Poker Glossary

The most common words and expressions that are currently used in the language being used by poker players, whether playing brick-and-mortar or online poker, is explained in this poker glossary.


The opportunity to buy additional chips in some tournaments.


To encourage opponents to give more action on later hands by showing a bluff.


Using a playing style in which you frequently bet and raise.


When a player bets all their remaining chips they are considered to be all-in.


A forced bet that all players are required to pay before each hand (only in games with an "ante", such as 7-Card-Stud).

Back Door

Making a hand by using the last two cards dealt.


The money a player uses to finance his poker game.

Big Slick

An ace and a king as your hole cards in Texas Hold'em.


A card that appears to be of no help to any player.


Before the cards are dealt, a forced bet posted by the two players to the left of the button.


All face up cards in games such as 7-Card Stud, Texas Hold'em, and Omaha.


A full house.


A mandatory bet made by the player with the lowest up-card in the first round of betting in 7-Card Stud.


The cost of entering a tournament.

Calling Station

A passive player who calls a lot.


To check and then when an opponent bets to raise in the same round of betting.

Draw Dead

To try to make a hand that, even if made, will not win the pot. If you are drawing to make a flush and your opponent already has a full house, you are drawing dead.

Drawing Hand

A hand that is not winning at the moment and requires improvement in subsequent betting rounds.


A poor player.

Fixed Limit

When bets can only be made in specified increments.


Texas Hold'em and Omaha are played with five community cards. The first three are called the flop and are dealt at the same time.

Free Card

To see the next card without having to call a bet, for example, if everyone checks.

Free Roll

Tournaments with no buy-in that still contain some sort of prizes.

Heads Up

A pot or match that is being contested by only two players.

Hole Cards

Face-down cards dealt to each player in Stud, Omaha, and Texas Hold'em.

Limp In

The calling of a forced bet (blind) when no one has yet raised.

Main Pot

The only pot an all-in player is eligible to win. The main pot consists of the all-in player's bet plus all other players' calls of that bet. Additional bets, placed in a side pot, are contested among the remaining players.


(1) The pile of folded and burned cards that sits in front of the dealer. (2) To "muck" your cards is to put them into the pile of discarded cards when folding.

Nuts, the

The best possible hand given the current board cards.


The probability of making or not making a hand. For example, if you have a 25% chance of making a hand, the odds are 3:1 against you making it.


Cards that are of different suits.


Cards that will improve one's hand. This is a term that is normally spoken in the plural, for example, "any heart will give me a flush, so I have nine outs."


The position of a player in relation to the other players. There is early, middle and late position.

Pot Odds

The ratio of the money in the pot to the money it will cost you to call a bet. The greater the "pot odds", the more likely you should call.


Poker stakes in which the maximum permitted raise is the size of the pot.

If there is a bet in front and a player wants to raise, the amount of money put in the pot to call is included in the amount allowed for the raise.


Before the flop, such as raising pre-flop.


When you buy more chips before you leave the game. Re-buys are permitted in some tournaments for players who fall below a certain point. The time during which one may re-buy is called the "re-buy period". Tournaments with re-buys are called "re-buy tournaments".

Round of Betting

The action sequence in which each player is allowed to check, open, bet, raise, or fold.

Scare Card

A card that, when it appears, makes a better hand more likely. For example, in Texas Hold'em, a third suited card on the turn is a scare card, because it makes a flush possible.


A bet or raise that you hope will not be called, but you have "outs" if it is.


A game where the total amount of players falls below a certain number. In Texas Hold'em usually 4 or 5.


The point at which all players remaining in the hand, turn their cards over and determine who has the best hand; for example, when the last round of betting is completed. If a bet or raise is not called, there is no showdown.


The pile of chips in front of a player.

Starting Hand

The cards dealt to players at the beginning of the hand and before any betting occurs.

Under the Gun

The first player to act after the blinds.