Poker Terms A-Z

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ACT —
To check, bet, call, fold or raise, show down a hand, deal a card or commence the shuffle.

ACTION —
Checking, Betting, Calling, Folding and Raising all constitute action. The dealer commencing the next betting round by dealing (but NOT by burning) also constitutes action. Showdown of a hand constitutes action.

ACTION ONLY –
an all-in bet of less than half a bet.

ACTION OUT OF TURN –
a check, bet, call, raise, fold or any other action made by an active player or the dealer behind an active player who has not yet acted, or otherwise made before it is that player’s turn to act.

ACTIVE PLAYER —
a) a player who is involved in the present pot. For the purposes of some rules, a player no longer involved in the present pot, but who has been involved in the present pot. b) Relating to seat changes, a player who is seated and present at the table, and who was dealt in the preceding hand.

AGGRESSIVE ACTION —
a wager that would enable a player to win a pot without a showdown; a bet or raise.

ALL-IN —
To bet the last of the playable money/chips you have on the table in the course of a hand. (See Table Stakes)

ANTE —
a proportionately small wager required to be posted by each player who wishes to receive a hand, before the cards are dealt.

BACK MAN OUT —
a procedure for games where there are not enough cards for all players; it involves dealing one player out each hand.

BET–
(a.k.a. Wager) — when it is a player’s turn to act, and the player is not facing a bet, that player may elect to make a wager by putting chips into the pot. Players yet to act must respond to the bet when it is their turn to act.

BET BLIND —
to make a bet before the cards or dealt; or if in the course of a hand before the next card is dealt, without knowing what the card is.

BETTING STRUCTURE —
the definition of how much a player may bet on each betting round during the course of the hand. In fixed limit games there is typically a blind or ante, and two limits of betting, one on the first two rounds of cards dealt, one on the next two or three rounds of cards dealt. Typically the size of bets doubles on the later rounds (IE $10-$20, $15-$30, $20-$40.) See Appendix A for proposed betting structures.

BETTING ROUND —
After each stage of dealing a hand, each player in turn has an opportunity to wager and respond to the wagers of other players prior to the next stage of dealing the hand; a complete wagering cycle in the course of a hand between the deal of each card.

BIG BET —
a) In limit games where pursuant to the betting structure there are two different sizes of wagers, the big bet is the bet on the later betting rounds. (IE in $15-$30, the $30 bet is the big bet.) b) In pot-limit and no-limit, a large wager.

BIG BLIND —
The largest blind bet posted. In two blind games, usually posted by the second player to the left of the dealer. In three blind games, usually posted by the third player to the left of the dealer.

BIG BLIND BUTTON —
a clay or plastic disk given by the dealer to a player who has failed to post his big blind, and who must subsequently post it in accordance with the rules.

BLIND —
a) (a.k.a. Blind Bet) — a forced wager posted by early position players before the hand is dealt to commence the action. b) A bet made by a player before the turn of a card (See Bet Blind.)

BLIND GAME —
a game played where players are required to post blinds.

BOARD —
a) In community card games such as Texas Hold’em and Omaha Hold’em, the face up cards in the center of the table. In Stud games, the open cards in a player’s hand. b) In California cardrooms, the waiting list kept for players seeking to get into the game.

BOARD GAME –
a game in which players use community cards in the center of the table — known as the board. In public cardrooms, all board games are button games, although not all button games are board games.

BOX —
a) The center position of the table where the dealer sits. b) Part of the process of shuffling the cards. See Rules relating to dealer procedures.

BOXED CARD —
a card that appears face-up in the deck.

BRING-IN —
In stud games a forced bet to start the action, usually either the high card or low card, depending upon the game.

BROKEN GAME —
one which has discontinued play, usually because it has become short-handed and the players prefer not to play short; a game no longer in action.

BUG —
(A.K.A. Joker) — a wild card used in some forms of draw and lowball which may be used as an ace, to complete a straight or flush, or in low games as the lowest card not held in a player’s hand.

BURN —
After the initial round of cards is dealt, the first card of the deck in each subsequent round is set aside (usually under the chips in the pot) before dealing the cards for the next betting round.

BURN CARD —
the card that is set aside when the dealer burns. This card does not play in the hand in any way, although burn cards may be used pursuant to special procedures when there are not sufficient cards to complete the deal of a hand.

