Basic Poker Terminology

There
is a host of terms relating to poker games, hands and plays. Here are some of
the more common phrases employed, but for a more detailed list of poker
terminology, click here.

Action

A
game in where there are a lot of players involved in many pots. It is also the
checking, betting and raising in the game.

All-In

When a player’s chips are all in the pot.

Ante

A small bet put up by each player to seed the pot
before the hand is dealt. This puts initial money in the pot and helps to
create action.

Backdoor

Hitting a perfect turn and river card to
make a drawing hand.

Blind

A
forced bet in flop games. The
player to the immediate left of the button is the small blind (half of the big
blind) and the player to the small blind’s left is the big blind.

Blind Raise

Raising the hand before looking at your
cards.

Buy-In

The minimum amount of money a player must
put in to play a particular game.

Call

If another player bets, to continue to play
you must call to match the wager (or raise).

Check Raise

To check and then raise when another player
behind you bets.

Community Cards

The cards that are in the middle of the
table during the hand.

Crack

To beat a strong hand. Players often say
their pocket aces were “cracked”.

Flop

The first three community cards on the
board.

Fold

In terms of poker terminology, this means
to throw your hand away.

Pass

To not play a hand if it has been bet, or
to check if it has been checked to you.

Pocket

The two hole cards in Hold’em or the first two cards
in Stud. The cards only you can
see.

Pocket Pair

Two pocket cards of the same rank.

River

The final community card in flop games of
poker.

Short Stack

The player with the fewest chips is said to
be playing on the short stack.

Slowplay

To
play a hand in a way that hides its strength. Flopping a straight could be a good
time to slowplay in order to get more chips into the pot.

Split Pot

A pot that is shared by two or more
players.

Tell

A clue given by a player about their hand.

Turn

The fourth community card in a flop game.

Poker terminology
is integral to the game… be sure you’re up to speed before mixing it with more
experienced players!