Poker Terms, Dictionary and Glossary

Poker is a complex game and we understand that some terms might not be familiar to everyone. That's why we have created a glossary of all the frequently-used poker terms to help you understand the game better:

A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z |


Add-on : Usually available at the end of the re-buy period of a tournament, an add-on allows the player to get an extra stack of chips in exchange for supplementary fee.

Aggressive : Is said of a player that raises his opponents frequently, and does it over a large range of hands.

All-in : To bet all of your remaining chips or cash.

Ante : Small mandatory bets that all players must pay before cards are dealt. An ante is paid by every player and it ensures that a player who folds every round will lose money, providing all players with an incentive, however small, to play the hand rather than fold when the opening bet reaches them.


Backdoor: Is said about a draw that requires the arrival of two successive cards, at the turn and the river, to be completed.

For example, if you have 7-8 and the flop is 9-Ace-2, then if you hit a 10 on the turn and a Jack on the river, you will then have a complete straight that will be said backdoor because you hit it because of the last two cards on the board.

Bad Beat : A hand that has been lost by a player even though he was a big favourite at some point in the hand.

Bankroll : Total capital that a poker player has at their disposal.

Big Slick : A nickname for Ace King (suited or not), usually when they are received in a player's hole cards.

Blinds: The two players that sit to the left of the dealer have to place a mandatory bet before the flop. The player sitting to the left of the dealer has to place the small blind, and the other the big blind (which is usually twice amount the amount of the small blind).

Bluff : Technique aimed at fooling your opponents regarding the value of your hand.

Board : Term used to designate all the cards that are unveiled on the middle table (also called community cards).

Bounty : Refers to a bonus awarded for knocking out a specific player, it is usually active in specific tournaments called Bounty Hunters.

Bring-in: For stud, mandatory bet for the player that has received the smallest opening card.

Burn: Each time board cards are unveiled, the dealer must take out the card on top of the deck without showing it. These cards are said to be burnt. The goal of this is to avoid cheating.

Button: Object (usually round) placed before the last person to act. It is meant to indicate the player’s position on the table and which players are paying the blinds. It moves to the next player at the table at the end of every hand.

Buy-in: For a tournament, the buy-in is the amount required to buy an entry ticket. For cash games, it is the amount that the player brings in at the table.


Call : To put into the pot an amount of money equal to the most recent bet or raise. The poker term "see" is considered colloquial.

Cash game : Poker game where real money is exchanged at each hand, unlike tournaments where your cash buy-in is exchanged for a specific amount of chips.

Check : If no one has yet opened the betting round, a player may pass or check, which is equivalent to calling the current bet of zero. When checking, a player declines to make a bet; this indicates that he does not wish to open, but does wish to keep his cards and retain the right to call or raise later in the same round if an opponent opens.

Check Raise : This consists in checking the hand in order to lure your opponent into betting his hand and then re-raising him.

Connectors : Is said of two cards that follow one another, such as 8 and 9.

Continuation bet : When a player takes the initiative pre-flop and continues to bet after the flop even though his hand didn’t improve, he is said to be doing a continuation bet.

Cut-off : The position on the table that is just before the button.


Dead blind : A blind which is bet by a player that is sitting out.

Dealer’s choice : A type of cash game where, before each hand, the dealer decides of the poker game (Hold’Em, Omaha, Stud...etc) that will be played for that hand.

Draw : Is said of a hand that requires one or more cards in order to complete a specific five card combination.

Drawing dead : A hand that cannot beat an opponent’s hand whatever cards come out on the board.



Family pot : A hand in which all the active players at the table are involved.

Feeder : More usually known as a satellite, a feeder is a tournament that leads it’s winners to another tournament. These types of tournaments enable players to pay small a buy-in but take part in high stakes tournaments

Flop : The first three community card that are unveiled.

Fold : To abandon a hand. That is, not call a bet or re-raise of your opponent

Freeroll : A tournament for which the registration is free but offers a real money prizepool.




Heads up : A poker game where there are only two players at the table.

Hi-jack : The position on the table which is just before the cut-off, that is two seats to the right of the dealer.

Hole cards : The cards that are dealt face down, and only the player can see.




Kicker : A kicker, also called a side card, is a card in a poker hand that does not itself take part in determining the rank of the hand, but that may be used to break ties between hands of the same rank.


Lay down : This is said when a player folds a good hand on the basis he believes his opponent has a better one.

Limits : Limits can be applied to each bet and raise. There are three types of limits in poker: Limit, Pot Limit and No Limit.