BUY-IN —
(A.K.A. Take-out) — The amount of money a Player puts in play when he enters a game. (See MINIMUM BUY-IN)

BUTTON —
a) (A.K.A. Dealer Button) — a plastic disk placed in front of a player who is designated the “dealer” for each hand, and thus the last player to act for the hand. The button moves clockwise after each hand and is given to the next player who played the previous hand. When the term button is used without qualification it is presumed to be the Dealer button. b) House Buttons – given to indicate missed blinds, lock-ups, player absent, overs, etc.

BUTTON COLLECTION —
a form of charge by the house where the player who has the button pays the house for the hand.

BUTTON GAMES —
Games in which the player who must act first is determined by the position of a Dealer Button, particularly Community card and draw games, as distinguished from Stud games.

CALL —
When it is a player’s turn to act, and the player is facing a bet, the player may elect to continue to contest for the pot by matching the bet the player is facing. When facing a bet the player’s other choices are to raise or fold.

CALLED HAND —
When on the final betting round a player facing a bet matches that bet, the hand of the player who made the bet, and which must be shown down.

CAP —
to put in the last permitted raise when the number of raises is limited.

CARDS SPEAK —
The idea that a player’s hand speaks for itself, and need only be opened on the table to be in contest for the pot at showdown, and that it is ranked according to the face value of the cards, regardless of verbal declarations.

CHECK–
a) When it is a player’s turn to act, and the player is not facing a bet, the player may either bet, or refrain from betting. A player who refrains from betting by checking continues to be in contention to win the pot. b) Another term for chips.

CHECK OUT —
To fold and remove oneself from contention for the pot, acting in turn, even though one is not facing a bet.

CHECK-RAISE —
To check and then raise a player who subsequently bets.

CHIPRUNNER —
a cardroom employee who brings chips to customers.

CHIPS —
(A.K.A. checks or cheques) — Clay or plastic disks used in lieu of cash in poker games.

CHIP DECLARE —
In High-Low split games, a method for determining whether a hand is eligible for the high, low or both sides of the pot. Chip declare is never used in public cardrooms.

CHIPS DOWN —
When a new player is entering a game, and he puts his chips or cash on the table, in order to lock up his seat.

CHIPS IN TRANSIT —
When a player has purchased chips from a chiprunner and the chips have not yet been delivered to the player in his seat.

CHIP MOVES —
Ploys made by players to extricate information from other players.

CHIPS TALK —
(A.K.A. Chips Speak) –the amount of chips put into the pot represent the player’s intentions and therefore his action.

CLOCK —
Timepiece used in a clock request. Typically the dealer’s watch.

CLOCK REQUEST —
a request by an active player or the dealer that a player who has not acted be required to act within one minute.

COLLECTION —
the take of money by rake, button collection or time charge by the house.

COLLUSION —
Two or more players working in tandem to give them an advantage against other players in the game.

COMMON CARD —
In stud games, a card dealt face upward if there are insufficient cards left in the deck to deal each player a card individually and which is then used by all remaining active players at the showdown.

COMMUNITY CARD(s) —
In board games (Texas and Omaha Hold’em) cards dealt face up in the center of the table that are shared by all active players in the hand. In Stud games a common card shared by all players when there are not sufficient cards to deal the final round.

CONCLUSION OF THE HAND —
When the pot has been awarded, and the dealer has gathered in all cards and the collected cards have been scrambled, then the hand is over.

CUT —
a) regarding the deck, to break the deck into two blocks and place what was the bottom block on top of what was the top block. b) Regarding collection by rake, to take the money from the pot for the house.

CUT CARD —
(A.K.A. Cover card) — a plastic card onto which the top of the deck is cut in order to prevent players from seeing the bottom of the deck as the cards are dealt.

CUT CHIPS —
to break a stack of chips into two or more Articles.

DEAD BLIND —
a) a blind that does not constitute part of a player’s bet. This blind is generally posted in games where the players have agreed that one player will ante for all players in rotation or in board games where a player has missed his blinds and is making them up from a position other than the normal blind position. b) A required blind that will not be posted because the player who should post the blind has quit the game. There can never be a dead big blind. A dead small blind or middle blind occurs when a player has paid his big blind and departs the game when it is his turn to post the small or middle blind.

DEAD BUTTON —
a Dead Button would occur where because of players departing or entering the game the button would not be properly advanced, giving the same player last action two hands in a row. However, because of issues of positional advantage the button must always be advanced, and a Dead Button should never occur.

DEAD CARD —
a card that for some reason pursuant to the Rules is not playable.

DEAD HAND —
a hand that is no longer eligible to win the pot. Often used to refer to a hand which for some reason pursuant to the Rules is not playable, and therefore is not eligible to win the pot. A hand that has been mucked or killed.

