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Poker Glossary




A player’s turn to act. E.g. Phil, action on you!

Active Player

Any player who is still in the hand.


Moving your entire stack into the pot with a bet, raise or call.


It’s a compulsary bet which must be paid by each player prior to receiving their cards. Typically used in tournaments.


Any of the four non-aces needed for the lowest possible hand (2,3,4,5)

Back Raise

A re-raise from a player who originally called a bet on the same street.

Bad Beat

When a hand which is an overwhelming, odds-on favourite doesn’t end up winning the pot. E.g. Losing AA to AK when the players went all in pre-flop.


The player who takes care of the game’s chips and money matters.


The amount of money a player has specifically set aside for playing poker.


The act of placing chips into the pot.

Betting Round

In poker, a “Betting Round” occurs when players bet, fold, raise or call after a street has been dealt. The “Betting Round” gets completed when the last eligible player acts.

Big Blind

A fixed amount that is placed by the player sitting in the second position, clockwise from the dealer, before any cards are dealt.


The blinds are posted before any cards are dealt by only two players. The player seated to the left of the dealer player posts small blind and the player to his left posts big blind.


Betting with a weak hand and attempting to win by making a better hand fold.


The community cards on the table are the board.


Full House


Short for Bankroll.


The act of discarding the top card prior to dealing.

Bust / Busted

To lose all of your chips in play.


The position of the dealer.


The minimum amount of money required by a player to sit down in a particular poker game.


Matching the bet made by another player.

Calling Station

A passive player who calls a lot, but doesn’t raise or fold much.


In certain games, the players are allowed a set number of raises/bets, because the betting is “capped” for the round. Once betting is capped, no more raises can be made until the next street.


If action is to a player who isn’t facing a bet, he can choose to check, and action moves to the next player.


When a player first checks and then raises in a betting round.


A gaming token used to represent real money, or tournament money, on the poker table.

Community Cards

Face up cards in the middle of the table.

Early Position

Being first, or among the first, to act on all post flop streets.

Face Card

Cards with the rank J, Q or K (they have a picture with a face on them). Also known as paint.


A fish is someone who does not really know how to play poker well. Usually, the fish loses a lot of money because he/she would call bets with weak hands or is unable to play hands well.


The first three community cards dealt face up.


Any five cards of the same suit.


To muck your hand when it’s your turn to act.

Forced Bet

A required bet that starts the action on the first round of a poker hand.


A chance to win something at no risk or cost.

Full House

A full house is a five card poker hand with three cards of one rank, and two cards of another.

Head(s) Up

When there are only two players left in the hand they are said to be Head(s) Up.

Hole Cards

The face down cards dealt to a player.


A kicker is the highest ranked card in your hand not used in pairs or trips. When multiple players have the same pair, two pair or trips the player with the highest kicker wins the pot.

Limit Poker

A game that has fixed minimum and maximum betting intervals along with a prescribed number of raises.

Main Pot

The center pot.


To discard your hand. It’s also a pile of cards that are no longer in play.

No-Limit Poker

A betting structure in which a player may bet any amount from the minimum to the entirety of their stack on any street.


Cards of different suits.


The first person to bet in a pot has ‘opens’ the betting.


Two cards of the same rank.

Pay Station

A player who rarely folds; someone who frequently calls when his opponents have better hands and keeps losing.


The down cards or hole cards.


The money or chips in the center of a table that players try to win.

Pot Limit

This is a game where the maximum bet can equal the pot.

Pot Odds

The ratio of total size of the pot to the size of bet you must call to continue.

Premium Hands

In poker, “premium” hands are the strongest possible hands.


Four of a kind.


To divide half a pot between two tying hands in split pot games. This is Applicable to Omaha Hi-Lo Poker.


To increase the previous bet.


Chips taken from the pot by the cardroom for compensation for hosting the game.


To take money or chips off the table during play.


To raise after another player has raised ahead of you.

Ring Game

A “live” game that is not a tournament.


The final card dealt. This is the fifth board card in a community card game, or the 7th card in a stud game.


A very tight player who plays nothing but the best of hands.

Royal Flush

This is an Ace high straight (A-K-Q-J-10) of the same suit. It is the best possible hand in poker.


Winning both the high and the low in a split pot game.


A very good, highly skilled player.

Short Call

Call a bet with not enough money on the table and start an all-in side pot.


The player with the least amount of chips at the table, or in the tournament.


The time to evaluate the winning hand after all betting is complete on the river.

Side Pot

A separate pot to deal with any money above the amount of a player’s all in. If a player moves all in for $100 and two players call, any betting between the other two players will be in the side pot.

Small Blind

The amount put in the pot by the person immediately to the left of the dealer “button” prior to the cards being deal

Split Pot

A pot which is shared by two or more players because they have equivalent hands.


A pile of chips.


The amount of a player’s BUY-IN, or the amount of money they are willing to play with in a given session.


An optional extra blind bet, typically made by the player one to the left of the big blind, equal to twice the big blind.


A variant of poker in which each player receives their own 7 cards, three of them dealt face down.

Table Stakes

Almost impossible to find a game which is not table stakes these days, Tables stakes means a player can only win or lose the amount of money they have in play at the beginning of the hand.

Tapped Out

Out of money.

Three of a Kind

Three cards of the same number or face value (“trips”).

Tight Player

A player who tries to limit the amount of gamble in their play, only playing strong hands, avoiding large speculative pots.


In flop games, this is the fourth card dealt. It is the third round of betting.


A person or hand who is not mathematically favored to win a pot. For instance, if you flop four cards to your flush, you are not quite a 2:1 underdog to make your flush by the river (that is, you will make your flush about one in three times). See also “dog”.

Under the Gun

Being the first person to act, being in the earliest position.


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