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Glossary Of Terms Used In Poker


ABC Poker

This is a basic strategy for playing poker. In this strategy, players mainly bet on strong hands and fold every other hand.

Ace To 5, Ace to 6

This is a way of determining who has a low hand in the game.


This means it is a player's time to make a play in a hand. His next play could be a raise, fold, bet, call or check).

Acting Out Of Turn

Acting Out of Turn occurs when a player makes a move when it is not yet his/her turn to make a play. This action is not allowed in poker, especially when the players are experienced in the game.

Some players use "Acting out of Turn" as a tactic to get a readout of opponents. This is known as "angle shooting".


This means that it is a player's turn to act by either folding, calling, or raising.

Action Button

An action button is a marker in which a player is forced to place an extra bet. In a down-the-river high-low game, the action button is given to the player who wins both low-halves pots above a specific size. This signifies that in the next pot, the winner of both low-halves pots will post an amount indicating a completion of a full bet.

Action Card

An action card calls for huge betting actions when it appears on the board. It helps two or more players and is mainly used in Texas hold 'em Poker.

Action Only

When an all-in bet is played, only a full or half bet can be re-raised. This is done with respect to the initial all-in bet. If any bet that is less than a full or half bet is re-raised, it is considered an Action Only. This means that other players at the table can only call the bet but can not raise it.

Active Players

An active player may mean one or two things.

(1) These are the players that are still involved at the table. It also means that the said player will be dealt a hand at the start of another game.

(2) A player in a hand is also active when they have not yet folded and have not played an all-in. This means that the said player still has some chips which can be used in another betting round.


This is when a player decides to buy more chips during a live game before busting. If it is a tournament game, all players are eligible for a single rebuy regardless of the size of their chip stack. However, the add-on usually offers more chips to the player per dollar than during buy-in or re-buys.


When a player deliberately exposes his cards in a way that conveys an impression of his style of play to opponents or plays an obvious move is known as advertising. The advertising player usually uses this tactic to create a sense of false security for the opponent in an attempt to gain a psychological advantage.

Aggressive Or Aggression

Aggression occurs when a player uses a bluff and opens betting or raises rather than calls or checks. While aggression is a great tactic to use, it must not be used too often as skilled players can take advantage of it by calling.

Aggression Factor

This is the measurement of a player's aggression. It could be in a single betting round or an overall measurement.


During lowball, "Air" is a method when a player gives an indication to an opponent who is about to fold that he intends to draw cards to induce him to call. It could also mean a hand that has a very low value against an opponent's own such as "9 high." It is also known as "a dead hand."


This is when a player bets their entire stack during a betting round. In a similar case, a player can declare himself all-in when he does not have sufficient chips to face a current bet.


Refers to a player's chip stack. When a player still has chips to bet with, it means he still has "ammo". And when he runs out of chips, it means he has run out of "ammo."


This is an unethical play. Although it is not against the rules which means it is permitted, it is seen as trying to take advantage of other players hence the "unethical" tag.

Angle Shooting

Using an unethical play to take advantage of an opponent. Some angle shooting includes the intentional obscurity of the size of their chip stack or deliberately making a move when it is not their turn to do so. This is known as acting out of turn.


This is the minimum amount of money needed to bet, which makes one eligible to play a game of Poker. It is classified as a "forced bet" in some types of Poker.

Ante Off

When in tournament play, "Ante off" is used to force an absent player to continue paying the minimum amount required to place a bet. It is used to keep the game fair to other players.

Any Two Cards

In Texas hold 'em Poker, this term is used to convey a message that a player's cards do not matter in a decision.


In Poker, "Arsenal" refers to a player's repertoire of skills and tactics. A player with a wide range of skills is able to surprise their opponents and take full advantage of a given circumstance by employing a variety of tactics.

While a player with little skills will most likely be outwitted every time they face the skilled ones.



Refers to a hand made by a player other than the one intended. Backdoor also means a draw that requires two or more rounds to fill.


"Balance" is a tactic a player uses to make it harder for an opponent to know which card he/she has. It is done by playing a variety of hands in the same way.


A sort of referee or manager. This is the person responsible for the game. He/she distributes the chips, tracks the buy-ins, and pays the winners when the game ends. This person is also known as "the house."


A bluff is somewhat a deceitful move. It is a bet that is made with a hand mathematically unlikely to be the best. It is used by skilled players to disguise their patterns of play.


Bounty is a reward given to a player for eliminating others. The reward is mainly in the form of a cash prize, and it is separate from the payout for winning the tournament.


A sort of reshuffling of cards after each betting round. This is done by discarding the top card from the deck face down. It prevents players from discerning or glimpsing the next card to be used on board.



When playing Poker, a minimum amount is required for each player to play in each round. When the player puts the minimum amount needed for the bet in the pot to continue the bet with the next player, such player has made a "Call."

