Online Poker Terms

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ACES Up: Two pair, a pair of Aces and any other pair.

ACTION: A fold, check, call, bet, or raise. For certain situations, doing something formally connected with the game that conveys information about your hand may also be considered as having taken action. Examples would be showing your cards at the end of the hand, or indicating the number of cards you are taking at draw.

ACTIVE PLAYER : A player still involved in a hand.

AGGRESSIVE ACTION: A wager that could enable a player to win a pot without a showdown; a bet or raise.

ALL BLUE: A flush containing either clubs or spades.

ALL-IN: A player who runs out of chips during the course of a hand is said to be "all-in." He may be entitled only to win that portion of the pot which existed at the time he went all-in (see also Main Pot and Side Pots).

ALL PINK : A flush containing either diamonds or hearts.

ANTE: A prescribed amount posted before the start of a hand by all players.

BACK DOOR : Making a hand that the player wasn't drawing at.

BACK RAISE : To reraise another players raise.

BLANK : A card that has little value to the hand.

BAD BEAT : A hand being beat by another hand that had a very low percentage of becoming a winning hand.

BET: The act of placing a wager in turn into the pot on any betting round, or the chips put into the pot.

Betting Limits
The amount a player may bet or raise on any turn is set by the betting limits of the game. For example, a 3-6 table requires bets or raises to be $3 for the first two rounds of betting, and $6 for the last two rounds of betting. Likewise, a 4-8 table requires bets or raises to be $4 and $8 for the first two and last two rounds respectively.

Betting Round
One round of betting. There are four betting rounds in a given hand: before the flop, after the flop, after the turn, and after the river.

BIG BLIND: The big blind is made by the player immediately to the left of the small blind, and is equal to the minimum bet. For example, the big blind in a 3-6 game is $3, and in a 4-8 game, $4.

The blinds are required bets made by the two people to the left of the dealer button before any cards are dealt, and serve to get money into the pot initially.

BLIND: A required bet made before any cards are dealt.

BLIND GAME: A game which utilizes a blind.

BLUFF : A bet or raise with a hand that is unlikely to beat the other players.

BOARD: (1) The board on which a waiting list is kept for players wanting seats in specific games.(2) Cards faceup on the table common to each of the hands.

BOARDCARD: A community card in the center of the table, as in hold’em or Omaha.

BOTTOM PAIR : Pairing the lowest card on the board.

BOXED CARD: A card that appears faceup in the deck where all other cards are facedown.

BROKEN GAME: A game no longer in action.

BUTTON : A player who is in the designated dealer position. See dealer button.

BUTTON GAMES: Games in which a dealer button is used.

BUY-IN: When a player first sits down at the table and buys chips, it is called a "buy-in". The minimum buy-in for Sportbet Poker is 10 times the small bet or small blind in Pot/No limit. For example, in a 3-6 game, the minimum buy-in is $30. After a player has bought his initial chips and wishes to buy more, he can then purchase any quantity of chips provided it is $10 or greater. However if a player goes all-in and runs out of chips, they must purchase a full minimum buy-in amount.

In a live game, the dealer is required to deal one card off the top of the deck face down into the muck immediately prior to dealing the flop, the turn card, and the river card. These are called "burn cards."

CALIFORNIA LOWBALL: Ace-to-five lowball with a joker.

Once a bet has been made in a given round, if a player matches the bet (i.e. does not raise or fold), it is a "call."

CARDS SPEAK: The face value of a hand in a showdown is the true value of the hand, regardless of a verbal announcement.

CAPPED: Describes the situation in limit poker in which the maximum number of raises on the betting round have been reached.

CHECK: If there has not been a bet made in a given hand, a player can "check," which means he is not betting and is letting his turn pass without increasing the amount in the pot.

CHECK-RAISE: To waive the right to bet until a bet has been made by an opponent, and then to increase the bet by at least an equal amount when it is your turn to act.

CHIPS: Circular color-coded discs used for betting, chips are available in denominations of $1, $3, $5, $25, $100, $500.

COLD CALL : To call a bet or multiple bets for the first time in a round.

COLLECTION: The fee charged in a game (taken either out of the pot or from each player).

COLLECTION DROP: A fee charged for each hand dealt.

COLOR CHANGE: A request to change the chips from one denomination to another.