DEAD MONEY —
a) Money taken into the center of the pot because it is not considered part of a player’s bet. b) A term used to describe money placed into the pot by players who are no longer contending for the pot.

DEAL AROUND —
To NOT deal a player in, either pursuant to a player’s request, or as a decision by the floorperson for purposes of discipline or to maintain control of the game.

DEALER —
a) The person who shuffles and cuts and deals the card, handles the pot, represents the house, and manages the game. b) In Community Card games, the person who has the button, from whom position is determined for the play of the hand.

DEAL OFF —
In games played with a button, to pay the blinds and play the button hand before taking a new seat.

DECISION —
when a question regarding the rules is necessary, the judgment rendered by the floorperson.

DECK —
Fifty-two playing cards of four suits and thirteen ranks, plus a joker in draw and lowball.

DECK CHANGE —
taking the deck that is currently being used out of play and replacing it with a different deck.

DECK STUB —
the remnants of the deck after all the cards have been dealt.

DEUCE —
Cards of the rank of two are always referred to as deuces.

DISCARDS —
Cards surrendered by players who have folded their hands.

DOOR CARD —
the first upcard in a player’s hand in a Stud type game.

DROP-BOX —
a box under the table, usually locked, into which the dealer drops the rake taken from each pot.

DRAW —
a) (A.K.A. Five card draw) a card game normally played with two betting rounds, in which five cards are dealt and then players are given an opportunity to replace them with random cards from the deck. b) An exchange of cards by a player wherein the player discards cards from his hand and receives an equal number of cards as replacements.

DRAW FOR THE BUTTON —
In community card board games, when a new game begins each player pulls a card from a scrambled deck, with the person who draws the highest card getting the dealer button. If two players pull cards of the same rank, the one that is higher by suit gets the button.

EIGHT-OR-BETTER —
In High-Low Split games, in or order to qualify for the low half of the pot, it is generally required that the five-card hand which wins the low have no card in it higher than an eight. The worst Eight or better hand is Eight-Seven-Six-Five-Four. The best Eight or Better hand is Five-four-three-two-one. When Eight-or-Better is spoken of without any qualification, it generally refers to Seven Card Stud, High-Low Split, with an Eight-or-Better to qualify for low.

EXPOSED CARD —
(A.K.A. Flashed card) a private or hole card that is seen or might be reasonably believed to have been seen by one or more players other than the player who was to receive it.

FIFTH STREET
In Hold’em games, the final community card dealt. In Stud games, the fifth card dealt to a player.

FILL –
Replenish the dealer’s tray with chips.

FIXED LIMIT —
(A.K.A. Structured) a poker game in which the betting limits are established at a certain amount. There can be no variance in the amount bet on any given betting round except for all-in bets made pursuant to the Rules.

FLOP —
In Hold’em games, the first three community cards, which are dealt simultaneously.

FLOORPERSON —
The person responsible for making final decisions on rulings. This person may have a variety of titles in the cardroom–supervisor, floorperson, manager–but he or she is the person the dealer calls to the table to resolve disputes and make decisions regarding rules.

FLUSH —
Five cards of the same suit.

FOLD —
when it is a player’s turn to act, and the player is facing a bet, the player may surrender his interest in the pot by throwing away his hand. A player who folds is not obligated to put any more money in the pot, but cannot win the pot.

FORCED BET —
a bet that a player is required to make by the rules of the game

FORWARD MOTION —
to move one’s hand forward with chips in it as if one has the intention of betting, calling or raising, or cards in it as if one has the intention of folding.

FRENCH CUT —
a method of cutting the deck wherein the dealer pulls a block of cards out of the middle of the deck and places them on top of the deck, rather than dividing the deck in half and placing the bottom half on the top half.

FOULED DECK —
a deck which has in some way been contaminated, such as by the dealer mixing folded cards, burn cards or other dead cards into it. A deck that is missing a card, has an extra card or has two identical cards (IE the nine of clubs) is also a fouled deck.

FOULED HAND —
a hand that has been contaminated by addition of a card, exclusion of a card, contact with other cards, or other circumstances.

FOURTH STREET
the fourth card (second upcard) in a Stud game, or the fourth community card (first card after the flop, the turn card) in a Hold’em game.

FOUR OF a KIND —
(A.K.A. Quads) — Four cards of the same rank.

FREE CARD —
When no action is made on a betting round, then another card is dealt without any players having to put money into the pot. This card is known as a free card.

FREE HAND —

FULL HOUSE —
(A.K.A. Full Boat) — Three cards of one rank together with two cards of another rank.

HEADS UP —
When only two players remain in the hand.

