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Poker Dictionary

Common Poker Terminology

With any industry, club or social group, there are always terms specific there to. If you don’t know poker, you don’t know the terms, so understanding a conversation, statement or related article, might be a little bit difficult. Following is a list of very general universal terms and their meanings as they apply to poker, online and off.   Here is our own little poker dictionary:

Poker Terms

ALL IN: When a player bets all of the money they have on a given hand. If the choice is made when there is only one other player in the hand, no additional bets will be levied, the final cards will be dealt, regardless of the form of poker being played.

BETTING ROUND: When playing a full held game, where all the cards are hidden from opponents, the betting/folding round begins when the player to the left of the dealer makes their first move. If the game being played is Holdem or Razz or another game where there are visible cards dealt, then the player with the best cards showing typically starts the betting/folding round. The round is complete once everyone at the table has had an opportunity to make the most appropriate choice for the hand they are holding.

BIG SLICK: Nickname for AK

BUGS: Referrers to Jokers, which are typically played wild.

CALLING STATION: A weak-passive player that prefers to call someone else’s bet rather than betting themselves.

DONK: Short for “donkey”, a term used to refer to bad players or a bad play. For example, if you push all in on the turn and get called by a better hand, but get lucky on the river, the other player may say, “That was a real donk move”.

DOWN CARD: Also known as Down or Hole Card is the card not in view of all players. Typically these cards are the first ones dealt.

DECLARE: Used during High/Lo games where the pot is split between the highest hand and the lowest hand. Each player holds one of the following as declaration. One chip concealed in your hand means you’re trying for a low hand. Two chips concealed indicate a declaration for the high hand win, and three chips indicates both. At the same time, after everyone has chosen, all players open their hand for the table to see at the same time make known the declaration.

EXCHANGE: This occurs during a draw game, where some cards are discarded and replaced with cards derived from the deck.

FACE: Cards facing the table for full view. This term can be heard when discussing poker variations such as Hold’em, Omaha, and Razz.

FISH: Similar to donk a fish is another term for a bad player. Fish like to chase for cards and will often call with any pair hoping to get lucky on the river. Kind of like they are “fishing” for cards.

FTW: Used on poker forums, FTW is short for “For the Win”.

: Playing with minimal risk hoping to scoop up a lot of smaller pots. The grinding part refers to them slowly grinding their bankroll up in size.

GUTSHOT: A drawing hand where a player is hoping to catch one card to make a straight.

HI/LO: The highest hand and the lowest hand split the divide the pot evenly. In most Hi/Lo games it is feasible to win the whole pot, as a result of having both the highest and lowest hands. Achieving this is done through wild cards or by using different sets of 5 cards that fit into the two positions. It is also needed to declare what you are seeking to achieve, and thus achieve it to win. Meaning simply, that if you declare you are seeking to win the high hand and low hand, and miss on either one, you get nothing, regardless if you are holding one of the two best hands. While playing a Hi/Lo game the hands are compared across the felt against every other hand. The results of this is that if some one who declared they were shooting for a hi hand and end up with the best low hand, those who have a lo hand in declaration, do not win, and neither does the lowest hand win the pot as they declared highest. If it is a case where the people declaring both win one and not the other, such as winning the highest hand, but not the lowest, the winning hi hand would get the pot.

NATURAL: This refers to any hand in poker won without the use of wild cards. “A natural straight” would be a great application here of.

NUTS: The best possible hand that can be made using the cards on board. For example if the flop was Q J 10 (different suits), the player holding AK would have the nuts.

OMAHA: This is a form of poker similar to Hold’em, however there are more cards and more rounds of betting as the most obvious differences.

PERFECT LOW: The lowest available combination in any given hand or poker game. A Razz low would be A-2-3-4-5; With some variations the perfect low may also follow one of these examples – A-2-3-4-6; 2-3-4-5-6 – This should be verified at the onset of each poker game.

RANK: This refers to the value assigned to the cards, as well as the suits respectively. There are always 13 separate ranks in any given deck of cards and 4 ranks among the suits.

ROCKETS: Also known as pocket rockets, rockets are a term for the starting hand: AA

ROLL: Flipping a pocket card up or a short form for bankroll.

ROLLING SHOWDOWN: This is a version of the traditional SHOWDOWN in which all of the given cards are stacked, and then subsequently revealed one card at a time. Each time a card is turned for this form of a showdown, a round of betting is completed. This increases the over all available pot, and is often the preference of many high stakes cash players.

ROTATING BET: This applies when each round of betting begins with the subsequent poker player moving clockwise around the table. Generally when the betting begins it is the first player to the left of the dealer. The following rounds would then begin with the players to the left of the last opening bet.

SHOWDOWN: The course of action used to reveal all cards associated with a given hand to determine the pot winner.

TILT: Describes when a player loses control of their play after losing a big hand and stops playing to the best of their ability. Players on tilt will call with less marginal hands that they would normally not play, hoping to get lucky.

UP CARDS: Self explanatory; See Face Above

WILD: This normally applies to Jokers and can be used in any variation of poker; however other cards can be wild at times as well. Wild cards are able to substitute any missing card for either a straight or a flush, or what may be needed to complete a given set (pairs, tripps, or four of a kind) In some games the wild card can represent only Aces in hands that are not flush or straight. Verify with the rules listed for a given online poker room, or across the felt in a live poker game or tournament.