Learn How To Play Poker

Poker Glossary

Action

Another term for "betting". To start the action is to start the betting.

Ante

A small sum of money, placed in the pot by each player.

Big Blind

A bet that must be posted by the player two seats to the left of the button. It is equal to the amount of the smaller betting limit in a game, for example, in a $10-20 limit game, the big blind would be $10.

Blind

Forced bets placed in the pot by the first two players in front of the dealer button. Players are required to place these forced bets in games like Hold'em, Omaha and other games featuring blinds. See "small blind" and "big blind."

Bluff

To bet when you hold a weak hand, hoping that the intimidation factor of your bet can win the hand.

Bring-in

In Stud, a bet that must be made on the very first betting round. Usually the player showing the lowest card is forced to make a bet; in some games, the player showing the highest card is forced. The bring-in applies only on the very first betting round. On all further rounds, the player showing the highest hand on board has the OPTION to bet first, but need not.

Call

To match a bet that has been made.

Check

To possess the option to bet, but decline. A player cannot check once someone else has bet; at that point, the player must call, raise, or fold. But if no one has yet bet, a player can check, allowing the betting option to pass to the next player.

Check-raise

To check when first given the option to raise but then re-raising after another player has raised.

Fifth Street

The fifth community card in Hold'em or Omaha (in these games, Fifth Street is more often called "the river."). Also sometimes used to refer to the fifth card received in 7 Card Stud.

Flop

In Hold'em or Omaha, the first three community cards, turned up all at once.

Fold

To drop out of a hand.

Fourth Street

The fourth community card in Hold'em or Omaha (in these games, Fourth Street is more often called "the turn."). Also sometimes used to refer to the fourth card received in 7 Card Stud.

Hole cards

Cards that are face down and cannot be seen by the other players. Also called pocket cards.

Kicker

Two meanings:

  1. A single card kept along with a pair, in Draw, in an attempt to make two pair. For example, someone might keep 3-3-K, drawing two cards, in the hope that he might get either a three (for trips) or a King (making two pair, Kings-up).
  2. The highest single card held by two players in Hold'em who each hold the same pair. For example, if the board in Hold'em is A-10-8-5-2, and Player One holds A-J as his hand, and Player Two holds A-Q, each player has a pair of Aces, but Player Two has a better kicker (queen) and would win the hand.

Narrowing the Field

To bet or raise in the hopes that you will drive out some players whose hands are currently worse than yours, but who might improve if allowed to stay in.

Nuts, The

The best possible hand. This phrase is almost always used in the context of a particular hand (otherwise "the nuts" would just be a term for a royal flush). For example, in Hold'em, a player holding 8-9 would hold "the nuts" if the flop came 6-7-10. At that moment, the 6-7-8-9-10 straight is the best possible hand (assuming all cards are not the same suit). However, if the Turn card were a Jack, and the River a Queen, a player holding A-K would then have the nuts-a 10-J-Q-K-A straight.

Pot

The money in the center of the table, being contested by the players still remaining in the hand.

Rake

The amount of money the house takes from the pot to make money from the poker game. In low limit games, the house usually rakes some percentage of the pot. Learn More about Rake Structure.

River

In Hold'em or Omaha, the fifth and final community card. Also sometimes called Fifth Street.

Rock

A player known to be very conservative, who usually bets or raises only when he has a very powerful hand.

Small Blind

A bet that must be posted by the player one seat to the left of the button. It is usually equal to one half of the smaller betting limit in a game, for example, in a $10-20 limit game, the small blind would be $5. Occasionally, the small blind is some other fraction of the big blind.

Download the PlayNow poker app.
Create your free account.
Play anywhere on the go!
DOWNLOAD NOW