HEADS UP GAME —
when only two players are in the game.

HIGH CARD —
a) (A.K.A. No Pair) the lowest poker hand in high-only poker games; a hand which contains no pair. b) When drawing for seats, table changes, the button or other purposes, the high card gets preference. If two persons draw the same card, for example a King, then they shall be ranked in order of suit.

HIGH-LOW SPLIT (A.K.A. Hi-Lo Split) —
Poker games where the best possible poker hand (high) and the worst possible poker hand (low) split the pot. Usually played with an Eight-or-better qualifier for low.

HOE —
a poker game in which the player alternating rounds or time periods (such as a half hour or hour) of Hold’em, Omaha High-Low Split and Seven Card Stud High-Low Split with an Eight-or-Better to qualify for Low.

HOLE CARDS —
a player’s private cards, dealt to him face down.

HOLD’EM GAME —
Any game in which five community cards shared by all players are spread face up on the table: first three cards, known as the flop, then one card known as the turn or fourth street, and then a final card known as the river or fifth street. All Hold’em games commence the action with one or more forced blind bets known as blinds. When Hold’em is spoken of without any qualification, it is presumed to be Texas Hold’em.

HORSE —
a poker game in which alternating rounds or time periods (such as a half hour or hour) of Hold’em, Omaha High-Low Split, Razz, Seven Card Stud and Seven Card Stud High-Low Split with an Eight-or-Better to qualify for Low are played.

HOSE –
a poker game of alternating rounds: Hold’em Omaha High-Low Split, Seven-Card Stud and Seven-Card Stud Eight or Better.

HOUSE —
The business or establishment that manages the game and where the game is played.

HOUSE RULES —
The Rules of Poker as adopted by the establishment.

HOSE —
a poker game in which the player alternating rounds or time periods (such as a half hour or hour) of Hold’em, Omaha High-Low Split, Seven Card Stud and Seven Card Stud High-Low Split with an Eight-or-Better to qualify for Low.

INSURANCE —
a private proposition regarding the hand between players, usually but not necessarily between those contesting the pot. Typically some part of the pot–even the entire pot–is contested by a different arrangement or wager between other players at the table. Sometimes a settlement or guarantee negotiated regarding the final outcome of the hand.

KICKER —
(A.K.A. Side Card) — An unpaired card in a poker hand which does not make a flush or straight. When poker hands tie (for example when two players both hold two kings) then the best kicker determines who wins the pot. If the kicker also ties, then the next highest ranked card, etc.

KILL —
a) to render a hand dead, and therefore no longer eligible to win the pot, by touching it to the muck. b) A method of varying the stakes of a limit game by having a player who has met certain conditions (such as winning two pots in a row or winning both the high and low halves of a high-low pot) post an additional blind (usually double the amount of the Big blind) into the pot on the next hand and increasing the stakes (usually doubling them) for that hand.

KILL BUTTON —
a house button used in games with a kill that require two events to trigger the kill rules. The kill button is placed in front of a player who has fulfilled the first part of the requirements, and who must kill the next pot if the second requirement occurs.

LAMMER —
a) a plastic disk used to separate stacks of chips in the dealer’s tray. b) A monetary marker used in transactions between dealers and chip runners to indicate how much money has been taken out of the dealer’s tray and is owed to the dealer by the chip runner.

LAP (A.K.A. Round)
– a term used in button games to indicate a round of play where every person at the table has had the dealer button.

LAST ACTION —
On the final betting round, the last bet or raise made, to which other active players contesting the pot must respond.

LIMIT GAME —
a game with structured betting defining how much may be wagered on each betting round. Most limit games are defined in terms of big bets and small bets, with small bets being mandated on earlier betting rounds and the big bet being double the small bet and mandated on later betting rounds.

LITTLE BLIND —
(A.K.A. Small Blind) — the first and smallest blind in a game which has more than one blind, posted by the player immediately to the left of the dealer.

LIVE BLIND –
used when describing blinds to indicate that the blind is part of a player’s bet (as opposed to a dead blind or ante which is not part of a player’s bet) and that the player can raise when it is his turn to act, even though he has already put money in the pot.

LOCK-UP —
Where a player on the waiting list has left money with the floor person to put in his seat so that it is secured, even though the player may have left the room temporarily.

LOCK-UP BUTTON —
a house button used by the dealer to indicate that a seat is empty and to secure the seat for a player to enter the game in the future.

LOWBALL –
Five-card Draw played so that the lowest hand wins the pot

MAIN GAME —
a game designated as one that the house shall keep going, even at the expense of other games of the same type and limit, through application of Must Move Rules. The game which shall be the last permitted by the house to break.

