Texas Holdem Terms

texas holdem poker

Our complete list of Texas Hold’em terms will help you understand the game. You’ll encounter many of these words at brick-and-mortar casinos and real money online poker sites.

Save this list in case you see or hear a word you aren’t familiar with at the tables.

Texas Holdem Poker Terms A – Z

Jump to the Definitions in Alphabetical Order

List of Texas Hold’em Terminology with Definitions

This glossary covers all the regularly used Texas Hold’em words and probably some jargon you’ve never heard before. We’ll explain all the poker hands, bet types, why people sometimes use the name of an airline, and what the rake at online casinos means.

Ace In the Hole

If a player has an ace in their hole cards, it’s known as having an ace in the hole.

Add On

In some casino tournaments, players can choose to add on. Players will receive a set amount of extra tournament chips for a fee. Usually, it occurs at the end of the re-buy period.

Action

The amount of money in a hand or on the table in total is known as the action. In a poker game, this also means when it’s a player’s turn, the action is on them.

Air

A hand that has no real value.

All In

In no-limit games, all in refers to a player betting all of their remaining chips. You can do this verbally or by placing all of your chips in the pot.

American Airlines

A slang term for pocket aces.

Ante

An extra forced bet all players must make before the cards get dealt. This wager is in addition to the blinds and creates a larger pot to ensure more action.

Angle Shooting

Making a questionable play against the rules to get more information. This action is cheating.

Backdoor

Using the turn and river cards in succession to create a strong hand. One example would be hitting two more hearts for a backdoor flush.

Bad Beat

When a player with a weak hand ends up beating a player with a statistically stronger hand.

Bankroll

Money that a player has set aside to play poker.

Bet

The initial chips used in a poker game after a new card or cards get dealt are known as a bet. Before the flop happens, the small and big blinds are the first bets.

Betting On the Come

Making a bet with the hope that certain community cards will fall and complete a stronger hand you don’t have yet.

Big Blind

The large forced blind bet. This wager comes from the player two spots to the left of the dealer button.

Blank

A card that is dealt usually on the turn or river and due to its rank won’t impact the current hands that active players have.

Blinds

To ensure action in every single hand, the two players to the dealer’s left have to make forced bets. These are known as the blinds.

Bluff

Faking a stronger hand than you have by betting and acting in a certain way to get the other player or players to fold.

Board

The community cards that are face-up on the poker table are known as the board. These include the flop, turn, and river.

Boat

Poker slang term for a full house.

Broadway

A straight from ten to ace is known as Broadway.

Bullets

Slang for a pair of aces. It often refers to hole cards or pocket aces.

Burn Card

Before the flop, turn, and river, the dealer burns a card by taking the top card of the deck and placing it in the muck. This action ensures there is no card stacking and cheating.

Bust

In a tournament, when you lose all your chips, you bust.

Button / Dealer Button

A white disc that designates a player as being in the dealer position for that hand. In a home game, this person will also pass out the cards for that hand. This position is the best one at the poker table since you get to act last.

Buy-In

When you enter a poker cash game or tournament, you must pay cash to buy-in.

Call

Matching another player’s bet is a call. You need to call at least or fold to progress the hand.

Calling Station

Someone that always calls bets at the poker table and never, or rarely, bets or raises.

Case Card

The final card of a certain rank in the deck. The fourth six or the fourth king are examples.

Check

Not betting and passing the play along to the next player on the left is a check. Players can do this by saying check or patting the felt with their hands.

Check Raise

Checking to another player then raising their bet is a check-raise. It’s considered a strong move to make and represents a powerful hand.

Chips

Small plastic or clay discs that represent an actual or artificial value in poker games. Tournament chips are typically different than normal casino chips since their value is inflated.

Chop

When two players face off with the same hand, they will chop the pot in half, and each will get an equal amount.

Coin Flip

When two players are all in, and both have close to a 50% chance of winning. It’s sometimes also called a race and often occurs when one player has a pocket pair, and another has high-suited connectors.

Community Cards

The same as the board. The collection of cards dealt on the table face-up is known as community cards because everyone can use them in their hand.

Connectors

Two cards that are in sequential order are connectors, such as 9 and 10.

Continuation Bet

A standard move in poker where a pre-flop bettor or raiser will bet again on the flop. It is also called a C bet.

Cooler

When two or more players in a hand have strong hole cards. This situation usually results in all-in bets and calls and a lot of action.

Cowboys

A pair of kings.

Cut Off

The position to the right of the dealer button at the poker table.

Dead Man’s Hand

Aces and eights are the dead man’s hand. These are the cards purportedly held by Wild Bill when he was shot dead at the poker table.

