One of the first and also the most difficult things to understand is poker terminology. Luckily our guide will help you on your way to learning all you need to know about the terminology behind the game so that when you get playing you know your angle shooting from your string bets, and don’t get caught out looking like a rookie.
Below you will find a non-comprehensive list of poker terms so you can get familiar with the frequently used words found at the poker tables.
Angle Shooting – This is the practice of any form of unethical play, usually targeted at inexperienced players, for example, banking on someone misinterpreting the game. It is not illegal but it is frowned upon.
Ante – In Poker, Ante means the money which must be put forward by the players in order to play that round of poker. You are likely familiar with the term “Up the Ante”, which comes from the phrase.
Bad Beat – a bad beat is when you have a strong hand, but it loses anyway.
Big Blind – The second bet of a round, which must be higher, usually double, than the small blind. Made by the person to the left of the small blind.
Big One for One Drop – a poker tournament with a $1,000,000 buy-in
Big Slick – Holding an ace or a king as your hole card.
Bluff– To carry on playing despite knowing that your hand is not going to win, or unlikely to win.
Dead Man’s Hand – This term is a nickname for either a two-pair of black aces or black eights.
Backdoor – To secure a win using the turn and the river.
Button – Sometimes referred to as the “Dealer” button this is the indicator of where each betting round begins. The person to the left of the button will put the small blind, followed by the next person on the left who will put the big blind. In smaller games, the dealer may literally just be the person who deals the cards, but not at casinos.
Call – a poker call is to meet the funds already bet in a game of poker. A necessary element of the game if you want to continue playing.
Coin Poker – a popular cryptocurrency poker site.
Community Cards – The cards shared by all players that can be used with your own hand.
Check – To choose not to raise. This can only be done if you have an equal amount on the table as everyone else.
Check-raise– To raise after initially checking
Deuces Wild Poker – a variety of video poker. Deuces Wild strategy guides can be found online to help you get started.
Draw- To stay in the game with a weak hand in the hope that it will be improved via cards dealt later in the game.
Drawing Dead – When you have decided to draw, but it hasn’t paid off.
Draw Out– When a draw pays off and your hand is improved by the newly dealt card.
Final Table – The final table is found in poker tournaments. It will see the last poker game happening between the final players who made it through the earlier stages.
Flop – A poker flop is the practice of the first three community card being dealt in Omaha or Texas Hold’em, preceding the turn.
Fold – To forfeit that round due to failing to meet the raise or not feeling comfortable enough with your hand.
Full House – This is a hand in poker. Full house cards consist of three cards with the same number or value and 2 other cards with the same number or value.
Gutshot Straight – When you have a sequence of four cards that would equal a straight, but the card in the middle of the sequence is missing. For example, holding a 9, J, Q, K, but missing the 10.
Heads-up Poker – A form of poker played between just two people.
Hole Cards – The cards you hold in your hand, which you combine with the deck to form a sequence.
Let It Ride – A type of poker game. Free Let it Ride is available online if you want to try it.
Muck – To discard your hand when have folded.
Open-Handed – Gameplay where you see the other players cards.
Poker Room – A room where poker gameplay happens, in the real-world or online.
Poker River – The final community card dealt in Omaha and Texas Hold’em poker to complete the 5 in the middle of the table.
Poker Sequence – The cards a player is holding all together.
Rake – the rake in poker is the commission owed to the casino from the pot each hand. Thus, taking a rake is when a casino takes the money from the pot.
Raise – To increase the bet currently in play.
Slow Rolling – A poker slow roll is a frowned upon practice where a player with the best hand makes his final bet overly extravagant to add unnecessary drama.
Small blind – The opening bet of a round, usually pre-determined by the casino, played by the player sat next to the dealer button. What is a full house?
Full house –is three of a kind with a pair, so three cards which the same value and 2 separate cards also with the same value
Split Pot – When two players have identical hands and so share the winnings.
Straddle – What is a straddle in poker is when a player voluntary makes a bet after the small and big blinds, but before the flop.
String Bet – This is a form of bet where the player doesn’t put all the chips required for a bet in one motion. Instead, he does it in multiple motions. This is illegal in most live poker games online.
Top Pair – A hand that contains a pair with the highest card in-play
Turn – The fourth card dealt into the community cards after the flop in a game of Omaha or Texas Hold’em, preceding the river.
Under the Gun – Under the Gun in poker means to next to the big blind in hold’em or Omaha poker. As such, you are the first to act in the round.
Ultimate Bet – a controversial poker site that was involved in a scandal a decade ago.
With all this poker terminology in your arsenal, there are now very few situations that you will find yourself in where you won’t understand or will fail to articulate properly.
If you want to go a step further and practice your poker terms at the table, take a look at our overall poker guide for more necessary information and to find online casinos offering poker.