Poker Glossary

Say what?! There’s plenty of terminology and lexicography in the Online Poker Community and if you don’t know your Cheese from your Bread you might look a little foolish online, but don’t worry we’re here to help.

Poker Glossary

A is for Action

When it’s your turn to make a decision, it’s your action, and a pot with plenty of betting is said to have good action.

A is also for Advertising

This is when you start betting hard to give other players a (false) impression of how you play. It makes sense to do this early (and inexpensively) opportunity. Once the opponents have a faux idea of how you play, you can exploit them when there is significant money to be won.


This is when a player bets all of their money (at least all they have with them). It’s a big ballsey bet and is the very definition of sh*t or bust as you either win or get your coat.


That’s the amount of money that you must invest (throw in) to the pot to play a hand. This has to be done before the deal, to avoid anyone changing their minds. It’s necessary to do this to get the game started.  Sometimes the dealer will ask players to “Ante Up” when antes need to be paid.


Back to Back

Two paired hole cards, i.e. “Back to Back Jacks”

Back Into

Landing on your feet, that’s when you end up with a good hand when you were chasing something else. For example backing into a Full House when you were chasing a Flush.

Bad beat

Something that never ever should have happened. When you did everything right and yet still lose through stupid luck. Everyone should have a Bad Beat story and the worse the beat, the better the story.


The money you play with, the tools of your trade.

Belly Hit

To make an inside straight.

Bicycle Wheel

A specific straight made up of an Ace, Two, Three, Four, and Five. AKA a Low Straight, as it’s the lowest possible Straight, only applies when Ace works high / low for straights.

Blind (bet)

The pot starts with “blinds” instead of antes, money that has to go into the pot regardless of what cards you have. As the plays rotate around the table, so too impetuous to lay the blinds.

Big Blind (n)

This is the largest compulsory ante (double the small blind) that is paid by the player in the two seats to the left of the dealer.


The practice of betting higher than your hand, warrants, so players think you are holding a better cards than you are. Employed in the hope that players fold from the pot, out of fear.


In Stud Poker, a card dealt face-up to a player that does nothing to help that player’s hand. (ii) In Community poker, a community card that is flipped up that does nothing to help a player’s hand. That night as well have been a piece of masonry for all the help it gave me.


A Straight made up of the cards Ten, Jack, Queen, King, and Ace. This is the highest possible straight.


An Ace

Bust / Bust a Player.

To lose all our cash, the practice thereof. A player who is out of chips said to be “busted”.


A plastic disc (like an off-colour chip) used in Casinos to designate the player who would have been dealing if the deal were rotating. The would-be dealer is said to be “on the button.”


The amount of money you need to sit down at the table and join the table game.



The simple act of seeing a bet, also used in the sense of calling someone’s bluff. A call ends the round of bets, completes the circle if you will.

Calling Station

One of those players who always calls, and therefore should never be bluffed.


Whoever invented those funny little rectangular pieces of paper, with numbers and pictures on them, was a clever man.

Cash In / Cash Out

To leave the game and exchange your poker chips for $$$ with the dealer. No one knows why both In and Out should mean the same thing.


Used as a verb, for when a player stays in the pot because his hand has the potential to improve to a better hand. They are “chasing” the mythical better hand.


If the betting round has not yet been opened, where no bet is required a player can choose not to bet, their action a “check”.

(Not to be confused with Cheque; which is a means of paying your losses).

Check-Raising (aka Sandbagging)

When a player who has checked on an earlier betting round, but then raises when a bet comes back to him, in the same round


The tokens we use to represent money in Pockerland. Whoever invented cards was clever whoever invented chips was a genius.

Cinch Hand

A sure thing, a hand which cannot be beat.

Closed Poker

A variation on the game where all cards are dealt face-down.

Coin Declare

A method of “fluffing” the pot, where here all players raise their hands unseen.

Cold Deck

Where the cards have been stacked in advance by a cheat. The expression comes from the fact that the deck will be “cold” as not being used before they are slipped into the game. A deck that has been used and shuffled may well be “warm”.

Community Cards

The cards in the middle that is available to the poke playing community. Texas Hold Em for example.


Consecutive cards which (may) make a straight.

Court Card

Any picture or face card. A Jack, a Queen, or a King. Named after the royal court where a king a Queen and a Nave (Jack) would gather.


Slang term for a King.


Dead Card / Hand

A card / Hand which is no longer playable. Discards etc.

Dead Man’s Hand

A term for the hand consisting of both black Eights and both black Aces. Legend has it that this hand was held by Wild Bill Hickok, just before he was shot in 1876.


The pile of cards near the centre of the table, consisting of discards and folded hands. (Also an excellent TV show)

Default Win

When all other players have folded (or just left in the game. The last man standing is not obliged to show his hand, as nobody paid to see it, and you may never know if he was bluffing.


A Two card.


Ditch (getting rid of) cards from one’s hand in exchange for new cards from the deck.

The Dog

A player less likely to win a particular hand, the Underdog.

The Dogs’ (English)

A great hand, abbreviation of the Dogs’ Bollocks, which for some reason is deemed to be “excellent”.

Door Card

The first card dealt to each player face-up in Stud poker, aka Second Street (in Five-Card Stud), and Third Street (in Seven-Card Stud).

Down and Dirty

The final card made available to each player. EG in Hold .Em, it is the fifth communal card, aka the River. While in Stud, it is the seventh card dealt face-down to each player.

Down Cards

Face down cards. AKA Hole cards

Drawing Dead

Continuing to receive cards while the hand cannot possibly win the pot.

Draw Out

To fortuitously win a hand on the last card, and undeserved win as the original hand was a bad play.


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