Poker Corner: online Poker Rules, News, Learning Poker Corner: online Poker Rules, News, Learning

Welcome to Poker Corner's glossary of common poker terms and slang! Don't know what a calling station is? Think a gut shot belly buster is what people do to you when you've been caught cheating? Is Fourth Street where your Grandma used to live when you were a kid? You, friend, have definitely come to the right place!


  1. A player's turn to act.
  2. A bet, as well as all the calls of that bet. E.g., a player makes a $10 bet, and two other players call, he has $10 action in the pot and received $20 worth of action from the other players.
action button
A marker on which a player places an extra forced bet. In a typical stud game, a player is required to post an amount representing a completion of the bring-in to a full bet. E.g., in a game with a $1 bring-in and $2 and $4 betting limits, the player with the action button must post $2
action player
Less talented player who bets and calls with inferior hands.

Buying more chips before you bust. In tournament play it is a single rebuy that all the players are allowed regardless of their stack size. This is usually allowed only once, at the end of the rebuy period.

Making obvious plays or exposing cards in an attempt to give a certain impression of yourself to your opponents. E.g., only showing good hands so that they believe that you rarely bluff, and therefore fold to you.

A player who bets and raises often. See also passive, tight, loose

all in
Betting your entire chip stack.

Unethical - but technically legal - play, such as deliberately miscalling a hand to induce a fold or adding odd numbers of chips to the pot to confuse opponents about whether you're calling or raising.

A forced bet posted before any cards are dealt.

ante off
Used in tournament play, this is forcing an absent player's antes, blinds and other forced bets even while they're gone to ensure it's still fair for the remaining players.


back in
To enter a pot cheap or for free because of having posted a blind.
back into
Winning a pot with a hand that otherwise would have folded to any bet. E.g., two players drawing flushes both miss, and then check; one player wins because he had an Ace kicker while the other had a Queen.
bad beat
Having high expectations of winning a pot and ending up losing, especially when you have an unusually strong hand but are beaten by an even stronger one.
belly buster
An inside straight draw. Also called a "gutshot".
  1. Any money posted during the play of a hand; specifically, the opening bet of a betting round.
  2. In a fixed limit game, a bet constitutes the standard betting amount
betting structure
Specific rules of a game covering how much a player may or has to bet at any point in the game, including forced bets, limits, and raising cap.
big bet game
A game with a no limit or pot limit betting structure.
big dog
A poker hand consisting of five cards of ranks 9 to A, with no pair.
big slick
Texas Holdem slang for a starting hand consisting of an Ace and a King regardless of suit.
  1. A forced bet.
  2. Any action taken by a player before seeing their cards or some other piece of information which they are entitled to see.
blind stud
A stud poker game where all the cards are dealt face down.
To bet on an inferior hand in hopes that the opponent will fold.
The set of community cards in a community card game.
A full house.
bottom pair, bottom set
In a community card game, a pair or set made by matching the lowest-ranking board card with one or two in their pocket cards.
bring in
To open a betting round; a kind of forced bet.
An ace-high straight.
An ace.
burn, burn card
A card dealt directly into the discards, usually at the start of the second and subsequent rounds of a multiple-round game. This is done for several reasons, including protecting the players against marked cards and to make it easier to recover from irregularities in the deal.
  1. A token used to mark the position of the dealer.
  2. The player currently seated in the position marked by the button.
The minimum amount of chips required to become involved in a game or tournament.


To match the current bet amount and show your interest in the pot.
calling station
A weak player who checks and calls often and rarely raises.
A limit on the number of raises allowed in a betting round, usually three or four.
To get the cards you need on a draw.
To bet nothing but remain in the contention for the pot.
To check, and then raise someone else's open.
A token representing money that is used for betting.
community card
A card dealt face-up to the center of the table and not to any specific player's hand, and can be used by any and all players according to game rules.
Two or more cards of consecutive rank.


