Poker Glossary

Action: A term used to describe the course of calling, betting, and raising during a hand.

Awareness: In poker awareness refers to the general level of understanding that you have about what is happening at a given point during the course of play. Knowledge of the various hand elements which may affect decision making.

The Back: A term used to describe the last three positions in a full ring game. The strongest positions at the table.

Bad Beat: In its loose usage it means any hand in which you've been beaten by a long shot draw. In its strict usage it is a term used to describe a situation in which one high hand has beaten another high hand.

Bankroll: The amount of money that you have available to you to play poker. It should be separated from other money that you need to live.

Bankroll Model: A system of rules created in order to structure your playing in order to limit risk.

Big Blind: Position 2, the player who must put up one full bet before the flop in order to initiate the betting process. A very weak table position.

Big Slick: A,K in your starting hand.

Blinds: Used alternately to describe the first two positions comprised of the big and small blind, or the actual amount of money that those positions must post before the start of each hand.

Bluff: To make a bet without a good hand in order to get your opponent to fold. See also Semi-Bluff.

Bounty Tournament: A tournament in which a small part of the entry fee is used to create a separate prize pool which pays every time one player knocks another player out of the tournament.

Broadway: A straight, Ten to Ace.

Bubble: The last non-winning finishing place in a tournament.

The Button: The last player to act after the flop and until the showdown. Always located to the right of the small blind. It is the strongest position at the table.

Call: To put up the amount bet to you without raising.

Calling Station: A term used to describe a player who continually calls or chases in response to aggressive bettors over a series of hands.

Chasing: Calling aggressive bets in the hopes of making a draw of some kind. A common and damaging mistake new players tend to make.

Check: To allow the action to pass without a bet or raise.

Check-Raise: To check your hand, then raise to an opponents bet. A check-raise is used to extract an extra bet from your opponent, but reveals the strength of your hand. See also check-raise bluff.

Check-Raise Bluff: To check-raise without a good hand, in order to make your opponent think that you have a good hand.

Community Cards: These consist of the flop, turn, and river cards, and can be seen and used by all players, along with their hole cards, to make the best five card hand possible out of the total seven cards.

Defending the Blind: To call a raise from the Big Blind position for no other reason than a player already has a bet on the table, an incorrect play.

Donkey: A derogatory term used to refer to a bad player.

Drawing Dead: To be drawing to a hand that can't win.

Hand Strength: The most important of three key elements that one needs to consider before coming to a decision weather or not to play a particular hand. Refers directly to the strength of your first two starting cards.

High Hand: Hands which include quads(four of a kind), a straight flush, or a Royal Flush.

Final Table: The last remaining table of 6, 9, or 10 players in a tournament, after everybody else has been knocked out.

Fish: An unskilled player. Most often used in a derogatory way.

Flop: The first three cards dealt into the community card area after the initial, pre-flop, betting round. The flop is dealt three cards at once.

Flopping the Nuts: To have the best hand that it is possible to make after the flop, but which may be beat by the outcome of the turn or river, aside from a Royal flush.

Fold: To lay down your hand, disqualifying you from the chance of winning the pot.

Freeroll: A type of tournament which is free to enter, run either by the house or a private party.

The Front: A term used to describe the first three positions, including the small blind, the big blind, and usually position 7. The weakest table positions.

Full Ring: A table with a maximum of 9 or 10 players.

Gambler's Fallacy: The incorrect belief that a non-memory based trend will continue in the future, or reverse itself sharply, simply because it has occurred in the past.

Guarantee: A type of tournament in which the prize pool is guaranteed to be a certain amount.

Heads-Up: A form of Texas Hold Em which involves only two players. One on one play.

Hole Cards: The first two cards dealt out to each player in Texas Hold Em. Also referred to as your starting hand, or pocket cards. These are yours alone to see and use.

Impulse Playing: Play that is not part of any kind of structure you have created for yourself in order to limit risk and honor sensible time limits of your playing sessions.

Kicker: Most often used to describe the lower card in your starting hand, but can also be the higher card in your starting hand if the lower card has made a pair on the board, and the higher card in your hand has not.

Limit Hold Em: A form of Texas Hold Em in which the betting is structured into set and limited amounts.

Loose: A playing style which shows some degree of recklessness when it comes to betting and raising. The opposite of tight.

Loss Limit: A set amount usually expressed in percentage of your overall bankroll that you are willing to lose for a particular day. An aspect of your bankroll model.

Maniac: A loose, aggressive player who continually bets and raises into hand after hand.

Micro Level: A game where the blind levels are smaller than .25/.50.

Multiway: A hand in which more than 2 players are involved after the flop.

