Terminology

ABC poker

A simple and straightforward way of playing with limited bluffing.

Aces full

A full house with three aces.

Acting out of turn

When a player physically or verbally announces what they intend to do before it’s their turn.

Action

Can refer to your turn or to events that happened during a hand.

Air

Air refers to a very weak hand.

All in

A bet where a player commits his entire stack.

Ante

A small bet all players must make before cards are dealt. The purpose is to increase the action.

Backdoor flush

A flush draw with only three cards to the flush – it needs to hit both turn and river to make the flush.

Bad beat

Bad luck in poker.

Bankroll

The total amount of money a poker player has dedicated to playing poker. Note that a bankroll is different than all money you have access to. Bankroll management is a critical skill in poker. One way of doing that is by not playing on higher limits you can afford (with your bankroll).

Big blind

The amount of chips the second player to the left of the dealer has to bet. The amount depends on the stakes.

Big slick

An AK hand.

Blind

A forced bet referring to the big blind or the small blind. If you are one of the blinds, you are sitting either immediately to the left of the dealer button (small blind position) or one position farther left (big blind).

Block bet

A relatively small bet made by a player out of position with the purpose to discourage an opponent from making a larger bet when checked to.

Blocker

A blocker is a card that make it impossible or less likely for an opponent to have a hand that includes that card. For example, if you have the ace of diamonds and there are two diamonds on the board it is less likely your opponent has a flush draw – especially if most suited cards in his range includes an ace.

Bluff catcher

A hand that can only beat a bluff.

Board coverage

Board coverage refers to how well a player’s range hits the possible flop, turn and river cards.

Boat

A full house.

Bottom pair

A pair with one of your hole cards and the lowest card on the board.

Brick

A card that is unlikely to help either player.

Bubble

Close to the money in tournaments. For example if the top-10 players win money in a tournament, you are on the bubble when there are 11 players left. The strategies are mathematically changing when getting close to the bubble.

Burn card

The top card is discarded from the deck to make cheating harder.

Calling station

A loose player who likes to call bets, but rarely raises.

Clicking it back

Making a min-raise by clicking online.

Coin flip

An all-in situation where both players have about the same chance of winning the pot.

Cold call

To call after a bet and one or more raises.

Collusion

Cheating when at least two players are collaboring with each other in some way. For example by exchanging information at the table or handing over chips (in tournaments).

Combos

Number of possible card combinations. There are 52 cards in a deck, 13 of each rank and 4 suits. There are 16 ways to combine any unpaired hand and 6 ways to combine a pair. For unpaired hands there are 12 combos of off-suit hands and 4 suited combos.

Community card

The cards on the table that are shared by all players to make the best 5 card poker hand in combination with their hole cards. Also called the board.

Cowboys

Pocket kings.

Crying call

Calling a bet when you are not confident you have the best hand. This phrase is usually used on the river.

Donk bet

A bet made out of position by a player who did not take the initiative in previous betting round.

Downswing

A period where a player loses more than expected.

Effective nuts

Not quite the nuts (best possible hand), but close enough to be played as it was.

Five-bet (or 5-bet)

A 5-bet is the third re-raise in a betting round. Usually a 5-bet is an all-in preflop. It can happen on other streets as well, but that is rare.

Float

A call made with the intention of bluffing at a later round.

Flop

The first three community cards, they are dealt at the same time.

Flush draw

When you have four cards to a flush you have a flush draw.

Four-bet (or 4-bet)

A 4-bet is a second re-raise in a betting round. It is more common preflop, but can happen on other streets as well, especially with deep stacks.

Free card

A card you don’t have to pay to see. Usually used when you are in position and raised in previous round and opponents check to you in this round.

Grinder

A player who makes a living by playing a lot of hands on low stakes.

Gutshot straight draw

When you have one missing card in the middle of a sequence to a straight, you have a gutshot straight draw. For example 7s, 8h, 9c, 5d.

Heads up

Playing against a single opponent.

Heads up display

An overlay on top of the online poker table that provides you with statistics about the players.

Hole cards

The cards dealt face down to a player. Also known as pocket cards.

Isolation raise

A raise with intention of isolating a weak player who has limped (called instead of raising) preflop.

LAG player

A loose aggressive player who is playing many hands and trying to take down pots by playing aggressively.

Muck

The pile of folded and burned cards during a hand. Also used when players fold the cards.

Nuts

The best possible poker hand that can be made with the community cards.

Quads

Four of a kind.

Rainbow

Community cards with no equal suits.

River

The fifth community card.

Running it twice

When one or more players are all in, they can in some places decide to run it twice. This means the pot is split in two and the remaining cards are dealt twice.

Small blind

The amount of chips the first player to the left of the dealer has to bet. The amount depends on the stakes.

Straight draw

When you have four cards to a straight you have a straight draw. For example 7s, 8h, 9c, 6d.

TAG player

A tight aggressive player who is playing well selected hands in an aggressive way.

Three-bet (or 3-bet)

A third raise in a betting round, normally used preflop (where big blind counts as the first raise).

Tilt

Being emotionally impacted so it influences your play in a negative way.

Trips

Three of a kind.

Turn

The fourth community card.