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Poker Glossary: Common Terms & Definitions To Know

November 28, 2021

Written By,

Brijesh Mehta

Poker is probably the most popular card game in the world of casino games with its huge number of fans from different parts of the world.

Poker is also highly popular at online casinos & is available with different variants. Many beginners want to improve their poker gameplay & they probably come across different poker terms that might confuse them.

So it’s important to be aware of important poker terms to enhance the poker gaming experience. In this article, we break down some common poker terms by providing their definitions.

Let us help you to enhance your poker experience by providing the definitions of essential or crucial poker game terms.

On a side note, you can also read our Andar Bahar guide by clicking this link: How to Play Andar Bahar?

Now, let’s get started with the poker glossary.

74 Common Terms and Definitions in Poker Casino Game

poker game common terms & definitions

1. Ace High: A poker hand not having at least a pair and with Ace as a high card. Example: Ace, Queen, Seven, Three, and Two not of the same suit.

2. Action: Any available option in the poker game that can be bet, call, raise, check or fold.

3. All-in: It is the act of betting all of your chips on a single hand. By doing all-in, you bet the entirety of your stack into the pot.

4. Ante: It is a mandatory bet that should be placed by each player or participant for the game to begin. In most Hold’em poker games, there is no ante but the Blinds are used for bringing initial money into the pot instead.

5. Backdoor: It is the situation where a player needs to hit two cards both on the turn and the river round to make or complete the hand either straight or flush.

For example; if you hold two cards of Hearts, then only one card of Hearts came out in the flop; this is a case of backdoor flush as you need two additional cards of Hearts to complete a flush.

6. Bad Beat: It refers to a heavily favored hand losing to a hand that doesn’t have many chances. It is a term used by players subjectively.

7. Bankroll: It refers to the total collection of money set aside by a player for playing poker.

8. Blank: It is a card dealt on the board that seems not to affect the standings in the player’s poker hand. If there are K♠, K♥, Q♠, J♠ on the board, then a 3♦ on the river round would be considered a blank.

9. Blind: A mandatory bet that has to be placed by two players before the dealing of cards. It is a type of ante used in most Holdem poker games.

For each game round of Holdem poker, two players have to place blinds: one player places small blinds and another player places the big blind. Players or participants will take turns placing blinds.

Another type of blind is Playing Blind which refers to the action of playing hand without looking at one’s cards or the next card to be dealt.

10. Bluff: It is the action of betting or raising with what you consider a weaker hand with the intention of forcing your opponent to fold their stronger hand.

11. Board: Board refers to all the community cards on the table. This includes the flop, turn, and river cards.

12. Bottom Pair: The bottom pair or bottom set is a pair with the lowest community card on the board. If the board has Ace, King, Ten, and Two and you hold Five, Two. Then, you would have the bottom pair with a pair of 2s.

13. Burn: It means discarding the top card face down from the deck. It is done between each betting round before dealing with the next card(s) on the board.

This is done in casinos as a means of security to prevent any player from getting an advantage by seeing the top card of the deck by any chance.

14. Bust: Going bust means losing all of the chips in play.

15. Button: It is a marker that indicates that the player is in the position responsible for dealing cards. The player in this position is said to be on the button.

The player on the button gets to act last and this position is considered advantageous in poker.

16. Call: It is the action of matching the bet placed by another player. When you call, you place money into the pot equal to the money placed by the previous player.

17. Calling Station: A player is said to be a calling station if he/she calls a lot but doesn’t raise a bet or fold.

18. Check: It is the action of not adding any money into the pot and staying in the game. The player may or may not have this option during the course of the game.

19. Community Cards: These are the cards that are dealt face-up in the middle of the table and can be shared among participants to make a poker hand.

These are called a board or board cards. In a standard poker game, there will be five community cards.

20. Complete Hand: This refers to a poker hand that is contributed by all five cards. So, this includes a straight and hand better than straight (flush, full house, straight flush, or royal flush).

21. Dealer: A person responsible for dealing with the cards. A dealer might or might not be a participant in the poker game.

22. Dog: Underdog is referred to as dog in short form.

23. Draw: It refers to playing a hand that is not strong but has a probability of becoming strong if the right cards get dealt.

24. Draw Dead: It refers to trying to make a hand that even if made will not win. If you are trying to make a straight when your opponent already has a full house, then you are drawing dead.

25. Equity: It refers to the portion or share of the pot that is yours based on the probability of you winning the hand.

If there is ₹10,000 in the pot and there is a 50% chance that you can win the pot, then you have ₹5,000 equity in the pot.

26. Family Pot: It is a pot in which many players have called before a flop round.

27. Favourite: It is a poker hand that is likely to win the pot statistically.

28. Fifth Street: It is a river card, the fifth community card dealt on the board. In the case of stud poker, Fifth Street refers to the round where each participant is dealt their fifth card.

29. Flop: It is the action of dealing first three community cards face-up on the board. Flop also refers to the first three community cards.

30. Flush: A poker hand with all cards belonging to the same suit. Example: A♦, K♦, 8♦, 5♦, 2♦.

31. Fold: It is the action of laying down or throwing your hand to avoid calling or raising. Folding will forfeit your chance of winning the current pot money.

32. High Card: It is a poker hand that doesn’t have at least a pair. Example: A, 10, 7, 3, 2 (Ace-high card).

33. Hit: Hit refers to you catching a card or series of cards you require to make a strong hand. If a player holds (J, Q), the flop contains (4, 6, 9), the turn is 10 and the river comes out K; then the player hits the river as he has a straight hand with the river card.