In Limit Poker, there is a specified limit that you can bet or raise at each turn. In Pot Limit, you can only bet or raise the size of the pot. In No Limit, you are always allowed to bet the entirety of your chips.

Limp In : To bet the absolute minimum needed to stay in a hand. Often used when the little blind simply calls the big blind instead of raising.

Lock : Is said of a very tight player that only plays very good hands

Loose : Describes a player who plays a wide range of starting hands.


Muck : This is either said to be the area on the table where all of the dead cards are placed. Any hand that was folded and all burned cards are placed in the muck.

Or is can also be the act of throwing your hand away into the muck. This poker term is often used when another hand is shown at the showdown that beats your hand. It can also mean to fold one's hand.


Nuts : Best possible hole cards according to the community cards that have been unveiled so far.


Odds : Probability of an event or outcome happening or not.

Omaha : A variant of poker in which each player gets dealt four cards before the flop, but can only use two in order to make the best five-card combination.

Outs : Number of cards remaining in the deck that would make you improve your hand (and probably win the hand).

Over Pair : A pocket pair that is superior to any cards on the board.


Pocket Pair : In Texas Hold'Em, your first two hole cards dealt face down making a pair, eg. Ace, Ace (Pocket Aces).

Post Blinds : Bet your blind, whether it is the small or big one, before any of the hole cards are dealt.

Pot : Total amount of chips that have been bet so far in the hand through blinds and raises.

Pre-flop : Any action that takes place before the flop has been unveiled

Prizepool : In a tournament, it is the total amount that will be distributed in cash to the participants according to their finish in the tournament.


Quads : Four of a kind.


Rake : For hands played in cash game, the rake is the amount that the poker room takes on each qualifying hand that is played.

Raise: Is said when a player before has placed a bet and you decide to place an even bigger bet, in order either to raise the stakes or make the other players fold.

Rebuy : In a poker tournament, there is often an option to "rebuy" back in to a tournament if you bust out or your chip stack falls below a certain number. There may be an option to rebuy in anywhere from one time to an unlimited amount of times.

In cash games, if you lose your entire stack or most of it, you may choose to "rebuy" back in with more cash and keep playing.

Represent : To play as if you hold a certain hand.

Ring Game : Another name for a Cash Game.

River : The fifth and final community card.

Runner-Runner : Catching two cards in a row that you need for a hand is called catching (or needing) runner-runner. An example of this is having three cards to a flush on the flop - you need to hit runner-runner cards of the same suit in order to make your flush.

Rush : A impressive run of good hands in a short space of time.


Satellite : A tournament that allows you to qualify for another tournament (live or online) that has a bigger buy-in.

Semi-bluff : A technique that consist in bluffing, but with a hand that could potentially improve if you hit the right cards.

Short stack : Refers to the player that has the least chips at the table.

Short-handed : Poker game that is played on one table and with a reduced number of players (6 max).

Showdown : When all the community cards are unveiled and all the bets are over, the players can reveal their hands in order to know who the winner is. This part of the hand is called the showdown.

Side pot : When a player that has a small stack goes all-in, the other players can still bet more than the amount of chips that player has. In that event, a second pot is created with chips that cannot be won by the player with the short stack.

Sit N Go : SNG or SnG is an abbreviation for "Sit and Go", a kind of poker tournament. Most Sit N Gos are single-table tournaments. Instead of having a scheduled start time, a sit and go begins as soon as there are enough people interested in playing to begin. So as soon as 10 people sit down at the table, it goes.

Sit-in : Indicate that you want to take part in the next hand.

Slow play : Technique that consists of underplaying a strong hand in order to trick your opponent.

Straight Five cards in a row, such as 5-6-7-8-9, but not all of the same suit.

Stack : The total amount of chips that the player has at their disposal.

Suited : When the cards all belong to the same suit, they are said to be suited.


Tell : A non-voluntary act that gives your opponents an idea of the hand you have, such as blinking or scratching your face.

Tight : Is said of a player that plays very few hands and rarely gives chips away unnecessarily.

Tilt : To lose your nerves or focus following a big loss or bad beat, and therefore not play the hands as you would usually. This often results in going on a bad run.

Tournament : Unlike cash games, this is a scheduled event at a specific time that you cannot come back to once you have been knocked out (except in the case of a rebuy tournament).

Turn : The fourth community card that is unveiled.


Under the gun (UTG): Is said of the first person to act pre-flop. He sits to the left of the big blind and is therefore the most uncomfortable position at the table as he knows nothing of other players' intentions.