The person dealing the cards, or the person who assumes the role of dealer for betting order in a game, even though they aren't physically dealing. This is the person who is "on the button."
To verbally indicate an action or intention.
A 2-spot card, or any other issue related to the number two (chips, bets, etc.)
To take a previously dealt card out of play. The discards for a deal is called the "muck."
double-board, double-flop
Any of several community card game variants (usually Texas Holdem) in which two separate boards of community cards are dealt simultaneously, with the pot split between the winning hands using each board.
double up
In a no limit game, to bet all of one's chips on one hand against an opponent with an equal or larger stack) and win, thereby doubling your stack. I was losing a bit, but then I doubled through Sarah to put me in good shape.
down to the felt
When a player has gone all in, or has lost all of their money; it refers to the green felt of the poker table.
  1. Draw poker.
  2. To replace one or more cards in your hand with new ones from the deck.
To fold.


early position
A position at the poker table during a round of betting where the player has to act before most or all of the other players at the table.
edge odds
An player's advantage or disadvantage in relation to all other the players at the table.
eldest hand
The first player on the dealer's left, usually the Small Blind.
end bet, end bets
  1. The last bet of a betting round.
  2. The last round of betting.
entry fee
The amount paid for admittance to a tournament, which can range from a few dollars to a few thousand dollars. These are not applicable to freerolls, which have to entry fee.
exposed cards
Cards dealt face up, as in a stud game.


family pot
A deal in which every seated player called the first opening bet.
Aggressive play.
fifth street
The fifth card (the last in Texas Holdem) dealt to the board in community card games. Also known as the River.
fill, fill up
To successfully draw to a full house.
An new or unskilled player.
fixed limit, flat limit
A betting structure in which the bet amounts are fixed and a player simply decides whether to bet or not.
In a community card game, this is the first set of community cards dealt and the betting round that comes after it.
flop game
A games involving community cards.
A hand non-consecutive comprising five cards of the same suit.
To abandon your cards, forfeiting any further play for that hand. Also called mucking.
forced bet
Money that a player is required to place into the pot by the rules of the game, usually in the form of antes, blinds, and bring-ins.
four of a kind, fours
A hand made of four cards of the same rank or face value.
fourth street
The fourth card dealt to the board in community card games. Also known as the Turn card.
A tournament without an entry fee.
full house, full boat
A hand made up of three cards of one rank or face value and two more of a different rank or face value.


An inside straight draw.
A cheater.
Playing over a long period of time in games with minimal risk but small wins, usually to make a living.


half-pot limit
A betting structure like pot limit, but which allows maximum raises of only half the amount in the pot.
To bet and raise aggressively.
  1. The set of cards being played by one player.
  2. A period of poker play, begun by shuffling the cards and ending with a player winning a pot.
heads up
Playing against a single opponent.
high card
A hand with no pairs, according to its highest-ranking cards.
high-low, high-low split
Any of several games where the pot is divided between the player with the best poker hand and the best lowball hand.
high society
Poker chips of a large denomination.
hole card
Face-down cards dealt to each player for their personal use.
Overt acting to deceive other players. See advertising.
A player being backed financially by someone else.


implied odds
Similar to pot odds, but also taking into account future bets one can reasonably expect to win.
inside, inside straight
A draw to a straight with a missing card in the middle, such as 10 J K A, with a missing Q. Also known as a "belly buster" or a "gutshot".
irregular declaration
Action taken by a player that can reasonably be assumed to be a straightforward declaration, E.g., tapping the table to indicate a check.


A type of poker in which the lowest possible hand is a pair of Jacks, and at least a pair of Jacks is required to open the betting.
jackson five
A hand wth a pair of Jacks and at least one 5.
jake, john
A Jack.
A pot that has several players raising.
jammed pot
A pot that has been raised the maximum amount of times.


