Poker School

Poker Dictonary

A move by a player. Hold'em involves seven basic moves:
Bet    Put money in the pot
Call    To match / equal another player's bet
Fold    Forfeit cards and with it your chance of winning the pot
Check    Passing on making an action (if no bet is in play)
Raise    To increase another player's bet
Re-Raise    To increase another player's raise
All-in    Betting all the chips in front of you at once!

Bad beat
A hand that is beaten by someone getting very lucky and out-drawing that hand.

Bank roll
The sum of your total account stack.

Betting Rounds
Every poker hand played is divided into four betting rounds which start on the player left of the button in the first position making an action. These are as follows;
Pre-flop            The betting round before the flop.
Flop round    The flop has been dealt and betting starts again.
Turn round    Comes after the fourth community card has been dealt.
River round    This comes after the fifth and final betting round. This is followed by the showdown.

The blinds, small forced bets, are placed before any cards are dealt. One player posts a big blind and the other a small blind. The small blind is half the amount of the big. The amount of the blinds depends on the limit being played.

Bluff factor
Betting and raising with a hand that you are fairly certain is not the best hand. The idea with this is to bluff or scare your opponent into folding.

The five community cards that all the players can see and use to build their hand.
Flop    The first three community cards to be dealt.
Turn    The fourth community card
River    The fifth and final community card

You're bust when you lose your entire table stack or bank roll.

Virtual dealer marker moved from player to player in a clockwise direction after each hand. The player on the button always acts last. Consequently the player left of the button, in the first position, always acts first.

There can only be a maximum of three raises in any given betting round. The last raise is called the cap.

When the fantastic starting hand of two aces is beaten – the aces are cracked.

Community cards
The five cards on the board shared by all players.

Starting hands that are connected through their value like J-10, A-K and 7-8.

A hand that is subdued by another hand. For example AK would dominate AJ if an ace falls on the board. The dominated hand has a lower kicker (J) and little chance of winning.

Draw hand
A hand that needs a certain community card to come into play in order to win – most commonly with a straight or a flush. The starting hand of J10 of spades on a 8s 9s and Ah flop would be a very good drawing hand. You have 7 or a Q for the straight and any spade for the flush. If Qs or 7s hit you even have a straight flush! But if none of these cards hit, the hand is worthless.

Drawing dead
A hand that cannot win even though the entire board is not yet on the table.

In the long run, luck evens out and skill alone defines the difference required to win. Edge is the slight advantage one player has over another through better skill, a larger stack or a better position.

A player who consistently plays for hours with the intent of slowly and carefully building a large bank roll.

A nickname for bad players who lose regularly – usually given this name by superior, winning players.

Flat call
Making a call in a situation where a raise would have been feasible.

A huge tournament that is free to enter.

A one-on-one poker game.

Hole cards
Your starting hand. These are sometimes referred to as pocket cards.

Gut shot
A 'gutshot' draw in poker is an inside straight draw. For instance, if you have 2-3-4-6, you have a gutshot straight draw -- any 5 will make your straight.

Inside straight
On a 5, 9, Q flop with 6, 7 hole cards, an 8 would make the inside straight!

When two players hold equal hands such as the same pair, the highest unpaired card is called the kicker and it decides the winner. For more info, see Dominated.

The dollar value of the blind. Defines how "big" the game is. Obviously you need a much larger stack to play a $50 limit game than a $0.50 game.

Calling the big blind in pre-flop action.

To hold the best combination of cards currently possible. Remember, although you have the nuts on the flop, you may lose after the turn and the river. Holding J10 a flop of 7, 8 and 9 would give you the nuts – the best possible straight! But if the turn or river brings another 9, a guy holding 99 would now have a four of a kind making them the nuts.

A player's position in relation to the dealer's button. As the button moves so does your position. These are defined as follows;
Early    The first three seats left of (after) the button. The least desirable positions as these players must make their moves first.
Middle    Seats 4 to 7 after the button.
Late    Positions 8 and 9. Playing out of this position gives players an edge since they have already seen the other player's moves.
On the button    This seat acts last and as such, has an even bigger edge than the late position.

Open-ended straight
A straight draw that can hit both ways. With a J10 on the flop, a player holding KQ has an open-ended straight draw, hitting with an ace or a nine. See Gut shot and Inside straight.

The total number of possibilities a player has to win a pot based on the current situation. If he holds 99 and needs another 9 to win, then he would have a total of two outs.

Over card
Pocket cards that have a value higher than the highest card currently on the board. An ace and a king are over cards to a 57J flop.

Pocket pair
Holding two equally valued cards like AA, KK, 77 or 22.

A low value community card that will probably have no effect on the outcome of a hand.

Ring game
Single table game where all bets are made directly from a player's stack and not put into a prize pool and divided at the end as in a tournament. It's every hand for itself. Players can join and enter these games as they please. Sometimes referred to as a cash game.

A set
A pocket pair that connects with the board making a three of a kind.


All players still left in the pot after the final betting round show their cards to reveal the winner.

Stack the pot
Winning the pot and adding it to your stack.

Starting hand
The two face-down cards dealt to each player at the start of a hand.

When a player loses their temper and start playing badly they're steaming.

To be "in the zone" and win with whatever cards you are dealt.

Suited / off suit
Starting hands with matching suits – hearts, clubs, spades or diamonds.

Behavioral patterns that provide subtle clues of a player’s moves and strategies. Use the Notes function to remember a player’s move for the next time you see them.

To completely lose it and play like a madman. This is most common after a player has taken several bad beats.

To lure other players to stay in and preferably raise a pot you are absolutely sure you are going to win.