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cardschat - Poker Glossary
Category: Sport and Leisure > Poker
Date & country: 28/06/2009, UK
Words: 132

to have all your chips in the middle; [to move] to bet everything you have left.

a draw that requires two cards in a row to complete, e.g. having three of one suit on the flop in hold 'em means you have a backdoor flush draw: you will have a flush if two more of that suit come on the turn and the river.

bad beat
losing a hand that you were a (big) favorite to win, "I suffered a really bad beat when I moved all-in with my pocket aces and John hit his runner-runner flush."

Big Blind, the person two steps left of the dealer has to put an amount of money before the cards are dealt. This amount is usually (but not always) twice the size of the small blind (SB). Big Bet, most limit poker games double the bet sizes on the last betting round(s). The larger bet sizes are called "big bets." See also SB.

to put money into the pot. Only used for the first person who does it during a betting round; the others either "call" or "raise."

a card that didn't help you (often: and didn't help anyone else)

the amount of money that is put into the pot before the cards are dealt, "I raised from the button, hoping to steal the blinds." also used to refer to the person who had to put in the money, "the big blind re-raised". also used to refer to the relative position (which is almost the first two after the dealer), "I don't play QJo from the blinds."

betting or raising in hopes of your opponent(s) folding, as you do not believe that you have the best hand. also see semibluff.

the shared cards in Hold'em and Omaha, e.g. the flop, turn, and river. "the board paired, giving me a full house against his flush."

A hand that consists of three of a kind and a pair, e.g. A-A-K-K-K. If two people both have full houses, the one with the higher trips win. Also known as a full house. "I flopped a boat, and decided to slowplay it."

in live games, a little marker shows who's currently the dealer. This person has the advantage to always act last (not in Stud). A person can be said to be "on the button", as in "I was on the button and looked down to see pocket nines in the hole."

the amount of money you put in for chips at the poker table. "My usual buy-in at a $10/$20-table is $600." the cost or entry fee of a tournament, "The main event at the WSOP has a $10,000 buy-in."

buying the button
when your bet or raise makes all players that are in later position than you to fold, giving you last position (a huge advantage). "My raise on the flop bought me the button, so I could take the free card on the turn."

to match someone else's bet, as opposed to raise or fold. "He went all-in, and with the odds I was getting, I had to call despite probably having the worst hand."

cash game
a regular poker game for cash, that you can join or leave at any time, as opposed to a tournament.

to get one of the cards you needed to win the hand, "I caught the 9 on the river, giving me the nut straight."

to call with the worst hand, hoping to improve. Synonymous to drawing, but is often used in a derogatory sense, to mark someone as desperate. "You just keep chasing those inside straights, kid - it will bust you eventually."

to check the option of betting - can only be done if you're first to act, or if no one else has yet bet (in which case you either need to call, raise or fold). "On the river, I knew he wouldn't call with a worse hand, so when he checked, I just checked behind."

when you check, someone else bets behind you, and then you raise when the action gets back to you. "I checkraised him on the flop with my top pair."

see cut-off

cold streak
when someone is getting a bad run of cards, they are said to be on a cold streak, "I won a lot of hands early on in the tournament, but then I went on a cold streak and eventually had to go all-in with rags to survive."

when one person bets, another raises and you call both the bet and the raise, you are said to be cold-calling. This is usually done only with monster hands or very powerful draws, as most other holdings should usually be either raised or folded at these times. "John raised pre-flop from under the gun, and I cold-called with my KQ-suited."

if I hold A-A in the hole in hold'em, and you have 3-6, with a board of 3-6-9-9-K, you will have had two pair on the flop, but I will have a better two pair on the turn. The 9 on the turn is said to have "counterfeited" your hand. A similar situation can happen with low or medium pocket pairs, say 6-6 on a board of 7-7-8-8-Q, where the sixes don't ...

see check-raise

the seat just to the right of the button is called the cut-off. This is the second-to-last position in hold'em.

poker players' way of saying "a two,", e.g. "the deuce of hearts came on the turn." Also see trey.

the person with the lowest chance of winning hand, "when he called my all-in and showed a higher set, I was a 43-1 dog to win; only the remaining five could help me".

a bad player; commonly also used to describe a good player who suddenly did something stupid - "I played that hand like a complete donk." to unexpectedly bet "I donked the ace on the turn, hoping that the player who raised the flop would fold."

to call bets with a hand that is unlikely to be the best at the moment, but has chances of improving. "I flopped a straightdraw, but on the turn, I realized my opponent was drawing as well, so I raised him on the river and he folded."

drawing dead
when no remaining cards can give you the best hand, you are said to be drawing dead. "I hit my straight on the river, but the big blind had flopped the nut flush, so I had been drawing dead the whole time."

fifth street
The last card dealt up in Hold 'em or Omaha (also known as the river), and the third card dealt up in 7-card stud.

