Poker Glossary Of Terms

Man Studying Poker Dictionary

3-bet:  A reraise of the original pre-flop open.  Since the big blind counts as the first bet in a hand, raising the big blind counts as the second bet, and so on.
4-bet: To reraise a 3-bet.
ABC Poker: To play poker in a straightforward non-tricky fashion.
Adjustment: When a person alters his or her play based on a tendency exhibited by an opponent.
Aggressive: An approach to the game of poker that involves betting and raising much more frequently than checking or calling.
AGG%: A HUD stat that indicates an opponent’s level of aggression.  The formula is total bets and raises divided by total actions.
Air: The portion of a player’s range that does not connect with the current board.
All In: Anytime a player has all of his stack in the pot, he is said to be all in.
Ante: A forced bet that is typically posted by all players, in addition to the blinds, before the start of a hand.
Auto-Piloting: To play robotically without putting much deep thought into a poker session, usually associated with mass multi-tabling.
Backdoor: To make a flush or straight on the river with consecutive running cards.
Balanced: A playing style that does not exhibit any extreme tendencies and is difficult to exploit.
Bankroll: The total amount of money that any player has set aside with which to gamble.
Bankroll management:  A series of guidelines designed to help safeguard a bankroll from variance and minimize the chance of going broke while maximizing the ability to move up through levels to increase profit.
Barrel: To continuation bet beyond the flop.  A turn c-bet is a “double barrel,” and a river c-bet is a “triple barrel.”
Bet-Call: To call a post-flop reraise after betting.
Bet-Fold: To fold to a post-flop reraise after betting.
Big Blind: Abbreviated as bb.  Seated two seats to the left of the dealer, the big blind is the last player to act before the flop and the second player to act after the flop in a 6-handed game.
Black Friday: April 15, 2011.  The day that the three biggest Poker sites shut down access for US players due to indictments by the US Department of Justice.
Blinds: Forced bets made by the two players directly to the left of the dealer before the start of any hand.
Bluff: To make a bet with a hand that is likely behind the range of your opponent in an attempt to have him or her fold a profitable amount of the time.
Bluff Call: To make a call with little chance of winning.
Board Texture: The configuration of a board in terms of both connectedness and suitedness.
Bot: Software designed to play a game independent of human controls.
Bottom pair: When one of a player’s hole cards matches the lowest possible card on the board.
Button: The dealer position at a table who always acts last post-flop.
Buy-in: The amount of money one chooses to play at the time he or she sits down.
Calling Station: A player who does not like to fold.  He may call with no hand or draw all the way to the river and typically will become married to any piece of the board.
Call: To put into the pot a monetary amount equal to what has previously been bet.  Pre-flop, if no raises have occurred, it is required that a player put in the amount of the big blind as it is considered the first bet.
CAP games: A game where there is a cap on the maximum bet.  No matter how much a player has behind, once he reaches the betting cap, no more money can be put into the pot.
Cascading: A method of setting up one’s online poker tables characterized by having overlapping tables extending diagonally across the screen from one corner to another.
C-Bet: To continue betting post flop after having the lead preflop.
Check: To choose to refrain from putting additional money into a pot when it is not required.  After checking, the action either moves to the next player to act or the betting round ends.
Check-Call: To call a post-flop bet after having checked.
Check-Fold: To fold to a post-flop bet after having checked.
Check-Raise: To reraise a post-flop bet after having checked.
Coin Flip: Describes any all-in situation when both parties involved have near equal equity.  An example would be the classic race between over cards and a pocket pair.  While the pocket pair is usually slightly ahead, the situation is still generally called a coin flip.
Combo draw: A holding that has both flush and straight draws.
Commitment Threshold: Refers to “point of no return” when playing a pot.  The percentage of your stack invested where it is neutral EV to either fold or put the rest of your chips in is known as the commitment threshold.  Once you pass the commitment threshold, it is less profitable to fold than it is to commit.
Complete: To limp in the small blind is sometimes referred to as completing.
Connectors: When a holding contains consecutive cards, it is said to be connected.
Counterfeit: When the value of a strong hand is decreased due to a card on the following streets that causes the hand to significantly decrease in value.  Typically, this happens to hands such as bottom two pair which are counterfeited when the top card pairs on the turn or river.
Cutoff: Abbreviated as CO.  Seated one seat to the right of the dealer, the cutoff is the 3rd player to act pre-flop in a 6-handed game.
Data Mining: To record the stats of poker players in hands you are not involved in for the purpose of creating a database for personal use or profit.
Dead Money: Refers to money put into a pot by a player who is no longer participating in the hand.  Is also loosely referred to by skilled players when referring to money that is likely to be dead if they were to bet or raise, most notably against limpers.
Defend: To call a bet with the intent of fighting for money already invested.  Most often referred to as “defending” blinds.
