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Poker Glossary

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3-Bet 3-betA 3-bet is a re-raise following a raise and a bet, making it the third raise in a betting round. The term is usually used in Fixed Limit games, however, it is also used instead of the term re-raise in Pot Limit and No Limit games.


  • Player A bets
  • Player B raises
  • Player C 3-bets (he raises)
4-Bet 4-betA four bet is a reraise made after a bet and two further raises. It is the fourth wager of the round. The term is usually used in fixed limit games, but also in pot- and no- limit.


  • Player A bets
  • Player B raises
  • Player C 3bets (raise)
  • Player D 4bets (raise)
ABC Poker ABC PokerABC Poker is a relatively diffused term for a standardized, schoolbook way of playing poker with reduced focus on opponents and on particular situations. ABC poker does not mean that somebody plays badly, just that he is transparent due to his plain and repetitive style of play and can hardly expect to play on higher limits.
Add-on Add-onIn rebuy tournaments, an add-on is a rebuy, usually allowed once per player, that any player may purchase regardless of the size of his stack. The add-on is usually offered at the end of the rebuy phase.
All-in All-inTo go all-in is to bet all the chips one has at the table. Once a player is all-in, he is treated specially since he can no longer make any more wagers or call any more bets. He cannot be forced to fold and will see the showdown for sure. The players in the game who are still active finish playing the round normally. 
Anna Kurnikowa Anna KurnikowaIn Texas Hold'em Poker, Anna Kurnikowa refers to the starting hand AK (ace king). A.K. are the initials of the well-known tennis player who made her professional debut in 1995. Many poker and tennis players are sure that the lovely athlete and the starting hand AK share more similarities than just the initials: Although Anna Kurnikowa was in the top 20 of the WTA rankings for quite some time, she never won a singles tournament title. Her attractive appearance made her into an international star, even though she was never one of the best players. The starting hand AK is similarly attractive and belongs to the top 10 starting hands in Texas Hold’em, both suited and off suit. However, AK is not a made hand and often over-played; the hand is therefore not a guarantee for big winnings in poker. Another well-known synonym to refer to AK is Big Slick.
Ante AnteThe ante is a form of forced bet that all players must pay before the cards are dealt. They are paid by all players at the table every round and do not count as bets made, but are a form of entry fee into the round.

This is in contrast to the blinds, which are paid by two different players every round. Seven Card Stud and Five Card Draw often use antes, though the question of antes vs. blinds is ultimately determined by the house rules.

In tournaments with blinds, it is usual to add antes after a particular blind level that every player must pay regardless of whether he paid a blind or not.

Average Stack Average StackThe average stack comes from dividing all the chips in circulation at a given table or in a given tournament by the number of players possessing those chips. It is a measure by which one can tell where one stands in a tournament.
Backdoor Draw Backdoor DrawA backdoor draw or runner-runner draw is one that needs two instead of one card to complete. If a player has three clubs, for example, then he has a backdoor flush draw in clubs. He needs two more clubs for the flush.

Example (Texas Hold'em):

The player has a backdoor flush draw in clubs and a backdoor straight draw. If the turn is a club, then he will have a regular flush draw. If it is a 4,6, or 9, he will have a straight draw.

Backdoor draws are not very strong, but can be helpful in close situations. The chances of getting a flush with three cards of one suit are around 4.2 percent. In the example above, the player has around an 8.5% chance of getting a six and therefore, and open ended straight draw on the turn, and a 17% chance of obtaining an inside straight draw with a 4 or 9 that could be completed with a 6. All in all, he has a 3% chance of hitting a straight by the river.

Bad Beat Bad BeatA bad beat is a hand in which a player whose hand was highly favored is beaten in an improbable turn of events. The boundary between a regular beat and a bad one varies from player to player. It's is generally thought that a winning hand whose chances of winning were around 5-10% is a bad beat, or if a player wins by hitting two perfect cards. 

Here is an example of a bad beat in Texas Hold'em:

Player A has a straight on the flop, B just a pair of nines. But on the river, B wins with a full house. The chances that B would win given the flop are around 7.8%.

