The world of poker has developed its own terms and lingo over the years. Plenty of slang terms are used at the table which most beginners may find very confusing and intimidating. Here, we have made an attempt to explain a few terms that may be of use to beginners at the game.
Add-on Add-on in poker allows tournament players to add to their chip stacks; this is usually only allowed during a specific time period within a tournament.
All-in This means the player is putting his complete chip stack into the pot. If he doesnt win that hand, he is out of chips and also out of the game.
Ante The bet placed before the hand is dealt is known as the Ante bet. It is placed by players, as a “cost” of being able to play in that hand.
Bad Beat This means losing a hand to when you were the favorite to win.
Bankroll Bankroll is the amount of funds available to the player.
Bet Betting is to put money into the pot.
Blind A blind bet is one placed by the player sitting to the left of the dealer before a hand is dealt. It is sometimes used instead of an ante bet.
Big Blind/ BB This is a specific bet amount put up before the hand is dealt by the player in second position clockwise from the dealer.
Bluff Bluffing is when a player bets aggressively even though he does not have a good hand, in an effort to get the other players to fold.
Button This is the player in the dealer’s position, or the actual circular marker used to signify the dealers position.
Buy-in It is the money needed to play in the poker game.
Call To call is to place into the pot the amount needed to match the previous bets made for that betting round.
Check Check is a bet of nothing. If no bets have been placed during the current betting round, the player whose turn it is to bet can bet nothing, and pass the betting to the player to his or her left. If everyone around the table checks, the betting round ends.
Community Cards These are cards that are dealt face up in the center of the table for the use of all players participating in the hand.
Down to the Felt A player who is broke.
Fifth Street This is the fifth community card or the river card to be dealt at the table.
Fish A player who plays with a poor hand in hopes of winning with luck. Such a player who makes bad plays is also called ‘Donkey’, shortened to ‘Donk’.
Flop These are the first three cards dealt at the table.
Fold If your cards are not good enough for a win, you may drop out of the hand. When you fold, you need not put more money into the pot, so you give up any chance at winning it.
Free Roll– This is poker tournament with no cost to the player, although he can win fabulous prizes.
Freeze Out A freeze out is a game that continues till one player has all chips.
Hand A hand is a group of cards, generally five, that are compared to the cards of other players to see who wins. The word hand may also be used to mean a single round of poker.
Hole Card This is the player’s hand.
Kicker The high value card used to break the tie.
LL Low limit
Low Hand Used in Hi/Lo games to indicate the winning low hand.
NL No limit
NLH No limit Hold ’em
MTT Multi Table Tournament
Odds The possibility of winning a hand as against not winning it.
Poker face A blank facial expression that the player has while playing at the table, which hides all emotions.
Pot The pot is the final prize for a poker hand. It is made up of all the antes or blinds, in addition to all the bets made during that hand.
Raise To raise means to increase the amount of the bet for the current betting round, subsequent to another player who has already placed a bet.
Rake: The money taken from each pot by the house. In other words, it is like a fee taken for playing the game.
Rakeback: A percentage of the rake paid back to the player for playing at a particular poker site.
Re-buy: The opportunity to buy more chips within a tournament.
Ring Game: A poker game that is not a tournament.
Royal Flush This is the best hand in poker, also known as an ace high straight; Ace, King, Queen, Jack, 10.
Satellite A small tournament that leads to a larger one.
SB Small blind.
Showdown This is the end of the hand, when all remaining players display their cards to see who has the best hand.
Short-stacked – A player having the least amount of chips at the table.
Table Talk Any conversation at the poker table, especially one that would affect the game.
Tells The players behaviors or mannerisms that might disclose certain things about his hand to his opponents.
Wild card A wild card is card whose value is decided by the player holding it.
There are plenty of poker terms and understanding each and every one is no mean task. We have tried to include the most common ones in this list. Luckily, a wealth of information is available online and if you wish to jog your memory, just take a look at the glossary of poker terms.
When you play poker at a land based casino, you are expected to follow certain etiquette at the table. However, the anonymity of the online scenario might sometimes bring out the worse in us. Some etiquette must be followed while playing online poker as well. It is best not to be rude in the chat session or slow down the game by being inattentive.