Hold ’em Terminology

ALL-IN

The term used when a player bets all of their chips on their hand when playing no-limit hold ’em.

ANTE

This is an additional forced bet to the blinds that comes into play at the later stages of a tournament and is payable by all players. It is usually set to a small percentage (1⁄4 or slightly less) of the small blind.

BLINDS

Forced bets that are paid every hand to ensure that there is money in the pot to win. In tournaments the blinds rise steadily throughout the game thereby promoting game play, as large blind amounts lost, can contribute to a large portion of a players chips. There are two blind payments, the small blind and the big blind. The small blind is paid by the player to the immediate left of the dealer and the big blind is paid by the person immediately to the left of the small blind. The amount to be paid when paying a blind, is determined by the game limits set by the table stakes.

BLUFF

Playing as if you have a good hand by betting and raising, when in actuality the player possible has the worst hand at the table. This is done in an attempt to get other players to fold.

BOARD

Another name for all, or some, of the community cards.

BUBBLE

The name given to the last person in a tournament to be knocked out and not have a claim on the prize money.

BUTTON

A physical marker that is placed on the table in front of a player to mark them as the effective dealer. The button moves one position left in a clockwise direction each hand. The two players positioned to the left of this marker are responsible for paying the small and big blinds.

BUY-IN

The amount that is required to be paid for a place in a tournament. Normally, the buy-in amount for each player collectively becomes the prize pool.

CALL

The action of matching a previous players bet.

CHECK

The action by which you withhold from placing a bet. This is only possible when there is no previous bet on the table and is no longer and available option once a bet has been placed, after which the only remaining options are call, raise or fold.

COMMUNITY CARDS

The five cards that are dealt face-up on the table and are available to all players. These cards are made up of the flop, the turn and the river.

FIFTH STREET

Another name used to identify the last community card to be dealt. Also known as the river.

FLOP

The first three community cards that are available to the players, which are dealt after completion of the first betting round.

FLUSH

The term given to a poker hand where all five cards are of the same suit. There are two other types of flush, the straight flush and the royal flush. A straight flush is where all the cards are of the same suit and run in sequence and a royal flush is where all the cards are of the same suit, run in sequence and contain the and ace, the three court cards and a 9 and 10.

FOLD

The action of forfeiting your cards stating that you do not wish to play your hand or have any claim in the pot. A player would return their cards face- down to the dealer. Also known as pass or mucking in.

FOURTH STREET

Another name used to identify the fourth community card to be dealt. Also known as the turn.

FULL HOUSE

A poker hand that consists of three cards of the same value, together with a pair.

HANDED

Used to refer to the number of players in a game of poker. A ten-handed game will consist of ten players, whereas a six-handed game consists only of six players.

HEADS-UP

A term used when there are only two players left in the game, playing one- on-one.

HOLE CARDS

The two cards that are initially dealt to each player at the start of each hand. Also known as pocket cards.

KICKER

The card that is responsible for breaking a tie at the showdown. If the remaining players both hold the same hand, such as J-J, then the player with the highest unmatched card becomes the winner. If player1 held J-J-5 and player2 held J-J-6, then player2 would win as their 6 kicker beats player1’s 5.

MUCK

Another term used to describe the action of forfeiting your cards stating that you do not wish to play your hand or have any claim in the pot. A player would return their cards face-down to the dealer. Also known as pass or fold.

MULTI-TABLE TOURNAMENT

A tournament where there are too many players to sit around one table and so are split between several. As players get knocked out of the game, the remaining players are shuffled around to evenly distribute players at each table. When enough players are knocked out that the remaining players can play at one table, this is usually referred to as the final table.

NO-LIMIT

A game of Texas Hold ’em poker where there are no limits to the bet or raise that can be placed.

ON TILT

When a player reacts emotionally to an event at the poker table and their play deteriorates due to this.

OUTS

The number of cards that are potentially remaining in the deck that will allow a player to make a winning poker hand.

PLAYING THE BOARD

Term used when a player makes their hand by using just the five community cards.

POCKET CARDS

The two cards that are initially dealt to each player at the start of each hand. Also known as hole cards.

POCKET PAIR

Used when a player receives a matching pair in their two pocket cards dealt by the dealer.

POCKET ROCKETS

The term used when a player holds two ace’s as their pocket cards.

POT

The total number of chips available to all players to win in any given hand. The pot consists of the blinds, ante’s and all bets placed by the players during the hand.

POT-LIMIT

Refers to a betting structure whereby players are able to bet up to the amount held in the pot.

RAISE

Increasing the bet by betting more than was bet by the previous player. A raise has to be at least double of the initial bet.

RE-RAISE

The act of raising a previously raised bet – raising the raise.

RIVER

The last community card to be dealt. Also known as fifth street.

ROYAL FLUSH

A flush where all the cards are of the same suit, run in sequence and contain an ace, the three court cards and a 9 and 10. This is the highest hand in poker.

SET

A three of a kind that is made up of two of the players hole cards and one of the community cards.

SHOWDOWN

Takes place after the final betting round. All player show their hand and determine who holds the best hand and wins the pot.

SIDE POT

When a player goes all-in and there are players left who still have chips, this is another pot is created for the remaining players. The player who went all- in does not have any claim on the side pot. There can be more than one side pot in each hand.

SINGLE-TABLE TOURNAMENT

Otherwise known as a Sit & Go, the single-table tournament is where only one table is used and typically six to ten players and is similar to playing the final table in a multi-table tournament.

SIT & GO

Also known as a single-table tournament. See single-table tournaments above.

STRAIGHT

The 6th highest ranking poker hand where all five cards are in sequence but not necessarily of the same suit.

SUIT

The four types of symbol shown on a playing card. There are four suits to a deck of cards; heart, diamonds, clubs and spades.

TRIPS

Trips, or Triplets, are when a player holds three cards of the same value. Also known as three of a kind.

TURN

The fourth community card to be dealt. Also known as fourth street.

VALUE BET

When a player places a bet when they think that they hold the best hand in an attempt to take more chips from their opponent.

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