Full Dictionary of Poker Terms for Beginners and Advanced Players

Beginner poker players who play poker with some pro players, sometimes tend to feel a sense of insecurity in their game. This is because pro poker players tend to use advanced poker terms that novice players do not yet know or understand.

To help beginning poker players gain confidence in their game and skill, we have prepared a comprehensive dictionary of all poker terms. Read and remember all the important poker terms to improve your poker skill.

Poker Terms Dictionary

Basic Poker Terms:

  • Pocket Cards – Two cards that each player receives from the dealer, also called hole cards.
  • Pot – Contains all the bets placed in each betting round. The winner of each hand grabs the pot.
  • Chips – Plastic coins with values that mark the amount of your money's worth.
  • Blinds – Mandatory bets placed by the SB and the BB players. In tournament games, the blinds go up at a predetermined time.
  • Community Cards – All the shared cards are opened by the dealer on the board.
  • Community card over the boardPre-Flop – The first betting round right after getting the pocket cards from the dealer.
  • Flop – The first three community cards to be opened by the dealer. Which will be followed by the second round of betting.
  • Turn – The fourth community card to be opened by the dealer. Which will be followed by the third round of betting.
  • River – The fifth community card to be opened by the dealer. Which will be followed by the fourth round of betting.
  • Street – Each round of betting is called a street.
  • Board – The center of the table where all community cards are revealed.
  • Out Card – A special card that will strengthen your hand. There can be several different out cards in each hand.
  • Buy In – The entrance fee players must pay to join the table.
  • Re Buy – A player who has lost all his chips can make an additional buy for re-entering the game. In tournaments, the option for re-buy is pre-set.
  • Rake – The commission charge by the game manager on each hand. In online poker, the poker platform publishes the amount of rake it charges.
  • Tilt – Loss of concentration in the game after a loss with a strong hand that leads to wrong and reckless decisions.
  • Nuts – The strongest card combination that can be assembled using pocket cards and community cards. (Nuts combination changes from hand to hand).
  • Kicker (Side Card) – If two players have one identical pocket card at showdown, the player with a higher side card which is part of the strongest hand combination will be the one to win. Example: A-K vs A-Q If the following cards are opened on the board A-5-9-2-J The player with A-K will win.
  • Tight player – A player who plays mostly premium hands and without unnecessary risks.
  • Loose Player – A player who plays a high percentage of the hands.
  • Aggressive Player – A player who mainly gambles and uses fewer checks or calls.
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Poker Hand Ranking:

  • Royal Flush – The strongest hand. The sequence of cards from 10 to Ace suited.
  • Straight Flush – Sequence of 5 cards of the same suit.
  • Quads – Four cards with the same rank.
  • Full House – Three cards with the same rank followed by two more cards with the same rank.
  • Flush – Five cards of the same suit but without a sequence.
  • Straight – Sequence of five cards that are not of the same suit.
  • Trips – Three cards with the same rank. If you hold a pair and the third card is part of the community cards, then the trio will be called SET.
  • Pairs – Two pairs of cards with the same rank.
  • High Card – The highest card player holds. If he is holding the highest card among the players, he will win the hand.

Players Can Hold The Following Pairs:

  • Top Pair – Player who holds the pair with the highest community card that is revealed on the board. Example: A player holds 8-10 and, on the flop, opens 4-5-10 this player holds the top pair.
  • Middle Pair – Player who holds the pair with the second-highest community card that is revealed on the board. Example: A player holds 4-6 and, on the flop, opens 3-6-10. This player holds the middle pair.
  • Bottom / Low Pair – The player who holds the pair with the lowest community card that is revealed on the board. Example: A player holds 8-J and on the flop opens 8-Q-K. This player holds low pair.
  • Over Pair – Player who holds pocket cards pair which are higher than all community cards that are on the board. Example: A player holds a Q-Q pair and on the flop opens 6-7-10 this player has a pair over the board.

Over pair
Learn and remember all these poker terms

    • Suit – Two pocket cards with the same shape. Example: A-K of spades are suited cards.
    • Off Suit – Two pocket cards not from the same suit.

