Poker Dictionary

A Texas Holdem poker dictionary is more or less necessary for new players. All the different poker slang and poker terms that are related to poker is not easy to understand unless a poker dictionary is available. Find out what the different Poker terms are all about.

Poker Terms

Poker is a technical game with its own poker language. There are many unknown poker phrases and a lot of poker jargon flying around which is why a poker dictionary is needed for new players. We have created a comprehensive poker glossary guide to help especially new players to the game to get a full understanding of the poker lingo.

The guide is being updated regularly as poker language as all other languages are developing every day and new poker slang is created. This poker dictionary is the best way to begin your poker adventure.



ABC player or book player – You will be surprised to find out how many players who play according to what poker books suggest. Book are supposed to be guidelines and make players think about how to play in different scenarious and should not be used as a stringent way of playing poker. ABC players are very easy opponents to play against

Aces up – Aces up are a poker term for two pair where one of the pairs is aces.

Act or act out of turn – An act is when you decide to fold, call, bet or raise. Acting out of turn describes if a player make a move on the table before it was his turn to act. Acting out of turn is not well seen and should never be done deliberately.

Air, He had air – Air is poker slang for a bluff. Often players reporting about a hand and wins the show down will use the poker lingo “he had air” to describe that the opponent had nothing to show.

All in or AI – This scenario is when a player commits his last chips in the pot. He then announces- I am all in.

American Airlines – Poker jargon for Aces also often called AA

Angle or Angle shooting – Players looking for small tricks to get an advantage are said to be angle shooting. This causes them a lot of grief amongst other players. Even poker is a game for money then most players act in a decent way. Actually many players are really good friends outside the table and angle shooting is definitely not something that should be done on purpose as friends are lost this way.

Ante, Ante Up – Antes come in to play at later stages in poker tournaments. All players need to Ante up and the pots get bigger. A lot of strategy come in to place in tournaments when the Antes are up.


Backdoor, Backdoor straight, Backdoor flush, Backdoor draw – Poker hands should seldom only have one way of winning the pot. Backdoor draws can be very powerful because they are well hidden. Backdoor means that a player have to use both the turn and river card to complete his backdoor draw. A player holding two diamonds on his hand and where the flop comes with 1 diamond only has a backdoor flush draw as he need both turn and river to be diamonds to complete his hand. It is very bad poker to draw for backdoors. Backdoors are supposed to be backup winning possibilities and not something to rely on in a hand.

Bad beat – This poker lingo refers to situations where a player in trouble with his hand draws out on his opponent. He then gave a bad beat. Many players enjoy telling why they lost and how lucky their opponent was. Poker is a game where bad beats happen all the time and the right way to treat bad beats are to smile and come to the conclusion that your opponent made a pot odds mistake in the hand or misread the situation. New players do not fully understand the mathematics in poker and often talk about bad beats that are not really bad beats at all. AK all in pre flop against J7 do not win much more than 6 out of 10 times and it is certainly not even close to be a bad beat.

Bankroll, bankroll management, BR – Money is ammunition in poker. It is important at all times to preserve your bankroll so you do not need to reload your account. Many poker players play way to high stakes compared to their bankroll. Good players have a strong and selective bankroll management which is why they are excellent players. Players who deposit $100 is often seen jump directly in on a 0.5-1 table. The risj of ruin are enourmus and this scenario should be avoided at all times.

Belly buster – A belly buster draw is often well hidden and wins big pots. The poker nick name refers to a gut shot draw also called inside straight draw. You hold T8 and the board show K96. Any 7 complete you Belly buster draw. It is not advisable to draw to Belly busters unless there are additional draws or effective stack sizes are very big.

Big slick – This poker term refer to the hand Ace King also named as AK. It has for many years been accepted poker lingo amongst players to tal about Big Slick instead of AK. The little sister AQ are referred to as Big Chick but this is seldom used by players these days.

