Categories: Poker Terms
| On Updated : Jul 7, 2020 5:58 PM IST

Poker Terms You Must Know To Ace The Game

By Nimisha Popat

If you ever found Poker intimidating just because of different terms and slangs used in the game, then you have reached the right destination. Today I will help you understand Poker terms in the simplest possible manner that will help you master the game.

Let’s begin:


Action: Anything and everything that takes place at the poker table, be it bet, raise, check, fold, or call comes under the category of action.

Ante: This is the first-ever bet that each player needs to do mandatorily beforehand at the table, in order to get the ball rolling.

Acting Out Of Turn: When any players play before their own turn or announce their move before their chance comes.

A-game: When a player plays with his full concentration and dedication, it is called an A-game. Usually, the term is used for a player who is playing poker ‘in the zone’.

Add On: It is a term used wherein any player buys more chips to bet.

Alias: In the online world, players often are recognized by their screen names which are called Alias.

All-in: When any player decides to bet all the chips he possesses then this poker term is referred to as all-in. This can be a very risky move on the player’s part. Players usually do this to double up their chips quickly.


Bad Beat: When any player loses to another player’s better-outdrawn cards just because the first player has, comparatively, a weaker set of cards it is referred to as a Bad Beat.

Bankroll: This is the term used for the amount that a player has at its credit which he can use for playing poker.

Blank: A card when drawn usually results in no meaningful action is often termed as blank.

Blind Bet: This is what actually adds more action to the game. A Blind Bet is a poker term used to the compulsory bet that every player needs to make. It begins from the player sitting left to the dealer and then moves clockwise.

Blocker Bet: When a player makes a small bet on the desire that the following player won’t increase the bet is termed as a blocker bet.

Bluff: This is the most interesting part of the game. When a player fakes having a good set of cards despite having weaker cards, just to make another player quit or fold, it is termed Bluff or Bluffing.

Board: All the community cards; i.e.; flop, river, and turn cards together constitutes a board.

Bottom Pair: On the flop, the pair that has the lowest card is called the bottom pair.

Button: A place on the green poker table where the dealer button resides is termed as a button.

Buy-in: While joining any game, you need to deposit some money which is then called buy-in.

Burn: To discard the top card facing upwards from the deck is referred to as burn.


Call: When a player wants to play safe and he decides neither to fold nor to raise the current bet, then he matches with the same bet as the player before him played.

Calling Station: More often, there is a player in the game, who calls too frequently. This term is used to refer to bad poker players in the game.

Cap: Post flop, there is sometimes a limit to the maximum amount of chips that can be put at stake. This is termed as Cap.

Case: This term is used to define the final card of a particular rank among the deck of cards.

Cash Game: In certain games, when a poker player can buy-in or leave the said game at his desire, it is referred to as a cash game.

Cold call: When any player’s first action while playing poker is a call then it is referred to as cold call.

C-game: This term is used to define a player who has a poor mental state.

Check: Check is when a player signals that he wishes to stay in the hand and wants to continue the game without betting. He then passes the opportunity to bet to the next player.

Community cards: These are the cards that are placed in the middle. Each player has the opportunity to use these said cards along with their cards in hand to add to their benefit.

Connector: When at any particular hand, the card containing consecutive rank is played.

Complete Hand: When any hand contains a flush, a straight, a straight flush, and a full house, it becomes a complete hand.

Crack: To beat a strong hand is referred to as crack.

Cripple: It is when any player holds the strongest set of cards that can’t be beaten.


Dealer: The player who deals with the cards is referred to as the dealer.

Draw: To play a card that is less useful at the moment but can become an asset with the right set of cards is called a draw.

Drawing dead: It is referred to as a scenario when no matter what happens, it is next to impossible for a player to win.

Double Up: To multiply the chip stack twice in its value after winning an all-in.

Donkey: When a player plays taking high risks or where he plays unstrategically.

Dominated hand: A hand that can almost always be beaten by another player’s hands.


Expectation: The amount you desire to win from playing a particular game.

Extra Blind: It refers to an activity when any player adds additional blind in the game.


Family Pot: A pot in which before flop all the players at the table, call.

Fold: At any given time, when a player decides that he doesn’t wish to continue the game and wants to quit. This is termed as Fold.

Flop: The first three community cards facing upwards together constitute a flop.

Foul: When any hand might not be played due to any particular reason becomes foul.

FreeRoll: When any player has a chance to win the jackpot despite investing a single penny is referred to as a freeroll.

Fish: Commonly a weak player in the poker game is called the fish.

Five bets: When in a betting sequence, the fifth bet is placed.

Flat: It is a synonym used for ‘call’.

Flush: When any hand contains five cards that belong to the same suit family.

Free card: When a chance to get a glimpse of a card without investing further, it is termed as a free card.

Full House: When any hand contains a set of a pair and three of a kind is termed as a full house.


Gap: When there is a difference between the ranks of the consecutive cards, the difference is often referred to as the gap.

Grinding: When any player is consistently playing slow yet building profit, it is called grinding.

Gutshot: When a straight is filled inside it leads to gutshot.


Hit: When any card that falls, leaves the player at hand, with a decent hand.

Heads up: When most of the players have left and only two final players remain to continue the game, it is referred to as Heads up.

Hole Cards: The cards that are hidden and placed downwards are referred to as hole cards.

House: The entity that actually arranges, handles, and conducts the game of poker is referred to as the house.


Implied Odds: It refers to the odds calculating factor, that shows the number of chips to add to win at a future hand.

Inside Straight Draw: It is a synonym used for ‘Gutshot’.

Insurance: When at the green table, a side wager is made among the players.


