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Poker 101
Poker Terms

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Poker Terms

ACES UP: A pair of Aces with any other pair.

ACTION: Making a move.  Either folding, checking, calling, betting, or raising. Other examples are showing your cards at the end of the hand, and drawing cards.

ACTIVE PLAYER: Anyone involved in a hand.  A player that has not folded his cards.

AGGRESSIVE ACTION: A bet or raise that might allow a player to win a pot without a showdown.

ALL BLUE: A clubs or spades flush.

ALL-IN: Betting all of your money/chips into the pot during the course of a hand.

ALL PINK: A diamonds or hearts flush.

ANTE: A forced wager posted required of all players before the cards are dealt.

BACK DOOR: When a player makes a hand he wasn’t intentionally drawing toward.

BACK RAISE: Re-raising.  Raising after another player raises.

BAD BEAT:   When a hand with a low percentage of winning catches a miracle card and suddenly beats a hand with a higher percentage of winning. 

BET: The act putting the money or chips put into the pot.

BIG BLIND: The largest regular blind in a game. A forced wager before the cards are dealt.

BLANK: A card that has little value to the hand.

BLIND: A forced wager made before the cards are dealt.

BLIND GAME: A game which utilizes a blind.

BLUFF: A bet or raise which is made to give the impression of strength when the layer actually holds a weak hand.

BOARD: (1) a waiting list of players wanting seats in specific games. (2) Community cards dealt face up in the middle of the table

BOARDCARD: Community cards dealt face up in the middle of the table.

BOTTOM PAIR: Pairing the lowest value card on the board.

BOXED CARD: A card that appears face-up in a deck where all other cards are facedown.

BROKEN GAME: A game no longer in action.

BUTTON: A player who is in the designated dealer position. The last player to act in a game.

BUTTON GAMES: Games in which a dealer button is used.

BUY-IN: The minimum amount of money required to enter a game.
CAPPED: Occurs in limit poker when the maximum number of raises in a particular betting round has been reached.

CHASE: To play a hand that is least likely to win.

CHECK: To waive the right to initiate the betting in a round, but to retain the right to act if another player initiates the betting.

CHECK-RAISE: To waive the right to bet until a bet has been made by an opponent, and then to increase the bet by at least an equal amount when it is your turn to act.

COLD CALL: To call a single bet or a bet with subsequent raises for the first time in a round.

COLLECTION: The fee charged in any game.

COLLECTION DROP: A fee charged for every hand dealt.

COLOR CHANGE: A request to change your chips from one denomination to another.

COMMON CARD: In Stud.  A card dealt face up to be used by all players when there aren’t enough cards left in the deck to deal each player an individual card.

COMMUNITY CARDS: In Hold’em, Razz and Omaha.  The cards dealt face-up in the center of the table that can be used by all players to form their best hand.

COMPLETE THE BET: To increase a small blind to a full bet.

CUT: To divide the deck into two sections in such a manner as to change the order of the cards.

CUT-CARD: The bottom card.

DEAD CARD: A card that is not legally playable.

DEAD HAND: A hand that is not legally playable.

DEAL: To give each player cards, or put cards on the board.

DEALING HIGH CARD: When the dealer literally deals one card to each player at the table with the goal of singling one player out for a table move, new dealer button etc.  The ‘winner’ of this one card deal is the player who is dealt the highest card.  This player is ‘awarded’ the button, the seat change etc.

DEAL OFF: To take all the blinds and the button before changing seats or leaving the table.

DECK: A set of playing-cards.

DISCARD: In a draw.  To muck cards from your hand to make room for replacements.

DOWNCARDS: In Stud.  Cards that are dealt facedown.

DRAW:  The game where players are given the opportunity to replace cards in their hand.  

DRAWING DEAD: Drawing to a hand that cannot possibly win because someone else holds a hand that will beat what you are drawing to.

DOMINATED: A hand that yields three or less outs.

