There are a number of terms and phrases that are used often in poker. In this glossary we have provided definitions and explanations of the most common ones, as well as abbreviations, acronyms, and slang terms used for poker hands. You can check out the different sections on this page below:
General Poker Terms
The following is a list of the general terms that are most often used while playing poker. Knowing the phrases listed below will help you fit in better at any poker game or tournament that you might play in and some of these may even be useful while sitting in at a table.
A player playing their A-game is playing to the very best of their ability.
A playing style that's strategically sound but does not involve making any particularly advanced moves.
To beat an opponent with ace high.
To make a move (bet, fold, call, raise etc.) at the required time. For example, "It's your turn to act".
A player that makes a move when it's not their turn is said to have acted out of turn.
A community card that's likely to result in significant betting from two or more players.
A flop that's likely to create multiple draws and/or strong hands.
A player who is still involved in the pot.
A single purchase of additional chips in a tournament, that's usually offered to all players at the end of a rebuy period.
A style of play that involves frequently opening or raising pots.
A statistic found in most heads up displays that provides an indication as to how aggressive a player is. It's calculated by dividing the total number of bets and raises made by the total number of calls made.
A very weak hand. Commonly associated with a bluff (e.g. "he raised with air" means he made a bluff with a weak hand).
A resilient player that copes well with bad results is said to have alligator blood.
Betting all of your chips on the current hand.
A slang term used to refer to a player's chips, often shortened to ammo.
A forced bet that all players must pay before the hand starts in some forms of poker; it's also used in tournaments, usually in the later rounds.
The deliberate breaking of a rule, or spirit of a rule, to try and gain an advantage.
A cash game feature offered by most online poker sites that automatically tops up a player's stack to the maximum buy-in if they fall below it, providing they have enough money in their account.
An image used to represent each player at the table at online poker sites. Usually the avatar can be customized.
A term applied to a drawing hand that needs an appropriate card on both the turn and river to complete the river.
Losing a hand that was the favorite to win at one point.
A jackpot that's offered by many poker rooms, live and online, and is paid out when a particularly bad beat occurs. Typically it has to be a very strong hand, such as quads, beaten by an ever stronger hand.
The total amount of money that a player has to play poker with.
The act of betting out in a round having already bet out in the previous round, or rounds.
When the only remaining players in a hand are those who paid the blinds in that hand.
To put money into the pot when you are the first person to act (subsequent bets are either calls or raises).
The larger of the two forced bets that must be placed before the hand starts in some forms of poker.
A word used to describe a player hitting one of their outs.
A card that is of no value (e.g. "I was hoping for a heart on the river, but it came down a blank").
A forced bet that must be placed before the hand starts in some forms of poker.
A bet made with the aim of keeping an opponent's bet smaller than it might otherwise have been, and controlling the size of the pot.
Betting or raising to try and make your opponent(s) fold when you don't think you have the best hand.
The shared cards, or community cards, used in some forms of poker.
Extra funds that many online poker sites offer customers as an incentive for joining or playing.
An automated computer program that plays poker online without the need for human interaction. Not allowed at most poker sites.
A pair made using the lowest card on the board and a matching card in your hand.
A cash prize offered in some tournaments for eliminating a specific player, or players.
A forced bet in stud poker games.
The highest finishing position in a poker tournament that's outside the pay outs. For example, if the top ten players are paid then eleventh place is the bubble.
An online poker player who plays only those players that are perceived to be weak.
A slang term for being knocked out of a tournament or running out of money.
A marker used to show which player is the dealer in the hand.
In a cash game, the amount of money used to buy chips. In a tournament, the cost of entry.
To match the current bet in a betting round.
A player that tends to call frequently, rarely raising or folding.
A term used to describe a prolonged period of bad cards.
The last card of a particular rank in the deck. For example, if three Aces have been dealt, then the fourth Ace is the case Ace.
In cash games, as opposed to tournament games, each hand is played for real money and players can join or leave at any time.
To finish in the pay out positions in a tournament.
To change a style of play. For example, moving form a tight aggressive style to a lose aggressive style.
To call a bet, or bets, hoping to improve a hand.