MAIN POT —
In those situations where a player goes all in and thus only contests the part of the pot to which he contributed, the initial pot for which the all-in player is eligible. The main pot is distinguished from the side pot, created after the all-in player has put in the last of his chips.

MAKE ACTION —
(A.K.A. Show Aggression) — Initiate a bet or raise to which other active players must respond by calling, raising or folding.

MARRED CARD —
a card the back of which is marked or deformed in any way which would make it distinguishable from other cards, or a card which is warped or bent.

MIDDLE BLIND —
In three blind games, the second blind posted, usually but not always two to the left of the dealer button.

MIDDLE BLIND BUTTON —
In games where three blinds are posted, the house button that indicates the player has missed his middle blind.

MINIMUM BETTING UNIT —
The smallest chip normally used in the play of the particular stakes shall be deemed the minimum betting unit. (IE, in $20-$40 and $30-$60 games, $5 chips constitute the minimum betting unit; in $40-$80, $10 chips.)

MINIMUM BUY-IN —
the minimum amount of money a player needs to secure a seat in a game. The amount varies with the stakes and the rules of the house.

MISDEAL —
a deal which has been commenced but because of an irregularity must be stopped and the cards gathered back in and re-dealt.

MISSED BLIND —
a blind bet that was not posted by a player seated in the game because he was absent from the table or elected not to take a hand. Missed blinds are indicated by house buttons showing which blind was missed, and must be made up pursuant to the Rules.

MONEY IN PLAY —
the total amount of money available to a player for the play of a particular hand.

MUCK —
the pile of collected discards.

MULTI-WAY —
(A.K.A. Multi-Handed) — a pot for which two or more active players are contending.

MUST MOVE —
a game that is started while one or more of a previous started game of the same limit was going. In an effort to protect the initial game (known as the Main Game) if a seat opens in the initial game a player from the must move game is forced to leave his seat in the second game and move to the first game. Usually used only for higher limit games. Rules vary from house-to-house.

NEW PLAYER —
a player who has taken a seat in a game but has not yet been dealt a hand.

NO-LIMIT —
a poker betting structure used in any game wherein players may bet or raise a variable amount up to everything a player has in front of him when it is that player’s turn to act, regardless of what street or betting round it is.

NO PAIR —
(A.K.A. High Card) the lowest ranking hand in a high poker game. The highest-ranking card in the hand determines the hand, followed by the next highest-ranking card, etc.

ODD CHIP —
In split pots, whether split because of a tied hand, a high-low split game, or otherwise, when the pot is divided there is sometimes an extra or odd chip, which will be given to one of the player’s in accordance with the Rules relating to money, stakes, etc.

OMAHA HOLD’EM —
a community card game in which the player receives four cards in his hand to play with the five community cards. The player MUST play two cards from his hand, no more, no less, together with three cards from the board, no more, no less. Generally referred to as Omaha. Most commonly played Hi-Lo Split.

ONE PAIR —
a five card hand which contains two cards of the same rank together with three unrelated side or kicker cards.

OPEN –
1) Cards that are available for all to see are said to be open cards. Open Card games is another term for stud type games. Open cards are those that are exposed for all players to see. 2) The first person to enter a pot voluntarily is said to open the pot.

OPENERS —
(SEE ALSO, SPLIT OPENERS) — In Draw games a ranking of a hand that an opening player (needs to be defined) must possess or higher. The best-known Openers are Jacks or better. Also, the person who opens the pot by commencing action is said to be the opener.

OPENING BET —
The first bet in a round of play. In Community card and draw games, the blinds are the Opening Bet. In Stud games, the forced bring-in is the Opening bet. Antes are not considered bets.

OPEN PAIR —
(A.K.A. Exposed Pair) — In stud games, a pair in sight on a player’s board.

OVERBET —
In pot-limit games, a wager which is greater than the permitted amount.

OVERS —
An increase in the stakes of the game to a higher limit when only those players who have indicated their desire to play the higher limit and therefore have an “Overs” house button remain contesting the pot. Typically the Overs limit is double the limit of the game in question.

OVERSIZED CHIP —
When responding to another player’s action, and a player puts a chip of a denomination that is large enough to either call the action or raise the action, then the chip of such denomination is defined as an oversized chip.

PARAMOUNT RULES —
Rules relating to fairness and the floorperson’s authority which supersede and have precedence over all other rules.

PASS —
When not facing action, to check. When facing action, to fold.