A common (derogatory) term for bad players. By the same token, good players are sometimes called sharks, because they prey on the fish.

flat call
To just call a bet instead of raising.

The three community cards in Hold 'em and Omaha that are dealt face up at the same time (followed by the turn and the river). "The flop showed a king, a nine and a deuce, so unless someone had a set, I believed my pair of kings to be good." The verb used to describe hitting a hand on the flop: "I flopped the nut flush - now I just needed to keep th...

A hand that consists of cards that are all of one suit. A flush is better than a straight but worse than a full house.

Exactly what i sounds like: For instance 2-2-2-2-7 is a four-of-a-kind hand. The only hand that beats four-of-a-king (or quads) is a straight flush.

fourth street
The fourth card dealt in stud poker, and the card after the flop in Hold 'em and Omaha (where it is also known as the turn).

free card
When everybody checks and the next card is dealt without any bets going in, that is called a free card. "I checked, intending to checkraise the preflop raiser with my vulnerable top pair. Unfortunately, he checked behind and I ended up giving a free card which gave my opponent a flush draw."

When a player has at least half the pot won in a Hi/Lo split game, and is now drawing to win the other, he can be said to be on a freeroll. Similarly, if two players with AKs get all their money into the pot before the flop, but one of them flop three to a flush, he is on a freeroll: He can't lose, but he can win it all. Sticking with the "can't lo...

The most common form of tournament. Once you've lost all your chips, you're out. As opposed to re-buy tournaments.

full house
A hand that consists of three of a kind and a pair, e.g. A-A-K-K-K. If two people both have full houses, the one with the higher trips win. Also called a boat.

Drawing to a straight with one of the middle cards missing, e.g. if you have 9-7 in the hole in Hold 'em, and the flop shows 6-10-A, an 8 would give you a straight. This is called a gutshot straight draw (also inside straight draw). "Because there were so many people in the hand, I easily got the odds to continue with my gutshot."

Common acronym for Hold 'em.

When there are only two players at the table, they are said to be playing heads-up. "Johnny and I got heads-up after Tim lost with his pair of jacks to my pocket queens." A hand where everyone has folded except for two people is sometimes called a "heads-up pot". "I suspected Johnny was attempting to steal the blinds, so I three-bet him, hoping to ...

The seat just to the right of the cut-off, two off the button.

high-card hand
A hand without a pair, straight or flush, is called a high-card hand. For instance, having AQ on a K-8-7-5-2 board is having ace-high.

hole, hole cards
the cards that are dealt face-down to you in hold'em and stud.

hot streak
Catching great cards and winning big pots due to statistical fluctuation (no, hitting your flush draw three times in a row is not skill). Also known as a rush. The opposite to cold streak.

Common acronym for David Sklansky's and Mason Malmuth's book Hold 'em Poker for Advanced Players.

Acronym for heads-up.

inside straight draw
Drawing to a straight with one of the middle cards missing, e.g. if you have 9-7 in the hole in Hold 'em, and the flop shows 6-10-A, an 8 would give you a straight. This is called an inside straight draw (also see gutshot).

A hole card which does not formally change the rank of a hand is called a kicker. In Hold 'em, holding KT on a board of K-J-6, you are said to have a pair of kings with a 10 kicker. If someone else also has kings, it's the size of the kicker that decides who wins. "I decided to raise. There was a definitive chance that he was bluffing, and even if ...

A systematic mistake that a poker player makes is called a leak. This is because the mistake is costing him (leaking) money in the long run. "One of my biggest leaks was to constantly be folding overcards in a big pot on the flop."

Acronym for Limit Hold 'em.

To just call the big blind instead of raising it is known as a limp. "There were three limpers to me on the button, and I decided to raise with my pair of jacks."

A hand so strong that it's either impossible or at least wholly unlikely that it can lose no matter what comes on the coming streets. Having a lock on the pot means that it's time to figure out how to extract the most money out of the other players.

A player who calls bets with weak hands or when he doesn't have the odds to justify it. The opposite of tight.

made hand
A hand with more than high-card value, e.g. pair or up. Usually used as the opposite of a draw: "I checkraised the flop with my flushdraw figuring I could get my opponents to lay down if they missed, but when Johnny made it three bets to go, I was sure he had a made hand."

Popular way to describe someone who seemingly bet or raise with any hand. "I really wanted to isolate the maniac, but unfortunately the big blind decided to come along too. This was a problem for me, because he had been playing very tightly so far, and I was afraid that he had me beat."

move in
To go all-in.