Bet BetA bet is one possible action a player can take if there are no bets on the table. To bet is to make a wager. A player can only bet if nobody else has bet. If there is already a wager on the table, then he needs to match that existing bet, although he can raise the wager if he wishes.
Big Blind Big BlindThe big blind is the larger of the two forced bets in a game with blinds. The smaller of the two is called the small blind. The blinds are paid before the cards are dealt, always by different players from round to round. The player to the left of the dealer pays the small blind and the player to his left pays the big blind.
Blank BlankA blank or a brick is a board card that probably isn't of any help in completing any hand draw. If we say the turn is blank, we mean that the turn card did not change the game situation. For example, a turn card of 2 after a flop of three high (unsuited cards) would be described as blank.
Blind BlindBlinds are a form of forced bets in a game of poker. They are bets that must be paid before the cards are dealt. They are paid by two players on every round and these players change from round to round. The two bets may be the same size or one may be bigger than the other; there may be a big blind and a small blind.

The position of the dealer determines who pays the blinds. The two players immediately to the left of the dealer pay the blinds. As they count as bets for these two players, they don't have to match their own blinds again.

Antes are counterparts to blinds. They must be paid by every player at a table. Poker variants with blinds are Texas Hold'em, Omaha, and 2-7 Triple Draw, though the question of antes vs. blinds always depends on house rules.

Blind Steal Blind StealIn a game with blinds as forced bets like Texas Hold'em, a blind steal is a raise with a weak hand from a late position when all other players have folded. An attack on the blinds, or an attack by the small blind on the big blind, is done with the idea that the blinds will fold, leaving the thief with the blinds without having to fight for them.

The strategic counterpart of the blind steal is the blind defense, where the blinds are defended with a weak hand against such a blind steal attempt.

Bluff BluffA bluff is a move in which a player tries to convince the opposition that his hand is stronger (or weaker) than it actually is. It can consist of many actions. The bluff is an attempt to get the opposition to believe something untrue to get him to act on it; either by folding or by betting large amounts against a strong hand, because he doesn't believe it to be strong. A bluff can therefore take on many forms and isn't always an attempt to get an opponent to fold.

Types of Bluff

  • We distinguish between pure bluffs, where a player can only win by getting the opponent to fold, and semi bluffs, where a player has a poor hand initially, but one that might develop into a winning hand later: like a flush draw.
  • The profitability of a semi bluff comes from the combined chances that either the opponent will fold to your bet, so your hand will develop into strong one, or the opponent will bet more chips because he does not believe your bet.
  • Slow play, or deceptive play pretending that a good hand is weak, is also considered a bluff.
Board BoardIn games with communal cards, the board is all of the community cards, collectively. For example, in Texas Hold'em the board consists of the flop, turn, and river.
Bottom Pair Bottom PairBottom pair is the term used in formats that use community cards, such as Texas Hold'em or Omaha. The bottom pair is made up of the lowest board card and one of the player's cards. More generally speaking, a bottom pair can also refer to a pair which uses one of the smaller community cards to make a pair.

Example (Texas Hold'em):

The player has a pair of threes, and three is the lowest board card, so he has a bottom pair. 

Broadway BroadwayThe highest possible straight is called a broadway, and it consists of 10,J,Q,K,A. These cards are called broadway cards.
Bubble BubbleThe highest place in a tournament that gets no prize money is called the bubble. If the first ten places in a tournament get a prize, then the 11th place is the bubble. The player who gets this place is called the bubble boy.

The highest place in a tournament that gets no prize money is called the bubble. If the first ten places in a tournament get a prize, then the 11th place is the bubble. The player who gets this place is called the bubble boy.

Button ButtonThe button or dealer button is a chip that shows who the current dealer is. The position where the dealer sits is also called the button. We also say that the dealer is on the button. 
Buy-in Buy-inThe buy-in is the amount that a player must pay to enter a game. In a cash game, it is the amount he must bring to the table.

In a tournament, it is the amount he must pay into the prize pool. The whole amount paid to enter the tournament is the buy-in plus the entry fee, where the entry fee goes directly to the host of the tournament. A tournament advertised as "$10+1" means that a player pays 11 dollars in all to enter the tournament, 10 for the prize pool and 1 to the host.

Call CallA call is one action a player can make when faced with an opposing bet. It means that he wagers exactly the amount of the opposing bet.
Cap CapThe cap is the last possible raise in a round or the upper limit on how much can be wagered in one hand. Rounds are usually capped at 3,4, or 5 raises per round. The last raise is the cap.