Big Blind – When playing poker there must be posted 2 blinds every hand. These are called small and big blind. Big blind is seated 2 seats to the left of the dealer and is the second person to act after the flop. Blind positions are terrible spots as more or less all other players get to see the action of Big Blind before they have to act themselves. Big Blind will only be able to have position on the small blind. All players will in a round become the big blind once, it is mandatory. Big blind are sometimes wrongly taken for Big Bet. Ina $2-4 game the big blind is $2 and a big bet is $4.

Blinds – Blinds were created to make sure there was a pot to play for in poker. The term blinds are used because players post money in the pot before they receive their hole cards which make the bet a blind bet. Blinds are in principle the only expense that is forced when playing poker. See small blind and big bland for further comment on blinds.

Blocker, Blocker cards – Blocker cards are cards you hold in your hand that prevents your opponent from hitting one of those. On a board with all clubs- if you hold a club in your hand then your opponent will only draw to 8 outs instead of 9. Blockers can be essential in odds calculations. In general blockers are a term mostly discussed in PLO and Stud.

Blocker bet, blocking bet – This is an often used strategy to save money in a pot. A blocker bet is often a small bet compared to the pot size. It is used to prevent your opponents from making a big bet that you know you can not call or to find out if you have the worst hand.

Board – The poker jargons for the cards all players can see are board or board cards. Community cards would be the long poker description for the same thing. The board is the 3 flop cards, 1 turn card and the 1 river card.

Boat – This is the short version for announcing you have a full house. A boat consists of 3 of a kind and a pair. 77722 or AAAKK. Boats are very powerful poker hands.

Brick, Blank – This poker expression refers to a card that seems to be absolutely useless for your opponent.

Bubble – This poker term refer to the last player to exit the tournament before being in the money.

Bubble boy – The player who is the last one to leave the tournament without being paid is called Bubbly boy. Players should remember to raise a lot of hands when getting close to the Bubble as no one wants to be Bubble boy and leave the tournament empty handed.

Button – This poker word describes who the dealer is. It is the best position at the table and also the most profitable spot overall. The button is psychically a small puck that rotates clockwise after every hand.


C-Bet also called continuation bet – When poker players talk about the continuation bet it describes a bet that follows the initial raise. It is powerful to C-bet because if you are the aggressor and your opponent did not hit the flop you will often take the pot down. C-bet size is between 50%-70% of the pot size.

Calling station – This is one of the most beautiful words in poker. A calling station is players who only check and call and let you control the game. There are no better opponents to play and if a calling station ever raises you then you better much your cards in a hurry.

Check raise /CR – If you flop a semi good hand (2 pair or lower) it is often correct to check and raise if your opponent bets. Good hands should most often be bet as this increase the chance of winning a big pot. A check raise is a very powerful move in poker and if you are check raised you need to evaluate your hand carefully before proceeding.

Chip dumping – When players pass chips or money to each other it is called chip dumping. In online poker it is often used by players to avoid making a deposit. However it is and always will be illegal to chip dumb and this should be avoided by all means.

Chop – A chop is when the pot is split in equal parts. The poker phrase are also used if a final table deal is made.

Cutoff – This poker term is used about the seat just next to the dealer button.


Dominated, Dominated hand – AQ are dominated by AK. This is because there is a shared card so the kicker decides the outcome of the hand. Dominated hands wins around 30% of the time. It is a very profitable situation to dominate your opponent’s hand. This is why hands like AQ, AJ, KQ and KJ seldom should be played if an opponent have raised or you are being re raised. You might be dominated and have to proceed really careful in pots where you hit top pair.

Donk, Donkey, Fish – Not a flattering word. If someone calls you a donk then do not argue it. It is perfect if someone’s perception of you is that you are a donk.

Drawing dead – This poker term describes a situation where a player simply can not win the hand no matter what cards are dealt. Often seen when players are dealt flush over flush.