COMMON CARD: A card dealt faceup to be used by all players at the showdown in the games of stud poker whenever there are insufficient cards left in the deck to deal each player a card individually.

COMMUNITY CARDS : The cards dealt faceup in the center of the table that can be used by all players to form their best hand in the games of hold"em and Omaha.

COMPLETE THE BET: To increase an all-in bet or forced bet to a full bet in limit poker.

CHASE : To play a hand that is most likely worse than at least one other player.

CHECK : To pass without betting.

CUT: To divide the deck into two sections in such a manner as to change the order of the cards.

CUT-CARD: Another term for the bottom card.


DEAD CARD: A card that is not legally playable.

DEAD COLLECTION BLIND: A fee posted by the player having the dealer button, used in some games as an alternative method of seat rental.

DEAD HAND: A hand that is not legally playable.

DEAD MONEY: Chips that are taken into the center of the pot because they are not considered part of a particular player’s bet.

DEAL: To give each player cards, or put cards on the board. As used in these rules, each deal refers to the entire process from the shuffling and dealing of cards until the pot is awarded to the winner.

DEALER BUTTON: A flat disk that indicates the player who would be in the dealing position for that hand (if there were not a house dealer). Normally just called “the button.”

DEAL OFF: To take all the blinds and the button before changing seats or leaving the table. That is, participate through all the blind positions and the dealer position.

DEAL TWICE: When there is no more betting, agreeing to have the rest of the cards to come determine only half the pot, removing those cards, and dealing again for the other half of the pot.

DECK: A set of playing-cards. In these games, the deck consists of either:
(1) 52 cards in seven-card stud, hold’em, and Omaha.
(2) 53 cards (including the joker), often used in ace-to-five lowball and draw high.

DISCARD(S): In a draw game, to throw cards out of your hand to make room for replacements, or the card(s) thrown away; the muck.

DOWNCARDS: Cards that are dealt facedown in a stud game.
DRAW: (1) The poker form where players are given the opportunity to replace cards in the hand. In some places like California, the word “draw” is used referring to draw high, and draw low is called “lowball.”
(2) The act of replacing cards in the hand.
(3) The point in the deal where replacing is done is called “the draw.”

DRAWING DEAD : Drawing to a hand that cannot win because someone already holds a hand that will beat what you are drawing to.

DOMINATED : A hand that yields three or less outs which makes improving it very difficult.

EARLY POSITION : A position in which you must act before most of the players during a round.

FACECARD: A king, queen, or jack.

Flop : The first three community cards dealt up at one time at a poker table.

FIXED LIMIT: In limit poker, any betting structure in which the amount of the bet on each particular round is pre-set.

FLASHED CARD: A card that is partially exposed.
FLOORPERSON: A casino employee who seats players and makes decisions.

FLOP: In hold’em or Omaha, the three community cards that are turned simultaneously after the first round of betting is complete.

FLUSH: A poker hand consisting of five cards of the same suit. FOLD: To throw a hand away and relinquish all interest in a pot.

FOURTH STREET: The second upcard in seven-card stud or the first boardcard after the flop in hold’em (also called the turn card).

FOLD: If a player elects to fold, he withdraws from the hand and forfeits all bets he has placed up to that point in the hand. Typically a player will fold when he does not want to call a bet in order to stay in the hand.

FOULED HAND: A dead hand.

FORCED BET: A required wager to start the action on the first betting round (the normal way action begins in a stud game).

FREEROLL: A chance to win something at no risk or cost.

FULL BUY: A buy-in of at least the minimum requirement of chips needed for a particular game.

FULL HOUSE: A hand consisting of three of a kind and a pair.

HAND: (1) All a player’s personal cards.
(2) The five cards determining the poker ranking.
(3) A single poker deal.

One complete game beginning with the posting of the blinds and concluding with one or more players winning the pot.

HEADS-UP PLAY: Only two players involved in play.


INSURANCE: A side agreement when someone is all-in for a player in a pot to put up money that guarantees a payoff of a set amount in case the opponent wins the pot.

JOKER: The joker is a “partially wild card” in high draw poker and ace-to-five lowball. In high, it is used for aces, straights, and flushes. In lowball, the joker is the lowest unmatched rank in a hand.

