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Glossary of Poker Terms

When playing poker, either live or online, you will encounter certain words and phrases that you may not understand. There’s a fair amount of jargon, slang terms, and acronyms used when playing online. This can all become very overwhelming, which is why we have provided you with this useful poker glossary.

You can read through it to familiarize yourself with all the relevant terms and phrases, or simply use it as a reference for when you come across a term or phrases that you don’t understand. Please note that, rather than including all the popular poker hand nicknames in our glossary, we have instead listed them on a separate page.

A

ABC Poker: A playing style that involves employing very basic strategy without making any complex or advanced moves.

Ace Out: To beat an opposing player with just ace high.

Act: To make a move at the poker table when it’s your turn.

Acting Out of Turn: Making a move when it’s not your turn to act.

Action Flop: Any flop that could possibly create multiple draws or strong hands.

Active Player: A player who is currently involved in a pot.

Add-On: A one time purchase of extra chips during a tournament, usually allowed at the end of the rebuy period during a rebuy tournament.

AF: Acronym for “Aggression Factor”

Aggression Factor: A statistic calculated by dividing the total number of bets and raises a player has made by the total number of calls. It’s used in heads up displays to show how aggressive an opponent is.

Aggressive: A specific style of play where a player is regularly making the first bet or making raises.

AI: Acronym for “All In”.

AIPF: Acronym for “All In Pre Flop”.

Air: A particularly weak hand.

All In: Betting all of your chips on your  hand.

AMC: Acronym for “All My Chips”.

Ammunition: Slang term to refer to a player’s chips, can be shortened to ammo.

Angle Shooting: Trying to gain an advantage by using an unfair or underhanded method.

Ante: A forced bet that must be paid by all players before a hand starts. Used for every hand in some poker variants, and only in the later stages of tournaments for some other variations.

AO: Acronym for “Add On”.

ATC: Acronym for “Any Two Cards”.

Auto Top-Up: An optional feature in online poker cash games that you can use to automatically top up your stack to the maximum buy-in any time you fall below it.

Avatar: A customizable image you use to represent yourself at the tables in online poker rooms.

B

B&M: Acronym for “Bricks & Mortar”, a phrase used to describe live poker venues.

B/C or BC: Acronym for “Bet/Call”, which is making a bet and then calling a raise.

B/F of BF: Acronym for “Bet/Fold”, which is making a bet and then folding to a raise.

Backdoor: A drawing hand that needs the right cards on the turn and the river to be completed.

Bad Beat: Losing a hand when at some point during the hand you were favorite to win.

Bad Beat Jackpot: On offer at many live and online poker rooms, this is paid out on occasions when a particularly strong hand (usually a high full house or quads) is beaten by an even stronger hand.

Bankroll: The sum of money you have allocated to play poker with.

BBJ: Acronym for “Bad Beat Jackpot”.

Bet: To voluntarily put money into the pot when you could either check (or fold).

Big Blind: A forced bet that you have to place before a hand starts when you’re in the relevant position.

Blank: A card that doesn’t help you in any way.

Blinds: The collective terms for the forced bets; the big blind and the small blind.

Blocking Bet: A specific type of bet that’s made primarily to control the size of the pot by keeping opponents’ bets smaller than they might otherwise be.

Bluff: To bet or raise when you don’t have the best hand, with the specific aim of making your opponents fold.

Board: The shared or community cards that are used in poker variants such as Texas Hold’em and Omaha.

Bonus: Additional funds that poker sites offer as incentives for you to sign up or to reward you for playing regularly.

Bot: A computer program, forbidden by most poker sites, that plays poker online automatically according to pre-programmed rules without any need for human control.

Bottom Pair: A pair that uses the lowest card on the board plus a card of the same rank in your hand.

Bounty: An additional cash prize that’s on offer in a particular type of tournament, paid if you eliminate a specified player, or specified players.

BR: Acronym for “Bankroll”.

Bring In: A forced bet that applies in stud poker variants.

Bubble: A finishing position in a tournament that’s immediately outside the pay outs.

Bumhunter: A slang term for an online player that seeks to play only against weak or inexperienced players.

Bust: To be knocked out of a tournament or to run out of money.

Button: A marker of some kind which is used to indicate which player is dealer in the current hand.

Buy-In: The cost of entry into a tournament, or the amount of money used to purchase chips in a cash game.

C

C/C or CC: Acronym for “Check/Call”, which is checking and then calling a bet.

