World Casino Directory
Home / Articles / Games / Poker Terms Dictionary

Poker Terms Dictionary

Jon Sofen 09:00 Jul 19th, 2018 Games Online Gambling , Poker


You can get lost in the world of poker these days without a handy poker reference guide or dictionary - especially if you're new to the game and trying not to look like a fish at the local tournaments!

So we created this poker dictionary for you!


1: The term ACTION is often used to describe whose turn it is, such as 'where is the action?' Or 'which player is the action on?'
2: Action can also describe the level of play at a poker table; if players are playing ‘loose’ one might say ‘there is a lot of action at that table’.
3: Any movement involved in the play of the game is considered action. Placing a bet, folding cards, raising, checking, are all examples of actions.

ALL-IN - A player that is ALL-IN has bet all of their money or chips on the outcome of that particular hand.

ANTE - A predetermined amount posted before the start of a hand by all players involved.

BET - Making the first wager into the pot during any betting round.

BIG BLIND - A forced bet designed to promote action paid by the player 2 places left of the dealer button before his or her hand is dealt.

BLIND - A forced bet made before any cards are dealt.

BLIND GAME - A game which uses a blind system.

1: A dry erase board used in poker rooms for players to join the waiting list for a poker table.
2: Used in reference to the community cards face up on the table and shared by each player in the game.

BOARDCARD - A community card in the center of the table, shared by all players in the game.

BURNCARD - After each player has received their starting hand, the top card is ‘burned’ and tossed into the discard pile face down.

BUTTON - Short for ‘Dealer Button’. A player can be ‘on the button’ meaning they currently have the advantage of the dealer button.

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

BUY-IN - The minimum amount of money a player must stake to enter any given game.

CALIFORNIA LOWBALL - The primary poker game played in California during the 1970s.

CAPPED - The maximum number of raises allowable in this round has been reached. Players can call or fold, they can no longer raise.

CHECK - There is yet to be a bet in this round, and the player that has the action chooses not to bet, however does remain active in the hand.

CHECK-RAISE - Player Checks (See above) and then after an opponent places a bet, the original player raises that bet.

1: An agreement made between the big and small blinds when no action has been made prior to their turn to act, both players agree to pull back their blinds and fold their hands. 
2: Splitting the pot, generally due to a tied hand at showdown.

COLLECTION - The fee charged in a game.

COLLECTION DROP - A fee charged for each hand dealt to players in any given game.

COLOR CHANGE - Changing the chips from one denomination to another.

COMMON CARD - A card dealt face-up to be used by all players at the showdown in the game of stud poker if there are insufficient cards left in the deck to deal each player an individual card.

COMMUNITY CARDS - Cards dealt face-up in the center of the table that are shared by all players in the hand.

COMPLETE THE BET - A player has gone ‘All-In’ for less than the minimum bet, players may have the option to just call the short bet, or ‘complete the bet’ by betting the remainder of the amount.

CUT - To divide the deck into sections in such a manner as to change the order of the cards, generally accomplished by placing the bottom half of the deck on the top.

CUT-CARD - Generally a thin colored plastic card used to cut the cards and keep the bottom card covered from view.

DEAD CARD - A card that is not legally playable.

DEAD HAND - A hand that is not legally playable.

1: A term used to describe a bad player, that is assumed to have no chance in a tournament situation.
2: Chips that are moved into the center of the pot because they are not considered part of a player’s bet.

DEAL - Passing each player his or her cards, or placing cards on the board.

DEALER BUTTON - A round flat disk that indicates the player in the dealing position for that.

DISCARD(S) - Cards that have been thrown away.

DOWNCARDS - Cards that are dealt facedown in any game that uses community cards.

1: Taking another card.
2: A player has a draw, if they have part of the winning hand with more cards to come. Such as 4 cards to a 5 card flush with two cards still to come.

FACECARD - A king, queen, or jack.

FIXED LIMIT - A Pre-set bet amount.

FLASHED CARD - A card that has been partially exposed.

FLOOR - Short for Floor Person, Players and dealers will often ‘request a floor’.

FLOOR PERSON - A casino employee designed to keep play running smoothly, make final game decisions, and assign players to tables.

FLOP - Three community cards that are turned simultaneously after the first round of betting is complete.

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

FLUSH DRAW - The player needs one more card to make a flush.

FOLD - To discard your cards and end your involvement with the current hand.

FOURTH STREET - The second up-card in seven-card.

FOULED HAND - synonym for dead hand.

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

FREEROLL - A poker tournament that requires no buy in.

FULL HOUSE - Three of a Kind plus a pair.

