Poker Terminology and Slang

Poker Terminology and Slang

Poker is one of the most popular casino card games where players place wagers over which hand is the best with respect to specific rules. Of course, the game of poker has its slang or “poker talk”. There are different poker terms to learn that can make you look like a pro.

If you are new to the game, learning poker slang will significantly improve your fun time at the game table. Let’s take a look at our glossary of poker terminology:

  • Ace High – A made hand without at least a pair where the high card is an ace
  • Add-On  An amount that can be added to the stack of tournament chips for a set fee during a designated break
  • Alias – Refers to a player’s online screen name. Players who predominantly play online are often known by their alias/screen name
  • Ante – This is a compulsory payment that players are required to make at the table before cards are dealt. It is often used during the later stages of poker tournaments
  • All-in – Refers to moments when you put all your chips in the middle
  • Blind – Simply means performing an action without having to look at the cards. On the other hand, it’s a forced or partial bet that players put in before cards are dealt
  • Backdoor - Refers to the situation where you need two cards to make the hand
  • Backing Lending funds to a player and, in return, receiving a percentage of their winnings
  • Back Raise – Refers to a re-raise made after calling earlier on the same street
  • Bad Beat – A bad beat occurs when a player holds a pretty strong hand but still loses the round
  • Bad Beat Jackpot – When a powerful hand is defeated by another hand, a poker room—whether live or online—pays out a certain amount of money as a “bad beat jackpot”
  • Bankroll – Refers to the total amount of funds a player has at his disposal to play poker
  • Barrel – Refers to making a bet after already being the last aggressor on the previous street
  • Call – To call means putting a number of funds equal to the most recent bet or raise into the pot
  • Check – This means not betting and having the option to call or raise later in the betting round. It also refers to betting zero dollars. Check is a synonym for a poker chip
  • Community Cards – These cards are usually placed at the centre of the table that players can use to construct their 5-card hand. However, it doesn’t apply to every poker variant
  • Dealer – Refers to the player in a poker game who deals cards. It could be a player or worker at the casino
  • Flop – It’s the second betting round when playing community cards such as Omaha and Hold’em. It also refers to three community cards when they are dealt face-up on the table during a betting round
  • Fold – When a player chooses to forfeit any chance of winning the current pot in poker
  • Heads up – This is referring to a poker hand where there are only two players. It might mean the initial deal or the later betting rounds after other player folds
  • Kicker – These are cards that don’t directly make up a hand but are still an important part of the overall strength of a hand as they are used as side cards
  • Muck – It’s when you return a losing hand to the dealer at a showdown without the table knowing it
  • No Limit – No limit means players can choose to bet as much as they have or raise any amount at any time
  • Pocket – Refers to cards unique to you that only you can see
  • Quads - Refers to four of a kind
  • Raise – To raise means you’re increasing the amount of a bet
  • Rake – Known as the cardroom's income, it is the amount of money taken out of every pot by the dealer
  • Small Blind – Refers to the position at the poker table to the right of the button. It’s also the name of the blind payment the player in that right seat makes at the start of every hand
  • Showdown – This is the point where all players left in hand turn their cards over to determine which of them has the best hand after completing the fourth round of betting
  • Side Pot – It’s a type of pot that’s created where the player possesses no interest because he has run out of chips to play
  • Split Pot – Refers to a type of pot awarded to different players. It could be in a case where the hand ties or when they’re playing a split pot poker variant
  • Tell – It’s a clue or hint that you give out unintentionally about the strength of your hand or following a line of action. Tell is an involuntary action that might show if someone is bluffing
  • Turn – It refers to the third betting round in different poker variants, such as Hold’em or Omaha


The casino world has many terms you may need to familiarise yourself with, including the poker game. We’ve covered the most common terms in our poker dictionary above. By becoming familiar with these terms, players can be more efficient in their poker sessions, understanding the game’s flow better.

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