Poker Terms M-P

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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.

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