Skip to main content

We’ve put together a comprehensive list of poker slang and terms to help you get started playing in online casinos.  Don’t start playing poker without knowing the terminology.

However, before we get started, here are a few of the best casino promotions you should take advantage of when you jump into poker games.

If you’ve seen the 1998 poker classic “Rounders” starring Matt Damon and Edward Norton, then you know that poker players and the colorful characters surrounding the card game carry their own language.

Whether you like to play poker at a brick-and-mortar casino with strangers or from the comfy confines of your basement with your friends, the language of poker terms remains universal.

In this article about poker terminology, we’ll provide a quick access dictionary of a few dozen of the most common phrases for you to learn before your next poker game.

All-In

When a player goes “all-in,” they wager their entire chip stack for the hand. Typically, players push all the chips in the middle to signal they’ve gone “all-in.”

American Airlines

Poker lingo for pocket aces because having two aces as hole cards gives the player the appearance of “AA.” American Airlines uses AA as its abbreviation for flight schedules.

Bad Beat

Poker players that lose in a particularly unlucky way are known to experience a “bad beat.” In no-limit hold ’em, players that lose on the last of the community cards are known to suffer a bad beat.

Betting Round

Each round of player bets is known as a betting round. Most poker games utilize several betting rounds to increase the pot and fluctuate the chip stack for players.

Big Blind

In flop games, such as Hold ‘Em, betting begins with a big blind and small blind. The big blind typically doubles the small blind in size and sets a level for the initial betting round.

Busted

When playing poker, players that lose all the money they brought to the game are busted. Regardless of whether they are a weak player or were outplayed, a busted player typically can buy back into the game if they have the cash.

Cash Game

A cash game is a standard at-home poker game among friends or acquaintances. Unlike a poker tournament, the cash game, typically played at one poker table, goes until a specific ending time or until players lose their bankroll.

Check-Raise

In the same betting round, if a player checks first, then another player raises, and the checking player then re-raises, they have executed a check-raise on the other players.

Chip Stack

A player’s total amount of money translated into a stack of chips.

Community Cards

Community cards include the five cards face up on the table for anyone to use. Players use their hole cards to match and make hands based on the best combination with the community cards. In Texas Hold ‘Em, the first three community cards are known as the flop. Each additional community card dealt face-up signals another betting round for players.

Cowboys

A nickname for pocket kings. Most players play strong when holding a pocket pair like pocket kings.

Donkey

A weak player typically carries the nickname of “donkey” to their playing partners.

Drawing Dead

In community card games, when a player has already lost the hand with cards left to be dealt, that player is drawing dead. With the popularity of televised poker, audiences can now see the hole cards of players, letting them know which player is drawing dead.

Dry Board

A game lacking opportunity for players to draw a ready-made hand. A table containing off-suited cards in a random pattern, such as 2-7-Q, is a dry board because no one at the poker table can draw a flush or straight draw.

Flop

The flop refers to the first three community cards in Texas Hold ‘Em.

Flush Draw

When a player has four cards of the same suit, and there are cards left to be dealt in the hand, then they are on a flush draw.

Four of a Kind

Players holding four cards of the same rank or number have a hand known as four-of-a-kind.

Fourth Street

Also known as the “turn,” the fourth community card is known as the fourth street.

Full House

When a player has three of a kind plus a different pair, they are holding a full house.

High Roller

High rollers are poker players that play at high-stakes tables. Playing at high roller games does not typically indicate how good the player is at poker; it simply means they can afford the sizable buy-in.

Hole Cards

Also known as pocket cards, these cards are dealt face down to players. The hole cards are used with community cards to make the best hand possible.

Implied Odds

While playing poker, players can place implied odds on their hand giving them a numerical idea of the win probability for their cards during each betting round.

Inside Straight Draw

A player holding four non-consecutive cards that needs one specific card to connect the other four cards is on an inside straight draw. For example, a player holding a 5-6-8-9 needs a 7 to draw an inside straight.

Longshot

A drawing hand with long odds to defeat the other hands at the poker table.

Pocket Pair

Two identical hole cards are dealt face down on the poker table in a stud or Hold ‘Em game. For example, pocket aces are two aces for the player’s hole cards. A pocket pair can make a full house if three cards on the board are the same number.

Poker Hand

In tournaments and cash games, a player’s poker hand determines the winner of the pot.

Poker Rooms

In states where casinos are illegal, some allow poker rooms for players seeking a legal cash game.

Poker Table

Used to describe where the entire game is played. Professional poker tables come adorned with areas for hole cards and a central spot for bets and the pot.

Poker Tournaments

Tournaments are commonly played at casinos and through online poker sites. Players remain in the field as long as they have tournament chips in their stack. Once a player goes bust, they are eliminated from the tournament. Poker tournaments are poker events involving one or more tables to accommodate multiple players.

Pot Committed

When a player has bet through several betting rounds, he is committed to seeing the hand through to the end.

Ring Game

A ring game is a cash game with a full poker table of players.

River

In Texas Hold ‘Em, the final community card is known as the “river.”

Small Blind

In Hold ‘Em, two players must place blinds on the poker table before cards are dealt. The small blind is commonly half of the size of the big blind. To stay in the game, the small blind player must match the largest bet during the betting round.

Straight Draw

When a player holds four consecutive cards, such as 5-6-7-8, they are going for a straight draw.

Straight Flush

Five same-suited cards in consecutive numerical order constitute a straight flush. A royal flush consists of 10-J-Q-K-A in the same suit.

Weak Hand

Players with weak hands either fold their hole cards or attempt to bluff other players into folding by betting strong.

Ryan Brooks

Ryan has worked in the casino industry for nearly 20 years. He spent the first half of his career as a VIP Experience Analyst in Las Vegas, but his primary area of focus at EatWatchGamble is testing and reviewing new online casino games and apps. His comprehensive reviews are invaluable to casino players of all experience levels.

Leave a Reply