All The Aces Daily Poker Column

Poker Terminology


Poker terminology explained - all the poker lingo and poker jargon revealed!

Experienced players of Texas Hold’em and other styles of poker will know what follows but it’s handy to have a page you can tear out with all the poker terminology or poker lingo you’re likely to encounter online or off. For beginners it’s an essential piece of kit, so print it out and stick it to your PC, or bookmark this page for handy reference.


Action: Any actual betting or opportunity to bet.

All-in: If you’re running out of chips during a hand you can go all-in. This means you bet all the chips you have on the table and are entitled to see all the community cards and take part in the showdown, at which time you can win up to the amount you went all-in for from each player. The all-in is also used for situations where a player in a hand loses an online connection to the server. If this happens you are assumed to be all-in and the usual rules take over.

Bad Beat: To be the obvious favourite in a hand and none the less lose to an opponent statistically considered the underdog.

Blinds: Compulsory bets introduced to ensure there’s money to gamble for in every pot. The player to the immediate left of the dealer posts the small blind, and the player to their left posts the big blind (generally double the small blind) Blind sizes are dictated by table stakes.

Board: The collective name for community cards in Hold’em.

Button: A small puck with ‘dealer’ on it which moves round clockwise one player each hand. Action starts with this virtual dealer.

Buy-in: The amount of chips you start with or the cost of entry.

Call: When a player matches a bet that’s already been made.

Cap: The last raise permitted in a round. allows three raises beyond the initial bet in limit games.

Check: If there’s no bet on the table and you don’t want to place a bet, that action is termed a check. You may only check when there are no prior bets or blinds made on that round.

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Collusion: Cheating! Where two players attempt to gain unfair advantage by sharing information, such as their hole cards, during a game. will confiscate the account of anyone caught cheating.

Community Cards: The face-up cards centre table shared by all players in Texas Hold’em and Omaha.

Down Cards:  See Hole Cards.

Drawing Dead: When there are still cards to come but none of them can help you win.

Fifth Street or the River: The term for the fifth board card in Hold’em.

Flop: The name for the first three community cards dealt face-up after the first round of betting in Texas Hold’em.

Flush: Five cards of the same suit. In Hold’em you can make a flush using two, one or none of your hole cards plus cards from the Board. In Omaha you must use two of your four hole cards plus the Board.

Fold: You toss in your cards and quit the current hand, kissing goodbye to any chips you’ve bet.

Fourth Street or the Turn: The name of the fourth community card in Texas and Omaha.

Freeroll: This applies to poker tournaments where there’s no entry
fee but where the House guarantees a prize pool to the winners.

Full House:  A five card hand made up of a pair and three-of-a-kind.

Heads Up: When just two players are in contention for the pot. A heads up tournament is where you go one-on-one from start to finish.

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High Card: The highest ranking card you have if you can’t make a hand. If there’s a tie on the high card, the second highest card comes into play as a decider and is called the kicker.

Hole Cards: Personal cards dealt face down to a player.

Kicker: See High Card.

Muck: Pile of discarded cards. It also refers to returning a losing hand to the dealer, face down.

Multi-Table Tournament: A tournament where players at more than one table compete, starting with equal numbers of chips, until one player has won all available chips. Prize payouts depend on the number of entrants and are posted on the tournament page. Multi-table tournaments require you to register in advance as they have a clearly posted start time.

No Limit: A betting structure in which each bet is only limited by the number of chips a player has on the table.

Omaha: A game in which each player receives four face-down cards and shares five community cards. The winning hand must use exactly two face down cards and three community cards.

Play Chips: The chips used for “play money” games. No value.

Playing the Board: Where all the community cards in Hold’em are used as your best hand.

Pocket Pair: A pair in the hole. AA or KK etc.

Pot: Total chips available to win in any hand.

Pot Limit: A variation on betting where each player can bet up to the current amount in the pot after the amount it costs them to call is put in.

Rake: The amount of money in chips taken by the house as a service fee. At this is particularly low. In a physical casino it isn’t!

Raise: Betting more than the previous wager.

Re-buy: Getting more chips during a game (but not during a hand) which would be unfair. Only applies to real money games.

River: The fifth and final community card.

Royal Flush: The best possible high hand. Straight flush from 10 through to Ace of the same suit.

See: Same as call. Usually used in conjunction with the term raise, as in I’ll see your $10 and raise you $10!

Showdown: This takes place after the final bet where all players show their hands or muck and the best takes the pot.

Side Pot: This is the term for the pot created when a player goes all-in. The side pot is the pot available to all those players who are not all-in at that point. If more than one player is all-in there will be more than one side pot.

Single Table Tournament: The same as a multi-table tournament except it starts when all of the seats are filled (usually two, six or nine). In a nine handed game the prize money is split between the top three on a 50%,30%,20% ratio.

Straight: Five card hand in rank order where suit does not matter. Example: 7, 8, 9, 10 and J of different suits.

Straight Flush: Five cards of the same suit in rank order.

Suit: Hearts, Clubs, Diamonds and Spades. None are superior.

Table Stakes: This is the way the modern game is played. You can only lose what you have on the table and are allowed to go all-in if a bet exceeds what you have in play.

Texas Hold’em: The most popular form of poker. Each player receives two cards face down. This is followed by five community cards dealt face down on the table.

Trips: Alternative name for three-of-a-kind.

Turn: Nickname for the fourth community card in Hold’em and Omaha.

Wheel: Nickname for the best low hand:5,4,3,2,A.

Now you know your POKER TERMINOLOGY, put it into play at:

ALL THE ACES poker column:
October 30, 2005: 
Poker Terminology