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Poker School

Poker Terms

A glossary of definitions for some of the terms often used in poker, as well as a few computer-related terms.

Advance Action
To help keep the pace of the games moving nicely, we have provided advance action capabilities. When you know what you will do next, you can use these to indicate your next action prior to the bet reaching you. These advance action options will always present the correct options for the context of the play. Using Advance Action buttons will help keep the pace of the game exciting.

All-In
When you run out of chips during a hand, but don’t wish to fold, you are all-in. This means you have the potential to win a share of the pot up to and including your last contribution to that pot. You cannot share in any bets added beyond that point. These bets form a side-pot. The all-in is also used for situations where a player in a hand loses connection to the server.

Ante
The small stake required from each player to participate before a hand is dealt. The ante is used in 7 Card Stud and 7 Card Stud High/Low. In Hold’em and Omaha, a blind is used as opposed to an ante. The ante is not part of a player’s bet whereas a blind is.

Avatar
A term from computer gaming for an image or figure used to represent a person.

Away-From-Table
In tournaments, you may not “sit out”. Rather, you may be “away-from-table” which means your are dealt into every hand, posting blinds when your turn, and then folded when there is a raise before the flop, or a bet after the flop. When you are in a tournament and need to leave, time-out, or lose your connection, you are automatically marked as “away-from-table”.

Backdoor
A straight or flush draw where you need two cards to help your hand out.

Bad Beat
To be a heavy favourite in a hand and lose to an opponent who was a severe underdog statically speaking.

Bet the Pot
This term is used in pot limit games. It means your bet matches the current amount in the pot. If, when your turn to bet, the pot was at $217, and you bet the pot, your bet is $217.

Big Blind
In games using a blind to put money in play, the big blind is generally equal to the lower amount of the stakes for that game. In a $5/$10 game, the big blind is $5. The big blind follows the small blind, which is put up by the first player to the left of the dealer.

Blind
This term refers to the required bets, called the small blind and the big blind used to put money into play. The blinds are mandatory bets and rotate around the table.

Board
The community cards in Hold’em are collectively known as the board.

Bring-In
In ante games, the bring-in is a mandatory bet, normally half the lower stake value. The player with the lowest face-up card must either bet the lower stake, or the bring-in to start the hand.

Buddy List
A feature of poker rooms allowing players to identify other players, with permission, as buddies. Buddies will be marked to reflect which table they are playing at, making it easier for you to find the people you enjoy playing poker with.

Burn
In physical poker rooms, the top card of the deck is discarded prior to each round of dealing. The intent is to minimize the risk of cheating by knowing the next card. There is no possibility of this happening in our poker room, therefore we do not burn cards.

Button
A marker, usually disk-shaped, to indicate which player is the virtual dealer. The button is used in games where position relative to the dealer is important.

Buy-In
There is a minimum chip value required to sit at any given table. Normally the minimum is 10 times the higher stake for that game. For some special games, that value may be higher. The minimum value required to be seated is called the buy-in. The amount of money you sit down in a game with. All games have a minimum buy-in, typically 10 times the big blind.

Call
When a player matches the prior bet on the table, that action is termed the call.

Cap
The last permitted raise in a betting round is called the cap. We allow three raises beyond the initial bet in limit games. The third raise is the cap.

Check
If there is no bet on the table and you do not wish to place a bet, that action is termed a check. You may only check when there are no pending bets.

Client
The term for the software that you download to your computer, allowing you to interact with the poker room’s servers.

Collusion
A form of cheating where two or more players attempt to gain an unfair advantage by sharing information.

Community Cards
Face up cards on the table that are shared by all players are termed community cards. Texas Hold’em and Omaha always have community cards. In stud games, a community card is dealt in place of the last down card when too few cards remain in the deck for each player to receive a down card.

Dead Blind
In a situation where you have missed your blinds and wish to re-enter the game before your turn to post the big blind. You must post both blinds and the small blind is termed a dead blind, meaning it does not count towards calling a bet.

Dead Hand
A hand no longer in the game.

Door Card
The first face-up card dealt with the two down cards in 7 Card Stud games.

Down Cards
The face-down cards dealt to a player.

Drawing Dead
This describes the situation when a player is trying to draw a card to complete a hand when there is already a hand that will beat it, even if made.

Drop
To drop your hand when you decide not to go further with your hand; to return your cards to the muck. Same as fold.

Face Down
Dealt cards that are not visible to other players.

Face Up
Dealt cards that are visible to all players.