C/F or CF: Acronym for “Check/Fold”, which is checking and then folding to a bet.

C/R or CR: Acronym for “Check/Raise”, which is checking and raising a bet.

Call: To match the current bet in a betting round.

Calling Station: Term for a player that habitually calls but rarely folds or raises.

Card Dead: Getting poor cards for a long period of time.

Case Card: The fourth card of a particular rank in the deck, when the other three have been dealt.

Cash Game: A form of poker where each hand is played for real money and players can enter and or leave play at any time.

Cashing: Finishing inside the pay out positions in a tournament.

C-Bet: Abbreviation of “Continuation Bet”, which describes the bet you make on the flop if you have raised preflop.

Changing Gears: Adjusting your play from one style to another, for example moving from tight to loose.

Chasing: Calling bets when you think you’re behind, hoping that your hand will improve.

Check: To not bet but to stay active in the hand; only possible when no other bet has been made during a betting round.

Check Raise: Check and then raising a bet

Chip Leader: The player with the most chips at any point during a tournament.

Chop: A deal made by players remaining in a tournament to divide the relevant prize money between themselves in some agreed manner.

CK: An abbreviation for checking.

CO: Acronym for “Cut Off”.

Coin Flip: A situation in which two players are both all in during a hand and they have roughly equal chances of winning.

Combination or Combo Draw: A particular type of drawing hand that could lead into more than one possibility.

Come Over The Top: To raise or re-raise an opponent’s bet.

Community Cards: The shared cards that are dealt face up on the table in some poker variations, which all the players can use to form their hands.

Connectors: Two or more cards that are of consecutive rank, such as 10-9 or 4-5-6.

Continuation Bet: If you raise preflop, and then bet on the flop, this bet is known as a continuation bet.

Cooler: A very good hand being beaten by an even better hand.

Crying Call: A call that’s made if you think you’re beaten but feel compelled to call regardless.

Cut Off: The position directly to the right of the dealer.

D

Dealer: Either someone physically dealing the cards during a game, or the player that’s in the dealer position.

Donk or Donkey: A player of a particularly poor standard.

Downswing: A lengthy period of consistently losing.

Draw: A hand that has a chance of being improved if the necessary cards are dealt, typically a hand that could make a straight or a flush.

Drawing Dead: Holding a hand that has no chance of beating your opponents regardless of what cards follow.

Dry Board: A board containing cards that make it unlikely for any of the players to have made very strong hands.

Dry Pot: A side pot that doesn’t have any chips or money in it yet.

E

Early Position: Collectively the position of the first few players to act in a hand.

EP: Acronym for “Early Position”.

Equity: The monetary value of a situation based on expected value and probability. As an example, if you have a 70% chance of winning a $50 pot, you have $35 of equity.

EV: Acronym for “Expected Value”.

Expected Value: The expected long term profitability of a specific action or situation according to probability.

F

Fake Think: Pretending to think about a decision which you’ve already made.

Family Pot: A pot in which all, or at least most, players in the game are active in.

FE: Acronym for “Fold Equity”.

Felt: A slang term for the poker table.

FH: Acronym for “Full House”.

Field: The total number of all the players taking part in a tournament.

Final Table: The last table at the end of a tournament with multiple tables.

First Position: The position of being first to act during a hand.

Fish: A player of a particularly low stand.

Fixed Limit: A betting structure which limits the amount that can be bet and raised in any round of betting.

FL: Acronym for “Fixed Limit”.

Flatting: Slang term for calling a bet and not raising.

Flop: The first three community cards dealt in a community card game such as Texas Hold’em.

Flush: A hand consisting of cards that are all of the same suit.

Fold: To throw away your hand and take no further action in a pot.

Fold Equity: The equity you can expect to gain if an opponent folds to your bets or raises.

Forced Bet: A specific type of bet that a player has to make, such as blinds and antes.

Four Of A Kind: A hand consisting of four cards of the same rank.

Freeroll: A free to enter poker tournament.

Freezeout: A poker tournament where players are eliminated as soon as they lose all their chips, with the winner being the last one left.

FT: Acronym for “Final Table”.

Full House: A hand consisting of three cards of one rank, plus two cards of another rank.

Full Ring: A cash game with 9 or 10 players taking part.

G

GG: Acronym for “Good Game”.

GL: Acronym for “Good Luck”

Grinder: A specific type of poker player that plays in such a way to generate small to moderate profits consistently over time.