KANSAS CITY LOWBALL: A form of draw poker low also known as deuce-to-seven, in which the best hand is 7-5-4-3-2 and straights and flushes count against you.

KICKER : The highest unpaired card that helps determine the value of a five-card poker hand.

KILL (OR KILL BLIND): An oversize blind, usually twice the size of the big blind and doubling the limit. Sometimes a “half-kill” increasing the blind and limits by fifty percent is used. A kill can be either voluntary or mandatory. The most common requirements of a mandatory kill are for winning two pots in a row at lowball and other games, or for scooping a pot in high-low split.

KILL BUTTON: A button used in a lowball game to indicate a player who has won two pots in a row and is required to kill the pot.

KILL POT: A pot with a forced kill by the winner of the two previous pots, or the winner of an entire pot of sufficient size in a high-low split game. (Some pots can be voluntarily killed.)

Late Position : A position in which you act after most of the other players during a round.

LEG UP: Being in a situation equivalent to having won the previous pot, and thus liable to have to kill the following pot if you win the current pot.

LIVE BLIND: A blind bet giving a player the option of raising if no one else has raised.

LIST: The ordered roster of players waiting for a game.

LOCK-UP: A chip marker that holds a seat for a player.

LOOSE : Playing more hands than normal.

LOOSE GAME : A game with a lot of players in most hands.

LOWBALL: A draw game where the lowest hand wins.

LOWCARD: The lowest upcard at seven-card stud, which is required to bet.

Main Pot and Side Pots
If a player runs out of chips in the course of a hand, (i.e. he goes "all-in") the pot is split into a "main pot", which is the pot that existed up to the point any players went all in, and a "side pot", which is that portion of the pot to which the all-in player does not participate, and cannot win.

MIDDLE PAIR : Pairing the second highest card on the board.

MIDDLE POSITION : A position in which you act somewhere between most of the other players during a round.

MISCALL: An incorrect verbal declaration of the ranking of a hand.

MISDEAL: A mistake on the dealing of a hand which causes the cards to be reshuffled and a new hand to be dealt.

MISSED BLIND: A required bet that is not posted when it is your turn to do so.

MUCK: (1) The pile of discards gathered facedown in the center of the table by the dealer.
(2) To discard a hand.

MUCK CARDS: All discarded cards lying face down in front of the dealer, consisting of all folded cards and all "burn cards."

MUST-MOVE: In order to protect the main game, a situation where the players of a second game must move into the first game as openings occur.

NO-LIMIT: A betting structure where players are allowed to wager any or all of their chips in one bet.

Nuts : The best possible hand.


OPENER: The player who made the first voluntary bet.

OPENER BUTTON: A button used to indicate who opened a particular pot in a draw game.

OPENERS: In jacks-or-better draw, the cards held by the player who opens the pot that show the hand qualifies to be opened. Example: You are first to bet and have a pair of kings; the kings are called your openers.

OPTION: The choice to raise a bet given to a player with a blind.

OUTS : The cards that will improve a hand to win.

OVERBLIND: Also called oversize blind. A blind used in some pots that is bigger than the regular big blind, and usually increases the stakes proportionally.

OVERCARD: A hole card that is higher than any other card on the board.

OVERPAIR: Two hole cards paired and higher than any card on the board.

PASS: (1) Decline to bet. In a pass-and-out game, this differs from a check, because a player who passes must fold.

(2) Decline to call a wager, at which point you must discard your hand and have no further interest in the pot.

PASSIVE : Checking and calling hands rather betting and raising hands.

PAT: Not drawing any cards in a draw game.

PLAY BEHIND: Have chips in play that are not in front of you (allowed only when waiting for chips that are already purchased). This differs from table stakes.

PLAY THE BOARD: Using all five community cards for your hand in hold’em.

PLAY OVER: To play in a seat when the occupant is absent.

PLAYOVER BOX: A clear plastic box used to cover and protect the chips of an absent player when someone plays over that seat.

POSITION: (1) The relation of a player’s seat to the blinds or the button.

The total number of chips that are bet in a given round and any prior rounds. Once betting in a round is complete, the total chips bet are moved into a pile near the center of the table.

(2) The order of acting on a betting round or deal.
POT-LIMIT: The betting structure of a game in which you are allowed to bet up to the amount of the pot.

POTTING OUT: Agreeing with another player to take money out of a pot, often to buy food, cigarettes, or drinks, or to make side bets.

