas Holdem Poker. 2 cards are dealt face down to each player and 5 cards are shared for the best hand.

Japanese big slick

9, 7 suited.

Keep them honest

To call just to ensure a player won't bluff you in the future.

Key Hand

A hand in poker that is important in deciding who wins.


The unpaired card used to determine the winner if you both have the same pair. (Ie if I have A/K and the flop is A, 3, 4. I have a king kicker.)


Pocket queens.

Limit Poker

A poker game in which you are limited to how much you can bet on each round.

Limp in

To just call coming into a pot rather than raise. Used in Texas holdem when a player comes into the pot and just calls the big blind rather than raise.

Live Game

A non-tournament game. A non online game.

Live Hand

A hand that can win the pot.

Live one - Live player

A player who is poor and plays too many hands.


To play too many hands. Also used to describe a game in which players are playing too many hands and not being patient.


An extremely aggressive player who plays a lot of hands.

Middle Position

In a poker game, the person to act which is after the early position players but before the last ones. Generally seats 5-7 in Texas holdem.


A very big hand.


To fold. Also the pile of folded and unused cards the dealer collects.

No Limit

A game where you can bet as many chips are you have in front of you.


The absolute best hand.


The statistical probability of making a hand.


Cards that are not of the same suit.


A poker game where players are dealt 4 cards and there are 5 community cards. Players must use 2 from their hand.

Open-End straight

Four consecutive cards where you need 1 more to make a straight.


To call after someone else has.


A pair higher than the board.

Pay off

To call even when you believe you are beat. Done out of anger or because your opponent could possibly be bluffing.

Play back

To bet or raise back at a player who has been betting against you.


A bad player. I'm not sure if this is just a Seattle term since I hear it frequently here but not much anywhere else.

Pocket pair

When you have a pair in the 2 cards you hold that no one can see.

Pocket Rockets

Pocket Aces.


The amount of money available to win.

Pot Limit

A poker game where you can bet up to what is currently in the pot.


A person hired by the casino to play in order to keep the game going.


A tray that holds 100 chips. 5 rows of 20 chips.


To increase the amount of chips required to proceed in the hand.


The amount the house takes for commission.


A flop with all different suits.


A bad hand or card.

Ring Game

A live game, not a tournament.


The last card to come followed by the last round of betting.


Players who make a living player poker. Also the popular movie starring Matt Damon and Edward Norton.

Royal Flush

A flush which is also a straight and Ace thru ten.

Runner Runner

To make a hand you didn't expect to make by catching 2 cards that you needed to complete the hand. (Ie. In Texas Holdem, if you have one spade and there are 2 on the flop and there are spades on both the turn and the river, then you have caught runner runner or a running flush. (Also called Back Door)


To bet or raise when you don't think you have the best hand but have the potential make the best hand if called.


When there are more than one player at the end of the final betting round. When each player must show his hand.


A decent player.

Side Pot

If a player goes all in and the other players continue to bet/raise. This is the amount the all in player can not win because he did not have enough chips to call.

Spread limit

Where you can bet between a certain amount but there is a limit.


3 of a kind when you have the pair in your hand.

Slow play

To not play your strong hand aggressively in hopes that your opponent will bet for you.


Five consecutive cards.


When someone is losing in a game.


The amount you have won in a game.

Suited Connectors

Starting hands which are one apart (ie. 9/10 or 5/6). Suited connectors means they are also of the same suit.


A clue about a player's holdings.

Texas Holdem

Also called Holdem. The poker game where players are dealt 2 cards face down and then there are 5 community cards shared. Currently the most popular poker game.


When players are waiting for good cards. Can also be used to describe a game in which players aren't playing many hands.


Playing a hand in a manner that you normally wouldn't due to anger, fear, intimidation or other circumstances.


A good player.


The card after the flop. Also called Fourth Street.

Under the Gun (UTG)

The player first to act after the big blind.


A bet because you have the best hand. (Ie. A value bet). Can also be done without the best hand but because you are getting the right odds on your hand becoming the best.


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