Poker Terminology and Slang

poker terms, poker terminology, poker slang

Other than the rules and the strength of hand, there is more to the world’s favorite game. If you want to enjoy poker, you need to learn its language. There are plenty of terms and terminology you will hear across the poker table. In this article, you will have a glossary of poker slang, terms, and definitions. Although it would not be possible to learn all the terms by going through the list, you may bookmark this page for a quick reference afterward.

Poker terms


Action – “Whose turn is now?” If it’s you, it means now it’s your time to act (fold, bet, and check). Or, represents plenty of betting, like, “This game has got some action.”

Act – Fold, raise, bet, or check

Active player – A player who is involved for a pot

All in – A gambler bets all the remaining chips

AMC – Used as an acronym for All My Chips

Add-on – An additional amount of chips you can purchase to your original stack. An option to buy in the tournament play


Bankroll – The amount of money a gambler sets aside for playing with

Bad beat – When a gambler is preferred to win the hand, yet gets beaten by another player on a long-shot draw

Benjamin – A $100 bill

Behind – A gambler who acts after another gambler in a wagering round

Big slick – Ace and King hole cards

Big hand – A nice and good hand

Best of it – A gambler who has the odds on their side

Bet – Amount of money wagered by a player on that hand

Bluff – A raise or bet that seems to resemble a good hand

Boat – A full complete house

B & M – Acronym used for brick and mortar

Busted – Lost all the chips

Button – The gambler who holds the ‘dealers button’

Buying the pot – Winning the pot by dint of bluff rather than having the best hand


Calling station – The term is used to describe a gambler who calls often but barely folds or raises

Call – Placing the exact number of chips another gambler has bet

Chasing – Keep on playing a hand, hoping that a definite card should be dealt with the community

Case card – The final card of a certain rank remaining in the deck.

Check – No betting when it’s your turn. Tap on the table, or say “I check” in a live game

Crying call – A reluctant call

Cracked – Favored to win initially but lost a hand, like “My Aces have cracked!”

Check and raise – Check at first, and then raise if the other player wages after your first check


Dead man hand – A hand that consists of the black aces and the black eights

Dealer – Staff member or player who gives the cards to the payers. Also referred to a player that has the dealer’s button

Dog – Not at all favored to win

Duck – A2, a deuce

Deep stack – A specific tournament where players start with amounts of chips relatively higher to the ante or blind

Draw – Hand that requires additional cards so as to transform into a winning hand

Dominated – A hand-beaten because of the shared cards. For instance, A8 is dominated by AK

Draw poker – Every player gets their cards and they can replace some of their cards with other players dealt out from the remaining deck


Early position – Able to be in the first one-third players to have action at the table

EV – An acronym used for ‘expected value’

Equity – An evaluation while playing at hand. When the pot is expected to have about $100 and you can have 60% chances of winning, you can say that you get $60 equity in the hand

EP – Acronym used for ‘early position’

Expected value – This refers to your expectation of winning in connection to the odds of a hand. You can have a positive value if your equity is more than 50%. You can have a negative EV when your equity is way less than 50%.


Face up – The exposed card everybody can see

Face down – cards, similar to the hole cards, that aren’t exposed to the others

Favorite – The hand that is likely to make winnings based on odds

Fast play – An aggressive style that emphasizes lots of raising and betting

Flop – The first three of the community cards on the board dealt face up

Fish – A poorly skilled player or a novice, tends to lose money

Fold – To do away with one’s cards

Flush – A hand that contains five cards of the alike suit

Free card – The betting round wherein all the players have checked and allowed the following community card to fall

Full house – It refers to a boat. A hand that has 3 cards and belongs to the same rank along with a pair, like 99988

Four of a kind – A specific hand with 4 cards that belongs to the same rank, like 9999

FT – Acronym used for ‘final table’

Flush – The hand that contains 5 cards of the alike suit


GL – It means ‘good luck’

GG – it means ‘good game’

Guaranteed tournament – This kind of tournament has a prize pool amount irrespective of the entry fees that the players have to pay

Grinder – Refers to a player who plays for a prolonged time and aims at smaller payouts so as to make a reasonable profit


Head to head – It means ‘heads up’

Hand – The cards that a player holds in combination with any kind of community cards for making a five-card combination

Hole cards – The cards that are held by a specific player that is unseen by the other players

Hi-Lo – Type of game where each of the lowest and the highest hand takes half of the pot

HE – It stands for “hold ‘em”

Hit and run – A player who wins a big pot and immediately leaves the table

HUD – It means ‘heads up display’


In front of – A gambler who acts before another gambler

Implied odds – When a player thinks about the payoff on hitting the hand, in contrast to how much it costs to play

Isolate – To raise and bet to get ahead of a weak player or a weak hand

ICM – Stands for ‘independent chip mode

In the dark – Performing an action prior to the card is dealt at the beginning of a betting round

Independent chip model – It refers to a tournament play. An equation that calculates a gambler’s equity depending on the number of chips they possess

ITM – It means ‘in the money’


Joker – A lucky card, or a wild card that arrives to put an end to a hand against odds

Junk – A poor-quality hand

Juice – A term used for ‘rake’

Jam – The act of placing the chips on a pot


Kicker – A card that has the highest rank and part of your hand, yet not used in triples or pairs. Kickers are quite similar to the high cards and they can be used to find out the winner in some rare instances

Kill game – A rule used in some poker variants. When the same gambler wins several pots in quick intervals, they “kill the game”. The blinds for the upcoming round are doubled and the ‘game killer’ should add an amount equal to the big blind in the new pot.


