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Poker Terms & Definitions: Complete Poker Glossary

We present you with an all-encompassing poker glossary where we share all the poker terms and definitions you need to learn by heart. Knowing these is a gateway to becoming a good poker player, as these help you understand the common lingo around the poker table, no matter if you play in a poker tournament, in a brick-and-mortar casino, or play poker online at your favorite online casino:

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  • Ace in the hole – when one of your hole cards is an Ace
  • Ace-to-five – the best low hand in Razz or Hi-Lo poker
  • Act – to make an action in poker, like check, bet, raise, call or fold
  • Act out of turn – the intentional or unintentional action by a poker player where they announce their action
  • Active players – the players that are involved in the pot
  • Aggressive play – a playing style where the player tends to play aggressively, often betting or raising
  • All-in – the action when a player places all their chips on a single bet
  • Ante – the forced bet players must pay to enter the poker game


  • Back raise – a re-raise from a player who called in the same betting round
  • Bank – the house (casino) or the person who distributes chips and keeps track of the player’s actions
  • Bankroll – the amount of money the player has at their disposal to play poker
  • Bankroll Management – managing the amount of money/chips one has at their disposal
  • Barreling – refers to c-betting, when the preflop raiser continues to bet on the flop and bets again on the turn
  • Bet – any money wagered during the poker game; the opening bet in a betting round
  • Betting Structure – the set rules on betting in poker, like forced bets, limits, raises, and re-raises
  • Big Bet – the larger bet amount in fixed-limit poker games
  • Big Blind – the larger forced bet amount in Texas Hold ‘em and other poker variants
  • Big Stack – a large stack of chips, usually the biggest stack on the table, also referred to as deep stack
  • Big Full – the best possible full house in Texas Hold ‘em and other community card poker
  • Blind Defense – the action of calling or raising at an opponent’s raise to defend your big blind and take advantage of aggressive opponents
  • Blind Steal – a raise from a late position with a weak hand with the goal to win the blinds and antes
  • Blocking Bet – a minimal bet you make when playing out of position to discourage your opponents from making a larger bet
  • Bluff – a bet you make to try to outplay your opponents, usually with a weaker hand
  • Bluff Catcher – a hand that can beat a bluff
  • Board – the set of community cards in Texas Hold ‘em or other community card poker games; all face-up cards in a Stud poker game
  • Boat – full house
  • Bottom Pair – a pair of hole cards in Texas Hold ‘em poker with low-ranking cards
  • Bounty – a rule rewarding players who eliminate other players in some cash poker tournaments
  • Brick-and-mortar – a land-based casino or physical casino, as opposed to an online casino
  • Button – the marker indicating the dealer’s position at the poker table
  • Buy-in – the amount of money/chips required to enter a poker game or a tournament


  • Call – the action to match a bet
  • Calling Station – a player who often calls the bets and rarely raises; a loose passive player
  • Cap – the limit of the number of raises in a betting round
  • Cash Game – a poker game where players play for real money instead of playing with chips in a tournament
  • Cash Out – leaving the game and taking the chips/money from the game
  • Check – passing the action to the next player without putting money in the pot
  • Check-Raise – check with the intention to raise if another player makes a bet; a deceptive play allowing another players to open the betting round
  • Chip – a small coin-shaped disks used by casinos in place of money, usually made from clay, composite, or ceramic
  • Click Raise – the minimum raise in online poker games
  • Collusion – the action where two or more players work together, cheating the other players on the table
  • Combination Draw – a poker hand with a flush draw and a straight draw
  • Community Card – the face-up cards on the table available to all the players
  • Connectors, connector cards – two or more cards of consecutive or very close rank
  • Continuation Bet, C-Bet – a bet made after the flop by the player who acted last in the pre-flop
  • Cutoff – the seat on the right side of the button, usually the strongest position on the table


  • Dead Man’s Hand – a hand with two pairs, Aces and eights
  • Deuce – a common term for the “2” card in poker
  • Deal – the action of dealing the cards to the players on the table
  • Deep Stack – a relatively large stack of chips, also called a big stack
  • Defense – the action of making defensive moves against a bluff
  • Donk Bet – the bet made in early position by a player who didn’t make an initiative in the previous round
  • Door Card – the first face-up card in Stud poker game; the first visible card on the flop in Texas Hold ‘em poker
  • Draw, Drawing hand – the chance for the player to improve their hand to a stronger hand by drawing the best cards at the flop, turn and river
  • Drop – fold, leave the poker game
  • Dynamic Board – a board where many draws are possible, and the hands can change based on the future streets