Guaranteed Tournament: A poker tournament that has a certain amount of prize money guaranteed regardless of how many players enter.

H

Hand For Hand: The stage of a multi-table tournament, usually with the bubble approaching, during which each table must wait until all tables have completed the current hand before the next one starts.

Hand History: A record provided by poker sites that details all your hands played.

HE: Acronym for “Hold ‘Em”.

Heads Up: When just two players are playing against each other they are said to be heads up.

Heads Up Display: A computerized tool that can be used when playing online to display certain statistics on your opponents.

Heater: A run of very good results.

HH: Acronym for “Hand History”.

Hijack: The position two seats to the right of the dealer.

Hit And Run: The act of winning a sizable pot at a cash game and then leaving immediately.

HJ: Acronym for “Hijack”

Hole Cards: The unexposed cards dealt to each player in certain poker games.

HU: Acronym for “Heads Up”.

HUD: Acronym for “Heads Up Display”.

I

ICM: Acronym for “Independent Chip Mode”.

In The Money: A finishing position in a poker tournament that’s eligible for a share of the prize pool.

Independent Chip Model: A mathematically based model for calculating a player’s equity during a tournament based on the number of chips held and the total number of chips in play.

Inside Straight Draw: A specific type of drawing hand that needs one additional card to make a straight, when that card isn’t at either end of the straight.

ITM: Acronym for “In The Money”

J

Jam: A slang term for putting all your chips in the pot.

Juice: An alternative term for rake.

Junk: A worthless hand.

K

Kicker: The highest ranked unpaired card in your hand.

L

LAG: Acronym for “Loose Aggressive”.

Late Position: Collectively the position of the last few players to act in a hand.

LHE: Acronym for “Limit Hold ‘Em”.

Limit: An alternative term for fixed limit. Can also apply to the minimum or maximum bet or raise that’s allowed.

Limping: An alternative term for calling rather than raising.

Loose: A specific style of play where you get involved in a lot of pots.

Loose Aggressive: A specific style of play that combines the loose and aggressive styles of play.

LP: Acronym for “Late Position”.

M

Made Hand: A completed hand: one that doesn’t require further cards in order to improve.

Misdeal: A deal that has to be dealt again due to some kind of mistake.

MTT: Acronym for “Multi Table Tournament”.

Mucking: An alternative term for folding.

Multi Table Tournament: A tournament that’s played across multiple tables due to the number of entrants.

Multi Tabling: Playing online at more than one table at a time.

Multi Way Pot: A pot that has several players involved.

N

Nit: A slang term for a particularly tight player who plays one very high value hand.

NL: Acronym for “No Limit”.

No Limit: A betting structure where there’s no limit to the size of the bets and raises that players can make.

Nosebleed Stakes: A slang term for poker games at very high stakes.

Nuts: A slang term for the best possible hand in a specific situation.

O

O8: An abbreviation for Omaha Hi-Lo.

OESD: Acronym for “Open Ended Straight Draw”.

OESFD: Acronym for “Open Ended Straight Flush Draw”.

Off-suit: Cards that are of different suits.

OOP: Acronym for “Out Of Position”.

OOTM: Acronym for “Out Of The Money”.

Open: To make the initial bet in a round of betting.

Open Ended Straight Draw: A specific type of drawing hand that needs one additional card to make a straight, and that card can be at either end of the straight.

Out of Position: If you have to act before your opponent, or opponents, you’re said to be out of position.

Out Of The Money: A finishing position in a poker tournament that’s not eligible for a share of the prize pool.

Outs: Cards that can improve your hand and give you a better chance of winning. For example, if you have a flush draw then all the cards that can complete that flush draw are outs.

Overbet: A bet that is larger than the size of the current pot.

P

Pair: A hand consisting of two cards of the same rank.

Passive: A specific style of play where a player tends to check and call rather than bet and raise.

PF: Acronym for “Pre Flop”.

PFR: Acronym for “Pre Flop Raise”.

PL: Acronym for “Pot Limit”.

PLO: An abbreviation for Pot Limit Omaha.

PLO8: An abbreviation for Pot Limit Omaha Hi-Lo.

Pocket Cards: Alternative term for hole cards, the unexposed cards dealt to each player in certain poker games.

Pocket Pair: A pair made from a player’s pocket cards.

Position: Describes the relative location of a player in the betting order.

Pot: The total of the money or chips wagered during a hand.

Pot Limit: A betting structure that limits the maximum bet to an amount equal to the current size of the pot.