PICKUP —
When a player has been absent too long from the table and the house collects his chips, money and other belongings he may have left at the table so that the seat may given to a player waiting on the Player List, he is said to have been picked up. The act of collecting the player’s chips is known as a pickup.

PITCH —
The dealer’s toss of a card to a player.

PLAY OF A HAND —
The period from the beginning of the hand to the end of a hand. The play of a hand begins when the dealer begins the shuffle and ends when the pot has been awarded, the last player involved in the showdown has surrendered his cards, and the cards have been gathered together and scrambled.

PLAYER —
a participant in the game.

PLAYER ABSENT BUTTON —
a house button given to a player when a new dealer enters the game and the player is not present at the table. These buttons are used to determine when a player shall be picked up.

PLAYER LIST —
(a.k.a. Waiting List, List or Board) a list of names held by the floorperson of players waiting to enter the game. (See also Transfer List)

PLAYER-DEALT —
a game in which there is no center dealer, but in which the players deal the cards themselves. In several states center dealers are prohibited, and it is required that games be Player-dealt. In these games there is typically no representative of the house at the table.

PLAYING BEHIND —
As a deal starts, when a player has sent to the cage for more chips, or is reaching in his pocket for more money, he announces to the dealer how much money he really has in play, inclusive of those sums, and the dealer announces it to the table.

PLAYING BEHIND BUTTON —
a house button used to indicate that a player with no chips or cash in front of him has chips or money in play, about to be delivered from the cage.

PLAYING LIGHT —
(a.k.a. Playing Shy) — Playing with more money than a player has in front of him at the table. Playing light or shy is not permitted in table stakes games in public cardrooms, except when a player has chips in transit or is otherwise playing behind in accordance with the rules. When he is said to be playing behind. When playing behind with no chips in front of a player, a separate pile of chips is created to indicate the amount that the player owes to the pot when it is awarded.

PLAYING OVER —
When a player is absent from the table for an extended period and a different player sits in that player’s seat with his own chips and plays the seat until the absent player returns.

PLAYING SESSION —
a session is the period from when a player begins playing to when a player stops playing. An absence from the table of less than two hours shall be deemed to be the same session for purposes of the Rules.

PLAYOVER BOX —
a clear plastic box placed over an absent player’s chips when another player is playing over the absent player’s seat.

PLOY —
a chip move or other deceptive effort to solicit information from a player involved in the hand.

POSITION —
a player’s place in the order of play. The first player to act is in first position. The last player to act is in last position.

POSSIBLES —
In Stud games, after the third upcard (Fifth Street) is dealt and after the fourth upcard is dealt (Sixth Street), if there are three to a straight or three to a flush showing, then the player is said to have a possible straight or possible flush.

POT —
The chips and/or money in the center of the table for which the players are contending.

POT-LIMIT —
a betting structure used in any game wherein players may bet or raise a variable amount up to the current size of the pot.

POTTING —
(a.k.a. Kittying) an agreement between players where the winner of the pot will give money or purchase an item (cigarettes, drinks, etc.) or an arrangement whereby two or more players will set aside money from each pot won to be divided among them at the end of the playing session.

PROMPT –
When a Player is unaware that it is his turn to act, or otherwise fails to fact, a verbal encouragement by the dealer for the player to act.

PROPER CARD —
The card a player is supposed to get on a deal if there are no procedural irregularities. This card is always the top card on the deck. Also, the card a player is supposed to get in lieu of a fouled card in the event of a procedural irregularity. Which card this is will vary with the particular irregularity and the particular poker game being played.

PROTECTING A HAND —
Ensuring that a hand remains intact and in contention for the pot, that it does not become fouled in anyway or is not inadvertently swept into the muck by the dealer. This term is also used to describe preventing other players from seeing your hole cards.

PUSHING ANTES —

RAISE —
when it is a player’s turn to act, and the player is facing a bet, the player may match the bet and increase the wager. Players yet to act must now react to the initial action (the Bet) and the Raise by calling, folding, or re-raising.

RACK —
(a.k.a. Tray) — a) the space in front of the dealer where he keeps chips, change, cash, lammers and decks. b) A plastic or wooden container for chips, usually designed to hold five rows of twenty chips.

RAKE —
(a.k.a. Chop) — An amount of money taken by dealer for the house from each pot pursuant to a predetermined formula. It is typically a percentage of the pot up to a maximum.

RANDOM CARD —
a card selected from a group of unknown cards that have not yet come into play, each having an equal chance of being chosen.

RANDOM CARD PRINCIPLE —
Since each card has a mathematically equal chance of coming into play, substituting one random card for another random card to correct an irregularity or error has no material effect on the play or outcome of the hand, notwithstanding the actual results.