Laydown – Fold your hand

Late position – The last 3rd of gamblers to act in a hand

Limit – The maximum that could be raised or bet at a single time

Limp – To call other than raise or bet

Limit poker – Games where limits are present for raising or betting in contrast with no-limit poker

Live card – A specific card that isn’t ranked on the board yet

Look up my seat Commitment to take the seat waiting for you

Lock – The hand that can’t be beaten

Live one – A gambler that bets wildly and loses like a fish

Longshot – The drawing hand that has all the odds against it and hopefully won’t make

Loose – A style of playing that involves lots of hands and goes for longshots

Look up – Call somebody, like “I will look up for you”


Maniac – Loose, a wild gambler who bets with mediocre hand just to create the pot

Made hand – Pretty solid. No need to get a draw to have a winning hand

Middle position – The middle 3rd of gamblers to act in the hand

Muck – Throw a hand and toss it to the muckpile

Monster – A great hand that has a high probability to win

MTT – Stands for multi-table tournament


NL – It stands for no limit

No-limit – It represents a game where there is no highest limit of the amount that can wage in around. Gamblers can bet any amount of their choice

Nuts – The finest possible hand at a given point in around

Nosebleed stakes – A poker game with very high stakes


OESD – It stands for ‘open-ended straight draw’

O8 – The term means ‘Omaha Hi-Lo’

Off-suit – Cards that have varying suits

OOP – It stands for ‘out of position’

Overcard – A particular card that has a higher rank than another car


Position – The place where a gambler sits in relation to the dealer’s button

Pocket cards – A gambler’s hole cards.

Plot – The money that players are playing for winning that round

Pair – 2 cards belonging to the same rank

Passive – A playing style where the gambler prefers to call or check, in contrast with making a raise or bet

Pre-flop – Prior to ‘flop’

PLO – It means ‘pot-limit Omaha’

PL – Stands for ‘pot limit’

PTR – It means ‘player to my right’

PLO8 – It means ‘pot-limit Omaha Hi-Lo’

PSB – It means ‘pot-sized bet’

PTL – That means ‘player to my left’


Raise – Making a higher bet in value other than the other player’s real bet

Rag – A low-value card that can’t complete your hand

Railbird – It refers to a poker spectator who is not an active participant

Rake – The amount of money taken by the game facilitator from the pot. That’s the cost linked with facilitating the game of poker

Read – A gambler’s guess about the opponent’s hand and chances of winning

Re-raise – Make another raise ahead of the opponent’s real raise

Rebuy tournament – A tournament where the players buy more chips to make an entry to the tournament as if their chip stack is lost

ROI – It means ‘return on investment’

Ring game – A term used for a cash game

Rock – A specific way of playing where the player is playing in a tight condition by participating only in highest quality hands

Royal flush – The top-ranking hand in poker.


SB – It means ‘small blind’

Sailboats – It means to have two 4s like your hole cards

Set – A hand that has 3 cards of a similar rank

Satellite tournament – If you win this type of tournament, it gives you the opportunity to play in larger tournaments

SH – It means ‘short-handed’

Shove – A term used to make an all-in wage


Three of a kind – To have 3 cards of the alike rank

TAG – It is used for ‘tight-aggressive’ playing style

Tell – The information your opponent is able to collect about the power of your hand depending on a change of behavior

Tilt – To make emotional decisions about your game rather than using reason or odds resulting in careless action

TPTK – It stands for ‘top pair top kicker’

Turn – The 4th community card dealt

Two pair -A specific hand that has two different pairs


Under the gun – The 1st gambler to have a betting action in the pre-flop round.

Under the gun +1 – It’s the 2nd player to have the betting action in that pre-flop round


Value bet – To make a small bet on a hand without knowing about its strength

VPIP – It means ‘voluntarily put in the pot’.


Wheel – 5 high straight, for instance, A2345

Wired – To begin the round by taking a pair. You have dealt two cards of a similar rank

WSOP – It stands for ‘world series of poker’. It happens every year at Las Vegas


That’s all, you have made it to the end of an extensive poker glossary. You may feel slightly overwhelmed by all these poker terms, especially if you are a new player. You can now start playing poker because you have an idea of these terminologies. Looking for more gambling Terms and Terminology? has a big guide to casino Slang Terms and Terminology at:

Author: Jeff Grant (info)

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