Poker Terms – Understand Essential Slang & Lingo Of The Game

If you are learning how to play poker and are new to this game, some of the terminology and slang you hear at the tables might throw you off. Understanding native player lingo and all of the abbreviations is a big part of learning even the basic poker rules. 

This glossary will help you find and understand essential poker terms that players use in conversations and advance your knowledge of the game.

# A B C D F G H I L M N O P R S T U V W


3-Bet – a re-raise.

4-Bet – a raise over a 3-bet.

5-Bet – a raise over a 4-bet.

6-Max – poker game with up to six players at a table.


Aggressive – player who is constantly betting and raising.

Angle Shooting – trying to get an unfair advantage at the tables.


Bet – any wager made at a poker table.

Big Blind – position at a poker table that has to place a mandatory bet before the action starts.

Blocker – a card that reduces the chances of your opponent having a specific holding.

Board – community cards that are dealt face up in the middle of the table for everyone to use.

Boat – a nickname for a full house hand.

Broadway – ace-high straight or any card from Ten to Ace.

Bubble – a situation in a tournament where the next player to go out gets nothing, and everyone else is guaranteed a payout.

Button – the most favorable position at the poker table.

Buy-In – the amount of money the player needs to pay to join the game.


Check – a move of passing the action to the next player without making a bet.

Coin Flip – a situation in a hand where both players have almost the same chance of winning.

Cold Call – calling a raise or a re-reraise without being involved in the hand before this action.

Cooler – a situation where you lose a big pot with a very strong hand that couldn’t have been avoided.

Cutoff – a position at the poker table to the right of the dealer.


Donk Bet – a bet made by out-of-position players leading into a preflop aggressor.

Draw – a hand that needs to hit specific cards to make a strong holding.

Drawing Dead – a situation where no cards in the deck can help you win this particular hand.

Dry Board – community cards that are disconnected from each other and do not create any apparent draws.


Flop – the first three community cards and a betting round that follows after it is dealt.

Flush – poker hand combination with five cards of the same suit.

Freeroll – poker tournament that does not have a buy-in fee and is free to enter.

Full House – poker hand combination consisting of three cards of the same rank and a pair.

Full Ring – a game that has 8 or more players at the table.


GTO – game theory optimal strategy that perfectly balances bluffs versus value hands and makes you unexploitable.


Hero Call – a call made with a weak hand that can only win if the opponent is bluffing.

Hijack – a position at the poker table located two seats right from the button.

Hole Cards – face-down cards that are dealt to each player before the betting starts and only they can use it in the hand.

HUSNG – an abbreviation for heads-up sit-and-goes.


In Position – a player who is the last to act in a betting round.

Inside Straight – a straight draw that needs to hit a specific card to make this combination and only has four outs for it.


Limp – calling the size of the big blind before the flop in an unopened pot.


MTT – an abbreviation for multi-table tournaments.


Nuts – the best possible poker hand combination at any given time.


Odds – the likelihood of hitting a specific hand.

Offsuit – poker hand consisting of two cards of different suits.

Out Of Position – a player who has to act first in a betting round.

Outs – cards that can improve a hand and turn it into a winner.

Overcards – cards with a higher value than community cards or your opponent’s hand.


Pocket Rockets – a nickname for pocket aces.

Poker Shark – a professional poker player who plays to win money and has an edge over the competition.


Rabbit Hunt – asking to see what cards would have come next when everyone is already folded.

Raise – increase the size of an active bet.

Redraw – a strong hand that can improve even further with specific cards to come.

River – the last, 5th community cards dealt in the middle of the table and a betting round that follows after that.

ROI – abbreviation for return on investment, which is a way to measure results in tournaments.

Run It Twice – dealing the community cards two times and playing it as two separate hands.

Runner Runner – a type of a draw where you need to hit both turn and river card to make your hand.


Set – specific three-of-a-kind combination that is made with a pocket pair and one of the community cards on the board.

Side Pot – a separate pot created only for the active players when someone is already all-in with fewer chips than the rest.

Small Blind – poker position at the table to the immediate left of the button that has to place a mandatory bet before getting the cards.

SPR – abbreviation for stack-to-pot ratio, which is used to determine proper strategy and bet size.

Stake – a game level that you are playing referring to the buy-in or the size of the blinds.

Straight – a poker hand combination with five consecutive cards in a row.

Street – a specific betting round in a hand like preflop, flop, turn, or river.

String Bet – a bet in a live game where the player fails to place chips to the pot in one motion where usually only the first part of the bet counts.

Suited – a poker hand with two cards of the same suit.


Top Pair – a poker hand combination when you make a pair with one of your hole cards and the highest-ranking community card.

Trips – a specific three-of-a-kind hand that you made of one of your hole cards and a pair on the board.

Turbo – a fast-paced poker tournament structure with rapidly increasing blinds.

Turn – 4th community card dealt at the middle of the table for everyone to use, and the betting round that follows after that.


Under The Gun – position at a poker table that is directly to the left of the BB and has to act first before the flop.


Value Bet – a bet made with a strong hand with the hope that another player calls.


Wet Board – community cards that are connected to each other, making straight and flush draws possible.

Wheel – the lowest possible straight combination consisting of A 2 3 4 5.

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