Dealer

A dealer can be one of two things in Texas Hold’em. It’s the actual person who deals the cards and also a position on the poker table.

In a home game, the dealer position will also be the person who distributes the cards. In a casino, the dealer is an employee. Still, the dealer position gets marked by the button and controls the bet progression.

Deuce

A two.

Doyle Brunson

One of the best no-limit Texas Hold’em players of all time. The Doyle Brunson is also the 10, 2 hand that he used to win two world series of poker championships in a row.

Draw / Drawing

When you need one or more cards to make a five-card poker hand, you’re drawing.

Drawing Dead

When you’re in a hand looking to hit community cards but have absolutely no way of winning no matter what cards come.

Ducks

A pair of twos.

Expected Value (EV)

A rating on whether a certain way of playing a hand will win or lose in the long run. Usually, this is a positive or negative, like +EV and -EV. To be a winning poker player, you’ll need to make +EV plays most of the time.

Family Pot

When everyone or almost everyone at the table enters a pot pre-flop.

Fifth Street

The river card, which is the fifth dealt face-up on the board.

Fish

An inexperienced and weak player.

Float

Calling a bet with no real hand and hoping to bluff for the win later in the round.

Flop

Three cards that are dealt face-up on the table after all the pre-flop betting has occurred.

Flush

A five-card hand of all the same suit.

Fold

Exiting a hand and mucking your cards is a fold.

Fold Equity

The amount of money or equity a player can get from the pot by making a bet and getting their opponent to fold.

Four of a Kind

Four cards of the same rank.

Fourth Street

The turn card, which is the fourth dealt face-up on the board.

Full House

A five-card hand made of three of a kind and a pair.

Free Card

When everyone checks and a new community card gets dealt, it is a free card.

Freeroll

A freeroll is a tournament that is free to enter and also a hand where you can only win or chop due to the position that you’re in. If both players have ace-king and are all in pre-flop and three of the same suited cards are dealt on the flop, then one is free rolling as they win if they complete the flush and chop the pot if they don’t.

Freeze Out

A type of poker tournament with no rebuys.

Grinder

A player that plays standard poker for many hours on end to win small amounts consistently.

Gut Shot

straight draw that you complete with one of the internal cards. That means there are only four cards that can make the straight for the player. Usually, due to the low odds, players won’t stay in during this situation. It is also called an inside straight draw.

Hand

A hand can refer to three things in poker. The round of play is a hand, the player’s cards are a hand, and the player’s final five-card ranking is a hand.

Hand History

When playing online poker, the client can track every hand. The player can then study their game and review how they played.

Heads Up

In a tournament, when two players are left, they are playing heads-up poker. Also, when only two people are left in a standard Texas Hold’em hand or at a table.

Heater

A player is on a heater when they’re hitting lots of strong hands and winning many pots.

Hijack

The position to the right of the cut-off. It is two spots to the right of the dealer.

Hole Cards

The players two cards face-down cards they get from the dealer at the start of the poker hand.

Hooks

A pair of jacks.

Implied Odds

Odds that include the amount of money you could make if you hit a particular hand later on. Implied odds can be a powerful tool when deciding if a play has a +EV or -EV.

In Position

Acting after another player is known as being in position because you get all information on other players before making your move. It’s always good to be “in position” in poker.

Kicker

An unused card in a poker hand determines which player wins when two players have the same hand. You can also use multiple kickers in a two or three-card hand to work out who wins.

Late Position

One of the last people to act in a poker hand.

Laydown

Another term used for a fold.

Limp

Just calling a blind pre-flop to enter the hand.

Loose

A player that plays lots of hands and bets a lot is loose.

Made Hand

A strong hand that is complete and requires no drawing.

Middle Position

In between early and late positions.

Muck

Another term used for a fold. It’s also the pile of all the cards that have been folded and burnt in a hand.

No Limit

You can bet any amount you like in no-limit Texas Hold’em.

Nuts

Holding the best possible hand based on what cards are face-up on the board.

Offsuit

Cards of different suits.

Odds

The percentage likelihood of a particular outcome. Some sites display it as a ratio.

Open-Ended Straight Draw

Four cards in sequential order where the fifth card at either end will make a straight.

Option

When no raise has occurred pre-flop, the big blind position has the option to check or bet.

Orbit

A complete rotation of the dealer button around the table.

Outs

The specific number of cards in the deck that can make a winning hand for a player.

Out of Position

Having to act before your opponent.

Over Bet

A large bet that is usually more than is currently in the pot.

Pair

Two cards of the same rank.

Play the Board

Using all five cards on the board as your hand and not using your hole cards at all.

Pocket Pair

When the first two hole cards that are dealt to the player are a pair.