HALF-KILL - Increases the blind and limits by fifty percent. (see Kill Below)

HAND - Cards held buy a player, including community cards where applicable.

HEADS-UP - Only two players involved in the action.

HOLECARDS - Cards dealt facedown to each player.

KANSAS CITY LOWBALL - Five-card draw, with no joker, and deuce-to-seven low hand values.

KICKER - The highest card in a players hand that is not used to form a pair or higher. Used to break a tie between to players with same valued hands.

KILL - An oversize blind, generally double the big blind and doubling the limit. A kill can be either voluntary or mandatory. Most commonly a kill occurs when a player wins two or more hands in a row at a designated kill table.

KILL BUTTON - A button used to indicate a player who has won two pots in a row in a Kill game.

KILL POT - A pot with a forced kill by the winner of the two previous pots, or the winner of an entire pot of sufficient size in a high-low split game.

LEG UP - The player has a ‘leg up’ on the kill pot. Player has one a pot already, and is one win away from having the ‘Kill button’.

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

LOWBALL - A draw game where the lowest hand wins.

LOWCARD - At seven-card stud, the lowest up-card, which is required to bet.

MISCALL - incorrectly declaring the rank or value of a hand verbally.

MISDEAL - Any mistake made by the dealer, such as a misplaced card, that required the cards be reshuffled and re-dealt.

MISSED BLIND - A button declaring that the player did not play their blind when it was their turn to be in the blinds, generally placed when player is away from the table.

1: [verb] To discard your cards without showing them to anyone.
2: [noun] The discard pile.

MUST-MOVE - In order to guarantee the most possible action at the main table, whilst still allowing players the option of playing a shorter table, a must move situation arises whereas players will be forced to move the main table as seats become available.

NO-LIMIT - A betting structure allowing players to wager any or all of their chips in one bet.

OPENER - The player who makes the first voluntary bet.

OPENER BUTTON - A button used to indicate who opened a pot in a draw game.

OPTION - The opportunity to make the last action from the big blind position pre flop.

1: Not to be confused with checking, in a pass and out game, a player that ‘passes‘ chooses not to place a bet and must fold their hand. 
2: Player opts not to call a wager, discards or mucks their hand, and forfeits interest in the current hand.

PAT - Not drawing any cards in a draw game.

PLAY BEHIND - A situation in which a floor has went to retrieve chips for a player that have not arrived yet, yet the player is using those chips as a part of a wager.

PLAY THE BOARD - Using all five community cards and none of your down cards.

PLAY OVER - To play in a seat belonging to another player during his or her absence.

PLAYOVER BOX - A clear plastic box used to cover and protect the chips of an absent player when someone plays over that seat.

1: The relation of a player’s seat to the blinds or the button.
2: The order of acting on a betting round or deal.

POT-LIMIT - A betting structure that allows bet up to the amount currently in the pot.

RACK - A plastic container designed to hold poker chips, generally used for transporting to and from poker tables.

RAISE - To increase the amount of a previously placed wager.

RERAISE - To raise after another player has already raised.

SCOOP - To win both the high and the low portions of a pot in a split-pot game.

SCRAMBLE - Scattering the playing cards face down on the table and mixing them.

SETUP - Replacing the previous cards with new ones, generally 2 decks of different color.

SIDE POT - A separate pot formed when one or more players lacks money to meet the bet to be eligible for the entire pot.

SHORT BUY - A buy-in that is less than the required minimum buy-in.

SHOWDOWN - Showing of hands to determine the winner at the end of a round.

SHUFFLE - Mixing the cards.

SMALL BLIND - Half of the big blind, a forced bet made by the player one seat to the left of the dealer.

SPLIT POT - A pot that is divided amongst players, due to a tie for the best hand.

STACK - Refers to a players staked chips in a particular game.

STRADDLE - An additional blind bet placed after the forced blinds, usually double the big blind in size or in lowball, a multiple blind game.

STRAIGHT - Five cards in consecutive order, such as 8, 9, 10, jack, queen.

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

STREET - Cards dealt on a particular round in stud games. For instance, the fourth card in a player’s hand is often known as Fourth Street, the sixth card as Sixth Street, and so on.

STRING RAISE - Player does not announce a raise, places some chips in front of him or her, and then reaches back and brings forward more chips.

STUB - The portion of the deck which has not been dealt.

TABLE STAKES - Players can bet no more than they have in front of them at the beginning of a hand, and cannot remove money from the table during the game.

TIME COLLECTION - Seat rental fee, paid in advance of play.

TURNCARD - The fourth card dealt in Texas and Omaha Hold'em.

UPCARDS - Cards that are dealt face-up for opponents to see in stud games.

WAGER - To place a bet.