  • Early Position – a player who sits near the button position and must make an action early in the betting round
  • Eight or Better – the basic qualifier is high-low split games
  • Equity – the mathematical expected value from the current deal, the result of multiplying the amount of money in the pot, and the probability of winning
  • Expected Value, EV – the profitability of poker in the long run


  • Field – all the poker players in a poker tournament
  • Fifth Street – the last community card in Texas Hold ‘em poker, also known as the river
  • Final Table – the last table in a multi-table poker tournament
  • First Position – the position on the left of the blinds in community cards poker that is the first to make an action, also referred to as Under The Gun
  • Fish – a poor poker player, a less- experienced poker player
  • Flop – the dealing of the first three community cards in Texas Hold ‘em poker
  • Flush – a poker hand with five cards in the same suit
  • Flush Draw – when you have a hand with four cards in the same suit and only need one more to complete the flush
  • Fold – to surrender your hand and leave the pot
  • Forced Bet – the mandatory bet in the first round of betting
  • Four-of-a-kind – a poker hand with four cards in the same rank
  • Fourth Street – the fourth community cards in Texas Hold ‘em and other community card poker games
  • Freezeout – the most common form of poker tournament where the players play until they have no ships, and the winner wins all the chips
  • Full House – a poker hand with three cards in one rank and two cards in another rank


  • GG – a poker slang used in online poker game chat rooms referring to a good game


  • Hand – a ranking hand in poker
  • Hand History – the documented history of the played hands in online poker
  • Heads Up – playing against a single opponent
  • Hero Call – when you make a call with a weak hand, suspecting your opponent may be bluffing
  • High Card – a no-pair winning hand with the highest-ranking card
  • High-Low, Hi-Lo – a split-pot poker game
  • Hijack – the position on the right side of the cutoff seat, with relatively good strength
  • Hole Cards – the face-down cards every player gets
  • H.O.R.S.E. – an acronym for poker tournament poker varieties: Hold ‘em, Omaha, Razz, Seven-Cards Stud, and Seven-Card Stud Hi-Lo split Eight or better


  • Implied Odds – the odds that take into consideration the estimated future betting, where the players expect to fold if they miss the draw
  • In Position – the last player who acts on the flop, turn, and river, playing with positional advantage
  • Inside Straight – a situation where the player has a chance to make a straight but is missing the middle card
  • Insurance – the deal where the players agree to split the pot instead of laying out the hand
  • ITM – an acronym for In The Money, commonly mentioned in the online poker games


  • Juice – the money collected by the house, also referred to as rake


  • Kicker – the card used to break ties between equally ranking hands, usually the next highest card


  • LAG – loose-aggressive style of playing poker, when the player plays a lot of staring hands and makes plenty of small bets
  • Lead – the player who makes the last bet or raise in a betting round has the lead at the start of the next round
  • Limit – the minimal and maximal amount of bets in some poker games
  • Limp In – to enter the pot by calling a bet instead of raising
  • Live Game – a poker game with a lot of actions
  • Live Poker Game – a poker game that happens live, as opposed to video poker
  • Loose – playing more hands than the average,
  • Low – the low half of the pot in High-Low split poker games


  • Made Hand – a poker hand that does not need any improvements to win
  • Maniac – a loose and aggressive player who bets and raises very often
  • Match the Pot – betting an amount that is equal to the value of the pot
  • Middle Pair – making a pair with the middle-value cards in community poker games
  • Middle Position – the position in the middle, that is after the UTG and before the late position
  • MTT – Multi-table tournament


  • No Limit – when all the players are allowed to bet any or all their money in a single bet
  • Nothing – when you have only the possibility of a high card and nothing else
  • Nut Low – the best possible low hand in High-Low split poker games


  • Off-suit – cards that are not in the same suit
  • On the Button – the player who plays the button position, the most advantageous position in the game
  • Omaha – a variety of community poker game where the players get 4 hole cards and must use two of them and three of the five community cards
  • Open-Ended Straight Draw – a straight draw with eight outs that needs one card to complete one end
  • Out – any card that you can use to complete a winning poker hand
  • Out of Position – the player who needs to act first, one that has a positional disadvantage
  • Outside Straight Draw – a straight draw that can be completed from either side