Early position – This refers to player’s relative position on the table compared to the dealer button. The earlier a player is to act the more tightly a player should consider playing as there are many players to act behind him. Hands like 99, 88, AQ are to be considered throwing in the muck from early position at a 9 or 10- handed poker table.

Equity – This is a mathematical term who expresses how much of a pot a player in principle should be awarded on average. In a $500 pot where a player has 48.5% chance of winning the players equity would be 500*0.485= 242.5. Pot size multiplied with the chance of winning the hand gives the equity.

Expected value/EV – Poker is all about making positive expected value decisions. Calling a 10 times raise with pocket 4s will not bring long term positive Expected value where as a 2-3 times raise can be called with a pocket pair for set value.


Float/ Floating the flop or turn – Floating is something that can be done in position only. The theory behind is that your opponent did not hit the flop and by floating (even with nothing) you intend to take the pot away at a later street.

Flop – The flop is the poker term for the first 3 community cards that are dealt. All players can use the cards on the flop to create the best 5 card poker hand possible. In No Limit poker the flop is very crucial as players already now know 5/7 cards. Most of the time pots should be given up if your hole cards do not connect to the flop.

Flush Draw – A flush draw is when a player holds four of the same suit and only misses one more card in that suit to complete the flush. If a player only holds three cards in the same suit the flush draw is referred to as a backdoor flush draw. Flush draws can be very expensive to try and hit. Pot odds and effective stack sizes have to be considered carefully before proceeding with a naked flush draw. Any combo draw together with a flush draw is hard to throw away but naked flush draws are always to be considered.

Fourth Street – This is the forth community card being dealt also called The Turn.

Fifth Street – This is the fifth community card being dealt also call The River which completes the hand as no more cards are being dealt in Texas Hold’em or Pot Limit Omaha.

Freeroll/free rolling – A freeroll can refer to a tournament without any buy in but still the tournament would award some kind of monetary prizes. Freeroll can also refer to a situation where a player has not rsik of losing the pot but could win the whole pot. Both players hold AK with one of them holding AK of clubs. If the flop contains two clubs then the player with AKc freeroll for the full pot.

Freezeout – This is the most often used standard poker tournament form where a player is out when he loses all his tournament chips.


Gut shot – A gut shot draw in poker refers to a hand where one card is missing to complete the straight. The card missing is a specific card in the middle of the straight which means there is only 4 outs opposed to a open ended straight draw that has 8 outs. If you hold 86 and the board is K45 then the 7 will complete your straight. Gut shot draws are well hidden and opponents seldom have a chance to guess your hand which often creates big pots when you hit a gut shut. To draw for a gut shut straight draw it is important that your opponent has a lot of chips in his stack that you can win.

Gap Concept – The gap concept is invented by David Sklansky and this poker term refers to the fact that you can open the betting with more hands than you can call with. Raising with KQ is a lot stronger than calling with it. The gap concept can also be used in tournaments at late stages where your opponents will respect raises made from early position because they will think you are strong.

Going South – Moving chips from a cash game table is referred to as Going South which is very unethical behavior and against all rules in a live poker room. Online players who leave a poker table can not join the same table again with less money than was removed from the table.


Hand History /HH – Online poker is a great thing because all hand histories are stored on your computer which means it is possible to analyze the hands after a session and find eventual leaks and correct them before playing again.

Heads Up /HU – This poker term is used when only 2 players are in the hand. The poker expression is also used about special poker tables where only 2 players can sit down and play.

Heater – It often happens that a specific player has a really good run and wins many pots in row which is called a heater. The poker jargon is also used to describe tournament players who perform well in consecutive poker tournaments.

HORSE – HORSE has become a very popular game these days because of the monster $50.000 WSOP HORSE event. The letters in HORSE each refer to a poker variation. H= Fixed Limit Hold’em O= Omaha Hi/Lo R= Razz S= Seven card stud and finally E Seven Card Stud Hi/Lo.