To bet nothing, which is only possible if no-one else has bet during a betting round.
To check and then raise a bet made by another player in the same round.
A poker expression used to state that no matter how low in chips a player gets in a tournament they still have a chance; all they need is a chip and a chair.
In a tournament, the player currently with the most amount of chips.
An agreement by the players left in a tournament to divide the remaining prize money between them.
Using verbal statements in a way deliberately meant to deceive an opponent, or opponents.
A situation where two players are all-in in a pot, and they both have a roughly even chance of winning.
A drawing hand that has more than one chance to improve. For example, four cards to a straight and a flush is a combo draw.
Raising, or re-raising, another player's bet.
The shared card(s) that are dealt face up for all players to use in some forms of poker.
Two, or more, cards that are of consecutive rank; for example Jack/10 or 3/4.
In some forms of poker, a type bet that is made after the flop by the player who opened the betting in the first round.
A situation where a very good hand is beaten by one even better. For example, four of a kind being beaten by a straight flush.
A call that's made by a player that thinks he's probably beaten, but calls anyway.
A position at the poker table that's directly to the right of the dealer button.
The person dealing the cards, or the player that's in the dealer position with someone else actually dealing the cards.
A game where the dealer gets to choose which particular form of poker is played in each round.
A slang term for the 2 card.
A low standard player.
A prolonged period where a player loses consistently.
Holding a draw, or drawing hand, means there's a good chance for the hand to improve from additional cards. For example (in Texas Holdem), if you hold a Queen and a Jack in your hand and there's a 10 and 9 on the flop you are drawing to a straight if the turn or river is a King or an 8.
When you hold a hand that cannot beat an opponent's hand no matter what cards come.
When the community cards make it unlikely that any player can have made a particularly strong hand, such as a flush or a straight.
A side pot that has no money in it. When a player goes all in and is called (but not raised) by more than one opponent, a side pot is created, but it doesn't contain any money.
Describes the position of the first few players to act during a round of betting.
SThe amount of expected value a player has in any given situation. For example, if a player has a 60% chance of winning a $100 pot, then their equity at that point is $60.
Commonly known as "EV", a concept in poker that defines the long term profitability of a specific action or situation.
Cards that are face up for everyone to see. They can be the community cards in a game such as Texas or the face up cards in a player's hand in 7 Card Stud.
When a player pretends to think about a decision when in fact they have already made their mind up.
A pot in which all, or most, of the players in the game are active.
The act of getting unnecessarily tricky in any given hand or situation.
A slang term for a poker table. For example, "I just had a great session at the felt".
A collective term for all the players in a tournament.
The last table in a multi-table tournament.
Describes the position of the first player to act during a round of betting.
A low standard player.
A betting structure where there's a maximum amount that can be bet and raised in each betting round.
The act of calling a bet with the intention of making a bluff in a subsequent betting round.
In some poker games that involve community cards, these are the first three community cards that are dealt.
The act of calling a bet without raising.
A hand that's made up entirely of cards from one suit.
To discard a hand and become inactive in the current pot.
The probability of a player causing his opponent to fold by raising or betting.
A bet that a player must make, such as a big blind or an ante.
A hand that contains four cards of the same rank.
A type of poker tournament that.'s free to enter.
A type of poker tournament that has a fixed entry fee and where players are eliminated when they lose all their chips, until one player has won all the chips in play.
A hand that contains three card of one rank, and two cards of another rank.
A cash game with 9 or 10 players.
A theory that appears in "The Theory of Poker", a book written by David Sklansky. The theory essentially states that the basic idea of poker is to make an opponent play differently than he would if he could see all the cards.
The act of removing winnings from the poker table but continuing to play; this is a practice that's frowned upon.
A player that seeks to make consistent, usually small, profits over a prolong period of time.
A type of tournament where the prize pool is guaranteed to be at least a certain amount, regardless of number of entrants.
A slang term for an inside straight draw.
A stage of a multi-table tournament where each table must wait until all tables have finished their current hands before starting the next.
A record of hands played at online poker rooms. Used by players to study and analyze their play.
A game, or stage of a tournament, when there are just two players.
A tool used when playing poker online that overlays the screen with a display that shows various useful statistics on a player's opponents.