RANK —
The relative superiority of the cards (2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, Jack, Queen, King, Ace)

RAZZ —
Seven Card Stud played for low. The lowest hand wins the pot with straights and flushes not affecting the value of the hand. The Ace is the lowest card in Razz, so that two aces is the lowest pair, and Ace-Deuce-Trey-Four-Five (the Wheel) is the best possible hand.

RE-BUY —
In tournaments the option of making an additional purchase of chips. Typically a player does not have to go broke in order to re-buy. (See Appendix B, Tournament Rules)

RELEASE OF CHIPS —
When making a bet or raise, the point at which the player releases chips from his hand, committing them to the pot.

RE-RAISE —
Raising a raiser.

RETRIEVED HAND —
a hand that has been discarded by a player, and then pulled back. So long as there has been no action behind the player, and the player’s hand has not touched the muck, the hand can be retrieved.

RIFFLE –
the act of separating the deck into two separate blocks and holding one in each hand to intermingle them so as to change their order randomly. The beginning of the first riffle in the shuffle procedure is the delineation point of a new hand beginning.

RIVER —
In Community card games, the last card dealt on the board. In stud games, the last hole card dealt to a player.

ROVERS —

ROYAL FLUSH —
The highest-ranking Poker hand (except in draw games played with a bug) consisting of the Ten-Jack-Queen-King-Ace of the same suit.

SATELLITE —
a mini-tournament for which the prize is entry into a main tournament.

SCOOP —
In hi-lo games, to win both the high portion and the low portion of the pot. When a pot is scooped it is known as a scooper. One who scoops a pot is also known as the scooper.

SCRAMBLE (also, Soft Shuffle) —
spreading the cards face down on the table and mixing them. The last act of a hand is collecting the cards and scrambling them.

SEAT CHANGE —
to move from one seat in a game to another seat in the same game.

SET —
In Community card games, three of a kind where two of the three are held in your hand and the third is on the board.

SET-UP —
Two new decks brought into the game.

SEVENTH STREET
The last card in seven card stud games.

SIDE BET —
a bet or wager made on the side not correlating to the rules of the game. Side bets are a violation of table stakes.

SHORT CALL —
a call where a player has released chips into the pot, but not enough chips to match the bet the player is calling.

SHORT BUY —
a buy-in that is less than the minimum buy-in for the game.

SHOWDOWN —
After completion of the final betting round, the turning over of cards to determine who has the best hand and wins the pot.

SHUFFLE —
a dealing procedure to mix the cards. The deck is cut into two roughly equal blocks and the cards riffled mixing the cards together and changing their order in the deck.

SIDE POT —
a separate pot created when one or more players has gone all-in, to which the remaining payers contribute by their subsequent action after the player has gone all in, and for which the remaining players contend, and for which the all-in player does not contend. There may be more than one side pot in a hand, if more than one player goes All-in during the course of the hand. A side pot is distinguished from the main pot. There may be a first, second, third, etc. side pot.

SIXTH STREET —
the sixth card (last upcard) dealt in stud games.

SLEEPER –
A blind raise made before the cards are dealt. Unlike a straddle, it is not live. In board games it is made in a position other than under the gun.

SLOWROLL –
to reveal the winning hand at showdown in such a way that your opponent believes he has the best hand, when in fact you have a better hand.

SMALL BET —
In fixed limit games the smallest of the betting units (IE in 15-30, the $15 bet.)

SLEEPER —
a blind raise of the blinds or bring-in made before the hand is dealt. Unlike a straddle, a sleeper is not live.

SMALL BLIND BUTTON —
a house button used to indicate that a player has paid the big blind but missed the small blind.

SOFT-PLAY —
To not play your hand appropriately against another player as dictated by the strategic situation of the game, so as to not cost the other player more money.

SPECTATOR —
a person watching the game who is not a player in the game.

SPIT CARD –
(a.k.a. common card) a card in the center of the table that may be played by all players contesting the pot in stud games. Required when there will not be enough cards for players to receive a final down card but otherwise rarely used in public cardroom games.

SPLASH THE POT –
To place your chips in the pot in a manner where they become intermingled with the pot and cannot be distinguished from it so that it is difficult or impossible to determine how many chips the player put in.

SPLIT OPENERS –
In those games (usually Draw) where a minimum hand is required to open the pot (Openers), to open the pot and then discard for replacement cards constituting part or all of the qualifying holding. Typically this requires a declaration that openers have been split and the discarded card be set aside for examination.