The cap is the last possible raise in a round or the upper limit on how much can be wagered in one hand. Rounds are usually capped at 3,4, or 5 raises per round. The last raise is the cap.

Cash Game Cash GameCash games and tournaments are different poker variations. The participants play for and make wagers in cash. The participants buy into a table and can bring in new money to the table at any time, so long as they do not step over the maximum buy-in for the table.

No-limit and Pot-limit games are often called cash games since the players bet as much as they want, as opposed to fixed limit variants where the bet sizes are constrained to discrete steps. Fixed-limit is not viewed as "real" poker in this sense.

Cash Out Cash OutTo cash out is to get paid. The term is used when withdrawing money from a poker account, for trading in casino chips for money, or when a player leaves a table and the money he had at the table is credited back to his account.
Check CheckA check is one possible action that a player can make when he is not confronted by any opposing bet. To check means to pass the action to the next player without making a wager. A player can only check if no bets have been made.
Chipleader ChipleaderThe player with the most chips is the chipleader.
Coinflip CoinflipA coinflip refers to a situation in which two players have almost equal chances of winning. Since it's close to a 50:50 probability, the game may as well be decided by flipping a coin.

Example (Texas Hold'em):

A classic coinflip in Hold'em happens when a pair before the pre-flop is pitted against two overcards. The chances are around 44:56, with a slight advantage for the queens. 

Connectors ConnectorsIn games with communal cards, the board is all of the community cards, collectively. For example, in Texas Hold'em the board consists of the flop, turn, and river.
  • There are 4 with 87:
  • 45678
  • 56789
  • 6789t
  • 789TJ
  • But just two with 96:
  • 56789
  • 6789T
Continuation Bet Continuation BetIf a player bets in an earlier round and then bets again in the current one, this is called a continuation bet since it continues the aggression from the previous round. A typical continuation bet situation is when a player raises in the first round and is called by another player and then bets again after the flop, often as a bluff when having nothing at all.

Delayed Continuation Bet

A delayed continuation bet is one that is not made directly in the next round but rather two rounds from the original bet. For instance, if a player raises pre-flop in Texas Hold'em, does not bet after the flop but bets after the turn, it is known as a delayed continuation bet.

Cooler CoolerA cooler is a hand lost not because of a mistake but rather because of the way the cards came out; a player with a strong hand loses to another player with a stronger hand. The losing player usually loses a lot of money and there is no way to avoid it with correct play.

An example of a cooler is when two players in Texas Hold'em both have a high pair and each hit their three of a kind on the flop. It's not a bad beat, just bad luck that the cards were such that correct play on the part of both players leads to one losing terribly. Both players had very strong hands.

Cowboys CowboysA starting hand of two kings in Texas Hold'em is called cowboys.
Cutoff CutoffIn games with a dealer button, the cutoff is the position immediately to the right of the button.
Dead Cards Dead CardsDead cards are cards that are no longer in the game because they were already folded.
Deal Deal


A deal or final table deal is an early end to a large tournament that comes about when all the remaining players agree to divide the prize money in some way. The distribution of prize money is usually based on the chip counts. It is also common to dole out most of the prize money and to then play the rest of the tournament to see who wins.

Kinds of Deals

  • Chip Count Method
  • Each player gets the amount that he would have surely won otherwise. The remaining portion of the prize money is distributed according to the chip standings.
  • ICM Method
  • The money value of the players' chips is calculated using an independent chip model and the prize pool is divided according to this. This method is based on the profit each player can expect to make from his current chips.
  • Post Deal Method
  • The prize pool is divided between the players so that all those active receive the same amount, but play continues for the remaining amount.
  • Seat+Chip Count Method
  • Each player gets a fixed amount for reaching this stage of the tournament. The rest is distributed according to the chip count method.
Donkbet DonkbetThe term donkbet comes from the combination of donkey and bet. Such a bet is an unexpected or risky bet by a player who was not the aggressor in the previous round, often into a player who was the aggressor. This is also called a gaybet or bet out of nowhere.

A typical situation for a donkbet is when a player calls a raise in the first round then bets into the raiser in the next round.

Donkbets can be dumb moves by inexperienced players, or deceptive maneouvers made to trick an opponent since they are often viewed as weak. Furthermore, they are used as blockbets in variants with variable bet sizes, where a small bet can be made to keep an opponent from making a large, pot odds-spoiling bet.