A period where a player gets a run of very good results.
A call based on a marginal read on an opponent.
A position at the poker table that is two seats to the right of the dealer button.
Winning a big pot and then leaving the table straight after.
The face down cards that are dealt to each player.
A mathematical model that can be used to calculate a player's equity in a tournament.
A position in a poker tournament that wins a share of the prize money.
A drawing hand that needs one more card to complete a straight, where the required card is somewhere in the middle of the straight. For example, 9/8/6/5 or 9/7/6/5.
To call a bet immediately without having to think about it.
A slang term for raising a pot.
A slang term for going all in. For example "I jammed the pot".
A slang term for rake.
A hand that has very low value.
The highest unpaired card in a hand.
A tournament in which each entrant has a bounty and players win a bounty every time they knock another player out.
Describes the position of the last few players to act in a hand.
The minimum or maximum bet or raise that can be made. Also a term used instead of fixed limit.
To call a bet rather than raising, when entering the pot.
A style of play that involves playing a lot of hands.
A combination of the loose and aggressive styles of play.
A hand that doesn't need further cards to improve.
A deal where there has been a mistake made and must then be redealt.
A slang term for folding a hand.
A type of tournament that is played over more than one table.
The act of playing online poker at several tables simultaneously.
A pot where several players are involved.
A slang term for a very tight player, that only plays high value hands.
A betting structure where players can bet as many of their chips as they want.
Very high stakes games of poker.
A slang term for the best possible hand in a particular situation.
Cards that aren't of the same suit.
To make the first bet in a hand.
A drawing hand consisting of four cards in ranking sequence, needing one more card to complete a straight. For example, 9/8/7/6 or 6/5/4/3.
When a player has to act before his opponent (s) in a betting round.
Any position in a tournament that isn't awarded any of the prize money.
Cards that will improve a hand and make it more likely to win. For example, if you have four cards of one suit then all other cards of that suit are outs to complete your flush.
A bet that is bigger than the size of the pot.
A hand that contains two cards of the same rank.
A style of play that involves mostly checking and calling rather than betting and raising.
The face down cards dealt to a player.
A pair dealt to a player in his pocket cards.
The location of a player in the betting order during a hand.
The total amount of money and/or chips wagered in a hand that's won by the player with the best hand.
A betting structure where the maximum bet is equal to the current size of the pot.
A bet that's equal to the current size of the pot.
A raise that's equal to the current size of the pot.
The stage of a hand when the flop hasn't yet been dealt.
A slang term for going all in. For example "I thought my hand was best, so I pushed".
A slang term for four of a kind.
A tournament where the winner, or winners, qualify for another tournament with a larger entry fee.
A low value/worthless card.
A spectator of a poker game.
To make a bet larger than previously made bets in the betting round.
Money that's taken from a pot by the house at the end of each round, as payment for running the game.
Insight into what an opponent may be holding. For example, "I had a read on him, and thought I was beat so I folded".
A type of tournament where players can buy back in after they have lost all their chips, for an agreed period of time.
To raise after a raise has already been made.
An alternative term for cash game.
In some poker games that involve community cards, this is the final community card that's dealt.
A slang term for a very tight player.
A hand that contains the Ace, King, Queen, Jack and 10 of one suit; the best possible hand.
A three of a kind using a pocket pair and a matching card on the board.
A slang term for a very strong player.
A cash game with six players or less.
In cash games, a stack that is smaller than half the maximum buy-in. In tournaments, a stack that is noticeably lower than the average stack.
A slang term for going all in. For example, "I wanted him to fold, so I just shoved".
The stage of a hand when, if more than one player has completed the final betting round, remaining players show their hands to see who has won.
An additional pot that can be created during a hand if one player goes all in and other players continue to bet.
A tournament that involves players at one table only.
A type of tournament that has no fixed start time and begins whenever the required number of players have joined.
To take an unnecessary amount of time to make a decision when holding a strong hand.
The smaller of the two forced bets that must be placed before the hand starts in some forms of poker.
To call a bet immediately without a great deal of thought.
When two, or more, players have the same value hand and share the pot.