Fifth Street
The term for the fifth card in 7 Card Stud and the fifth board card in Hold’em.

Flop
In Texas Hold’em, the set of 3 face-up community cards; the first three cards on the board, all dealt at the same time.

Flush Draw
Having two cards to a suit with two suits already on the flop.

Flush
Any 5 cards in one hand that are all the same suit.

Fold
Withdraw from further participation in the current hand. Also see drop.

Forced Bet
A mandatory bet. In certain games, a player is required to bet, having sat-in the game. Also see bring-in.

Four Of A Kind
A great hand – all 4 of one rank. For example, 4 Tens.

Fourth Street
The term for the fourth card in 7 Card Stud and the fourth board card in Hold’em.

Freeroll
This term applies to poker tournaments where the entry fee, the stakes, or both the entry fee and stakes are waived. In some non-freeroll tournaments, the house may guarantee a minimum prize pool.

Full House
A hand in which you have a combination of 3 of a kind, and a pair.

Graphics
The term for the artwork used to present you with the images of a poker room, including the table, chairs, avatars, cards, and chips.

Hand
A set of cards used by a player during a single round. Another word for a single round of shuffling, dealing, and betting.

Head To Head
A game where only two players may participate.

Heads Up
A game where only two players remain in contention for the pot.

*High Card*The card with the highest rank.

High/Low
A variation of a game where the pot is split between the best hand and the worst hand. The worst hand is comprised of the 5 lowest cards. Most poker rooms consider 5, 4, 3, 2, A (the wheel) as the lowest possible hand, despite it also being a straight.

Hold’em
Also called Texas Hold’em. One of the most popular poker games. Each player gets 2 down cards and can use 3, 4, or 5 of the community cards.

Hole Cards
The down cards in a player’s hand.

In
A term for being an active player; one who has not folded.

Inside Straight Draw (AKA ‘Gutshot’)
When you have one way to complete a straight.

Inside Straight
The term applied when a player has 4 of 5 cards needed for a straight with the missing card being inside the sequence rather than at either end, and gets the missing card. For example, a player holding 3, 4, 5, 7 needs a 6 to complete the straight. Getting that 6 is termed “making the inside straight”.

Jackpot
A bonus opportunity to win under specific circumstances set by the poker room.

Kicker
The term for the card used to break ties between two of a kind or between Two Pair.

Live Blind
A blind that counts towards any bet you call or raise.

Main Pot
The initial pot of money. When one or more players go all-in, a side pot is created for each all-in player.

Muck
As a noun, this refers to the pile of folded cards and discarded cards. As a verb, at showdown time, the act of returning a losing hand to the dealer face-down.

Multi-Table Tournament
A tournament where players at more than one table compete, starting with equal numbers of chips, until one player has won all the chips. Prize payouts are a function of the number of entrants, and are posted on the tournaments page. Multi-table tournaments have a posted start time, and require registration in advance.

No Limit
A variation of the betting rules in which each bet is unlimited up to the number of chips a player has on the table (NL).

Omaha High/Low
This game allows players to compete for a pot split between the highest and the lowest hands using 2 down cards and 3 community cards. A player may use different sets of cards to make up the best high and the best low hands.

Omaha
A game in which each player receives 4 face-down cards and shares 5 community cards. The winning hand must use exactly 2 down cards and 3 community cards. This game also has a High/Low variant.

On The Button
This term means you are in the dealer position in Texas Hold’em and Omaha games. The dealer position is marked by a “button” with a “D” in the centre.

One On One
See head to head. (A game where only two players may participate.)

Open Straight Draw
When you have two ways to complete a straight.

Option
This term refers to the option given the big blind player the option of raising before the flop.

Overcard Draw
When you have a card above the flop.

Overcard
In stud, if you assume your opponent has a pair of sevens, then every card above seven in your hand is considered an overcard.

Pair
Also called two of a kind. This is a hand where the player’s best hand is made up of 2 cards of the same rank.

Pass
Can be used in place of either pass or fold depending on the context.

Play Chips
The chips used for play money games. Play chips have no monetary value.

Playing The Board
Using all the community cards in Hold’em as your best hand.

Pocket Cards
The term for the two down cards at the start of the hand.

Pot Limit
A variation on betting where each player may bet up to the current amount in the pot (PL).

Pot
The chips available to win in any given hand.

Profile
A term describing the information a player may enter about himself/herself that may be available, at the player’s option, to other players in the poker room. Your profile may include your favourite hobby, favourite web site, favourite quote, and more.

Raise
The act of increasing the amount bet by a prior bettor.