PROPOSITION BETS: Side bets between players that are not related to the outcome of the hand.

PROTECTED HAND: A hand of cards that the player is physically holding, or has topped with a chip or some other object to prevent a fouled hand.

PUSH: When a new dealer replaces an existing dealer at a particular table.

PUSHING BETS: The situation in which two or more players make an agreement to return bets to each other when one of them wins a pot in which the other or others play. Also called saving bets.
RACK: (1) A container in which chips are stored while being transported.

(2) A tray in front of the dealer, used to hold chips and cards.

RAGS : Cards generally not worth playing. IE: 2,7 in Texas Hold'em.

The house charges a commission -- the "rake" -- as a percentage of the total pot won at the end of most hands. This represents the only source of revenue for the house, since all winnings go to the players. The rake amount is never more than $3 and is determined by the number of players at the table, and the amount in the total pot. For more information on the rake amounts, please visit about money.

RAISE: To increase the amount of a previous wager. This increase must meet certain specifications, depending on the game, to reopen the betting and count toward a limit on the number of raises allowed.

RERAISE: To raise someone’s raise.

River : The final card dealt.

SAVING BETS: Same as pushing bets.

SCOOP: To win both the high and the low portions of a pot in a split-pot game.

SCRAMBLE: A facedown mixing of the cards.

SETUP: Two suited decks, each with different colored backs, to replace the current decks in a game.

SIDE POT: A separate pot formed when one or more players are all in.

SHORT BUY: A buy-in that is less than the required minimum buy-in.

SHOWDOWN: The final act of determining the winner of the pot after all betting has been completed.

SHUFFLE: The act of mixing the cards before a hand.

SMALL BLIND: The small blind is made by the player immediately to the left of the dealer button and is equal to half of the minimum bet, rounded down to the nearest dollar. For example, the small blind in a 3-6 game is $1, and in a 4-8 game, $2.

SPLIT POT:If two or more players have the same hand at the showdown, the pot is split equally between them. If the pot cannot be split equally, the odd dollar is paid to the player next in line for the Blinds.

SPLITTING BLINDS: When no one else has entered the pot, an agreement between the big blind and small blind to each take back their blind bets instead of playing the deal (chopping).

SPLITTING OPENERS: In high draw jacks-or-better poker, dividing openers in hopes of making a different type of hand. Example: You open the pot with a pair of aces. One of your aces is a spade, as are the three other cards in the hand. If you throw away the non-spade ace to go for the flush, you announce to the table, “Splitting openers.”

STACK: Chips in front of a player.

STEAL : To bet or raise causing an opponent to fold when you may not hold the best hand.

STRADDLE: An additional blind bet placed after the forced blinds, usually double the big blind in size or in lowball, a multiple blind game.

STRAIGHT: Five cards in consecutive rank.

STRAIGHT FLUSH: Five cards in consecutive rank of the same suit.

STREET: Cards dealt on a particular round in stud games. For instance, the fourth card in a player’s hand is often known as fourth street, the sixth card as sixth street, and so on.

STRING RAISE: A bet made in more than one motion, without the declaration of a raise (not allowed).

STUB: The portion of the deck which has not been dealt.

SUPERVISOR: A cardroom employee qualified to make rulings, such as a floorperson, shift supervisor, or the cardroom manager.

SIUTED : Cards are of the same suit.

TABLE STAKES: (1) The amount of money you have on the table. This is the maximum amount that you can lose or that anyone can win from you on any one hand. ( 2) The requirement that players can wager only the money in front of them at the start of a hand, and can only buy more chips between hands.

TIGHT : Playing fewer hands than normal. Tight game - A game with less players than normal in fewer hands.
“TIME”: An expression used to stop the action on a hand. Equivalent to “Hold it.”

TIME COLLECTION: A fee for a seat rental, paid in advance.

TOP PAIR : Pairing the highest card on the board.

TOURNAMENT: A poker competition, normally with an entry fee and prizes.

TURN : The fourth card dealt on the board during community card games.

TURNCARD: The fourth street card in hold'em or Omaha.

UPCARDS: Cards that are dealt faceup for opponents to see in stud games.

WAGER: (1) To bet or raise.
(2) The chips used for betting or raising.

WEAK : One who folds too many hands.

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