Double Belly Buster Double Belly BusterA double belly buster is a double inside straight draw, meaning that it consists of two overlapping straight draws each missing an inner card.

Example (Texas Hold'em):

The player has an inside straight draw with 2456, which needs a 3, and with 4568, which needs a 7. This is called a double belly buster. The advantage of this relatively strong draw is that it is not obvious that it has hit.

Draw DrawTo draw is to play a draw, an unfinished hand that needs one or more cards to turn into a made hand.
Early Position Early PositionIn games where the relative position of a player to the dealer determines the order of play, the early positions are those who must act first. At a full ring table in Texas Hold'em, for instance, the first three positions after the blinds are the early positions, also called UTG (under the gun), UTG+1, and UTG+2.

The disadvantage of players in early position is that they must act early in the round and so they don't know what the other players will do. The more players that will act after a certain player, the heavier the disadvantage of information weighs upon him, and the more probable it is that a player behind him has a strong hand. It is more difficult to craft a game against opponents acting later than against those who have already acted.

Example :

Equity Equity


The equity or pot equity refers to the share of the pot belonging to a player based on his long term chances to win.


  • If the pot is $10 and a player has a 50% chance to win, then his equity is $5 because according to the law of large numbers he will win $5 on average.
  • One central theme related to pot equity is expected value (EV), or the amount that will be won over the average of all possible outcomes of a given situation.
  • Whereas the odds and pot odds are only concerned with whether a call is profitable when a player has a draw, equity calculations can tell whether a move is profitable or not so that a player can tell which move maximizes the equity or expected value.
  • The basic idea is to get away from categories like draws and made hands and to evaluate a hand on the basis of its probability of winning. A hand with a high chance of winning, whether finished or not, results in a high share of the final pot, a high equity and expected value.

Example (Texas Hold'em):

  • Player A has the pair of aces and the current best hand. If there were a showdown now, then he would win. But B is actually the favorite here. The probability that he will obtain the best hand by the river is around 66%, whereas A will only win 34% of the time. It is therefore in B's best interest to make the pot as large as possible, since on the flop 66% of the final pot belongs to him. He has the superior hand and so should raise every bet made by A and even go all-in to maximize his profit.
  • A calculation of the best move in this situation takes into account all the moves B could make and all the outcomes that could then result.
  • EV (fold) = 0$
  • EV (call) =...
  • EV (raise) =...
  • The action with the highest EV is the most profitable.
Expected Value (EV) Expected Value (EV)


The expected value or expectation, abbreviated EV, of a move is the average gain or loss that results from a situation taking into account all possible outcomes and their probabilities.

Calculation of the Expectation

To calculate the expected value, one must know the probabilities and payoffs of all possible outcomes give what has already transpired. The EV is the sum over all possible outcomes of the product of the payoff of the outcome and the probability of that outcome.

EV = P(outcome 1) * Payoff 1 + P(Outcome 2) * Payoff 2 + ... + P(Outcome n) * Payoff n

Example :

  • Two players toss a fair coin. If the coin falls heads up, player B pays player A a dollar. On tails, A pays B a dollar. The probability of either heads or tails is 50%. Hence the EV for both players is
  • EV = 50% * (+1$) + 50% * (-1$) = 0$
  • Another method of calculation for finding the profit of a bet is:
  • EV(Bet) = Pot Equity - bet

Example :

  • Players A and B toss a fair coin. The payoffs are as before, except that at the beginning of the round each puts a dollar in the pot and the winner takes the pot at the end. Each player wins the pot of $2 50% of the time. Their pot equity is therefore 50% of $2 or $1. Hence, the EV is
  • EV = Equity - Bet = 1$ - 1$ = 0$
  • Neither player wins or loses anything since they lose a dollar half the time and win it back the other time.
Final Table Final TableIn a tournament that begins on multiple tables, the last remaining table where the tournament is decided is called the final table.
Fish FishA fish can be a curse or can mean simply a bad player, against whom play is profitable. Fish can be identified by their lack of strategy and by the moves they make with negative expected value. They play marginal hands and bet too much. It's also an insult, used interchangeably with those classics, retard, idiot, and moron.