  1. A card not directly involved in your hand, but which can be used in the event of a tie.
  2. A non-paired card kept before the draw in draw poker in hope of pairing it.
  1. A pool of money built by collecting small amounts from certain pots, often used to buy refreshments, cards, etc. The home-game equivalent of a rake.
  2. The pile of mucked/folded cards.


limp in
To enter a pot by simply calling instead of raising.
A player who calls often, as opposed to a tight player who conserves their chips by folding the majority of their hands.


main pot
After a player has gone all in, they are only able to win the contents of that pot (including the calls to their bet) which is called the main pot.
An extremely loose, aggressive player.
A very strong hand, one that is almost guaranteed to win the pot.
  1. The discarded cards in front of the dealer.
  2. The act of folding or discarding.


no limit
A game where there is no limit to how much can be bet into a pot at any time, and are only limited by the amount of chips they have.
nuts, nut
The best possible hand. For example, if the board comes up AAK92, and a player is holding AK, that player has the nut hand. In Holdem the nut is never less than three of a kind.


Usually the ratio of the probability of making a hand to not making the hand. Ie., if you have a 25% chance of making your hand the ratio is 3 to 1. Very important in figuring out pot odds.
Cards that are not of the same suit.
open-ended straight draw
A straight draw of four consecutive cards that can be completed at either end. Ie., a 4567 straight draw could be completed with a 3 or 8.
A player who has posted a blind, once betting has gone around the table, is given the option to raise the pot, even if no other player has raised.
A card needed to improve your hand.
In community card games, the overcard is a card higher than the board's highest card.


An opponent who raises very infrequently, as opposed to an aggressive player who raises often.
poker face
A blank face that does not reveal anything about the cards the player is holding.
position bet
A bet made based more on the strength of the player's position than the strength of their cards.
A player who is paid to start poker games or to keep poker games active.


Four of a kind.


Usually said of the Flop, three or four cards of differing suits.
A percentage fee collected by by the house from each pot.
ring game
A non-tournament poker game played for stakes.
The fifth card dealt in communal card games such as Texas Holdem. Also called Fifth Street.
A very tight poker player.


A tournament in which the winner is awarded free entry into a larger tournament.
Three of a kind. Also called Trips.
When players reveal their cards at the end of the game.
slow play
A strategy in which a good strong hand is played conservatively in hopes that the other players will stay in the hand for youo to win their chips.
A hand made of five consecutive cards that are not the same suit.
straight flush
A hand of five consecutive cards of the same suit.
A card placed upwards in Stud poker; also a form of poker itself.
Cards that are of the same suit
suited connectors
Consecutive cards that are of the same suit, ie. the 5 and 6 of diamonds.
super satellite
A tournament in which the prize is a free entrance to a satellite tournament or a tournament in which all the top finishers gain entrance to a larger tournament.


A player who calls very few hands, as opposed to loose players who call many.
Three of a kind. Also called a Set.
The fourth card dealt in communal card games such as Texas Holdem. Also called Fourth Street.


A pocket pair that is of a lower value than the lowest community card.
Done when you've got a strong hand, it's making a small bet in order to try an draw players into the pot. Also known as slowplaying.
  1. In 7 Card Stud, upcards are your face-up exposed cards.
  2. Any card dealt face up.


Unlinke a bluff, this refers to wanting your opponents to call your bet. This is usually done because you have the best hand (the nut).
A measurement of how your bankroll can go up and down. Variance isn't necessarily an indication of how good a player you are; a higher variance means that your bankroll will go from high highs to low lows.
vebal bet, verbal declaration
An oral bet or declaration, indicating a coming action.
village people
A hand with four Queens.


Also called a "Bicycle," it is the best possible low hand in high-low games, A 2 3 4 5.
wild card
A card that can be used to represent a card of any value or suit.
wired pair
A pair in the hole.
world poker tour, WPT
A series of tournaments held throughout the year at different casinos and cardrooms, as well as online. The winners advance to a by-invitation-only $25,000 buy-in final event that decides the world champion.
world series of poker, WSOP
A Texas Holdem tournament with a buy-in of $10,000 which is held every May at Las Vegas' Binion's Horseshoe Casino.


$100, or a hundred dollar bill.
Slang term for "raise."
youngest hand
Term for the player to the right of the dealer, the last person to act in a betting round.


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