Implied odds – Implied odds are a poker term which is used to describe the expected winnings if you make your hand on a later betting round. Often huge implied odds are needed to call a bet from your opponent if you are on a drawing hand.

In position – This poker jargon is used often and tells that the player is having the advantage of being in position meaning that he will know all other players action when it is his turn to act. Position is extremely important in poker and the button is the most valuable spot to sit in.

Inside straight draw – Read about this under “Gut Shot”.

Isolation/ isolating – This is a very strong poker strategy, where a raise or reraise is used to isolate a player, so you get to play against him heads up in the pot.


Jacks Or Better – A variant of poker where the raiser must have a pair of jacks or better.

Jackson 5 – A term for the hand J5.

Jam – Another word for going all in.

JJ – Pocket Jacks.


Kicker – Describes the strength of a side card in a hand. If you have A9, then the 9 is your kicker.

King Kong – Term for Pocket Kings.

KK – Another term for Pocket Kings.

Knockout Tournament – A special tournament where you gain a prize for knocking out your opponents on top of the normal prize pool.

Kojak – Term for the hand King Jack.


Ladies – Pocket Queens.

LAG – Loose Aggressive, a player who plays a lot of hands and are very aggressive.

Last Longer bet – Usually a bet between 2 or more players about who last the longest in a tournament.

Late Position – The players in the latest position. Normally refers to the button position and the two positions before.

Lay Down – When a player lays down his hand, also called folding a hand.

Lead or Lead Out – A player bets into one or more players when first to act and out of position.

Leak – Mostly used to describe the faults in a players game. Normally overall mistakes in a players game, which can be expoited. 

Limit Hold’Em – A game just like No Limit Texas Hold’Em, but with limits to betting and raising. This mean all betting sizes are fixed.

Limp – When a player calls preflop with no previous raises made, also called flatcalling preflop.

Lobby or Poker Lobby – Normally refers to the locating of the poker games in online poker softwares.

Loose – A player who calls a lot and plays most hands.

Low Stakes – Poker games with low buyins

Luck Box – A very lucky player. Normally a player that sucks out on people a lot and wins with the worst hand.


Made Hand – A complete hand like a pair, straight or a flush. This is the opposite of a draw, which need more cards to complete.

Main Event – The biggest tournament in a tournament series.

Main Pot – When one or more players already are all in, they play for the main pot, while players with remaining chips play for a side pot including the main pot.

Maniac – A crazy player, who makes a lot of insane moves. These players are normally loosing players and very expoitable.

Marginal Hand – A marginal hand normally refers to a weak hand, which could be both folded or called, checked or bet given the situation.

Microstakes – The smallest poker games with very low buyins.

Mid Pair – A player has connected with the second highest card and has a middle pair.

Minbet – When a player is betting the lowest possible amount.

MiniFTOPS – A popular tournament series at Full Tilt Poker with low buyins.

Miscall – When a player accidently calls, when he meant to fold.

Misclick – Hitting the wrong button in online poker and making an unintentional move. 

Monkey – A bad player who is very inexperienced, also known as a fish.

Monster Draw – Huge draw with multiple outs for a the best hand.

MTT – Multi table tournament. Refers to tournaments played on more than one table.

Muck – Also known as mucking your hand. This mean not showing your hand at showdown and intentional give up your hand by throwing it away.

Multitabler – Players who participates in multiple tournaments or cashgames at once by playing many tables simultaneous.


Nit – Normally a very tight player that only plays the strongest hands.

NLHE – This stand for No Limit Texas Hold’Em and is the most popular game of poker.

Noob – This is a newbie or beginner in poker, who lacks experience and skills.

Nosebleeds – A synonym for the highest stakes in poker. Normally games with blinds from $50-$100 and more.

Nuthunter – Players that only plays huge hands and draws and fold weaker hands.

Nuts – The best possible hand at any given time in a poker hand.


OESD – This is an open ended straight draw and refers to a straight draw with 8 outs.

OESFD – This is an open ended straight flush draw and refers to a straight flush draw with 2 outs.