Direct Pot Odds:  The ratio of the current size of the pot to the cost of a potential call.  For example, if there is $4 in a pot and it is $2 to call, then you are getting four-to-two, or two-to-one direct odds.
Dirty Outs: Outs that may not improve a hand on the next street because they complete flushes or straights.
Disguised Hand: To have a holding which our opponent would not likely include in his assessment of our range.
Dominated: To share a hole card with an opponent who has a superior kicker.  For example, QJ is dominated by AJ.
Double Barrel: To c-bet the flop and turn.  See “Barrel.” Draw: When a player has an “unmade” hand that is not likely to be best on the current street but has the potential to “draw” to the best hand by the turn or river if a particular card comes. The most common draws that come to mind for most people is the flush draw or straight draw.
Draw: When a player has an “unmade” hand that is not likely to be best on the current street but has the potential to “draw” to the best hand by the turn or river if a particular card comes. The most common draws that come to mind for most people is the flush draw or straight draw.
Drawing Dead: When a holding has absolutely no outs and cannot win the hand no matter what falls on the next street.
Dry Board: A board that is poorly coordinated and does not allow for the possibility of many made hands or draws.
Direct Odds: When a call is mathematically correct to make given the amount of money in the pot and the amount of the bet that has to be called.  For example, if you have a 4 to 1 chance of making the best hand and you are getting 6 to 1 on a call, it would be correct to make the call as it is a profitable long-term play.
Donk Bet: To lead out into the prior street’s aggressor.
Double Gut Shot: A straight draw that includes the possibility of hitting two different cards in which you are not open-ended, i.e. having 65 on an 842 board, either a 3 or a 7 would make a straight on the turn or river.
Effective Stack: The smaller of two stacks involved in a pot.  It is the maximum amount that can be wagered between two stacks involved in a pot.
Equity:  The percentage of the pot that is owned by a player on any given street or, put another way, how likely we are to win by the river if all-in on that specific street.  For example, if we have 30% equity on the flop and there is $10 in the pot, theoretically we own $3.
Expected Value: Usually referred to as “EV” or “expectation.”  Refers to the profitability of an individual action or as a consequence of a long-term strategy.  +EV refers to profitable choices, and -EV refers to unprofitable ones.
Fish: A poorly skilled player with little understanding of poker strategy.
Fit or Fold: A style of poker characterized by only continuing post-flop with a hand that matches the board in some way.
Flat Call: Or flatting.  To call a bet when a raise might have been expected.
Float: To call a bet with a hand that has little value with the intention of taking the pot away later with a bluff.
Fold Equity: The amount of potential non-showdown money a player can win by betting or raising and having his or her opponent fold.
FPS: An acronym for “fancy play syndrome,” which means to make plays outside of what may be a sound strategy in order to ostensibly outplay the opposition.
Free Card: Being allowed to see a card on the turn or river without having to pay a bet.
Gap Concept: The concept of needing a much stronger hand to call with than it does to raise. See initiative.
Going South: When a player removes chips from his stack during play in order to reduce the amount of money he can lose in a single hand.  This behavior is considered bad etiquette and is prohibited in most card rooms.
Gut Shot: Any straight draw that only includes the possibility of four out, i.e. 87 on a K54 board would make a straight if a 6 comes on the turn or river.
Hand Range: The potential hands a player can hold at any given time during a hand.  Hand range information can be absolute in the case of your own raising range, or it can be an informed guess based on your history with an opponent.  There are both pre-flop and post-flop ranges that may widen or narrow, depending on the way a hand plays out.
Heads Up: When a pot is being played between only two players.
Hijack: Abbreviated as HJ.  Seated two to the right of the dealer, the Hijack is the 2nd player to act pre-flop in a 6-handed game.
Hollywooding: To pretend your holding is stronger or weaker than it actually is by either delaying the game before folding or raising or by a feigned physical mannerism meant to fool the opposition.
Hotkey: Setting up a specific button on the keyboard to execute one or more functions to make playing poker more efficient.
HUD:  A graphical numeric statistical display that provides information on what opponents are doing at the table.  It is an acronym for Heads-Up-Display.
Implied Odds: The potential future money that can be won if a card comes to improve a holding.  Usually refers to having a draw and is used to justify a call when the direct pot odds are not sufficient.
Initiative: The player who was the aggressor on the previous street is said to have initiative. Often the raiser can play a much wider range of hands than a caller. See gap concept.
Jam: To shove all in.
Keeping the Lead: When the player who has been the first bettor during one betting round continues to be the first bettor in the next betting round.  Most commonly this is referred to with regard to continuation betting.
LAG: LAG stands for Loose Aggressive.  This is a style of play indicative of playing a wide range of hands, mostly in position.  A LAG player looks to exploit the overly tight tendencies of his opponents with well-timed bets and raises that represent different ranges.