Pocket cards suited

    • Rainbow Flop – Flop without cards of the same suit.
    • Premium Hand – One of the ten strongest hands in poker, which are: A-A, K-K, Q-Q, J-J, A-K Suited, 10-10, A-K Off suit, A-Q Suited, 9-9, A-J Suited.
    • Over Cards – A player who holds pocket cards whose ranks are higher than the community cards on board or higher than the hand held by an opposing player in all-in.
    • Connectors – Two pocket cards in ascending order. Example: 8 – 9 are connector cards.
      Suited Connectors – Two pocket cards in ascending order with the same suit. Example: 8 – 9 of hearts are suited connectors cards.
    • One Gap – Two pocket cards with one gap between them. Example: 8-10.
    • Flush Draw – A situation after the flop or turn where a player holds 4 suited cards called a Flush Draw. If a player holds the Ace flush card, he is running for a Nut Flush Draw. For example, You hold an A-K of hearts and on the flop, it opens 2 of hearts, 8 of hearts, 10 of spades the two cards with hearts are in flush draw mode.

Flush Draw

  • Pocket Rockets Getting the strongest pair A-A.

Positions at the table:   

    • Button – The button marks the dealer position. At the end of each hand, the button moves clockwise.
    • Small Blind – The first position on the left to the dealer, a player in this position is charged at half the mandatory betting height. In online poker, this position is marked as SB.
    • Big Blind – The first position left to the SB position, a player in this position is required to pay the mandatory bet in full. In online poker, this position is marked as BB.
    • Under The Gun – The first position is left to the BB position. The player in this position is the first to start the action every hand. In online poker, this position is marked as UTG.
    • Middle Position – Player located in the middle of the table in a full-ring poker game (6-10 players).
    • Full Ring – Game of poker with more than six players, typically using a phrase for a poker game with nine or ten players.
    • Late Position – The Player located in the last 2 or 3 farthest positions from the dealer in a full-ring poker table (6-10 players) is in a late position.
    • Hijack – Late position refers to a player who is located two positions to the right of the button. (In full ring poker table).
    • Cutoff – Late position refers to a player who is located one position to the right of the button (In a full ring poker table).
    • Ante – A mandatory bet on all players who entered the pot even before the cards were dealt. This is usually a bet that exists in the advanced stages of tournaments.
    • Straddle – Taking position by the player sitting left of the BB player, by inserting a double amount of the BB. Players who want to straddle must act before receiving the pocket cards. Action is available only in cash games and not tournaments.
    • Time – The time allotted to a player to act. In online poker, a fixed clock will be activated, if you do not make the action on time, an automatic Fold will be performed.
    • Short – A situation where a player does not have as many chips compared to other players and in relation to the height of the blinds.  This usually causes the player to change his game mode.
    • Chip Leader – The player with the most chips on the table as of that counting moment.
    • Bubble – When players are standing one place before securing a final prize. If there are 3 winners to be awarded in a tournament as per the terms of the tournament, then as soon as there are 4 players left, they will be in the bubble stage.
    • Heads Up – Poker game with only two players. The game can start with 2 players or get to a point where only two players remained, and the rest have been eliminated.
    • Check – An action of a player that passes the turn to the next player, without placing a bet. If a player has made a bet, a check cannot be made.
    • Check Raise – Raising action of a player comes after the initial check action of that player.
    • Bet – An action performed by a player who decides to put money into the pot.
    • Call – Payment of one player to another player's bet
    • Raise – Over bet made by a player after a previous bet.
    • Re Raise – A third bet made by a player after a previous raise (Also called 3Bet).
    • All In – When a player bets all his chips into the pot.
    • Fold – A player's decision not to continue playing in the hand and he discards the cards.
    • Showdown – The final stage in which the players show their cards, and the winner is announced. A winner can also be determined without showing cards.
    • Muck – Throwing cards without showing them. Usually, poker players perform a muck so as not to reveal their move
    • Limp – Payment of blind only without a bet.
    • Bluff – A special player's move to win a hand even though he does not have a strong hand.
    • Semi Bluff – A special player's move to win a hand that has some chance to get stronger.
    • Squeeze – An action of a player that comes after one player has made a bet and another player has equalized. The player makes a high bet to force weaker players to fold.
    • Isolate – An action of a high bet by a player that usually revolves around isolating a specific opponent by forcing the others to fold. This is done to create a one-on-one action.
    • Slow Play – Playing strategy of a poker player who is holding a strong hand and does not want to be dominant in the hand, to let other players make action first. There is a higher risk of losing a strong hand playing slow.

