Poker Glossary

Poker TermsThis glossary will help out any new player that needs to learn the language used as they play poker, whether it is online or in a live tournament. Each term will be defined, as to help you better understand what other players, the dealer, and the general rules of the game are, as it will be imperative to know if you want to win. Familiarize yourself with all of these terms, as they will appear frequently while playing, even if you are just observing a game.

The following terms and definitions are the most commonly used and found when playing poker, so be sure to check them all out, even if you know most of them, there may be some that you don’t know.


When a player bets all of his remaining chips/money. Other players can continue to bet, which will be placed into a side-pot. In the instance the player wins, he will only take the pot in which he had his chips.


A small part of a bet that is contributed by each player placed into the initial pot of a poker hand. Most poker games use “blinds” to get initial money in the pot.

Bad Beat

When a player that is favored to win is beaten by the underdog hand, usually due to getting the winning hand with the help of the River card. Term used when the underdog won by wild luck.


The amount of money a player has to bet with.


The first chips placed into the pot during a round.

Big Blind

The larger of the two blind bets. It is the first full bet placed during a round.


A card that is dealt that does not affect the standings of a hand.


When a player, who doesn’t have a good hand, bets as if they had an excellent hand; essentially lying in order to beat out the other players.


All of the cards placed on the table during a community card game, like Texas Hold’Em. This includes the Flop, Turn, and River cards.


A white disc that determines which player is considered the dealer.


The amount of money a player pays to get chips and participate in a game or tournament.


Putting the amount of money equal to the most recent bet or raise into the pot.

Calling Station

A player that almost always Calls, very rarely folding, and only raising when they have a great hand.

Cash Game

A poker game that uses real money instead of chips.


Not making a bet, with the option of 1) continuing in the round, 2) being able to call, or 3) being able to raise later on in the round.


Small, round piece of plastic that represents a monetary value used in place of cash.

Community Cards

Cards that are placed in the middle of the table, which can be used by all players to create their hand; there are 5 cards in total.


A Hold’Em hand whose two initial cards are one unit apart in rank. Ex: K-Q, 8-9.


The player that actually or theoretically deals the cards. In Casinos/Tournaments or Online, it is necessary to determine which player would be dealing the cards, by using the Button. In order to determine which players are the Blinds, and the order of betting.

Disconnect Protection

When playing online poker, some tables offer protection if a player were to suddenly disconnect from their game due to connectivity issues, etc. In this case, the players hand would be considered All-In and if it wins, the player would get the pot.

Dominated Hand

A hand that will usually always lose to a better hand that is usually played. Ex: a K-3 will almost always lose to a K-Q.


Playing a hand that is not considered good, in hopes of receiving the right cards.

Early Position

The three seats to the left of the Blinds.


The amount a player expect to win on average based on certain plays.


A player that has the best hand, statistically, to win the pot.


The first three cards placed on the board in a community card game.


Five cards of the same suit. It beats a Straight and loses to a Full House.


To forfeit from a round of poker, usually done when a player has a poor hand.

Four Of A Kind / Quads

Four cards of the same value. Ex: 4-4-4-4-9.

Free Card

A Turn or River card in which a player did not have to bet on due to previous plays.

Full House

A hand containing a Three of a Kind and a Pair.


When a player has the possibility of getting a Straight, but is missing one card to do so.

Heads Up

A pot that is contested by only two players.

Hole Cards / Pocket Cards

The cards dealt face-down to a player, which can be used only by them.


An unpaired hand that is used to determine the winner between two hands that are almost equal in value.

Loose Player

A player that plays on a lot of starting hands.


A player that overly and aggressively raises, bets, and bluffs.


The pile of folded and burned cards that the dealer and/or players have discarded.

No-Limit Poker

A type of poker where the player can bet any amount of chips when it is their turn to bet.


The best possible hand based on the board.


The chances or likelihood that something happening.


A Hold’Em hand where the two starting cards of different suits.

Open Ended Straight

A possible straight that can be completed from both ends. Ex: 5-6-7-8, with a possible 4 or 9.


A card that will make your hand win.


A card that is higher than any other card on the board.

Play Money

Poker rooms that allow players to play with fake money; free poker.

Pocket Cards

The cards that only the player can use and see.


The money or chips that have been bet during a round.

Pot-Limit Poker

A type of poker where the player can bet any amount up to the amount currently in the pot when it is their turn to bet.


The round of betting that takes place before the Flop cards are placed on the board when playing Hold’Em or Omaha.


A flop that has three different suits, making it so that no flush can be made on the Turn.


Increase the amount of the bet.


An amount of money taken out of the pot as the cardroom’s income. Usually a small percent of the pot during each round.


When a player raises after an opponent has just raised.

Ring Game

A regular poker game, and not a tournament; also uses money rather than chips.


The fifth card that is placed on the board when playing Hold’Em.


A way to describe a hand that was made by getting the correct cards on the Turn and River.


A three of a kind when the player has two of the cards in his hand and the third is on the board.


When the remaining players at the table turn their cards over in order to determine who has the best hand.

Slow Play

Playing a strong hand in a weak manner in order to keep player in the game.

Small Blind

The smaller of the two blinds, and is usually one-third or two-thirds of the first round bet.


The amount of chips a player has on the table.


Five cards in consecutive order. Ex: 3-4-5-6-7.

Straight Flush

Five cards that are in consecutive order, as well as being the same suit. Ex: 7-8-9-10-J of Clubs.


The symbols that define the card. In poker, there are four general suits: Spades, Clubs, Diamonds, and Hearts.


A Hold’Em starting hand that are the same suit.


A hint that a player unknowingly does which can show the strength of his hand.

Three Of A Kind / Trips

Three cards of the same value. Ex. 7-7-7-2-10.

Tight Player

A player that does not play many hands, waiting for strong hands to play, and usually fold early in the round.


Playing wildly or recklessly.


Large poker competition where players must Buy-In. All players start with the same amount of chips and will progressively knock-out the other players.


The fourth card placed on the board.


A player that has a hand that is not statistically favored to win the pot.

This poker glossary will help beginners understand the language that is used when playing, whether they are in a live game or tournament, or online.