Jackpot: It is often referred to as the amount paid to the losing player because of having a strong hand.


Kicker: When two players have two same sets of cards and the winning now depends on the third card. Then the player who possesses the third stronger card wins. And the third winning card is referred to as the Kicker.


Limping in: When any player decides to stay in the game by continuing the bare minimum bet.

Last Longer: A side wager among the players of the tournament to see who lasts for a longer duration in the tournament is termed as the last longer.


Muck: Muck is when a player throws the cards he has in the middle of the table and decides to give up.

Maniac: Refers to any player who’s playing style is loose or a little crazy.

Misclick: When any player accidentally plays a wrong move which resulted because of a wrong click then it is called a misclick.

Monotone: When all cards on the board belong to the same suit family, it is then termed as monotone.

Monster: Synonym used for ‘a very strong hand’.


No Limit: When a game has no upper limit on the number of chips to be put at stake is referred to as no limit.

Nuts: When any hand given at the board is the best possible hand, then it is termed as nuts.


Off suits: When there is no coordination among the cards, that is, the cards belong to entirely different suit families, at the beginning of the game, then it constitutes off suits.

One gap: When at the starting of the hand, there is a difference in two cards of two ranks

Out: A lucky card that makes a player’s hand win.

Outrun: A synonym used for ‘to beat’

Overcall: When more than one player makes the call.

Over pair: A pair in the hand that is higher in terms of value than the flop.

Open raise: To raise the bet within the beginning of the first hand.

Overcards: When there is a card that is higher in value than the board.


Pair: When out of 5 any two cards belonging to the same rank doesn’t matter which suit they belong, then it is termed as one pair.

Play the board: When any hand is constituted by using the entire set of community cards on the table.

Paint: Jack, queen, king and ace cards are called as paint cards.

Pocket pair: When there is a pair in the hole cards at the beginning of the game.

Pot odds: A certain percentage of a bet in the pot.

Pot limit: Where the bet is limited to the size of the pot.

Probe: When a small fraction of bet is made to gather information.

Protect: The term used to protect the cards by placing chips on it.


Ragged: A flop that doesn’t serve the purpose of helping any player on the table.

Rainbow: A flop when it contains three different suits of cards, then it is called a rainbow.

Raise: When any player increases the current bet, it is then termed as raising the bet and the action itself is called raise.

Rake: House’s income from every pot is called a rake.

Rank: It represents the numerical value of any card.

Ring game: Synonym for a live game, that is played with actual cash.

River: The fifth card that is kept facing upwards becomes a river card.

Rock: A less creative player is termed as a rock.

Royal flush: It is a hand that constitutes ten, jack, queen, king, and ace belonging to the same suit family.


Quads: Synonym used for ‘four of a pair’.


Sandbagging: Synonym for’ slow playing’

Set of cards: When a player has a pair of any same cards, it doesn’t matter the suit, then it is often referred to as a set of cards.

Satellite: When a player is awarded tickets to even bigger tournaments is called a satellite.

Scare Card: A card that might result in an opponent folding its card is termed a scare card.

Shorthanded: A term used to describe a game with less than six players at the green table.

Short stack: A player with very few chips left in his deck of chips.

Shove: Synonym for ‘all in’.

Showdown: It often refers to revealing the hand at the end of the game to determine the final winner of the round.

Sit and go: A poker tournament that embarks its journey as soon as the desired number of players join the game.

Sizing: Tt is the term used to measure the size of the bet.

Slow Hand: To play a good and winning hand deceptively constitutes a slow hand.

Slow Roll: Taking a lot of time to call before the game ends.

Stab: To make a bet knowing the other player has got a weak hand.

Steam: When any player plays furiously.

Steel wheel: Synonym used for when any hand contains ace to five straight flushes.

Straddle: These are optional blind bets played.

Straight: When any hand consists of five cards that belong to consecutive ranks.

String bet: When a player announces and splits the bet into multiple parts.


Table Stakes: It means a player is bound to only bet the chips he bought at the table.

Three of a kind: When you have three cards of the same face value along with any two cards, then you are deemed to hold three of a kind set of cards in your hand.

Two Pair: When out of five cards, the first two cards belong to the same rank and the next two belong to another pair of the same rank then it is termed as two pairs.

Tie: When in a heads up, both players win by the exact same set of cards resulting in a tie. Then these players split the pot money equally.

Tilt: When any player plays with a state of mind which is not normal but in rage, confusion, or frustration, then it is termed as tilt.

Timebank: The extra time allotted to players playing online poker to finish a particular hand.

Tournament: A game with fixed buy-in where the last man standing takes the cake.

Tracking software: It is a particular software used to determine and track the results of a particular poker game.

Trap: To play a game in a way that leaves the other player with no choice but to call out his bluff.


Under the gun: The first player to begin the game with his bet.

Underbet: When there is bet size which barely is half the pot size.

Upcard: When a card is dealt facing upwards.

Upswing: The consecutive wins of a player.

Up the ante: Synonym for ‘increasing the stakes to a higher value’.


Value bet: A bet made with the hopes of winning.

Vulnerable: When any hand that is easily susceptible to be outdrawn.


Whale: It is defined as an extremely bad poker player.

Wet: The board texture with maximum possible draws.

Wheel: An ace to five straight hands.

Wired: When two cards are facing downwards in the third street then it is called wired.

Wrap around straight: When a straight hand includes ace in the middle.

WSOP: Acronym for the world series of poker.

These are the few most commonly used Poker terms. I hope this helped you get more clarity on the game.

Nimisha Popat

Happy little birdie who is obsessed with content creation, online gaming and her warm cup of tea.