Call The Clock

This is a kind of tactic that is used to call the players' attention to stop taking a long time before acting. If a player is unable to make a decision after the clock has been called by an opponent, the player's hand is declared dead.

Cash Games

This refers to playing a game with cash instead of playing with the usual Poker chips.


When a player declines to make a bet or indicates that he/she does not wish to open and would like to keep their cards, to retain the right to call or raise after another player opens in the same round is called a "Check".


Due to the difficulty in stacking currency or money, small disks or tablets known as "Chips" are used at the Poker table. They are usually in colors ranging from red to white, black, blue, or green". At the beginning of a game, the dealer attaches values to the chips and exchanges them with the players for the appropriate cash.


This is a cheating scheme that involves the cooperation of two or more players.



This is an action taken by a player before he gets hold of information he should have been given beforehand.


The dealer may either be a player or someone not playing at all. He is responsible for dealing the cards to the remaining players. He is also in charge of shuffling the cards after every hand.


This is when a player verbally reveals his intention or action.


When a player is not quite skilled in the game or shows weakness, he/she is referred to as a "donkey".


This is the sum of money that the casino charges for using its facilities and services. It is usually put through a slot in the table where it goes into a strong box.


Effective Nuts

This is a hand that is not the best logical hand in a given circumstance.

Exposed Card

"Exposed Card" is when the face of a card has been mistakenly or purposefully shown to players who should not have had access to that knowledge.


Family Pot

This is a deal where all (or almost all) of the players call before the first opening bet.

Fixed Limit

Each player in a fixed-limit poker game has a set amount of money they can gamble. Their bets are limited to that sum.


A flop is the first set of three cards placed facing up after the first round of betting.


This is done if a player wishes to end his hand in the game and concede. The player folds by putting all of his cards facing down on the table.


This is the most common type of poker tournament in which there are no rebuys and the play continues until one player has collected all the chips.


Get Away

When a player folds a strong hand against a supposedly superior hand is known as "Get Away".

Going North

Sneaking extra chips on the table having effectively purchased over the maximum amount of chips allowed by the table


These sorts of players do not get greedy. They make a living by playing consistently and conservatively for little profit over an extended period of time.


Half-Bet Rule

This is a casino rule whereby placing chips that are greater or equal to half of the normal bet amount above the amount needed to call comprises an obligation to raise the normal amount.


"Hanger" is a sign that the dealer is dealing the cards from the bottom of the deck. It occurs when the bottom card of the deck protrudes over the rest of the cards in the deck.

Hit And Run

A player performs a "hit and run" when he leaves a game

shortly after winning a large pot. This is deemed as poor etiquette by most players.

Home Game

This is when a game is not played at the casino or public card room. It usually occurs at a private venue which could be the home of one of the players.


A horse is a player that is backed financially by another person. This is done for many reasons.



This is an abbreviation for independence chip model and it is the assignment of a monetary value to a chip stack to be used during a game.

In Position

When a player is "In position", it means such player is the last person to act on the flop or turn.


Abnormal conditions in play which may call for corrective actions such as unexpectedly exposed cards.



A jackpot could mean two things

(1) A variant of the five-card draw which is the simplest version of Poker. Each player will place their bet with the minimum amount of money needed to participate at the table

**(2) **This is a substantial pot of money set aside by the casino to compensate players who suffer a loss, usually due to a rare occurrence like a bad beat.


Commonly means "wild card" in Poker. It is a 53rd card usually utilized in draw games. This card can be used as an ace or to complete a flush. A deck of cards frequently contains an additional two joker cards. These cards are generally shown as court jesters or clowns and have no suit.


This refers to the money collected by the person who distributes the chips, tracks the buy-ins, and pays the winners when the game ends. This person is also known as the "house."



To determine a winner when two or more players have identical hand ranks, a "kicker" card is used. One must keep in mind that in poker, the greatest five-card hand wins. But if both players have the same hand rank, a kicker must be used to differentiate the winners from the losers by generating the best five-card hand possible.


A collection of modest sums of money collected from certain pots. Kitty can be used to buy snacks, cards, etc.



When a player makes the choice of folding a strong hand in anticipation of superior opposition


This is the player who makes the last raise or bet in the previous round of betting. He is said to have the lead at the start of the next round of betting.

Leg-Up, Leg-Up Button

The button is used to identify which player has won the previous hand in a kill game.

Live Hand

A hand that is still eligible to win the pot is known as a "live hand". Another meaning of the term is a hand with the correct number of cards that have not been mucked or nullified.

Lock Up

This is an attempt from a player to signify that the seat is occupied even if he is not present at that position at the moment. This can be done by placing a chip, card or other personal items on the table in front of the seat.



A player that frequently bets and raises, even in circumstances where it would be a bad idea to do so. This tactic is considered loose and aggressive.


An inexperienced player at a poker table who has become the center of attention.

Match The Pot

When a player has to bet an amount equal to all the chips in the pot.


