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The betting in a hand or game. A player who is said to give a lot of action is someone who bets a lot and plays many hands. A player who puts in the first bet is said to start the action.

Active player
A player still playing that particular hand.

In a re-buy tournament, at the end of the re-buy period there is usually an add-on option for all players, also known as a top-up. At this point only, players can purchase additional chips regardless of the size of their stack for the same cost as the initial buy-in. If a player has just lost all of their chips at this point they may purchase a re-buy and an add-on.

When a player has bet or called for all of the chips they have on the table.

A small compulsory bet made by each player before the cards are dealt for each hand. Stud and draw games use antes and they are occasionally found in Hold’em tournaments during the later stages as an addition to the compulsory blinds that are bet.

When there are two cards to come, a player needing both cards to hit to make a flush or a straight is said to have a back-door flush draw or a back-door straight draw.

Bad beat
A strong hand that loses when an opponent has been very lucky and often when they should have folded their hand earlier on.

The total amount of money a poker player has available to gamble with.

Belly buster
See inside straight draw.

The first player to put money in the pot on any betting round has made a bet. This is not to be confused with a raise, which occurs when a poker player facing a bet chooses to increase the bet.

Bet the pot
When the size of a bet is equivalent to the amount already in the pot.

Big blind
The forced bet that initiates action on the table. This will be placed two seats to the left of the dealer button prior to any cards being dealt. All players who join a game will be asked to post the big blind regardless of their table seating, or wait for the big blind to come around.

Big slick
A starting hand of Ace-King.

A community card that appears to be irrelevant to any player’s hand.

Compulsory bets made by the two players to the left of the dealer button, which initiates the action in every round of betting and must be placed before the cards are dealt. If a player misses a blind they will be asked to post the missed blind before they can re-enter the game.

To bet with a weak hand hoping your opponent(s) will fold.

Board cards
The community cards placed in the centre of the table for all players to see and use. Also known as board cards.

Bottom pair
When a player’s hand makes a pair with the lowest card on the board.

An award offered for knocking a specific player out of a poker tournament.

A player who raises continually to try and get others to fold.

A small round disk moved clockwise around the table to indicate the nominal dealer on every hand. The player ’on the button’ has the advantage of acting last on every round from the flop onwards.

The amount of money required to join a tournament or a cash game.

When a player matches the bet made before him by another player.

Calling station
A player who tends to call too frequently with relatively poor hands. Such a player is difficult to bluff.

Capped pot
In a fixed limit poker game the maximum number of bets and raises permitted is usually four. When this level is reached the betting is described as being capped.

Cash game
A poker game where players may choose how much they wish to sit down with and can join or leave games at any time (unlike a scheduled tournament). Also known as side games or ring games

To decline the option to bet when no-one has yet put money in the pot.

To check, hoping another player will bet and then raise when the action gets around the table again. This technique is often used to trap opponents.

Chip and a chair
A reference sometimes used during a tournament when a player is down to only a single chip (the phrase is also commonly applied to a very small stack with more than one chip). It is said you always have a chance if you have at least a “chip and a chair”.

Community cards
See board cards.

A starting hand of two Kings.

Drawing dead
When no card(s) left in the deck will help a player enough to win the hand.

Draw out
When a poker hand improves significantly enough to become the best hand and win the pot.

Early position
One of the first players to make a decision in a round of betting.

Family pot
A hand in which a most of the players at the table are involved.

Fifth street
The fifth community card in flop games, also known as the ‘river’. This is followed by the fourth and final round of betting.

Fill up
To make a full house.

A poor poker player.

Fixed limit
A game where the bets can only be made in fixed amounts. Bets are small for the first two betting rounds and are then doubled for the last two rounds.

The first three community cards that are dealt face up in the centre of the table. The flop is followed by the second round of betting.

A poker hand with five cards of the same suit in no particular order.

Flush draw
When a player has four cards of the same suit, and requires one more to complete the flush.

To throw away your hand when it is your turn to act and you are facing a bet.

Four of a kind
A poker hand containing four cards of the same rank.

Fourth street
The fourth community card in flop games, also known as the ‘turn’. This is followed by the third round of betting.

A free to enter poker tournament that pays out real money prizes to the winners.

A type of tournament with no re-buys or top-ups allowed. Once a player has lost their chips they are eliminated from the tournament.

Full house
A poker hand containing three of a kind plus a pair.

See inside straight draw.

A two player game or a tournament that has been reduced to the last two players.

A type of poker game where the pot is split between the best hand and the lowest hand, such as Omaha High-Low.

Commonly used abbreviation for Texas Hold’em, the most popular poker variant where players have two hole cards and five community cards.

Hole cards
The hidden cards held in a player’s hand. These can only be seen and used by them.

Inside straight draw
Four cards which require the fifth card between the top and bottom card to make a straight. For example, a hand of 4-5- 6-8 would require a 7 to make a straight. Also known as a gutshot or a belly buster.

The side-card, or the less significant card of a player’s hole cards.

A starting hand of two Queens.

Position One of the last players to act in a round of betting.

An abbreviation for a ‘fixed limit’ game.

Limp in
When a player only calls the amount of the big blind to enter the pot on the first betting round.

A hand that cannot possibly be beaten considering all the cards on show.

When a player is playing too many hands they are said to be playing loose.

Main pot
The initial pot created during a hand, which can only contain chips that an all-in player can win. Any other chips would be in a ‘Side Pot’ and would be played for by the other remaining players.

A very aggressive player who will play most hands.

Middle pair
A hand that matches the rank of the second highest card on the board.