Pocket Cards

The two face-down cards that are initially dealt to the players. They are also called their hole cards.

Position

Where the player is sitting at the table in relation to the dealer button.

Pot

All of the money that is in play in the middle of the table during a particular hand.

Pot Odds

The comparison between the money currently in the pot and how much a player has to make a call. Pot odds can help players in determining whether to call or not with a specific hand.

Pot Committed

When there is so much money in the pot that a player can’t fold.

Pre-Flop

The initial round of betting and action before the flop.

Protect

A bet to try and get other players to fold so that you’re playing against as few other hands as possible.

Quads

Slang for four of a kind.

Rags

Bad cards that don’t help at all and can’t make a good hand.

Rainbow

When you have cards of all different suits.

Raise

Betting more on top of another bet.

Rake

The way casinos make money in cash games is by taking a rake. This fee is a certain percentage of the pot that they take out for themselves. They typically cap it, so too much money doesn’t drain from larger pots.

Re-Buy

Some tournaments will allow players to re-buy back in once they lose all of their chips. Usually, you can re-buy in these tournaments until the first break.

Ring Game

A cash poker game.

River

The final card that is dealt face-up on the board. It’s also called the fifth street.

Royal Flush

A straight from ten to the ace of all the same suit. This hand is the highest-ranked one in poker.

Runner

The turn or river card is a runner when they make a hand for a player.

Scare Card

A card that is on the board that can ruin a made hand. It will usually be a higher-ranked card.

Semi Bluff

Making a bet with a solid drawing hand.

Set

Three of a kind, with two of them in a player’s hole cards.

Shark

A strong Texas Hold’em player.

Short-Handed

A table with only a few players on it.

Showdown

Revealing cards to see who is the winner of the hand.

Side Pot

A separate pot that forms when a player is all in midway through a hand, and other plays are still happening.

Sit and Go

A tournament that starts once the required number of people have entered.

Slow Play

Trying to represent a weak hand by not betting or raising when you have a strong made hand.

Slow Roll

Acting slowly when your hand strength dictates otherwise. This move is considered unethical in poker.

Small Blind

The player to the immediate left of the dealer has to bet the small blind. This wager is the smaller of the two forced bets and is usually half of the big blind.

Squeeze

An aggressive raise after players have already called a prior raise.

Stack

A player’s total chips at the table.

Straddle

A bet that happens to the left of the big blind that is usually double its size and is considered another blind bet.

Straight

Five cards in sequential order. The ace can be high or low.

Straight Draw

When you have four cards in sequential order and are trying to draw the fifth on the turn or river.

Straight Flush

Five cards in sequential order of the same suit.

Streets

Another term for the cards dealt face-up on the board. The turn is “fourth street,” and the river is “fifth street.”

Suck Out

A bad beat.

Suited

Two cards of the same suit.

Suited Connectors

Two cards of the same suit in sequential order.

Tank

Taking a long time to make a decision.

Tight Aggressive (TA)

A typical poker strategy where players are very tight with their starting hands and entering pots. When they do enter pots, they bet and raise aggressively regardless of what comes on the board.

Tell

Information given by a player either physically or verbally that tells others what their hand may be or if they are bluffing.

Three of a Kind

Three cards of the same rank.

Tight

A player that doesn’t play many pots and doesn’t raise or bet often.

Tilt

When players lose many hands, they may get mad and begin to play poorly, which is known as tilt.

Time

Asking for time to decide, or clicking the time button online to get more time to decide what to do.

Top Two

The highest two pairs available based on the community cards.

Tournament

A type of poker where players buy-in for chips and compete until there’s only one player left who is the winner.

Trips

A poker slang term for three of a kind.

Turbo

A type of tournament where blinds go up a lot quicker, and players have a limited amount of time to act.

Turn

The fourth card dealt on the board. Also known as “fourth street.”

Under the Gun

The first player to act based on their position at the table in relation to the dealer button.

Underdog

The player that should statistically lose a poker hand.

Value Bet

A smaller bet placed on the river meant to entice the player to call so that your stronger hand gets paid off.

VPIP

An acronym that stands for Voluntarily Put In Pot. It measures how often a player enters a pot when they aren’t in the small or big blind.

Walk

If everyone folds pre-flop, then the big blind gets a walk and wins the small blind.

Wheel

A straight from ace to five.

Use This List of Texas Hold’em Terminology While You Play

There are clearly a ton of poker terms out there. Keep this page handy, so you have an explanation of any Texas Holdem slang you encounter.

Are you ready to play for real money online? You can enter a poker tournament or try live Casino Hold’em at many legit casino sites. They have trusted banking methods and new accounts always get access to valuable deals.

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