Leak: A play that is consistently made by a player that is -EV.
Light 3-betting: To 3-bet with a non-value hand with the intent of exploiting a wide open raiser.
Light 4-betting: To 4-bet with a non-value hand with the intent of exploiting a wide 3-bettor.
Limp: To call the big blind only pre-flop.
Lockdown Mode: To play conservatively while waiting to leave a table in order to protect your earnings.
Loose: Used to describe a player who frequently enters a pot and can be expected to have a wide range of hands. Made Hand: When you have a pair or better and do not need to improve further to have a chance of being the best hand by the showdown. You do not need to “draw” to improve.
Made Hand: A pair or better. A hand that does not need to improve further to have a chance of being the best hand by the showdown.
Maniac: A maniac plays super aggressive with a wide range of hands.  They live to play a testosterone war with anyone who dares play a pot with them.  It is possible to be a pre-flop maniac or post-flop maniac. However, most true maniacs are aggressive on all streets.
Marginal: Any situation that is so close to neutral EV that it will not likely affect a player’s long-term win-rate.
Maximize: To choose the line of play that wins the most long-term profit.
Min-raise: To raise the absolute smallest amount possible in the form of a raise or reraise.  Pre-flop, a min-raise open is 2 big blinds.  For reraises, you double the raise made above and beyond the amount already bet that round and add it to the initial bet, if applicable.  For example, if player A bets $100 and is raised to $300 by player B, then the minimum player A can reraise to is $500.  Player B raised player A $200, $300+$200= $500.
Monster hand: An ultra-strong holding that is unlikely to lose by the river.
Mouse: A timid poker player who plays tightly after the flop.
Muck: To fold face down so that no one else knows what you were holding.
Multi-way: Any pot that has more than two players involved.
Naked overs: To have two overcards to the board, but no outs otherwise.
Nit: A derogatory term used to describe a player who is risk-averse.  They generally need a strong hand to commit their chips to a pot.  These players are notorious for playing fit or fold poker post-flop.
Nitty: Describes the play of a nit, or overly tight player.
Non-Showdown Winnings: The net amount of money won by a player when he or she does not see a showdown.
Nut Camping: To wait around for premium hands before committing large amounts of money.
Nut Peddler: A person who is a nut camper.
Nuts: In absolute terms, it is the best possible holding that you can have that has no chance of being beaten on the current street. Sometimes strong players will refer to a non-nut hand as the nuts when they are absolutely positive they have the winner.  A player might say, “I knew my Ace high was the nuts there.”
Open-Ended: To have a straight draw that has eight potential outs, with four on either end of the draw, i.e. JT on a Q9 board.
Over Bet: A large bet, usually bigger than the pot.
OverPlay: To overvalue a holding and invest so much into the pot as to make it -EV.
Passive: An approach to the game of poker that involves checking and calling much more frequently than betting and raising.
PFR: An acronym for “Pre Flop Raise” that is shown as a percentage.  It is the frequency that a player raises before the flop.  Limps and calls do not count toward this percentage, only raises.
Play Machine: A player who is consistently looking for the most flashy or fancy play at the poker table.
Position: One’s location at the poker table.  To act last after the flop is to be in position.
Post-Flop: Once the three community of the flop hit the board, any action that occurs is considered to be post-flop.
Pot Control: To take a passive line in order to allow marginal made hands to see a showdown more cheaply.
Pre-flop: Any action that occurs before the flop hits the board is considered pre-flop.
Pressure: A fundamental component of strong poker in which a person consistently plays with aggression in an attempt to force his or her will upon the opposition.
Protecting a Hand: To bet with what may or may not be the best hand so as not to allow an opponent to cheaply draw out on you if he is behind.
Rainbow: When the board has no matching suits and does not allow for the possibility of a flush draw.
Raise: To increase the dollar amount of the current bet.
Rake: The money that the poker room takes from a pot as a part of its share.
Rakeback: The percentage of money given back to a player periodically for loyalty to a poker room.  Some poker rooms automatically give rakeback, and others give it to a player via an affiliate which markets the poker room in return for the rakeback deal.
Read: A bit of information gathered in the past that makes one able to make more appropriate decisions versus a particular opponent.
Recreational player: An unskilled player that typically only plays for fun.
Red Line: The line in a graph that represents a player’s non-showdown winnings.
Regular: A player who plays particular stakes for extended periods of time.
Relative Hand Strength: The strength of a holding as it relates to an opponent’s range.
Reload Bonus: A bonus occasionally offered by a poker site that gives bonus money to existing players who deposit.
Renton Theorem: To divide hand ranges into sub-groups which are each played similarly so as to balance and disguise one’s ranges.
Resteal: To reraise a steal.