The opposite of a fish is a shark, a player who robs fish of their money. Barracudas are those players in between, who still make money off the fish, but are good to mediocre players. Very aggressive players are called piranha. A table with a lot of bad players is called an aquarium.

Fixed Limit Texas Hold'em (FL) Fixed Limit Texas Hold'em (FL)Fixed Limit Hold’em was once the most popular variant of Texas Hold’em, until No Limit became the dominant form. Although on the surface they look very similar, the differences between Fixed Limit Hold’em and No Limit are vast. The skills needed to master one game are very different than those needed to excel in the other, and many people suggest that Fixed Limit is more of a science, compared to the art of No Limit.

What is Fixed Limit Texas Hold'em?

The fundamental difference with Fixed Limit Poker strategy is that you can only bet one amount at any one time, and can only reraise a set number of times, per street. This limits the number of decisions available to you, and as a result there is usually a more definitive answer of whether a particular play is right or wrong.

Fixed Limit Hold’em is also, therefore, a great game to learn first, because mistakes are much less costly. In No Limit you can lose everything in a single hand because of one error, but the amount you potentially can lose in Fixed Limit Hold’em is much smaller. As a result, it is also a great game if you have a risk averse attitude.

Generally, people play more hands for this reason also, making it a fun game for recreational players. Therefore, if you are prepared to put the effort in to learn Fixed Limit Poker strategy, you may find yourself playing against much weaker competition than in No Limit. Here you will find an overview of the best online poker rooms to play texas hold'em.

Flop Flop


In poker variants with community cards like Hold'em and Omaha, the flop is the first three board cards to be dealt.

Evaluating the Flop

The flop is evaluated on three basic criteria:

  • 1. Connectivity of the cards, i.e. whether they are close to one another in value, and hence able to build straights.
  • 2. Suitedness, or whether there are many cards of the same suit enabling flushes.
  • 3. Value of the cards, i.e. how many cards are high cards like aces or kings, since these are played more often and so opponents are more likely to have hit them. In hi/lo variants, it might also be important whether there are many low cards that enable lo hands.

In general, one can say that the "goodness" of a flop depends on how many draws and what kinds of finished hands are possible with it. Players tend to play with cards that are suited, connected, or high, so it is important to know which of these is possible given the flop.

Flop Textures

The term texture is also used to describe the flop. The following terms are used for kinds of flops that occur often:

  • Rainbow Flop: A flop with three cards of different suit. No flush draws are possible. Occurs 40% of the time.
  • 2-suited Flop: a flop with two cards of the same suit, enabling a flush draw. 55% of all flops are 2-suited.
  • 3-suited Flop: A flop with three cards of the same suit, enabling a finished flush as well as draws. Occurs 5% of the time.
  • Paired Flop: The flop contains a pair, happing 17% of the time. The danger of such a flop is that a player might have hit a three of a kind or even a full house, which would beat any flush or straight. Hence, those draws are not worth as much.
  • 2-connected Flop: A flop with two cards in sequence, enabling straight draws. Happens 40% of the time.
  • 3-connected Flop: A flop with three sequential cards, enabling finished straights.
  • Ragged Flop: A very uncoordinated flop. In Hold'em, this would be a flop with small, unconnected cards of different suits, making it unlikely that anybody has hit anything.
  • Draw-heavy Flop: A very coordinated flop enabling many draws, often a combination of flush and straight draws.
  • Dry Flop: A flop with no or only weak draws possible. Also used as a synonym for ragged flop.
Flush Flush

A flush is a poker hand consisting of five cards of the same suit.


The flop is evaluated on three basic criteria:

Flush Draw

A flush draw is a draw consisting of 4 cards of the same sui, needing just one more of that suit to make a flush.

Example (Texas Hold'em):

The probability that the player will hit one of the nine remaining hearts in the deck on the turn is around 19%. The probability of hitting one on the turn or river is around 35%

The nut flush draw is the draw to the best possible flush. It consists of the Ace in the flush suit. If the board is showing the ace, then the player needs the king in the flush suit to have the nut flush draw. If the board shows the ace and king, then he needs the queen, and so on.

Fold FoldA player who folds lays down his cards and withdraws from the current round of play. The bets he's already made stay in the pot and he re-joins the game in the next round.
Fold Equity Fold EquityThere are two possible ways a player can win a hand, he either has the best hand at the showdown or he forces all other players to fold their hands in the betting rounds. His probability to win a hand increases as the probability increases that all opponents fold their hands.