34. Hole Cards: These are the first two cards that are dealt face down to each player.

Implied Odds: Pot odds that you expect to win if you are able to make your hand in later streets.

35. Inside Straight Draw: If the player is playing to complete a straight hand by getting one specific card value, then it is called inside straight draw. It is also called gutshot.

36. Jackpot: Generally, a jackpot refers to the biggest prize in a particular game.

But in poker, this term is usually used for the bad beat jackpot which is provided to a player having an extremely strong hand (usually Four of a Kind or stronger) who loses to an even stronger hand after the chips go all-in.

Some poker rooms and casinos offer this type of jackpot.

37. Kicker: It refers to an unpaired card that determines the winner between two near-equivalent poker hands.

For example, you hold AK and your opponent holds AJ, the board contains (A, 9, 6, 5, 2); here you and your opponent both have a pair of aces but you will win as you have a king kicker which is of higher value than your opponent’s jack kicker.

38. Muck:  It refers to the pile of discarded cards (folded and burned cards) in front of the dealer.

39. No Limit: A poker version where a player may bet any amount up to the entirety of their stack in their turn.

40. Nuts (The Nut Hand): The best possible poker hand based on the board. If the board contains Q-9-8-4-2 with three clubs, then A-K of clubs is called the nut hand.

41. Offsuit: Cards belonging to different suits.

42. Open-Ended: It is a straight draw where the straight can be made by two cards at either end.

For example; if you hold 9♦ 10♠ and the flop contains 8♠ 2♣ J♣, then this is open-ended as the straight can be made by 7 or Q.

It is also called outside straight draw.

43. Overcall: It is the action of calling after other players have called before you.

44. Overcard: It generally refers to a card on the board that ranks higher than the player’s pocket pair. If a player holds Q♠ Q♣ and the flop comes 4♣ K♦ 7♦, then there is one overcard (the King) on the flop to the player’s pocket pair.

The term can also be used to refer to a player’s hold card ranking higher than any community card on the board.

45. Overpair: A pocket pair higher than any pair that could be formed with any exposed card on the board.

46. Pair: Two cards having the same value or rank.

Pay Off: This means to call a bet when the player is fairly certain that they don’t have a stronger hand to beat their opponent.

This is usually done by the player when there is already too much money in the pot compared to the bet they have to place.

47. Play the Board: When you play the board, you use all five community cards on the board to make your best hand instead of using any of your hole cards.

48. Pocket Cards: They refer to hole cards.

49. Pocket Pair: If both of your hole cards are of the same rank or value, then that pair is called pocket pair.

50. Pocket Rockets: Two aces as hole cards.

51. Poker Face: An expressionless face of a player that gives no information to his/her opponents.

52. Quads: Four of a Kind. Example: 7♦ 7♠ 7♥ 7♣ 8♠.

53. Raise: It is the action of increasing the amount of the current bet.

54. Rake: It refers to the amount of money taken by the cardroom operator from every pot as a commission fee.

55. River: The fifth or last community card dealt face-up on the table. It is also called Fifth Street.

56. Royal Flush: The highest-ranked poker hand; hand with 10, J, Q, K, A of all same suit.

57. Set: Specific kind of a Three of a Kind made with a pocket pair.

58. Showdown: It is the point at which the hole cards of the players are revealed to determine who wins the pot money.

59. Small Blind: The smaller of the two blinds in the poker. The player directly to the left of the player dealing the cards has to place a small blind.

60. Split: Dividing the pot equally among players when they have an identical poker hand.

61. Split Two Pair: When you have a pair of each of your hole cards, then you have a split two pair. For example; if you hold J-Q and the flop is 5-Q-J, then your Two Pair is called Split Two Pair.

62. Straight: A poker hand with all five cards in sequence or consecutive rank order. Example; 3-4-5-6-7.

63. Straight Flush: A straight poker hand with all cards belonging to the same suit. Example; 5♦-6♦-7♦-8♦-9♦.

64. Stud: A poker variant where community cards are not used and each player is dealt their own cards some face-up and others face down.

65. Three of a Kind: A poker hand with three cards having equal ranks or values. Example; 7♦-7♠-7♣-10♥-K♥.

66. Tie: A situation where two poker hands have equivalent strength. There will be a split because of a tie.

67. Trips: Three of a Kind made by matching a pair on the board with one of the player’s hole cards.

68. Turn: It refers to the betting round after the fourth community card is dealt. This also refers to the card itself. Also called Fourth Street.

69. Two Pair: A poker hand containing two sets of pairs. Example; 4-4-8-8-K.

Underdog: Sometimes called “dog” in short. It refers to a player or hand which is unlikely to win statistically.

70. Upcard: It refers to any card that is dealt face up and this term is common in stud poker games.

71. Up the Ante: It refers to the action of increasing the stakes.

72. Weak Ace: An ace with a low valued card (generally up to eight) is called a weak ace.

73. WPT: World Poker Tour; an internationally televised poker brand.

74. WSOP: World Series of Poker; a series of poker tournaments.


We hope that this article is helpful for you to expand your vocabulary regarding poker terms. Knowing the definitions of these terms will avoid unnecessary confusion during your poker game-play.

If you want to play poker games online at a casino, then choose a licensed, fully regulated, and safe online betting platform like BetBarter India and be aware of the rules of the particular poker variant you choose.

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Written By,

Brijesh Mehta

Brijesh Mehta is a content writer & strategist from India providing his top-notch skills & expertise in the Sports and online casino industry for more than seven years. He is an avid reader and creative writer who is fond of words and uses them to teach others about online betting and trending sports news through his in-depth guides.