Reverse Implied Odds: The possibility of making your hand on a future card and still having the second best hand and losing the pot.
Risk of ruin: The probability of a player losing so much of his bankroll that he cannot continue playing.
Rule of 4 & 2: A tool used to calculate the approximate percentage chance for a particular number of outs improving in either one or two streets.  For two streets, you multiply the number of outs by four; for one street, you multiply the number of outs by two.
Runner-Runner: To improve to a strong holding after getting fortunate cards on both the turn and river.
Scare Card: A card that makes it possible or likely that an opponent’s range has improved.  Most often a scare card is one that completes an obvious flush or straight, but can also be the appearance of an overcard such as an Ace.
Semi-Connector: A holding that is not made up of consecutive cards that can still make a straight with three community cards.  For example, J9, T7, 96, and 84 are all said to be semi-connected hands.

Set: Three of a kind with a pair in your hand using one card on the board. People often mistakenly call a set “trips.”
Set Mining: To call a pre-flop raise with a pocket pair with the intention of only committing post-flop with a flopped set.
Showdown Value: A hand that has the potential to be a winner at showdown against the weakest parts of an opponent’s range.
Showdown Winnings: The net amount of money won by a player when he or she sees a showdown.
Site Staggering: To alternate poker sites over multiple sessions.
Slow Rolling: To delay before showing down a sure winner.
Small Blind: Abbreviated as SB.  Seated one seat to the left of the dealer, the small blind is the 5th player to act pre-flop and the first person to act after the flop in a 6-handed game.
Squeeze:  To reraise after there has already been a raise and call.
Stacking: A multi-tabling style that involves placing multiple tables on top of one another, usually associated with mass multi-tabling of more than 12 tables.
Stack-to-Pot Ratio: Or SPR.  On the flop, the ratio between the size of the current pot and the effective stack.  If the effective stack is $500 and the pot is $50, then the stack to pot ratio is 10.  ($500/$50= 10)
Standard: A common poker play that is obvious and without novelty.
Steal: To open raise from the cutoff, button, or small blind positions.
Stop Loss: A tool used by some players to mitigate variance and tilt.  It involves having a set limit to immediately stop playing once that amount is lost.
Straddle: In cash games, if the house allows it, the player directly to the left of the Big Blind has the option to put in twice the big blind amount and buy the right to act last before the flop. The straddle must be wagered before the cards are dealt. When a straddle is in play, the effective big blind doubles and so does the price of calling or raising. The straddle amount becomes the new big blind.
Suck-Out: A term typically used by a disgruntled player in reference to having an unfortunate board run out that made what he perceived to be an inferior holding beat, or “sucked out”, on his superior holding.
Table Composition: The player types seated at a poker table.
Table Dynamic: The way that a player’s strategy is affected based on the opponent types seated at a poker table as they relate to the recent history and game flow of the table.
Table Selection: The process of finding the most profitable poker tables.
TAG: TAG stands for Tight Aggressive.  This is a style of play which plays a strong range and looks to attain maximum value from those hands.  A TAG player looks to exploit the overly loose tendencies of other players by getting to the flop with an on average stronger range.
Thin Value Bet: A marginal value bet that is not likely to be an overly profitable play long term.
Third & Go: When a player bets one-third of his or her stack and then shoves all-in on any flop after being guaranteed to act first after the flop.
Tight: Term used to describe a player who plays few hands and has a narrow range.  Some players are all around tight, while others are tight only pre-flop or post-flop.
Tiling: A multi-tabling style that involves placing multiple tables next to each other without overlap, usually associated with playing 12 tables or less.
Tilt: To base current poker decisions on past results instead of following the most profitable line of play.
Tornado: An aggressive player who reraises a wide range of hands post-flop.
Triple Barrel: To c-bet the flop, turn, and river.  See “Barrel.”
Trips: Three of a kind with two of the cards being on the board. Players often mistakenly call a set trips.
Under-the-Gun: Abbreviated as UTG.  Seated three seats to the right of the dealer, under the gun is the first player to act before the flop in a 6-handed game.
Value Bet: When a player bets when an opponent will potentially call with worse hands.
Value Bluff: Term used when you bet or raise against a range that is slightly skewed toward hands that beat you, even though sometimes you will actually have the best hand.  The fact that you gain value from worse hands and sometimes bluff better hands out of the pot makes it a value bluff.  This play is a tool often used by a player to confuse opponents and merge his range.
Variance: The either positive or negative difference between a player’s expected win-rate over the long term and his or her actual win-rate over the short term.  Most often referred to by poker players when they are losing.
VPIP: An acronym for “Voluntarily Put In Pot” that is shown as a percentage.  It is the frequency that a player puts money into a pot via a call, raise, or reraise.
Wet Board: Boards that are highly coordinated and tend to contain the possibility of a flush draw and multiple straight draws.