Since the percent share of the pot that belongs to a player based on the strength of his cards is called pot equity, the percent that belongs to him based on how likely his opponents are to fold, is called fold equity.

When calculating the expected value, one would reckon on winning a pay-off of x with a probability of, say, 10%.


  • Two players are in the final betting round before the showdown. Player A has a 20% chance of winning the showdown. Player B will fold 10% of the time if A bets, otherwise he will call. The pot is $4, the bet size is $1.
  • EV(Bet) = 20% * Payoff(B calls and A wins the showdown) + 10% * Payoff(B folds)+ 70% * Payoff(B calls and A loses showdown)
  • EV(Bet) = 20% * 5$ + 10% * 4$ + 70% * (-1$)
  • EV(Bet)= 0.7$
  • Hence, the player will win $5 20% of the time, $4 10% of the time, and lose $1 70% of the time. All in all, he will win 70 cents on a bet of one dollar.
  • Compared this with the (constructed) case where B neither bets nor raises and A just checks:
  • EV(Check) = 20% * 4$ + 80% * 0$
  • EV(Check) = 0.8$
  • EV(Check) > EV(Bet)
  • So in this example, it's better for A just to check.
Free Card Free CardA free card is a card that a player gets to see without paying any more. For example, if there are multiple players in a game of Hold'em and nobody bets on the flop, then all the players get to see the turn card without investing any more. It is a free card.
Freezeout FreezeoutA freezeout is a form of tournament, either where a player is out when he has no more chips or in which the whole prize pool goes to the first placing player.
Full House Full HouseA full house is a poker hand consisting of a pair and a three of a kind. It is written as full house (three of a kind) over (pair). A full house is also called a boat, full boat, full, or full barn. If two players have a full house, then the one with the highest three of a kind wins. If they have the same three, then the with the highest pair wins.


This hand would be denoted full house queens full of aces.

Full Ring Full RingA full ring game refers to a round of poker with 7 to 10 players. It is also called 10max. In online poker there are also tables with 9 max. Shorthanded tables are tables with 6 or fewer players, also called 6max. Play at a full ring table is calmer and less frenzied than at shorthanded tables, for which reason action-oriented players prefer the shorthanded tables so that they can play more hands. It also gives rise to a higher variance.
Grind GrindTo grind is to play consistently for profit on a given limit without taking much risk. A grinder or rounder is a player who plays on a limit beneath his abilities to make part or all of his income, even though he could play on a higher limit at greater risk.

The other meaning of grinding is to work up one's bankroll on a lower limit after encountering financial difficulties on a higher one. We say, a player grinds through the limits.

Hand Hand

a) one round of play

b) the player's cards

Heads-up Heads-upA poker game between just two players is called heads-up. The heads-up game is the most intense poker variant since a player never has a chance to wait for good cards, but must instead rely on his game and on finding weaknesses in his opponent.
High Card High CardA high card is both the highest card in a poker hand or highest kicker as well as a poker hand that has no pair or better. It can only beat other high card hands, by having the highest high card.


High Limit High LimitA high limit or high stakes game is one with large wagers. There is no well-defined line, but usually limits above $100/$200 or NL5000 are considered high stakes.
Highroller HighrollerA highroller is a player who plays on the high limits. The term is not attached to any one limit but instead is based on some particular person's perception of what a high limit is. Hence, a highroller might play in the mid-stakes.
In Position In PositionA player is said to have position on or be in position with respect to all players who must act before him in the betting round. He has the advantage of knowing what these players have already done.
In the Money In the MoneyA player in a tournament is in the money (ITM) if enough players have been eliminated from the tournament such that he is guaranteed a prizewinning placement.
Isolate IsolateSingling out a player to go heads-up against him by pushing the opposition out of the game with aggressive actions. Isolation is used to get a weak player in a pot by himself early in the game or to secure an advantage in position by pushing out a player who could negate that advantage.
Jackpot JackpotA jackpot is a pool of prize money that grows with time that can be won by one or more players when the conditions for winning are fulfilled.
Kicker KickerKickers are those cards out of the five making up a poker hand that do not belong to any combination of cards but that determine the rank of hands with equivalent combinations. Accordingly, there are only kickers in hands with combinations of fewer than five cards i.e. four of a kind, three of a kind, pairs, and high cards. They decide the outcome when two players have hands that are otherwise equal in rank, beginning with the highest kicker. Narrower definitions specify just one kicker; the one that decides over a hand when two players have similar hands. If the players have exactly equal hands, then the kicker is the highest of the non-combination cards and they split the pot.