Slow play poker strategy

  • Continuation Bet – A player who has made a bet at the pre-flop stage makes a continuation bet after the flop is revealed to show his dominance in the hand.
  • Run – A situation in cash games where players who went all in, request to open community cards several times (1,2,3 times). It can be a full board (All in pre-flop) turn and river cards or just the river.
  • Burn – An action made by the dealer. Before dealing any pocket cards or opening any community cards the dealer burns the first card on the deck which removes it from the game.
  • Break – A player who holds a strong pair and enters all-in and loses to a player who has a weaker hand. For example, A player holding a pair of Aces, entering all-in against a player holding a pair of Kings, and on board opened K-J-7-6-2. The player holding the pair of Kings won and broke the player holding the pair of Aces.
  • Bad Beat – A player who led at the flop and turn stages, but the river card changed his situation from victory to a loss.
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For Advanced Poker Players:

  • Open Ended – When a player can get straight after the flop from two ways up and down. Example: Player holds pocket cards 9-10 and flop is 7-8-2. The player can get straight with J (up) or 6 (down).
  • Gutshot – When a player can get straight after the flop with only a 1-way card. Example: Player holds pocket cards 9-10 and the flop is Q-8-2. We can only get straight in 1 way if J comes.
  • Back Door – When a player receives two cards in a row on the turn and a river which leads him to win the hand. For example, player holds J-10 suited hearts, on the flop we have 8 of Spades – 2 of Diamonds – Ace of Hearts, Turn came 4 of Hearts and River K of Hearts. The player got 2 out cards in a row to get Flush and he will probably win the hand.
  • Pot Committed – When the amount of chips in the pot and in relation to the amount of chips you have, does not allow you to make a fold and you are committed to paying the bet.
  • Poker odds – Describe the probability that you can expect to win or lose or the price on offer. It can also specify how often you need to have the best hand to call a bet. Every bet, raise or call, that you make in no-limit Texas Hold’em has its own odds.
  • Equity – Refers to the share of the pot that belongs to a player if there were no more actions to be made and the rest of the cards are dealt. It is based on the probability that a player will have the best hand after the cards are dealt. For example, if you go all-in preflop with pocket Aces and another player calls with pocket Kings, there is an 82% probability that you will still have the best hand once the flop, turn, and river is dealt. Therefore, your equity is 82%.
  • Fold equity – The probability that a player will fold versus a bet or raise. For example, if there’s a 25% chance your opponent will fold to a bet in a $400 pot, you have 25% fold equity (worth $100) in that pot.
  • Action – A phrase that describes the execution of the bets in poker. Cash poker players love poker games with a lot of action.
  • Poker No-Limit – Poker game in which there is no limit on the amount of bets that a player can make.
  • Limit Poker – Poker game in which players have limits on the amount of bets they can make.
  • Family Pot – The accumulated pot after the first round of betting pre-flop ended and no player made a bet, but everyone just paid the blinds.
  • Side Pot – A situation where several players participate in hand and one of the players, who is short, enters All In. The total bets of all players together with all short player’s chips will be his side pot.
  • Split Pot – A situation where 2 or more players have the same winning hand at a showdown and pot needs to be divided between them.
  • Tell – A sign that a player performs unconsciously in which he gives revealing clues about his hand’s strength or weakness.
  • Chase – A player who holds weak pocket cards and his chances of getting outs are very low, and he is not folding.
  • Drawing Dead – When a player has no chance of winning the hand. Example: Player entered all-in with pair A-A against a player holding A-K off suit. Flop opens A-4-6 the player who holds A-K lost the chance to win and he is Drawing Dead.
  • Chop – No payment of the blinds made by other players except the SB and BB players. The dealer may return the blinds and move on to the next hand.
  • Donk Bet – A bet that comes from a player who did not place a bet in the previous betting round and is not waiting for a continuation bet from the player who made the first bet in the previous betting round.
  • Bankroll – The amount of money you have in favor of poker in general. Accordingly, you must determine the amount of entry fees for the cash games or tournaments that are suitable for you to play.

Terms for Online Poker Players:

  •  Satellite Tournament – Online Tournament in which the winner is guaranteed a ticket to a bigger and more prestigious tournament. Suitable for players with low bankroll who can't pay high entry fees to tournaments.
  • Freeroll Tournament – Online poker tournament where entry is free, and you do not have to pay any entry fee.
  • Add on – A stage in online poker tournaments where players are allowed to buy more chips even though they have not lost all the chips they have. A strengthening phase that is open to all players.
  • Freezeout tournament – Online tournament where no further purchase is possible i.e. no re-buy. If you lost all of your chips, your game is finished.
  • Bounty – Online tournament where there are prizes on all players’ heads, the player who expels you from the tournament will win the amount on your head.

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