  • Paint – slang for any royal card, usually in lowball games where high cards are not useful
  • Pair – two cards of the same rank
  • Passive – a player who checks and calls and rarely raises
  • Perfect – the best possible cards
  • Play the Board – when the player’s best possible hand is on the board in Texas Hold ‘em poker
  • Pocket Aces – a starting hand with two Aces
  • Pocket Pair – a starting hand with a pair
  • Poker Face – a neutral expression that does not reveal anything about the hole cards
  • Poker Table – the table where the poker game is played
  • Position – the playing position on the poker table
  • Pot – the money in the center of the table that is up for grabs
  • Pot Limit – a poker game where the players can’t place a bet that is larger than the size of the pot
  • Pot odds – the ratio between the size of the pot and the necessary amount to call the bet
  • Pre-flop – the moment the players get their hole cards and make the first betting round before the flop is dealt
  • Purse – the total prize pool in a poker tournament

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  • Quads – a poker hand with four-of-a-kind
  • Qualifier – a qualifying poker hand in high-low poker games, such as eight-high or eight-low
  • Quartered – winning one-quarter of the pot in high-low split games


  • Rake – the amount the house takes, referred to as juice
  • Rainbow – four cards in different suits
  • Raise – to increase the size of the existing bet in the same round
  • Range – a list of possible hands the opponent may hold
  • Razz – a type of lowball stud poker variety where the winning hand is ace-to-five
  • Re-buy – the possibility to purchase extra chips in poker tournaments
  • Re-raise – to raise again after an opponent has raised
  • River – the final community card placed on the table that is followed by a final round of betting
  • Rock – a very tight player, usually plays very few hands only when they have very strong hands
  • Royal Cards – picture cards or face cards, the J, Q, and K in every suit
  • Royal Flush – the highest possible winning hand, A, K, Q, J, T in any suit


  • Satellite – a poker tournament where the prize is the free entry for a larger tournament
  • Scoop – winning the high and low portions of high-low split pot games
  • Semi-bluff – a bluff made with a hand that has a decent chance of improving but also intends to make the opponents fold in the current betting round
  • Set – a poker hand with three-of-a-kind
  • Shark – a professional poker player or someone playing high-stakes poker games
  • Shoe – the container where the card deck is held from where the dealer draws the cards
  • Short Stack – a stack of chips that is relatively small for the stakes that are currently played
  • Shorthand – a poker hand that is played with six players or fewer
  • Showdown – after two or more players remain after the last betting round, and they disclose and compare their hands to decide the winner
  • Sit-and-go – a poker tournament that starts when the required number of players put down their money
  • Small Blind – the small forced bet in some poker varieties
  • Spread – the range between the minimum and maximum bets on the table
  • Spread Limit – a variety of limit poker where the bets can be only between the set minimum and maximum value
  • Stakes – the amount you can buy into the game and bet
  • Starting Hand – the hole hand you start with
  • Straight – five cards in a sequence, no matter the suit
  • Straight Flush – any five consecutive cards in the same suit
  • Street – a term referring to a betting round in poker
  • Stud Poker – several variants of poker where the players get a mix of face-down and face-up cards dealt in several rounds
  • Suited – cards in the same suit, like ♥, ♦, ♣, ♠
  • Suited Connectors – connector cards in the same suit


  • Table Stakes – a rule where you can’t bet more money than you’ve had at the beginning of the hand
  • TAG – a tight-aggressive player who plays strong hands and plays aggressively
  • Tell – a detectable change in the player’s behavior that gives clues into their hand
  • Three of a Kind – a poker hand with three cards of the same rank, also referred to as set
  • Tight – a poker-playing style where the player plays very few hands
  • Top Kicker – the best possible kicker in a given hand in community card poker games
  • Top Pair – a hand with a pocket pair of very high rank
  • Turn – the fourth community card that is dealt on the board, followed by the fourth round of betting


  • Under The Gun, UTG – the playing position to the left of the small and big blinds in community poker games
  • Up Card – the card that is placed face up on the table
  • Up the Ante – increase the stakes on the table


  • Value Bet – a bet you make in order to have the other players call to build the pot
  • Variance – the statistical data in how the actual results differ from the expectations


  • Whale – a poker player who plays big pots and loves to gamble
  • Wheel – the ace-to-five straight in lowball games
  • WSOP – World Series of Poker
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