Poker Lingo



Action – A term for betting & raising. An action table involves players playing in several pots.

Active player – Any player still in the hand.

Aggressive – An aggressive player raises and re-raises a lot of pots and can be very dangerous.

Ajax – The term for holding an Ace and a Jack as pocket cards.

All-in – When a player puts all of their chips into the pot. If the player cannot call the bet by going all-in, then a side pot is created.

American Airlines – Pocket Aces.

Ante – The ante is the minimum stake required from players to join into a hand.


Backdoor – Making a hand unexpectedly. For example, holding a 6 and an 8 suited (seeking a flush draw), and flopping 4, 5, 7 unsuited to make a backdoor straight.

Bad beat – A very strong hand which is beaten by a stronger hand, most often by lucky cards on the turn and river.

Bankroll – The amount of cash you have to play with.

Belly buster – Another term for an inside straight.

Bet – To put money into the pot.

Big slick – A big slick is slang for having an Ace and a King as hole cards.

Blank – A low card which doesn't aid your hand.

Blind – A starting bet in poker. This is to induce betting upon players, and effectively start the betting off.

Bluff – A bet/raise when a player has a weak hand, pretending that they have a strong one.

Board – The community cards available to all of the players to use.

Boat – A full house (3 of a kind and 2 of a kind).

Bounty – Occasionally top players who compete in tournaments have a bounty on their head, meaning that a player who manages to knock them out wins a bonus prize.

Broadway – A straight with an Ace high - 10-J-Q-K-A

Bubble – Finishing in the last position in a tournament before the money. If the pot pays to 15 players the bubble will finish in 16th position.

Bullets – Pocket Aces.

Bump – To raise the pot.

Button – The dealer button.

Buy-in – The amount of cash a player needs to sit down at a particular game.


Call – To match a bet.

Calling station – A player that calls frequently.

Check – To check is to opt not to bet, but to remain in the pot, providing there has been no action in front of the player concerned.

Check-raise – A classic Holdem move. A player checks initially to induce his opponent to bet, and then raises him.

Coffeehousing – To chat about a hand which one is involved in, with the intention of misleading others about the state of play.

Connector – Connector cards are cards of consecutive rank which hold good straight potential.

Cowboys – Pocket Kings.


Dead man's hand – Two pairs of Aces and Eights. Legend states that Wild Bill Hickok was shot dead with these cards in his hand.

Disconnect all-in – The disconnect all-in feature is in place to provide fairness in the event that a player becomes disconnected.

Dolly Parton – Hole cards of 9 and 5, named after her movie 'Nine to Five'.


Fifth Street – The river card, or 5th community card on the board.

Fish – An inexperienced/unskilled player.

Fishooks – Pocket Jacks.

Flat call – To call a hand without raising it.

Flop – The first three community cards dealt in Holdem.

Flush – Five cards of the same suit.

Fold – To throw away a hand, taking no further part in the pot.

Forced bet – A required bet to start a poker hand.

Fourth Street – The turn card, or 4th community card.


Grinder – A player who plays extremely tight and doesn't take many risks.

Gut shot – To draw or hit an inside straight.


Heads-up – One on one play.

Hole – Hole cards are the first 2 cards dealt to players prior to the first round of betting.


Inside Straight – Four connected cards needing a card either end, catching that card and making an inside straight.


Kicker – The highest unpaired card in your hand that does not count in a flush or straight. E.g. if one player has an Ace and a 10, and another player holds Ace/9, the first player will win the pot by virtue of having a higher kicker.

Kitty – The pot in the middle of the table or prize fund for the hand.

Knock – To check.

Kojak – Hole cards of King & Jack.


Ladies – Hole cards of 2 Queens.

Lay down – To lay down a hand is to fold.

Limp in – To enter a pot by calling as opposed to raising.

Lock – An unbeatable hand, also known as the nuts.

Loose – A loose player participates in a lot of hands.


Maverick – A term for holding Jack and Queen hole cards.

Middle pair – Pairing the middle ranked card on the flop with one of your hole cards you would have middle pair.

Monster – A very big hand.

Muck – To fold or throw away your hand.


Nuts – Holding the nuts means holding an invincible hand, given the cards which are on the board.


Offsuit – Two cards of different suit.

On the button – The player on the button is last to bet into the pot, and is technically in the strongest position.

Open-ended straight – Where a player has four consecutive cards, needing one card to complete the straight.

Outs – The number of cards in a deck which could improve a player's hand.

Over pair – A pocket pair which is higher than any of the cards on the board.


Pass – To fold.

Picture cards – Ace, King, Queen or Jack of any suit.

Pocket – Refers to the hole cards, or a pair, e.g. pocket tens.

Pocket rockets – A pair of Aces.

Post – To make a bet, e.g. post a big blind.

Prop – A proposition player, hired by the cardroom to play and fill up poker tables.


Quads – Four of a kind.


Rag – A rag card is a worthless card which cannot improve your hand.

Railbird – Someone who watches and comments on a game from the chat facility.

Raise – To call a bet and add more into the pot.

Rake – The small percentage of money taken from the pot by the house.

Read – To read a player is to determine whether they are bluffing or not, by assessing their style of play.

Ring game – A live game that is not part of a tourney.

River – The fifth community card on the board.

Rock – A very tight player who sees little action and plays conservatively.

Royal flush – The best hand in poker, 10, J, Q, K, A all of the same suit.

Rush – A winning streak.


Sandbag – Sandbagging refers to playing a strong hand weakly at first, with the intention of forcing others to bet into the pot.

Scare card – A card which when it appears on the board makes a better hand more likely. This can be a good chance to bluff!

Set – Making three of a kind after having a pair as hole cards. E.g. being dealt two 10's, and seeing a flop of 10, 5, and 2.

Snowmen – A pair of 8's.

Stack – The amount of chips in front of a player.


Tell – A giveaway by a player as to what kind of hand they have.

Tilt – To go 'on tilt' means to start playing erratically after a few bad beats.

Trips – 3 of a kind.

Turn – The fourth community card (also known as fourth street).


Under the gun – The first player to bet/act. To raise UTG implies that you have a very strong hand.

Underpair – A pocket pair of lower value than the lowest card on the table.


WSOP - The most famous poker tournament of them all, The World Series of Poker.


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