Omaha – Variant of poker with 4 pocket cards, which is normally played as pot limit and can be played as both high and high/low.

On A Roll – Winning consistently or many hands in a row in a given session.

One Outer – When a player has one out left in the deck to win a hand.

One Pair – When a player has a single pair.

Online Poker – This is poker played online/on the internet.

Out of Position – A player who is first to act in a hand and therefor is out of position.

Outs – The number of cards that can give you the best hand.

Overbet – When betting an amount above the current pot size.

Overpair – Holding a pair higher than the highest possible on the board.


Passive – Very patient and passive player. Normally a player that does not bet or raise any hands.

PFR – Stands for Preflop Raise and raising before any cards a dealt on the board.

Play Money – Playing poker with fictive money with no real value.

PLO – Stands for Pot Limit Omaha.

Pocket Pair – Two hole cards of the same value.

Pocket Rockets – Holding to two aces.

Poker Affiliate – A person who makes money on signing up players to various poker sites.

PokerStars – World’s biggest poker site, also refered to as Stars.

Polarized Range – When a players possible holdings are divided into very strong hands or nothing.

Pot Committed – A situation where a player is committed to investing the rest of the chips in the pot given the pot odds offered.

Pot Limit – A variant of poker where you maximum can raise the current pot size.

Pot Odds – The odds given for making a call. This is calculated dividing the bet faced with current money in the pot.


QQ – Refers to two queens.

Quads – Other term for four of a kind.

Qualifier – This can refer to tournament, where you can win entry to another tournament, or a player who have qualified for the tournament he is playing.


Rag – Refers to low and terrible cards.

Railbird – Player who doesn’t play, but watch others do so. These could be considered spectators.

Rainbow Flop – Flop consisting of 3 cards of different colors.

Raise – Refers to raising a bet by putting more money in the pot.

Rake – The fee players pay to the casino or poker site. This is normally a percentage of the pot in cashgames and a fixed fee in tournaments.

Rake Race – Prize pool of money divided to the most active players on a poker site, who rake the most during a rake race campaign.

Rakeback – This is like a bonus, where the player gets a certain percentage of the rake paid back each month.

Rakeback Pro – A Player who makes his money by getting rakeback and plays many hands and tables despite a low win rate to receive more rakeback.

Re-Raise – Raising on top of a current raise.

Rebuy – Mostly a tournament which allows players to buy more chips, if they loose their starting chips. Rebuy can also refer to reloading in cashgames by bringing more money to the table, if you have nothing left.

Reload – Reloading the current stack at the table by bringing more money.

River – The last community card dealt in poker.

River Rat – A lucky player who draws out on lucky river cards.

ROI – Stands for Return of investment and refers to the money made on an investment. Normally calculated as percentage by dividing money invested in poker by winnings from poker.

Rounders – Refers to live players making a living by playing poker, but also refers a to Famous movie by the same name.

Royal Flush – Best possible hand I Texas Hold’Em consisting of T-J-Q-K-A in same suit.

Run Good – A player who is winning a lot and catching many cards.

Running Bad – A player who is losing a lot and does not hit any cards.

Runner Runner – Drawing two consecutive cards on the turn and river to make a winning hand.

Rush Poker – Popular variant of poker available at Full Tilt Poker, where players can instantly play another hand after folding and therefore play more hands than normal.


Second Nuts – Second best possible hand.

Second Pair – Second best pair.

Semi Bluff – This refers to bluffing with a draw, which give a player outs, if he should get called.

Set – Holding a pocket pair and hitting another card of the some value.

Set over Set – Two players holding a set at the same time.

Shove – Going all in by moving all your chips to the middle.

Showdown – Showing your hand up after the last betting round.

Sick – Often said by players who get sucked out and are frustrated. Normally to infer the opponent played poor and got very lucky.

Sign-up bonus – A bonus for new players to welcome them on the poker site.

Snap Call – An instant or very quick call of a bet.