The Middle: A term used to describe positions 4, 5, and 6, or those between the front and the back positions. The middle positions are neither the strongest or the weakest positions at the table-they are marginal.

No Limit Hold Em: A form of Texas Hold Em in which there are no limits to the amount of money you can bet or raise at particular time, except for the limit which equals the amount of money that you have at your disposal to play with.

The Nuts: The best hand that can be had at a given point in time. Pre-River nuts hands may be beaten by the outcome of later cards, with the exception of a Royal Flush.

Turbo-Tournament: A tournament in which the value of the blinds goes up much faster than in a regular tournament, either every 2 or 3 minutes, or every 10 hands.

Outkicked: A situation in which you lose a hand due to having an inferior kicker than your opponent, as in “being outkicked” or “getting outkicked”.

Pocket Cards: The first two cards dealt to you, which only you can see and use. Also called, starting hand, and hole cards.

Pocket Pair: Any pair which is dealt to you as a starting hand.

Pocket Rockets: A pair of Aces in your starting hand.

Position: One of three important factors to consider before making pre-flop decisions, and also impacting post flop decisions. Refers to the players place at the table in a given hand, be it Small Blind, Big Blind, or P3-P9.

Pot Odds: A rule which states bets should be called when the ratio of the remaining investment needed to be made to the overall pot is less than the chances of making a successful draw to win the hand.

Pot Limit: A form of poker in which the maximum that can be bet at given time is equal to the amount that is currently in the pot.

Rainbow: A term used to describe a flop which is of three different suits.

Raise: To increase the amount of the bet put to you.

Rake: A small percentage of the pot that the house takes in compensation for providing the playing service.

Rebuy/Add-On Tournament: A tournament in which the option is given to buy back in if the player looses all of his chips, and also to add a certain amount of chips on to the players current stack (add-on) after the initial phase of rebuying has ended.

Regular Tournament: A type of tournament in which the players entry fees comprise the exact amount of the prize pool, less the house take, and with no further guarantee.

River: The fifth card dealt into the community card area, after the post-turn betting round. Also the final card to be dealt before the showdown.

Semi-Bluff: To make a bluff in a situation in which you are most likely behind, but have a hand which has a good chance of beating your opponent's hand down the line.

Satellite: A type of tournament which is played in order to win an entry into a more expensive tournament.

Scare Card: A high card which accompanies two lower cards after the flop. It scares players out betting, on the possibility that the high pair has been made.

A Set: A three of a kind in which you hold two of the three cards in your starting hand. Also see Trips.

Self-Mastery: The ability to overcome various types of negative impulses and behaviors which often impede making money over time.

Shark: An expert player, who usually wins.

Showdown: The showdown occurs after the last, post river, round of betting, and is the time when the players left in the hand turn over their cards to determine the winner.

Sit and Go: A tournament in which there are a small and set amount of entrants required before the start. Sit and Goes go off more frequently than other types of tournaments.

Six Player Table: A card room in which six players maximum can sit at a table.

Slowplay: As in “slowplaying”, a term used to describe the act in which a player checks or otherwise shows a very strong hand to seem weak, in order to draw a bet from his opponent.

Small Blind: Position 1, sits to the left of the button and to the right of the Big Blind, and must post 1/2 a bet which he can later complete if desired. Otherwise the worst position on the table.

Suited-Connectors: Starting hand cards which are run consecutively in numbers and are also suited, such as 7,8 of hearts.

Super-Satellite: A tournament which is played to win an entry prize into a Satellite tournament. See Satellite.

Table Aggressiveness: One of three factors used to determine both hole card selection and post flop decisions. Can refer to both the general level of table aggression by looking at past activity, or to the concrete raising and re-raising of a current hand.

Table Image: The way players at a table tend to interpret the playing style or skill level of a particular player, or the way that player portrays his own style of play.

Tight: A term used to describe a style of play which is conservative when it comes to putting money in the middle of the table. The opposite of loose.

Tight-Aggressive: A term used to describe the optimal method of play, which combines conservation when one is holding a weak hand with aggression when one is holding a strong hand.

Trailing Stop: A method of locking in profits often used in stock and forex market trading, which is equally applicable to poker playing. An aspect of your bankroll model.

Trips: Three of a kind in which you have one of the cards in your starting hand and two of them in the community card area. Also see Set.

Turn: The fourth card dealt into the community card area, after the post-flop, or second round of betting. Also known as “fourth street”.

The following links for this poker course are listed sequentially. Beginners may want to go through in the order in which they are listed to get the whole rundown. More advanced players may want to skip around to the parts which hold interest for them.


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