List of Poker Terms & Definitions

Poker is a card game with a rich history and a large number of variations. To become a skilled poker player, you must not only understand the rules of the game but also its terminology.

The focus of this article will be on providing an extended list of poker terms and definitions to help both beginner and experienced players improve their understanding of the game. Whether you're playing an online game or a high-stakes tournament, knowing the terms and definitions of poker can help you a lot.

List of Poker Terms & Definitions

Common Poker Terms Glossary

  • Ante - A small forced bet that all players must put in before a hand is dealt.
  • All-In - When a player bets all of their remaining chips.
  • Action - Refers to the betting and raising that takes place during a hand.
  • Bluff - To make a bet or raise a weak hand in the hopes of making your opponents fold.
  • Bad beat - When a player with a strong hand loses to a player with a weaker hand due to luck.
  • Bankroll - The amount of money a player has set aside specifically for playing poker.
  • Bet - An amount of money wagered on a hand.
  • Big blind - A mandatory bet made by the player to the left of the small blind in certain types of poker games.
  • Blind - A forced bet made by one or two players at the beginning of each hand.
  • Button - A small disc or marker that indicates the position of the dealer in a game of poker.
  • Call - To match a bet made by another player.
  • Check - To pass on betting during a round.
  • Community cards - cards that are shared among all players in a game.
  • Check-raise - To check initially, then raise after another player bets.
  • Draw - A hand in which a player tries to improve their hand by discarding and replacing cards.
  • Drop - To fold or give up a hand.
  • Early position - The position of the player who acts first in a betting round.
  • Exposed card - A card that is accidentally revealed during the dealing process or during play.
  • Edge - A small advantage that a player has over their opponents.
  • Flop - The first three community cards that are dealt face-up in games like Texas Hold'em.
  • Fold - To give up your hand and drop out of a round.
  • Full House - A hand consisting of three of a kind and a pair.
  • Flush - A poker hand consisting of five cards of the same suit.
  • Gutshot - A straight draw in which a player needs one specific card in the middle of the sequence to complete the hand, such as holding 7-8 and needing a 9.
  • Heads Up - A game in which only two players play against each other.
  • Hole Cards - The cards that are dealt face down to each player at the beginning of each round
  • Jackpot - A special bonus payout for hitting a rare hand, such as a royal flush.
  • Jam - To go all-in one hand.
  • Kicker - A card that is used to break a tie between two players who have the same hand ranking.
  • Knockout tournament - A poker tournament format in which each player has a bounty on their head, and when they are eliminated, the player who eliminated them receives the bounty.
  • Laydown - To fold a hand, especially a strong one, after facing a large bet or raise.
  • Limit - A type of poker betting structure in which there is a fixed maximum bet size and a limited number of rises per betting round.
  • Lowball - A type of poker game in which the lowest hand wins, such as a 2-7 Triple Draw.
  • Main pot - The primary pot in a hand, which is created when one or more players go all-in and cannot match subsequent bets.
  • Monster - A very strong hand, such as a full house or better.
  • No-Limit - A type of poker betting structure in which there is no maximum bet size, and players can bet all of their chips at any time.
  • Nuts - The best possible hand at any given point in the hand.
  • Nut low - In high-low split games, the best possible low hand.
  • Nine-handed - A poker game or table with nine players.
  • Offsuit - Cards that are of different suits, such as a king of hearts and a queen of spades.
  • Open-ended straight draw - A hand that needs one of two possible cards to make a straight, such as holding a 7-8 and needing either a 6 or a 9 to complete the straight.
  • Out - A card that can improve a player's hand and potentially win the pot.
  • Overlay - A poker tournament in which the total prize pool is greater than the combined buy-ins of all players.
  • Overpair - A pocket pair that is higher than any of the community cards.
  • Pot - the total amount of chips or money in play.
  • Pocket cards - The two cards dealt face down to a player in a game of Texas Hold'em.
  • Position - A player's place at the table relative to the dealer, which can impact the order of betting and the information available about other players' actions.
  • Pot-limit - A type of poker betting structure in which the maximum bet size is the current size of the pot.
  • Preflop - The period of play before the flop is dealt, when players have only their pocket cards and must decide whether to bet, call, or fold.
  • Pair - Two cards of the same rank, such as two jacks or two sixes.
  • Raise - increasing the current bet in order to stay in the game.
  • River - the fifth and final community card dealt in Texas Hold'em and Omaha.
  • Rebuy - In a tournament, the option to buy back into the game after being eliminated.
  • Round of betting - One complete cycle of betting, usually starting with the player to the left of the dealer.
  • Royal flush - The highest-ranking hand in poker, consisting of the ace, king, queen, jack, and ten of a single suit.
  • Showdown - The final phase of a hand where players turn over their cards to determine the winner.
  • Small blind - The forced bet placed by the player to the left of the dealer in Texas Hold'em and Omaha.
  • Split pot - A pot that is divided equally between two or more players because they have equivalent hands.
  • Straddle - A voluntary bet made by the player to the left of the big blind before the cards are dealt, usually double the big blind.
  • Straight - A poker hand consisting of five cards in sequence, such as 4-5-6-7-8.
  • Trips - Three of a kind made with one hole card and two on the board in Texas Hold'em.
  • Turn - The fourth community card in Texas Hold'em, dealt face up on the board after the flop.
  • Table stakes - A betting rule where players can only bet on the chips they have on the table at the beginning of the hand, and cannot add more during the hand.
  • Under the gun - The position of the player who must act first in the betting round, located to the left of the big blind in Texas Hold'em.
  • Underdog - A hand or player that is not favored to win the pot.
  • Upcard - A card dealt face-up in a game of stud poker.
  • Value bet - A bet made with a strong hand to extract value from opponents who have weaker hands.
  • Wheel - The lowest possible straight, consisting of A-2-3-4-5.


There are many terms and definitions to learn if you are a poker beginner. But without knowing them, you won't succeed at the poker table. Some of the most critical terms to be familiar with include "ante," "bet," "check," "raise," "fold," and "pot." Also, there are terms associated with particular types of poker, such as "flop" in Texas Hold'em and "lowball" in 2-7 Triple Draw.

"Position" is one of the most important terms in poker, which means a player's position at the table relative to the dealer. When it comes to betting and bluffing, understanding position is essential.

What are poker terms?

Terms in poker are words and phrases that are specific to the game of poker, used by players to describe different aspects of the game, such as the cards, the bets, the players, and the strategies.

What is a straddle in basic poker terms?

In poker, a straddle is an optional blind bet made by the player to the left of the big blind before the cards are dealt. The straddle bet is typically twice the size of the big blind and it effectively doubles the stakes for the hand, as the straddler gets the option to act last pre-flop.

What are the poker definitions of equity?

In poker, equity refers to the percentage of the pot that a player can expect to win in the long run based on their current hand and the remaining cards to come.

What is ICM in poker terms?

In poker, ICM (Independent Chip Model) is a mathematical model used to calculate the value of a player's chips in a tournament, taking into account the prize pool and the number of remaining players. The ICM model can be used to determine the optimal strategy for a player based on their chip stack and the stage of the tournament.

A freeroll tournament is a poker event where there is no buy-in price but players can enter for free. There is nothing wrong with joining any freeroll tournament because you will be able to win some funds without putting any money at risk, which basically is a win-win situation for everyone.

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