The term "micro-limit" refers to online poker games with stakes or bets so low that genuine cardrooms can not gain from them.


A "Muck" is a form of folding. When a player realizes that his opponent has a better hand than he does at a showdown, he may decide to muck instead of showing his holdings.



This is used to describe a player who is not willing to take risks in his game and instead plays only his premium hands in the top range.


A “Nitfest” is when all players in a game are playing cautiously and not willing to take any risks. It is usually very boring and has a negative connotation.

No Limit

This is a type of poker where a player can wager any or all of his chips in a single betting round.


This is when a player's only hand that could win is a high card as no other hand will win.

Nut Hand

In a given situation, the best possible hand available is known as the "nut hand".


Online Poker

A poker game which is played on a mobile device or computer. Both standard poker and online poker are governed by the same rules.


"Openers" are the cards being held by a player in a jackpot game which entitles them to open the pot.

Out Of Position

An "Out of position" player is one who is the first to act or not being the last in a betting round either.


This mainly occurs in a no-limit game. It is a situation whereby a player makes a wager that is more than the size of the pot.


This is an option where all players elect to increase the staking in a limit game.



This refers to two cards that have the same rank.


This is a method of play in which the player mainly checks and calls.

Pick Up

After the player buys chips with cash from the dealer, the house goes to take the money. This process is known as "pick up".

Pocket Aces

Pocket Aces refer to a starting hand that contains two Ace cards. This term is mostly used when a game of Texas hold 'em is in play.

Pocket Cards

Also referred to as "hole cards". When community cards are being used in a game, "pocket cards" are ones that are not part of the community.


Before a game starts, all the cash or chips are deposited in a descriptive "Pot" which is at the center of the poker table. When a player places a bet, he puts it in the pot. The eventual champion of the game takes the entire worth of cash in the pot.

Pot Limit

When playing in a game with a pot-limit, a poker player can only bet up to the amount of money in the pot. Each player is limited to placing bets equal to the amount of money currently in the pot.



This is a situation when a player wins the quarter of a pot. Players commonly put down a third of the pot in the hopes of earning back a quarter which makes this an undesirable outcome.


Rabbit Hunt

This is the revelation of cards that would have been dealt later had a hand continued. It is not allowed in casinos because it reveals information and slows down games.


This is when a player places a bet that is higher than the minimum amount to play. This effect of a raise is that all other bets go up to the new amount which is set by the player. After a raise, the other players at the table then either call or fold.


In Texas hold 'em, the "river" is the last card of five cards that are issued by the dealer at the start of a game which is played with community cards.


A highly skilled player who travels to look for high-stake games.

Royal Cards

The "Royal cards" consist of the jack, queen and king and are also called picture cards or face cards.


When a player has won several big pots consecutively, such a player is said to be on a "rush".



A satellite tournament is one in which the prize is a free entrance to another tournament. The new tournament is usually a bigger one than the previous one.


In a "shootout" poker tournament, the winner of one table advances to the next round, where they face the players from the other tables. There is no balancing as players are eliminated from the game despite each table playing separately from the others.


This is a poker game in which six or fewer people participate, as opposed to a full ring game in which nine or ten players participate.


During the "showdown", all players either expose or fold their hands, determining the outcome of the game.

Sit And Go

This is a tournament in which there is no scheduled starting time. The tournament starts whenever the necessary players have put up their money.

Small Blind

When a player sits one position to the left of the dealer, he or she must make a pre-deal bet, known as the "small blind" before the hand is dealt. This is a forced bet placed into the pot by one or more players before the deal begins.


The term "snowmen" is usually announced by someone who has pocket eights.



"Tanking" is a description of a poker player who gives deep thought to his decisions before going into action. Players who do this are usually faced with a big bet which requires extra care as their final decision could have a big financial impact.


In poker, a "tell" is a visible change in a player's attitude or behavior that gives indications about the player's judgment of their hand.


Mostly used in Texas hold ‘em poker, when a game is being played with community cards, the fourth of those cards which is placed solo and faceup is known as the "turn".



Used to describe a player who has a very small chance of winning against another player.


A card that is faced up when played.


An "upswing" describes a moment in which a player wins more than expected at the table. The said player makes more profits as he loses less.

Up The Ante

This is when a player increases the wager at a table.


Value Bet

A value bet is made by a player who wants it to be called by increasing the size of the pot


Poker variance is a statistical measure of how real results differ from expectations. It sheds light on how much a player wins or loses based on luck.


Wake Up

This means discovering a strong starting hand. This often happens when some action has already taken place in front of the player.

Weak Player

The term “weak player” is often used to identify a player who is easily intimidated out of a hand by any sort of action from his opponent.

Walking Chips

This term is used when a player who feels he already has enough chips leaves a tournament to take a break. However, it is not a good poker habit as anything can come up in such a player’s absence.


A “whiff” is used to describe later a situation where a player misses out on the card he needs in a game.