Pot Sized Bet: A bet that’s of equal value to the current size of the pot.

Pre-Flop: The stage of a hand prior to the flop being dealt.

PSB: Acronym for “Pot Sized Bet”.

PTL: Acronym for Player To My Left

PTR: Acronym for Player To My Right

Push: An alternative term for betting all your chips.

R

Rag: A slang term for a low value card.

Railbird: A slang term for someone watching a poker game, but not participating.

Raise: To place a bet that’s bigger than any bet made previously in the current betting round.

Rake: A small percentage of the pot that’s taken by the house at the conclusion of each round as its payment for providing the game.

Read: Some kind of understanding of what your opponent might possibly be holding.

Rebuy Tournament: A tournament where, for a certain period, players are allowed to buy additional chips if they lose all of theirs.

Re-raise: To make a raise once an opponent has already made a raise.

Ring Game: An alternative term for cash game.

River: The last community cards dealt to the board in a community card game such as Texas Hold’em.

Rock: A slang term used to describe a player that’s particularly tight.

ROI: Acronym for “Return On Investment”.

Royal Flush: A hand that consists of an ace, a king, a queen, a jack and a ten, all of the same suit.

S

SB: Acronym for “Small Blind”.

Set: A three of a kind that’s made up of a pocket pair plus another card of the same rank from the community cards.

SH: Acronym for “Short Handed”.

Shark: A slang term used to describe a player that’s particularly strong.

Short Stack: A chip stack that’s significantly lower than the average chip stack in a game.

Short Handed: A cash game with six or less players taking part.

Shove: A slang term for betting all your chips.

Showdown: Comes at the end of a hand when more than one player has completed the final betting round and those remaining must compare their hands to determine a winner.

Side pot: A separate pot that’s created during a hand when a player has gone all in but other players continue to bet.

Single Table Tournament: A tournament that’s played on only one table.

Sit and Go: A tournament that starts as soon as the required number of players have entered.

Slow Roll: To wait to make a decision, or show your hand at showdown, when you know (or are pretty sure at least) that you’re ahead.

Small Blind: A forced bet that you have to place before a hand starts when you’re in the relevant position.

Snap Call: To call an opponent’s bet instantly.

SNG: An abbreviation for a sit and go tournament.

Split Pot: When more than one player have hands of equal value and share the chips in the pot.

SS: Acronym for “Short Stack”.

Straight: A hand that consists of all sequentially ranked cards.

Straight Flush: A hand that consists of all sequentially ranked cards that are also of the same suit.

STT: An acronym for “Single Table Tournament”.

Suck Out: To win a hand when you were the underdog at some point during that hand.

Suited: Cards that are of the same suit.

Suited Connectors: Two or more cards that are of sequential rank and of the same suit.

T

TAG: An abbreviation for the tight aggressive playing style.

Tell: Some kind of change in the behavior or demeanor of a player that could offer some insight into how strong or weak their hand could be.

Three Of A Kind: A hand consisting of three cards of the same rank.

Tight: A specific style of play that involves playing high value hands only.

Tight Aggressive: A style of play that combines the tight and aggressive styles.

Tilt: The act of playing recklessly, having lost control of your emotions.

Top Pair: A pair consisting of the highest card on the board plus a card of equal rank in your hand.

TPTK: An acronym for “Top Pair Top Kicker”.

Turbo Tournament: A tournament in which the blind levels increase at a quicker rate than normal.

Turn: The fourth community card dealt to the board in a community card game such as Texas Hold’em.

Two Pair: A hand consisting of two separate pairs.

U

Under The Gun: The position at the poker table immediately to the left of the blinds.

Under The Gun + 1: The position at the poker table immediately to the left of Under The Gun.

UTG: Acronym for “Under The Gun”.

UTG + 1: Acronym for “Under The Gun + 1”.

V

Value Bet: A bet made by a player to try and encourage their opponents to call, as they expect to win.

VB: Acronym for “Value Bet”.

VNH: Acronym for “Very Nice Hand”.

Voluntarily Put In Pot: A statistic which shows the percentage of hands in which a player chooses to enter a pot. It’s used in heads up displays to provide some information about how your opponents play.

VPIP: Acronym for “Voluntarily Put In Pot”.

W

Went To Showdown: A statistic which shows the percentage of hands in which a players goes to showdown. It’s used in heads up displays to provide some information about how your opponents play.

WTSD: Acronym for “Went To Showdown”.

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