Popular Poker Lingo and Slang and Their Meaning



Ethan Tremblay

Are you looking to get started with online poker? Start by learning all basic poker terms and poker slang involved. Poker involves a lot of jargon that can easily intimidate a beginner.

Popular Poker Lingo and Slang and Their Meaning

But surprisingly, most of these poker lingo are pretty easy to decipher. So, this article looks at the most widely used words in the game of poker.

Full list of Poker lingo

  • Ace - An ace is the highest-ranked poker card. However, an ace can also represent the lowest ranking card with a face value of 1.

  • Action - This term refers to the player’s turn to act. You might be told, “it’s your action.”

  • Add-on - This refers to a rebuy in poker tournaments. In rebuy competitions, gamers can purchase more chips regardless of the stack size.

  • All-in - Being all-in is when the player has all their stacks inside the pot. In other words, the player bets the entire chips in one hand.

  • Bad game - This is a game where you come against outstanding opponents. In a bad game, the player is the underdog.

  • Big blind - A big blind is a compulsory poker online bet used in variants like Texas Hold’em, where an ante bet doesn’t apply.

  • Bleed - A bleeding player is anyone who loses their chips consistently during gameplay.

  • Bluff - To bluff is to make a weak hand look strong and vice-versa. In plain words, bluffing involves playing a weak hand, hoping to fold a stronger one.

  • Boxed card - A poker card shuffled upside-down in the deck.

  • Bust - Lose all you playing chips.

  • Buy-in - The initial funds used to purchase chips and start playing.

  • Call - This is when the action player matches the bet made by a preceding player.

  • Check - Declining to bet or raise when it’s your action.

  • Check-raise - A deceptive play where a gamer checks before raising after another player bets.

  • Cut-off - The action player preceding the dealer or button.

  • Dead hand - This is any poker hand that can no longer win the pot.

  • Dead money - This term is commonly used in antes and blinds to refer to money in the pot but not anyone’s bet. A good example is funds contributed by players who have folded.

  • Deal - To give players cards according to the game rules. The person who deals cards is called the dealer.

  • Donkey - A weak player on the table or the underdog.

  • Early position - Poker players supposed to act first are in an “early position.” “Late position” players act later.

  • Equity - This is the player’s probability of winning the pot. For example, suppose a pot has $100, and you contribute $50, it means you have a 50% chance of winning it.

  • Exposed card - An exposed card is a card that has been deliberately or accidentally revealed.

  • Face cards - Cards with the rank of King, Queen, and Jack.

  • Five of a kind - This is a poker hand with cards of similar rank. It’s the best possible poker hand, beating even the royal flush.

  • Flop - The first three revealed community cards dealt simultaneously.

  • Fold - This is when a player opts to drop out of the pot instead of raising or calling.

  • Full house - A poker hand with two and three cards of similar rank. For example, a poker hand can have A-A-8-8-8.

  • Good game - This is a game where most players on the table are weaker than you.

  • Heads up - A pot contested by two players only.

  • Hole card - The face-down card dealt to the player.

  • Hooks - A pair of jacks.

  • Insurance - These are deals cut between players before a hand is resolved. Often, players agree to split or reduce the pot.

  • Jackpot - A jackpot is a bonus paid to the player who loses with a strong hand. In games like Hold’em, the player will have to lose with aces full or better to qualify.

  • Kicker - Sometimes called a side card, a kicker is a card that doesn’t determine the hand ranking. However, it can decide the better hand between two closely-matched hands.

  • Limp - To join a pot by merely calling. Such players would’ve initially folded in a raise.

  • Monster - A big hand.

  • Nit - A tight and passive player who avoids confrontations on the table.

  • Over bet - A bet size more than the pot during a no-limit game.

  • Pair - Two poker cards of similar rank.

  • Pass - To check or fold.

  • Pocket - The player’s unique cards that only them can see.

  • Raise - To wager more amount compared to the initial bet.

  • Rebuy - Purchase additional chips after a buy-in. This is common in poker tournaments.

  • Reraise - To raise after another player has raised.

  • Rock - A rock is a conservative player who plays only a handful of hands. Usually, they continue with strong hands only.

  • Royal flush - The highest possible poker hand of the same suite. For instance, A-K-Q-J-10 of diamonds.

  • Shark - A good poker player.

  • Stack - The total funds a player has on the table currently.

  • Straight - Five sequential cards of mixed suits.

  • Tap out - When a player loses all their money.

  • Three of a kind - Three cards of similar rank.

  • Tight - A player who plays fewer hands than usual.

  • Two flush - Two cards of a similar suite.

  • Upcard - A card dealt face-up.

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