Learn poker lingo
If you’re learning how to play poker, or perhaps video poker, you’ll need to learn the meaning of some common poker lingo:
(1) Your turn to act in a hand.
(2) To bet or to raise.
A small bet which every player must make before a hand is dealt. Similar to a blind, except that everyone has to contribute before a hand begins.
A bet in which every one of a player’s chips goes into the pot.
When someone with a big lead over an opponent loses a hand to that opponent following the flop, turn, or river.
The total chips the second player to the left of the dealer is expected to bet. This depends on the game stakes. Known as a blind because it means placing a bet without first seeing the cards.
Community cards which everyone can access in combination with their pocket cards to create their optimum poker hands.
The bubble (in tournament play) is the top finisher out of the money. For instance, with 400 tournament players and the top 40 get paid, then 41st place is called “the bubble.”
Discarding the top card before each new betting round.
To pay in the minimum of money to the pot needed to continue to play a hand.
When you pass on betting. If you don’t wish to bet, you can just “check.” If there’s further action from the other players in the betting round, the action will then return to you to call, fold or raise.
This occurs when a player checks on the initial chance to bet, but later raises any following bet in the same round.
Face up cards in the centre of the table. These are available for every player to use to create poker hands.
The position which lies immediately to the right of the button.
The player whose turn it is to shuffle the deck and deal the cards.
A plastic disk which shows who the poker dealer is. This passes clockwise around the table following each hand.
Staying with a hand in the hope of improving your cards. For example, when you have nothing concrete but need one or more cards to make yourself a straight or a flush. Flush draws (drawing for a flush) and straight draws (drawing for a straight) are the two most common draws.
The initial three community cards dealt out once the first round of bets has been completed.
A hand in which you have five cards of a matching suit.
To quit by placing your cards face down on the table. As a result, you lose whatever you have bet up to that point. Only fold if you believe your hand is too weak to compete against the other players in the game.
FOUR OF A KIND
A hand in which you hold all four cards of the same rank.
A hand in which you hold three of a kind plus a (different) pair.
Five cards consisting of a player’s pocket cards plus the community cards.
Playing any pot or tournament facing just one other player.
A game in which bets and raises are capped at a certain fixed amount.
Describes the discarded cards in the hand. When a player folds, he tosses his cards “in the muck.”
A game in which players can bet the amount they choose. A no-limit game has a minimum bet, but no maximum.
Holding pocket cards which are each of different suits.
Games in which some of each player’s hand is revealed.
Any card which can improve your hand. If all the money is on the table, and you turn over a pair of kings but your opponent has a pair of aces, then you require one of the two remaining kings – your two out cards – to pull off a win.
Two poker cards of equal rank.
The cards you hold which are not part of the community cards. So in Texas Holdem games, that means your two down cards. But in Omaha, it will be your four down cards.
A game where bets and raises are fixed by the current size of the pot.
Holding four of a kind.
The portion the house takes out of poker hands.
The last of the five tabled community cards.
To bet more than the minimum amount needed to call, forcing other players to match that amount of money.
An ace-high straight flush. This is the strongest hand in standard poker games.
Holding a pocket pair which hits on the board to make three of a kind.
Holding fewer chips than the other players at the table.
The moment after the final betting round when players show their hands face-up. The hand only reaches a showdown when there are callers in the last betting round, or if one player is all-in before the last betting round.
The smaller of the two blind bets. Made by the player positioned immediately left of the dealer.
If two or more players create the same hand, then the pot is divided between the equivalent high hands.
Holding a hand with 5 cards in sequence, but not in suit.
Holding a hand with 5 cards in sequence and in the same suit.
Asking for extra time to think. A poker player calls for time to stop a dealer killing the hand because of inactivity. But if a player takes excessive time to make a choice, the other players may call the “clock” to keep the game flowing.
Making a pair using the highest card on the board. For example, if you hold an ace and 7 in the hole, and if it’s a 3-4-7 flop, then you have a “top pair” with an ace kicker. But if the pair in your pocket was greater than sevens, you would have an over-pair.
The fourth of the tabled community cards. It’s set out face-up by itself, and also known as “Fourth Street.”