SPLIT POTS —
a) In High-low games, the division of the pot between the high and low hands. b) The division of the pot when two hands of equal strength win at showdown. Note that in High-low games this can result in a player getting a quarter of the pot. c) An agreement between or among players to divide the pot. Typically this is prohibited by the house rules.

SPREAD LIMIT —
(a.k.a. Flexible Limit or Unstructured Poker) — a form of limit poker where a player may wager any amount between two numbers (IE $2-$10) at any time. Typically used in lower limit games.

START (AND END) OF THE HAND —
a hand of poker begins with the first riffle of the shuffle. It ends after the pot has been awarded, all cards collected from players, and the cards scrambled.

STRAIGHT —
Five cards of consecutive ranks, such as Five-Six-Seven-Eight-Nine, where all cards are not of the same suit.

STRAIGHT FLUSH —
Five cards of consecutive ranks, such as Five-Six-Seven-Eight-Nine, where all cards are of the same suit, such as all hearts or all spades.

STRADDLE —
In games with blinds, a blind raise by a player posted before the cards are dealt. Straddles are live, just as all other blinds are. Most houses require that straddles be posted only by the player immediately to the left of the big blind. Re-straddles, by the player to the left of the straddler, are also usually permitted and are also live.

STREET —
term for betting round

STRING BET –
a bet that is put into the pot in more than one motion with the hand; IE a player puts chips into the pot and returns to his stack for more chips. String bets and string raises are always prohibited.

STUD GAME —
a variety of poker where a player receives one or more cards face down and up to four cards face up, and shares no community cards with other players.

SUBSTANTIAL ACTION —
Action by two players, or by a player and the dealer.

SUIT —
One of the four categories of cards into which the ranks are divided; to wit: clubs, diamonds, hearts and spades.

SUPER-OVERS —
(A.K.A. Monster Overs) When overs are permitted, some players may play overs and others may play over the overs. Those playing at the highest overs level are playing Super-Overs. Super-overs are sometimes played as pot limit.

SUPER-SATELLITE —
a mini-tournament for which the prize is entry into a satellite tournament.

TABLE SIGNS –
Plastic placards placed on the table to advise players and incoming dealers of special rulers which are in effect for the course of the game. Typical table signs prohibit pot splitting and limit deck changes.

TABLE STAKES —
Poker played where only the money in front of the player at the commencement of the shuffle and deal is in play. Prohibits a player from putting more money in the table during the course of a hand and from taking money off the table in the course of a playing session. Also prohibits players from playing light or shy. Virtually all public cardroom poker is played table stakes.

TABLE TRANSFER —
To change from one table of a certain game to another table of the same game at the same limits.

TEXAS HOLD’EM –
A community card game in which the player receives two cards in his hand to play with five community cards. Zero, one or two cards play from the hand, together with five, four or three from the board. Generally referred to as Hold’em.

THREE-BET —
Another term for the first re-raise; raising the initial raiser. (Likewise Four-bet, etc.)

THREE OF a KIND —
(a.k.a. Trips) a hand containing three cards of the same rank and two unrelated kickers or side cards.

TIME COLLECTION —
In lieu of a rake, the charge by some establishments for the game per unit of time, typically per half hour. Each player is charged a certain amount for the subsequent time unit of play.

TIME POT —
a pot from which the time collection is taken so that the winner of that pot pays for the whole table rather than each player paying his own time collection.

TISSUE PAPER —
It is part of the tradition of the game that certain irregularities shall require an improper card to be deemed “a piece of tissue paper” — that is, that it shall be treated as if it did not exist and a piece of tissue were in the deck in its place. Most commonly this applies to a boxed card or a joker that is mistakenly left in the deck.

TOKE —
a tip or gratuity, usually given to a dealer when having just won a pot.

TRANSFER LIST —
a list maintained by the same person who maintains the Player list–usually the floorperson–that determines the order in which players may transfer from one game to another table of the same game at the same limits.

TURN —
a) As in turn to act b) In community card games, the fourth upcard.

TREY —
Cards of the rank of three are always referred to as treys.

TWO PAIR —
Hand ranking in which two cards of equal rank, two other cards of equal rank and a side card make up the player’s best five-card hand.

UNDER THE GUN —
In games played with blinds, the position which is first to act after the blinds.

UPCARDS —
In stud games, the cards that are face up. In community card games, the cards face up on the board.

VERBAL ACTION –
Action made verbally before putting chips into the pot to indicate the action.

VERBAL DECLARATION —
a declaration of action (check, bet, call, fold, raise) made verbally.

WALK –
(as in a kill)

WHEEL —
a five-high straight.

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