Online Poker Terms - Quick Glossary

This page publishes an organized glossary of many of popular poker terms. Use this page to aid your comprehension of playing poker, strategy articles and what's happening at the tables.


Poker Game Play Terms

Action -- The act of being involved in a hand. "This hand has a lot of action."

  • Bet -- The action of being the first player to contribute chips to the pot.
  • Call -- The action of matching a players bet
  • Check -- The action of giving the next player an option to check or bet. Only available if no one has contributed chips into the pot for a given round.
  • Raise -- The action of raising the amount of chips players must contribute to stay in the hand.

Ante -- A small portion chips contributed to the pot by each player before the cards are dealt. In online poker, this occurs in the later stages of tournaments to speed up the action


Bad beat -- When a player obtains a very strong hand, but loses to another player who has an extreme underdog hand.

  • Suck-out -- The act of handing someone a bad beat with terrible cards. "He sucked out on me on the river."
  • On Tilt -- The act of playing poorly after receiving a bad beat.

Blind -- A standardized forced Bet issued to encourage action

  • Small Blind -- the player 1 seat clockwise from the dealer posts 1/2 of the minimum bet before cards are dealt.
  • Big Blind -- the player 2 seats clockwise from the dealer posts the minimum bet before cards are dealt.

Bluff -- To bet or raise hoping to make your opponent fold. In this situation you either have a terrible hand or a marginal hand. A marginal hand in this situation would be called a semi-bluff


Board -- The 5 face up cards dealt which are equally shared by all players

  • Flop -- The first 3 community cards dealt
  • Turn -- The 4th community card dealt
  • River -- The 5th and final community card dealt


Button -- A puck or disc shaped icon which is used to mark the player designated as the dealer. The dealer is "On The Button"


Draw -- A situation where a player's hand can improve with help from the turn card, river card, or both. "He's on a Draw."

  • Drawing dead -- No remaining cards can give you the best hand. You have no outs.
  • Backdoor flush draw -- A draw where a player has three suited cards at the flop, and needs to hit a suited card on both the turn and the river to complete a flush. - a.k.a -- Runner Runner
  • Gut-shot straight draw -- A straight draw missing an inside card (4 outs). For example, a player is holding 9-8 and the flop turns over 7-5-K. He needs a 6 to complete his straight.
  • Open ended straight draw -- A straight draw where a player has 8 outs to make a straight. For example, a player is holding 6-5 and the flop turns over 4-3-J. He needs a 2 or a 7 to complete a straight.

Hole cards -- The two exclusive cards dealt to each player which they combine with the board to make the best 5 card hand possible.

  • Big Slick -- A common term for holding AK
  • Connectors -- Any two cards 1 value away...KQ, A2
  • Pocket Pair -- any two matching cards.
  • Pocket Rockets -- AA, the strongest starting hand.

Muck -- A pile of discarded cards. "Fold into the muck."


Nuts -- Best Possible hole cards you can have in correlation with whats on the board. "I've got the nuts."

Betting Structure Terms

Fixed-Limit -- A betting structure where a player can bet or raise no more than the designated minimum bet.


No-Limit -- A betting structure where a player can bet or raise up to all of his or her chips.

  • All-in -- A bet or call in no-limit hold'em where a player wagers all of his chips.
  • Limp-in -- A term for nonchalantly just calling the minimum bet pre-flop. "He limped in with pocket 5s"


Pot-Limit -- A betting structure where a player can bet a max of the value of chips in the pot when its his turn.

Game Type Terms

Ring Game -- a.k.a Cash Game -- A poker play option where you play with money. You can leave a table at any given time with the amount of chips you have. The highest-stakes cash games in online poker are played at #1 Full Tilt, #2 PokerStars.

  • Rake -- The action of the online poker room removing a small percentage of a final pot in a cash game. This is one way online poker rooms make money.


Tournament -- A poker play option where you purchase a designated amount of chips equal to everyone one else who is playing. Prize money is split up into specific percentages for how well players place in the tournament.

  • Buy-in -- The amount of money it costs to purchase a seat in the tournament. The buy-in will be contributed to the prize pool awarded.
  • Entry-fee -- A small fee charged to the tournament registrar that contributes to the online poker room
  • Prize Pool -- The amount of money in a tournament that will be split up among designated qualifying finishers.

Tournament Variation Terms

Multi-Table Tournament (MTT) -- A tournament consisting of more than one table of players. The amount of tables can become very large. e.g. World Series of Poker Main Event, where there may be 5,000 to 10,000 entrants.

  • Bounty -- A type of tournament where a bounty is placed on specific players' heads. If a player knocks one of those bountied players out, then he is paid the designated bounty aside from the prize pool. Bounty Tournaments are most frequently offered @ DoylesRoom - Home of Doyle Brunson.
  • Freeroll -- A tournament that has no buy-in or entry fee, but still has some sort of prize pool. The amount of money awarded depends on the occasion. Every room reviewed on Online Poker Ed offers alot of freeroll opportunities. Bodog currently offers daily freerolls with the highest free prize-pools. PlayersOnly is currently offering a new depositors $500 freeroll and monthly 100k freeroll. (largest monthly freeroll).
  • Freeze-Out -- A structure of tournament where players are knocked out for good once they lose all of their chips. This is the most common type of poker tournament played
  • Guaranteed -- A type of tournament where the online poker room guarantees that a minimum prize pool will be awarded. If the amount of players' buy-ins do not add up to the guaranteed prize pool, then the online poker room will make up the difference. When this happens it is referred to as "overlay". PokerStars is the home of the biggest guaranteed tournaments including the weekly Sunday Million.
  • Rebuy -- A tourney structure where players can optionally rebuy into a tournament after they've been knocked out.

Sit N Go (SNG) -- A convenient online tournament that begins when all seats are registered at any given time of day. Sit N Gos come in all type of game variations. The most common sng types are heads-up, 6-player, 9 player, 10 player, and multi-table up to 90 players. Multi-Table SNGs are only convenient at the biggest poker sites. Single-Table SNGs can be conveniently enjoyed at any poker room.


Satellite -- A type of tournament that has no money prize pool, but instead an opportunity to win tickets to bigger tournaments. Satellites are most commonly played in the SNG format.

Common Poker Player Terms

Donkey -- a.k.a - donk -- a weak player who doesn't realize how bad they are


Fish -- A weak player


Grinder -- A player who strives to play solid poker and consistently improves his bankroll over a period of time


Maniac -- A very loose and aggressive player who raises and bluffs frequently


Pro -- A player who has had success and recognition and therefore receives corporate sponsorships. Most of the sponsorships and money comes from representing online poker rooms via television, blogs, and events.


Rigtard -- Slang term for a player who will try to convince you that online poker is rigged with no evidence. These players are typically amplified "donkeys"


Rock -- A very tight player who plays aggressively with good cards


Shark -- A seasoned player who makes it a mission to prey on weaker players. "fish"

If you would like more info on playing online poker in 2010 you can also check out my friend Simon's Play Poker Online website over @playpokeronline.net. He also has alot of info about online poker including articles and news on the current best online poker promotions, bonuses, tournaments, sites, etc. Another good resource is one of my friend MJ's online poker sites over @onlinepokersites.net.

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