I wrote a blog earlier this week defining the different terms commonly used for sports gambling, and it got me thinking about doing the same for Texas Hold ’em. The problem with Hold ’em is that there are just SO many terms that it can be intimidating for new players. This blog will walk you through a lot of the common terms used at a table (online or in-person). If there are any terms that I missed that you’d like to know the definition for, leave them in the comments below and I’ll get back to you quickly!
Poker Game Terms:
Anchor: The person that is seated in the last position before the dealer.
Ante: The minimum amount of chips a player must put in the pot before the betting begins. These are uncommon in Hold ’em but can appear in the later rounds of big tournaments.
Bluff: When you pretend that your hand is better than it is to either drive up the betting or hope that one of your opponents will fold.
Buy-In: The minimum amount that a player must bring to a poker game. For those playing in tournaments, the buy-in will be your cost to enter.
Community Cards: The cards dealt face-up in the middle of the table that are shared by all of the players.
Dealer Button: This disc (sometimes an arrow when playing online) identifies the dealer’s position on the table.
Flop: The first three community cards dealt.
Hand: The term used for the player’s five best cards. These cards include the initial two that they were dealt and the five community cards on the table.
House: The host of the game, whether that is a casino or an online poker site.
Limit Game: In this version of Texas Hold ’em, each player can only bet or raise the equivalent of the big blind.
Muck: When a player discards their hand without showing the rest of the table what they had.
No-Limit Game: Obviously the opposite of a Limit Game, No-Limit Games allow players to bet or raise any amount of chips that they’d like.
Off-Suit: Two cards of different suits.
Pocket Cards: The two cards dealt to each player at the beginning of a hand. They are sometimes referred to as Hole Cards.
Pot: The amount of chips that accumulate in the middle of the table as each player places their bets.
Rags: Bad cards that will typically lead to a fold before or after the first community cards are dealt.
Rake: The percentage of the pot that is taken by the house either each hand or at the end of the game.
River Card: The final community card that is dealt and typically determines the winner or loser of the hand.
Sandbagging: Players that “sandbag” have a great hand but bet slowly to not tip off what they have to the other players.
Stack: The total amount of chips that a player has accumulated.
Turn Card: The fourth community card dealt that signals the second round of betting for each hand.
Poker Betting Terms:
All-In: The player bets all of their chips on a hand.
Bet the Pot: This bet is equal to the size of what was already in the pot.
Big Blind: The player two seats to the left of the dealer is forced to bet the predetermined big blind which ends up being the equivalent of the minimum bet for each round.
Call: A bet that is equal to the bet placed by the previous player.
Check: If a player would like to stay in the game but not make a bet, they can check. This is allowed when none of the other competitors have made a bet that round. A “check raise” is done after the flop if a player has checked but the bet comes back around to them and they would like to raise.
Fold: When a player gives up his card and drops out of the round.
Flop: The first three community cards dealt.
Limping In: A player calls the big blind instead of raising it.
Raise: When a player makes a bet that is an increase from what the previous player has bet.
Re-Raise: When a player increases the bet after the previous player had raised.
River: The fifth and final community card dealt.
Small Blind: The player one seat to the left of the dealer is forced to make a bet that is half of the big blind.
Turn: The fourth community card dealt that signals the second round of betting for each hand.
Poker Hand Terms:
Ace-High: A hand that has no combinations, but the high card is an ace.
Bad Beat: Sports gamblers will be familiar with this term – it is reserved for players that have a strong hand but are beaten by an even stronger one.
Big Pair: A pair of cards that have a value of 10, Jack, Queen, King, or Ace.
Big Slick: When a player is dealt an Ace and a King.
Big Chick: When a player is dealt an Ace and a Queen.
Broadway: A straight composed of a 10 though Ace.
Bottom Pair: A pair of cards that includes the smallest ranked community card.
Dead Man’s Hand: A hand with two Aces and two 8’s. It is disputed by some, but we choose to believe it as true that Wild Bill Hickock was shot and killed while holding two Aces and two 8’s.
Deuces: A pair of 2’s.
Flush: A hand where all five cards have the same suit.
Flush Draw: A hand where four cards have the same suit and need just one more of that suit on the Turn or River.
Four of a Kind: Four cards of the same ranking. This is sometimes also called “Quads.” (ex: four Kings)
Full House: A hand that has both three-of-a-kind and a pair. This sometimes referred to as a “boat.”
Hooks: When a player is dealt a pair of Jacks.
Made Hand: When a player has a pair or better.
Monster Hand: When a player has an exceptionally good, almost unbeatable, hand.
Pair: Two cards of the same ranking. (ex: two 8’s)
Pocket Rockets: When a player is dealt two Aces.
Rags: Cards on the Flop, Turn, or River that do not improve a player’s hand.
Rockets: A pair of Aces. This is sometimes also called “Bullets.”
Royal Flush: A flush that consists of 10 through Ace.
Seven Deuce: When a player is dealt a seven and a two that are not on the same suit.
Straight: Five cards of any suit that are in sequential order.
Straight Flush: Five cards of the same suit that are in sequential order.
Suited Cards: When a player is dealt two cards of the same suit.
Top Pair: When a player has the highest pair.
Three of a Kind: Three cards of the same ranking. (ex: three Jacks)
Two Pair: A hand that has two pairs.
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