A hand that consists of five sequentially ranked cards. For example, 9/8/7/6/5.
A hand that consists of five sequentially ranked cards, of the same suit. For example, the 9 of Spades, the 8 of Spades, the 7 of Spades, the 6 of Spades, and the 5 of Spades.
To win against a hand that was favorite to win at some point during the hand.
Cards of the same suit.
Two, or more, cards that are of consecutive rank and the same suit.
A noticeable change in the behavior/demeanor of a player that provides a clue to how strong their hand might be.
A hand that consists of three cards of the same rank.
A style of play that involves playing only strong hands.
A combination of the tight and aggressive styles of play.
When a player loses control of their emotions, usually caused by a bad result or a bad beat, and plays recklessly. For example, "I got sucked out on too many times and went on tilt for a while".
A pair made using the highest card on the board and a matching card in your hand.
A slang term for the 3 card.
A three of a kind hand using one card from hole cards and two from the community cards.
A type of tournament where the blind levels increase more quickly.
In some poker games that involve community cards, this is the fourth community card that's dealt.
A hand consisting of two cards of equal rank and another two cards of a different equal rank. For example, two Kings and two 10s.
A position at the poker table that is directly to the left of the blinds.
A position at the poker table directly to the left of Under The Gun.
A bet made by a player that is hoping to get called because they expect to win.
A statistic used for heads up display which shows, as a percentage, the number of times a player chooses to enter a pot.
A statistic used in heads up displays that shows, as a percentage, the number of times a player goes to showdown.
A slang term for a straight consisting of Ace, 2, 3, 4, 5.
Poker Acronyms & Abbreviations
The following is a list of acronyms and abbreviations that are often used in poker. Some of these aren't unique to poker, but they are often used in chat at online poker rooms and forums where poker is discussed.
AF: Aggression Factor
AFAIK: As Far As I Know (used in chat/forums)
AI: All In
AIPF: All In Pre Flop
AK: Ace King (an ace and a king as your hole cards)
AMC: All My Chips
AO: Add On
APPT: Asia Pacific Poker Tour
APT: Asia Poker Tour
ATC: Any Two Cards
B&M: Bricks & Mortar (used to describe a live poker room, as opposed to an online one)
B/C: Bet / Call (describes when a player bets and then calls a raise)
B/F: Bet / Fold (describes when a player bets and the folds to a raise)
B3B: Bet - 3 bet (describes when a player bets, is raised, and then re-raises)
BBJ: Bad Beat Jackpot
BRB: Be Right Back (used in chat/forums)
BTW: By The Way (used in chat/forums)
BWDIK: But What Do I Know (used in chat/forums)
C/C: Check / Call (describes when a player checks and then calls a bet)
C/F: Check / Fold (describes when a player checks and then folds to a bet)
C/R: Check / Raise (describes when a player checks and then raises a bet)
C-Bet: Continuation Bet (a bet made after the flop by the pre-flop raiser)
CO: Cut Off
EP: Early Position
EV: Expected Value (+EV for positive expected value, -EV for negative expected value)
FE: Fold Equity
FH: Full House
FL: Fixed Limit
FPS: Fancy Play Syndrome
FT: Final Table
FTOP: Fundamental Theory/Theorem of Poker
FWIW: For What It's Worth (used in chat/forums)
FYI: For Your Information
GG: Good Game (typically used in chat at online poker rooms when a player busts out)
GL: Good Luck (used in chat)
GTD: Guaranteed (as in guaranteed prize pool in a tournament)
HH: Hand History
HJ: Hijack Position
HoH: Harrington on Hold'em (a very popular poker strategy book)
HTH: Head To Head
HU: Heads Up
HUD: Heads Up Display
