Poker Terms

The terminology in poker is very vast, and the common phrases make their way into a player’s regular life as well. People tend to use these phrases in their day to day conversations, and therefore, they have turned into mainstream representations. 

You must have observed regular poker players using phrases like “I’d rather be lucky than good” frequently. However, these are some of the common phrases that are known to the common folk.

The world of poker experiences new additions daily, and thus you will gain expertise in them with time. If you wish to learn more about these words and phrases, dive into this article and unravel all the details. This vocabulary will help you to converse with other players in the same parlance to maintain uniformity.

A Glance At The Poker Terms

Below mentioned are thirty of the regular terms that are quintessential for smoother gameplay. 

All in

An all in is a situation in which a particular player bets all their chips in one hand. Most players do it when they receive stellar cards to raise the level of the game. 

The player that goes all in ceases to be a part of the game. A separate pot is created for the remaining players so that the game can be continued. The player who goes all in will only be entitled to the main pot post victory.


An ante is a small number of chips that every player has to bet before the actual game begins. It is a mandatory bet which is further succeeded by blinds in a traditional poker game. 

Antes are a standard element in almost all tournaments, and they can range according to the level of the game. Some tables have a higher than classic ante, so that participation can be restricted.

Bad Beat

Every poker player loves to share their bad beat stories. A bad beat is when the hand of one player gets cracked due to the emergence of a better hand. The winner is usually the underdog who comes first after a wave of luck.

Big Slick

Big Slick is the alias for the famous and top notch combination of an Ace and a King. It is a mighty starting hand, and you must make full use of it.


If you have noticed, the players sitting to the dealer’s left put in a small amount before the betting starts. These are the small and the big blinds which have to be played mandatorily. 


Bluffing is a risky art in which the opponents are forced to fold owing to the sure bets. The player does not comprise the best hand but plays confidently to paint a different picture.

If you get caught bluffing, you will have to be very careful from the next time onwards.

Calling Station

The term calling station is a slang that is used to address the players that call too much in the game. These players are responsible for wrecking decent hands, and therefore, they are not appreciated by other players.

You should make a call only if you have the proper base that is required for it.

Cards Speak

In a situation when all the players turn their cards on the table, the winner is decided after a straight up assessment of each hand. This move is conducted without any declaration, and therefore no one speaks except the cards.

Check Raise

A player says to check if they want to see the bets of other players during their turn. Once everyone else has placed their bets, it comes down to the player if they’re going to match the current value of the pot to bet.


As the term suggests, the donkey of the table is the person who has no idea about how to play poker. This player is unaware of the rules and spends their money without any strategy.

Double Belly Buster

If you identify that there are two straights pending in your cards after a successful draw, your hand will be termed Double Belly Buster. It is a risky situation, and the outcome depends sheerly on the luck of the player.

Drawing Dead

When a player draws a card knowing that they cannot win, the situation is termed as drawing dead. In these cases, no draws can help the player to form a combination worthy enough to win.


Fish is also a slang that is used for players who do not have much experience. These players are easily tricked into bluffs which results in losses.


After the initial bets are placed, the dealer deals three cards to the community board. These are universally accessible cards that are termed flop.

Heads Up

After multiple rounds of betting, many players fold and quit the game. In such situations, when the game boils down to only two players, it is called a heads up.

Implied Odds

Implied Odds are the odds that are obtained after forecasting the moves of the opponent. If a player is confident about triumph, they can calculate the implied odds depicting the total payout from the game.


When a player raises the pot to match the game with a single opponent, it is called isolation. In these scenarios, a single player gets isolated as the majority of the table is forced to fold. It is a tricky situation that is created by seasoned players to assert dominance.


Many times, a player receives an impeccable hand that is impossible to beat. This hand is called the monster, which allows the player to play dominantly throughout the game.


Mucking is another term for folding your hand. This term is used to refer to the remaining pile of cards that are left after dealing with the cards.


Nuts refer to the best possible hand on the table. It is a critical insight that helps the players to understand the odds according to their hand.

If you can identify the nuts without much hassle, your gameplay will smoothen exponentially.


The card that helps you to improve your stance in the game is called an out card. This card elevates the position of a particular player and puts them into close contention for winning.

Pocket Rockets

If you are lucky enough to attain two aces in your hand, your cards will be called pocket rockets. It is a rare situation, and it provides an excellent start to the player.

Pot Odds

To calculate the pot odds, you will have to calculate the ratio of the total funds in the pot to the amount of funds that will be required to make the next bet. These odds help in the decision of advancing the game.


If a player holds four of a kind cards, their cards can also be quoted as quads. Quads is the informal slang that is usually used on poker tables. These terms are not recognized in formal tournaments.


Not every card can hold importance for every player. The cards that do not add value to your hand can be called rags.


While dealing to the community board, if the cards turn out to be from three or four different suits, the flop is called a rainbow flop. It will be challenging to hit a flush in this case.


The final card which the dealer deals to the community board is called the River. This is the last card in all Hold’em games.


Sandbag is a trick that is used by veteran players. In this, a player subdues his strength so that the pot can simmer with more money. This trick requires a calm head and blank facial expressions so that the status can be arcane at all times.

String Bet

A String Bet is a common mistake in which the player fails to dictate their intention of raising the pot. They place their chips to call and then place more chips to raise as a second installment.


A player on tilt usually goes berserk with their style of play. They make forceful attempts to win but end up losing more than they anticipated. A tilt is generally caused by a streak of unfortunate hands.

Summing Up

This glossary of terms is a nearly exhaustive list that comprises most of the prominent terms. You have to read them once and use them forever for a better poker experience!

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