SNG – This stands for Sit N Go and refers tournaments that starts instantly, when a certain amount of players have joined. 

Soul Read – A perfect read on another player. Normally a read of an exact hand.

Spew – Playing horrible and losing money by playing reckless.

Split Pot – Refers to the pot being divided by two or more players with the same hand.

Stone Cold Bluff – A pure bluff with absolutely nothing, which mean you can only win bluffing and getting your opponent to fold.

Straight – 5 cards in a row of different suit like 4-5-6-7-8.

Straight Flush – 5 cards in a row and in the same suit.

STT – This is a Single Table Tournament and is played on one table only.

Stud – This is a variant of poker that include 7 Card Stud high and High/Low, 5 Card Stud and Razz. 

Sunday Brawl – Weekly tournament at Full Tilt Poker with $750.000 in guaranteed prize pool.

Sunday Million – The biggest online poker tournament at PokerStars with $1.500.000 in guaranteed prize pool.

Super user – Normally refers to a player that can see other players hole cards. The term is mostly known from the Absolute Poker scandal.


Table Captain – A player that controls the table by playing and winning many hands. Normally the leading player at the table.

Table Image – A players image, or playing style, given his past actions at the table.

TAG – Refers to a Tight Aggressive player. These normally play few hands and very aggressive when they do play one.

Texas Hold’Em – The most popular variant of poker, which can be played both as no limit, fixed limit and pot limit.

Three of a Kind – Three cards of the same value.

Tight – A tight player is known for only playing good hands and therefore very few hands.

Tilt – When a player is getting irritated and starts to play bad poker. This normally happens after losing a big pot or a big suckout.

Top Two – Holding the best possible two pair combination.

Two Outer – A hand with only 2 outs to make the best hand.

TT – Holding two tens.


Under The Gun or UTG – The player who is first to act from the beginning of a hand.

Underdog – A player who is not the favorite to win a hand, when the money is all in.

Under pair – A pair lower than the community cards dealt.

Up The Ante – Raising the blinds or antes in a cashgame or tournament.

Upswing – A good period in poker, which normally means a player is winning a lot. 


Value Bet – A bet made to collect value from other players with worse hands.

Villain – A word used to Describe the other players at the table. This is another word for opponent.

VNH – This stands for Very nice hand and is used to compliment another players hand.


Whale – Another synonym for a bad player like a fish.

Wheel – A straight from ace to five in different suits.

WP – This means Well played and is used to compliment another players game. However it can be used ironic as well, which depend on the situation.  

WPT – This stands for World Poker Tour, which is a series of international live poker tournaments that are famous for its tv-shows.

Wrap – This is term used in pot limit omaha to describe a hand with multiple straight draws.

WSOP – This stands for World Series of Poker, which is the biggest poker event in the world and hosted each year in Las Vegas.


2-7 Single Draw – This is a draw game in which players a single draw and have to make the worst hand possible.

2-7 Triple Draw – Same as 2-7 Single Draw, but with 2 more draws to all players.

3 bet – This expression is used about the second raise (re-raise) taking place in a hand. Many players to not fully understand this poker term but as the big blind are to be considered a bet (blind bet) then it makes sense. Blind (first bet), A raiser (second bet) and finally a re-raiser (3-bet) might help to understand the poker phrase 3 bet a little better.

4 bet – Re-Re-Raising a hand. This is a very strong move and normally indicates a very strong hand.

4 times BB, x times Big Blind – Poker bets should always be related to the size of the pot which is why the poker term x times Big blind are used for the initial first raise in a hand. There are many different opinions regarding how big the first raise should be but overall it will seldom be wrong to raise the pot with 3 times BB when entering it.

5 Card Draw – Variant of poker with 5 hole cards to each player and no community cards.

5 bet – Re-Re-Re-Raising a hand. This is a very strong move like the 4 bet and indicates huge strenght as well.

6-max – Table allowing maximum 6 players.