Middle position
A player who is in fifth, sixth or seventh position in a round of betting if there is a full table of nine or ten players.

A very strong hand.

To discard your hand. Also, the pile of cards that have been discarded during the play of a hand by all players.

Multiway pot
A pot involving many players.

Multi-table tournament
A tournament with a scheduled starting time and more than one table. As players are eliminated the number of tables are reduced with players being moved accordingly. Also known as MTT’s.

No limit
A betting structure where the maximum bet or raise any player can make is for all of their chips they have on the table during the hand.

The best possible hand at any given time.

The payout ratio offered on a bet. For example, odds of 10/1 (expressed verbally as “ten to one”) means that for each single unit staked, the bettor will receive ten units back if the outcome of the event is in favour of the bettor’s choice. The bettor also receives any units staked back.

A starting hand with cards of different suits.

A variation of poker where players receive four hole cards with five community cards. Your final hand must include two hole and three board cards.

Open-ended straight draw
A hand containing four consecutive ranks needing another card to make a straight. For example, a hand of 4-5-6-7 needs either a 3 or 8 to make a straight.

Any cards that could improve a hand to become the winning hand.

When your two hole cards are higher than any of the board cards.

Two cards of the same rank.

To fold.

Pocket cards
The hidden cards each player has, that only they can use. Also known as ‘hole cards’.

Pocket rockets
The best starting hand of two Aces.

Pocket pair
When your hole cards are paired in Hold’em.

The seat a player is located in relation to the button. A later position is preferable as this gives the advantage of seeing what other players do before it is your turn.

The total amount of money that has been wagered at any point during the hand.

Pot Limit
A betting structure where players can choose how much to bet, where the maximum bet is the size of the pot.

The round of betting before any community cards have been seen.

Four of a kind.

A seemingly worthless card.

A flop with cards of three different suits.

To increase a previous bet.

The order a card is on the scale from Two to Ace, with a Two the lowest rank and an Ace as the highest ranking card (although an Ace can be low for a straight).

To purchase additional chips during a tournament. Only rebuy tournaments allow this option for a specified period of time.

Re-buy tournament
A type of tournament which allows players to purchase additional chips for a specified time period in the result of losing all their chips. There is also usually an add-on option when the re-buy period expires.

To raise a raise.

Ring game
See ‘cash game’.

The fifth and final community card, also known as fifth street.

A player who plays only very good starting hands.

Round of betting
A sequence of betting that begins after one or more cards have been dealt and ends when each remaining active player has had the opportunity to bet and have matched each others bets.

Royal Flush
The best possible poker hand of an Ace high straight flush.

When a player wins many pots close together. Satellite tournament A tournament where the prize(s) gain winners entry to a larger tournament.

To bet with a drawing hand (such as a flush draw), which at the time of betting is unlikely to be ahead but has the chance to improve to become the winning hand.

Three of a kind when two of those are hole cards.

A very good player.

When betting is complete and the remaining players turn their cards face up to determine the winner.

Side pot
A second pot created when one player has gone all-in, but other players make additional bets between themselves. A second side-pot is created if a second player goes allin and there is further betting.

Sit ‘n’ go
A small freezeout tournament, usually of only one table (sometimes two). The game begins as soon as the required number of players have registered.

To play a strong hand weakly to deceive opponents into believing they have a better chance of winning the hand.

Small Blind
Small blind The player who must enter the first compulsory bet to the immediate left of the dealer button.

A player who plays a good all round game.

Speed tournament
A tournament with levels of blinds increasing at a faster rate than is normally used. The games are much quicker to finish than standard tournaments.

Split pot
When two players have the same hand at a showdown and the chips are split between them.

When a player successfully wins a pot with the worst hand. “Stealing the blinds” refers to a player raising with a marginal hand from late position when no-one has yet entered the pot. This is done in the hope that the two players in the blind position seats will fold.

A hand containing a run of five consecutive cards, but not all the same suit.

Straight flush
A hand containing a run of five consecutive cards, all of the same suit.

The setting of betting limits in a poker game, including the levels of the blinds and whether the betting is restricted to fixed limits, pot limit or no limit. For a tournament the time period for each level of blinds must be set.

A starting hand of two cards from the same suit.

A gesture which gives away the relative strength of a player’s hand.

Texas Hold’em
The most popular poker variant where players have two hole cards and five community cards.

The bubble
In tournament play, on the ‘Bubble’ is where a player is eliminated in the final seat before the payout stages are reached. So if a tournament paid the first 10 places, ‘on the bubble’ would be 11th.

Three of a kind
A hand containing three cards of the same rank.

A player who plays very few hands.

To play poorly due to becoming emotionally upset, often playing too many hands as a result. This usually occurs after receiving a bad beat or a very poor run of hands.

Top pair
When one of your hole cards matches the highest card on the board.

A competition whereby entrants play until one player has all of the chips. Each player begins with the same number of chips, but once these are lost they are out of the tournament, unless it is a re-buy tournament in which they have the option to purchase more chips within a specified time period. The blinds increase at regular intervals to ensure the game does not last too long.

Three of a kind.

The fourth community card on the board.

When you have a pair in the hole that is lower than any of the cards on the board.

Under the gun
The first player to act in a hand seated to the immediate left of the big blind. Wired pair Two hole cards of the same rank. Also known as ‘pocket pair’.

World Series of Poker
An annually staged series of high stakes poker tournaments held over a month in the Binion’s Horseshoe Casino in Las Vegas. The main event, a $10,000 buy-in no limit Hold’em tournament, determines the World Champion.


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