Rake
The amount of money, in chips, taken by the house as the service fee.

Rank
The value of a card. The rank of the 2 of Spades is 2. The rank of the Queen of Hearts is Queen. Rank value increases from 2 through 10, followed in order by Jack, Queen, King, and Ace. In High/Low games, the Ace may be used both for its high rank and as the lowest rank card.

Rebuy
To get more chips during a game but not during a hand that you are in. This applies to real money and tournament play.

Reducing
The act of removing chips from a table and returning immediately with fewer chips.  Reducing is considered poor etiquette, and is not permitted in our poker room.

Registration
We ask you to select a screen name to serve as your poker room identity, a password, and to provide a location and email address to create an account. This is your registration.

River
The fifth and final community card. This card is also known as fifth street.

Round
This refers to the dealing of a set of cards and associated betting. For example, the dealing of the river and the bets that follow are a round.

Royal Flush
The best possible high hand. This is a straight flush from 10 through to Ace of the same suit.

Screen Name
The identity you select by which you are known in the poker room. Only one player is allowed to use a screen name so please understand if the one you have selected is already taken.

See This is a synonym of call. It is often used in conjunction with the term raise, as in “I’ll see your $10 and raise you $10”.

Self-Install
The term used to describe how the file you download from our web site is automatically installed and configured on your computer when you double-click on the file.

Server
The computer, or set of computers, providing a service to client computers. In this case the service is the poker room.

Showdown
After the final bet, when all players show their hands or muck, is known as the showdown.

Side Pot
This is a pot created when a player goes all-in. The side pot is the pot available to those players not all-in at that point. There can, on occasion, be more than one side pot.

Sit Out
You are allowed to hold your seat at a table while not participating in some hands. Under most conditions, the time you may sit out is limited to a small number of hands. In blind games, you may be asked to post the equivalent of the blind if you return to your seat prior to the blind reaching you. To sit out you click a check box on the table screen. To return, you unclick the “sit out” check box.

Sit ‘N’ Go
A poker table at which you may buy-in to a seat. All buy-in money goes to the prize pool. The prize pool is returned to the top finishers per the payout table on the tournaments page. A fee is normally required to play at this table. Players are staked to equal numbers of chips and play one player has won all the chips. Sit ‘N’ Go′s begin as soon as the table has filled.

Small Blind:  In Hold’em and Omaha, this is the mandatory bet required of the player to the left of the dealer.

*Stakes*  See ‘buy-in’. (There is a minimum chip value required to sit at any given table. Normally the minimum is 10 times the higher stake for that game. For some special games, that value may be higher. The minimum value required to be seated is called the buy-in. The amount of money you sit down in a game with. All games have a minimum buy-in, typically 10 times the big blind.)

Straight Flush
A straight all of the same suit.

Straight
A hand in which the player has five cards in rank order. Suit does not matter. For example, 8, 9, 10, Jack, Queen.

Stud
The generic term for poker games where players receive the first card(s) down followed by some up cards where those up cards are exclusively for the use of that player. There may be a further down card as in 7 Card Stud.

Suit
One of Clubs, Diamonds, Hearts, or Spades (in rank order).

Table Stakes
The value of the chips with which a player sits down at a table. Also a term for no-limit poker.

Texas Hold’em
The poker game where each player gets two down cards followed by five community cardsface-up.

Third Street
The nickname for the third card in any game of Stud.

Three Of A Kind
A hand consisting three cards of the same rank.

Tournament Buy-In
The cost to enter a tournament. All buy-in money is returned to the players via the prize pool.

Tournament Entry-Fee
A small fee the house charges to enter a tournament.

Trips
A nickname for three of a kind.

Turn
The nickname for the fourth community card in Hold’em and Omaha.

Two Pair
A hand in which the player has two pairs of cards.

Under-Raise
This occurs when a player raises a prior bet but has to go all-in to do so. If the player under-raising (going all-in to raise) has less than ½ of the expected raise for that betting round, the betting round is locked. The term locked here means that any player who has already acted in the round (checked, called, or raised) may no longer raise. They may only call or fold. However, players who have yet to act (betting has not reached them yet) may raise the expected raise for that betting round, after calling. If the under-raise is ½ or more than the expected raise, the lock rule does not apply.

Up Card
A card dealt face up, so that all players may see it.

Wheel
A nickname for the best low hand: 5, 4, 3, 2, A.

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Poker Terms

A glossary of definitions for some of the terms often used in poker, as well as a few computer-related terms.

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