EARLY POSITION: A position in which you must act before most of the players during a round.

FACECARD: A king, queen, or jack.

FLOP: The first three community cards dealt up after the first round of betting is complete.

FIXED LIMIT: In limit poker, any betting structure in which the amount of the bet on each particular round is pre-set.

FLASHED CARD: A card that is exposed.

FLUSH: A poker hand consisting of five cards of the same suit.

FOLD: To throw a hand away.

FOURTH STREET: The second up-card in seven-card stud or the fourth community card in Hold’em.

FORCED BET: A required wager to start the action on the first betting round.

FREEROLL: A chance to win something at no risk or cost.

FULL BUY: A buy-in of at least the minimum requirement of chips needed for a particular game.

FULL HOUSE: A hand consisting of three of a kind and a pair.

HEADS-UP PLAY: Only two players involved in play.

KICKER: The highest unpaired card that helps determine the value of a five-card poker hand.

LATE POSITION: A position in which you act after most of the other players during a round.

LIVE BLIND: A blind bet giving a player the option of raising if no one else has raised.

LOCK-UP: A chip marker that holds a seat for a player.

LOOSE: Playing a lot of hands.

LOOSE GAME: A game with a lot of players that play in most hands.

LOWBALL: A draw game where the lowest hand wins.

LOWCARD: The lowest upcard at seven-card stud, which is required to bet.

MIDDLE PAIR: Pairing the second highest card on the board.

MIDDLE POSITION: A position in which you act somewhere between the other players in a

MISCALL: An incorrect verbal declaration of the ranking of a hand.

MISDEAL: A mistake on the dealing of a hand which causes the cards to be reshuffled and a new hand to be dealt.

MUCK: To discard, or fold a hand.

NO-LIMIT: A betting structure where players are allowed to wager any or all of their chips in one bet.

NUTS: The best possible hand.

OPENER: The player who made the first voluntary bet.

OPTION: The choice to raise a bet given to a player with a blind.

OUTS: The cards that will improve a hand to win.

OVER CARD: A hole card that is higher than any other card on the board.

OVER PAIR: Two hole cards paired and higher than any card on the board.

PASSIVE: Checking and calling rather than betting and raising.

PLAY THE BOARD: In Hold’em.  Using all five community cards, and not your hole cards, for
your best hand.

POSITION: The order of acting on a betting round or deal as determined by the location of the button.

POT-LIMIT: The betting structure of a game in which you are allowed to bet up to the amount of the pot.

PROPOSITION BETS: Private side bets between players that are not related to the hand.

PROTECTED HAND: A hand of cards that the player is physically protecting to avoid flashing or fouling.

RAGS: Cards generally not worth playing.

RAISE: To increase the amount of a previous wager.

RE-RAISE: To raise someone’s raise.

RIVER: The final community card dealt.

SIDE POT: when a player is all in and the other players continue to bet, a SIDEPOT is formed. 
This pot cannot be won by the player who is all in.

SHOWDOWN: The final act of determining the winner.

SHUFFLE: The act of mixing the cards before a hand.

SMALL BLIND: In a game with multiple blind bets, the smallest blind.

SPLIT POT: A pot that is divided among players, either because of a tie for the best hand or by agreement prior to the showdown.

STACK: Chips in front of a player.

STEAL: To bet or raise causing an opponent to fold when you may not hold the best hand.

STRAIGHT: Five cards in consecutive rank.

STRAIGHT FLUSH: Five cards in consecutive rank of the same suit.

STRING RAISE: A bet made in more than one motion, without the declaration of a raise.  Considered rude and generally not allowed.

TIGHT: Playing fewer hands than normal.

TIGHT GAME: A game with very few players involved in each hand.

TOP PAIR: Pairing the highest card on the board.

TOURNAMENT: A poker competition, normally with an entry fee and prizes.

TURN: The fourth card dealt on the board during community card games.

WAGER: To bet or raise.


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