ICM: Independent Chip Model
IIRC: If I Recall Correctly (used in chat/forums)
IMHO: In My Humble Opinion (used in chat/forums)
IMO: In My Opinion (used in chat/forums)
ITM: In The Money
LAG: Loose Aggressive
LHE: Limit Hold'Em
LP: Late Position
MHIG: My Hand is Good (used in chat)
MTT: Multi Table Tournament
NH: Nice Hand (used in chat)
NL: No Limit
O8: Omaha Hi-Lo
OESD: Open Ended Straight Draw
OESFD: Open Ended Straight Flush Draw
OOP: Out Of Position
OOTM: Out Of The Money
OTOH: On The Other Hand (used in chat/forums)
PF: Pre Flop
PFR: Pre Flop Raise (a raise before the flop is dealt)
PL: Pot Limit
PLO: Pot Limit Omaha
PLO8: Pot Limit Omaha Hi-Lo
PSB: Pot Sized Bet
PSR: Pot Sized Raise
PTL: Player To My Left
PTR: Player To My Right
R + A: Rebuy and Add-On
ROI: Return On Investment
SB: Small Blind
SH: Short Handed
SNG: Sit and Go Tournament
SS: Short Stack
STT: Single Table Tournament
TAG: Tight Aggressive
TPBK: Top Page Best Kicker
TPTK: Top Pair Top Kicker
TY: Thank You (used in chat/forums)
UTG + 1: 1 position to the left of Under The Gun
UTG: Under The Gun
VB: Value Bet
VNH: Very Nice Hand (used in chat)
VPIP: Voluntarily Put In Pot
WPT: World Poker Tour
WSOP: World Series of Poker
WTSD: Went To Showdown
Poker Hand Slang
Our guide to the slang terms used to describe poker hands is divided into two lists. The first contains popular terms used to describe combinations of hole cards and the second contains terms used for other hands. These lists are by no means exhaustive but do a great job of getting you started.
Slang Terms for Hole Card Combinations
Ace Magnets: A pair of kings.
Ace Rag: An ace and a low card.
Acey-Deucey: An ace and a two.
Aja: An ace and a jack.
American Airlines: A pair of aces.
Anna Kournikova: An ace and a king.
Apple Jacks: An ace and a jack.
Athos: An ace and a ten.
Beer Hand: A seven and a two.
Big Chick: An ace and a queen.
Big Lick: A nine and a six .
Big Slick: An ace and a king.
Bookends: An ace and a ten.
Bullets: A pair of aces.
Candy Canes: A pair of sevens.
Canine: A king and a nine.
Cherries: A pair of sixes.
Countdown: A ten and a nine.
Cowboys: A pair of kings.
Crabs: A pair of threes.
Dimes: A pair of tens.
Ducks: A pair of twos.
Hockey Sticks: A pair of sevens.
Jaybirds: A pair of jacks.
Kojak: A king and a jack.
Ladies: A pair of queens.
Little Slick: An ace and a two.
Magnum: A pair of fours.
Nickels: A pair of fives.
Pocket Rockets: A pair of aces.
Pothooks: A pair of nines.
Quack: A queen and a jack.
Rounders Hand: An ace and a nine.
Royal Couple: A king and a queen.
Snakes: A pair of fives.
Snowmen: A pair of eights.
Tina Turner: A queen and a ten.
Slang Terms for Other Poker Hands
Aces and Spaces: A pair of aces with three other worthless cards.
Aces Up: A two pair hand, when one of the pairs is aces.
Aces Uppy: See Aces Up.
Alabama Knight Riders: Three of a kind, kings.
Arkansas Flush: A flush made using four suited cards from the community cards.
Baby Flush: A flush made with low hole cards.
Big Bobtail: An outside straight flush draw.
Boat: Any full house.
Bobtail: An outside straight draw.
Broadway: A straight of ten to ace.
Dead Man's Hand: Two pair, aces and eights.
Devil's Hand: Three of a kind, sixes.
Forest: Four of a kind, threes.
Four Horsemen: Four of a kind, kings.
Four Pips: Four of a kind, aces.
Golf Bag: An all club flush.
Gutshot: An inside straight draw.
Huey, Dewey, and Louie: Three of a kind, twos.
Mighty Ducks: Four of a kind, twos.
Mommas and Poppas: Two pair, kings and queens.
Quads: Any four of a kind.
Slot Machine: Three of a kind, sevens.
Steel Wheel: A five high straight flush.
Three Wise Men: Three of a kind, kings.
Trips: A three of a kind hand using one card from hole cards and two from the community cards.
Wheel: A five high straight.
Yacht Club: Four of a kind, fours.