Middle Position, or the players in the 3 to 5 seats off the button at a full table.

Multi-table tournament.

No-limit Hold 'em.

Someone who has the best possible hand is said to be holding the nuts. The best possible hand is always at least a set.

Two cards that are not of the same suit. Popularly denoted "o", as in AKo.

on the come
To bet or call with a draw. "On the flop, I thought he might be betting on the come with a flush draw. When the third heart came on the turn, I was willing to lay my pair down, but he checked, and folded when I bet."

Even if you currently do not have the best hand, there may be ways for you to get the best hand at the table. A card that will give you that hand is called an out. If you have no outs, you are said to be drawing dead.

On the river (or 7th street in Stud), someone bets and another person calls, you have to have a very strong hand to make an overcall, or to be the second person to call the first person's bet. It's possible that the person who bet is bluffing, but he who called first cannot possibly be bluffing - he has to have something. "The first player bet stra...

Two-of-a-kind. A pair is beaten by two pair, and can only in turn beat a high-card hand.

Pot-limit Hold 'em.

Pot-limit Omaha 8-or-better.

pocket pair
when you have a pair in the hole in hold'em, "I had pocket jacks, but had to fold when the flop came A-K-7 suited."

The turn in the betting order. Being in first position means that you act first on this betting round, and being in last position means you act last. Having position, or being last to act, is a tremendous advantage.

The money that is up for grabs. The player who shows down the best hand at the end, or who can make all the others fold, wins the pot.

To go all-in.

See four-of-a-kind.

A small card, or insignificant card. "I started making serious money from poker when I learned not to play Ace-rag from early positions."

When the cards on the board are all of different suit, it is said to be rainbow. "The flop came A-K-5 rainbow" means that the ace, the king and the five were all of different suits.

To bet more than the previous person to act. "It was folded to me in the cut-off, and so I raised with a mediocre hand, hoping to steal the blinds."

The money that a pokerroom (or poker site) charges per pot. It's usually a small percentage of the pot, 5% or so. It varies between different rooms and sites, though, and you should look into how much it costs you to play at the site you're currently at.

If you bet, someone raises you and you raise their raise, you are said to be re-raising.

Having a read on someone means that you've picked up on something significant about the way he likes to play his hands. "From a read I picked up earlier, I knew that he slowplayed trips on the flop, so his bet did not mean that he had the case 8. Instead, he was likely either semi-bluffing a draw or he was betting a small pocket pair. I raised."

Your actions can be said to represent a hand. For instance, if you raise you are said to represent strength. What you choose to represent can either be honest (representing what you have) or deceiving (hiding your hand, or representing another hand). "Since I had raised preflop, he had no reason to believe I was bluffing when I checkraised him on t...

ring game
As opposed to a tournament or a satellite, a ring game is played directly for money. Compare to cash game.

The last card dealt up. This is the fifth street in Hold 'em and Omaha, and the 7th street in stud.

A very tight player is often called a rock because they don't get out of line. When a rock raises, you better have a strong hand to call or re-raise him.

Catching two cards in a row that you need for a hand is called catching (or needing) runner-runner. An example of this is having three cards to a flush on the flop - you need to hit runner-runner cards of the same suit in order to make your flush.

running bad
When statistical fluctuations cause you to get bad hands and lose money. Also called a cold streak.

See hot streak.

Synonymous to checkraising someone. Sandbag has a slightly negative feel to it, and is usually used by people who feel that there's something unethical about this play.

To trap someone (or be trapped yourself) between two raisers. This can get very expensive for the person who is sandwiched.

Small Blind, the person one step left of the dealer has to put an amount of money before the cards are dealt. This amount is usually (but not always) half of the size of the small bet. Small Bet, how much you're allowed to bet in the first rounds of limit poker.

A card which likely completed someone's draw. If you have been (falsely) representing a draw to this hand, a bet when the scarecard falls can win you the pot.

To win both the Hi and the Lo in a split game is called to scoop.

Betting or raising on the come. The idea behind this tactic is that the combined chances of you hitting your draw and your opponent folding makes it profitable.

A pair in the hole that gives you three-of-a-kind with something on the board.

Stands for straight flush.

A less-than full table. A full table is usually 9-10 players, so anything less than that can be considered shorthanded. A common form online is the sixmax table (where there are only six seats).

Yet another way of saying all-in.

side pot
When there are three or more players in a pot, and one of them is all-in a sidepot is (or can be) created by the other two players. Since the player who is all-in is not entitled to win more of his opponents' stacks than he has pushed in himself, his opponents can gamble for the sidepot created by their surplus.