Example (Texas Hold'em):

Both players have two equal pairs of kings and sixes. A's kicker is the ace of spades and B's is the queen of clubs. Ace beats queen, so A wins because his kicker is higher.

In Texas Hold'em, the smaller of the player's two starting cards is called the kicker.

Knockout Bounty Tournaments Knockout Bounty TournamentsKnockout Bounty tournaments are just like standard tournaments with the exception that the buy-in is split up into a contribution to the general prize pool and a bounty on each player.
If you knock another player out of the tournament, you will immediately receive his bounty.
Ladies LadiesLadies is another name for a pair of queens in one's starting hand in Texas Hold'em. Other terms for this hand are: Canadian Aces, Siegfried and Roy, Whores, Queens, or Pussys.
Late Position Late PositionIn games where the order of player actions is determined by the position of the dealer, the late positions are the last two positions to act, the cutoff and the button.

The players in these positions have a great advantage over the other players since they know the actions of all previous players.


Limp LimpIn games with blinds, a player limps if he calls the blinds as his first action. He calls the big blind but does not raise.
Main Pot Main PotThe main pot in a hand is the pot for which all active players compete. If a player goes all-in, then a side pot is opened for all further bets that only non-all-in players can win.
Maniac ManiacA maniac is an extremely aggressive player who plays many cards and hands and often tries to win by pure aggression. A maniac raise, bets and bluffs a lot. He plays an extreme form of the loose-aggressive style.
Micro-limit Micro-limitVery small limits, where bet sizes are in the cents, are called microlimits. They are the lowest limits where you can play for money.
Middle Pair Middle PairIn poker variants with board cards, a pair that is made from one player's card and one mid level board card or a mid pocket pair is called a middle pair.

Example (Texas Hold'em):

The player has a pair of queens, which is the second highest board card. Hence, he has middle pair.

Middle position Middle positionIn games where the order of player action is fixed by the position of the dealer, the middle positions are those mid way around the table from the dealer. At a full table with ten players in Texas Hold'em, for example, the sixth, seventh, and eighth positions would be called middle position, also called MP, MP2, MP3.

The players in these positions must struggle against a disadvantage of position with regard to those after them, but they do have position on the early players and can see what they do before acting.

The players in these positions must struggle against a disadvantage of position with regard to those after them, but they do have position on the early players and can see what they do before acting.


Min-raise Min-raiseThe term min-raise describes the smallest possible raise at a given table. If the big blind is $1 for example, raising to $2 is referred to as a min-raise.
Monster MonsterA very strong hand, like a full house, is called a monster.
Multi Table Tournament (MTT) Multi Table Tournament (MTT)The muck is an area of the poker table where all dead cards are laid to rest, i.e. all burn cards and the cards that players have folded.
Muck MuckMulti Table Tournaments are by far the most glamorous versions of the game with the biggest chance to win a huge amount overnight. They also involve a lot of luck. The MTT strategy differs from cash games and SNGs, most notably because every decision you make could be your last. It is a balancing act between playing to win and playing to survive.

To muck is to lay ones cards down without showing them.

Multiway Pot Multiway PotA multiway pot is one in which more than 3 players are involved.

No Limit Texas Hold’em No Limit Texas Hold’emAlthough there are different formats of Texas Hold’em, Texas Hold’em No Limit is by far the most popular. This is because you can bet any amount at any time. As a result, you are always at risking of losing every single chip you have – or doubling up. This is why so many players play Texas Hold’em.

What is Texas Hold'em No Limit?

You can bet anything you want in No Limit Texas Hold’em, this makes it the most complex of all games to master. In Fixed Limit Hold’em you are limited to only a number of decisions, but in No Limit poker one of the key skills is manipulating the pot and your bet sizing to affect the outcome of the hand.

Bet sizing is one of the key skills in No Limit poker because you have so much creative freedom to play a hand like you want. Whether you are trying to bluff or trying to win every penny your opponent has, learning how to properly size your bet is vital.

There are thousands of situations in No Limit poker, and we have built up a database explaining most of them in this section. There is rarely a definitive right or wrong answer in No Limit Texas Hold’em, the answer is usually ‘it depends’.

Don’t let this overwhelm you because although it sounds complex, Texas Hold’em No Limit is the easiest game to pick up. Like the old saying goes “It takes a minute to learn, and a lifetime to master”.

Nuts NutsThe nuts or lock is the best possible hand in a situation. A player has the nuts if he has the best possible hand given all the cards dealt so far. The term is also used in the context of a particular hand category. The nut-flush or nut-straight would be the best possible flush or straight, respectively.
  • Odds
  • For a given number of outs, i.e. cards that would complete a drawing hand, there is a unique probability that such a card will be dealt next. This probability is usually expressed as odds, or odds against; a probability that the draw does not hit.
  • Odds against = failures : successes
  • For the next card, this means:
  • Odds against = unhelpful cards : helpful cards
  • Or:
  • Odds against = unknown cards - Outs : Outs

Example (Texas Hold'em):

The players have a draw to a flush in hearts. There are still nine other hearts in the deck, so he has nine outs. There are five cards showing so the player knows that these cannot be dealt again. Since the deck has 52 cards in all, 52-5=47 cards could show up on the turn. Of those, 47-9=38 are worthless to the player. The odds against the player hitting another heart are therefore

Odds against = 38:9 = 4.2:1

In other words, the flush will be hit about 19% of the time. 35% of the time, he will have completed by the river, giving him odds of 1.9:1.

Open Ended Straight Draw Open Ended Straight DrawAn open ended straight draw (OESD) is a draw to a straight missing either the first or last card in the sequence.

The player has a straight draw with 2,3,4,5 that will be completed by any ace or six. The probability that the turn card is an ace or six is around 17.4% The probability that the player will have a straight by the river is around 31.5%.

Pot Limit Omaha (PLO) Pot Limit Omaha (PLO)Pot Limit Omaha is the second most popular variant of the game today. On the surface it looks and plays a lot like Texas Hold’em, but the differences are significant. There still exists a large knowledge gap so you can create a big edge in Pot Limit Omaha if you follow the right instruction.

What is Pot Limit Omaha

Pot Limit Omaha plays like Texas Hold’em, except for each player is dealt four hole cards instead of two, and they must use exactly two of them combined with community cards.

Because there are more cards, invariably the strength of your hand goes up too. A hand that is a monster in Texas Hold’em could be considered weak in Pot Limit Omaha, and most of the time hands like straights, flushes and full houses win.

One of the big Pot Limit Omaha strategy adjustments is understanding these differences and hand selection is even more important. Knowing how to play drawing hands is also very important in Pot Limit Omaha and there are actually situations where the best move is to fold the nuts when faced with a draw heavy board.

Mental strength is also paramount in Pot Limit Omaha because the variance is so much greater that luck plays a bigger role in the short term.

Open Raise Open RaiseIf a hand is begun with a raise in the first betting round, this is called an open raise. So if all players fold in e.g. Texas Hold'em to the player in cutoff position and he raises instead of just paying the big blinds, then the cutoff player has made and open raise.
Out of Position Out of PositionA player is out of position on his opponent if he must act before his opponent in a given betting round.
Outs Outs


Draws are unfinished hands that would not win as they are but could develop into powerful hands if the proper cards are dealt. Cards that would finish such a hand are called outs.

Example (Texas Hold'em):

The player has a draw to a straight with 2,3,4,5, called an open ended straight draw. Any ace or six will complete the straight. Since there are four aces and four sixes in the deck, the player has 8 outs.

Discounted Outs

Discounted outs are outs that have ben adjusted for the quality of the outs i.e. where cards that would complete the hand but would be more useful to the opposition have been discounted.

Example (Texas Hold'em):

The player has a draw to a straight. Any ace or six will complete the hand. These are his outs and so he could presume to have 8 outs, 4 aces and 4 sixes.

But what if an opposing player had this hand?

Now the ace or six of hearts would complete his straight but would give the opposition a flush. So these cards are no longer outs for the player, and he must discount them. 
An opponent might also have this hand:

In this case, any six would give the opponent a higher straight, and so only the aces would be outs.

Overbet OverbetBetting more than is in the pot is called overbetting.
Overcards OvercardsA group of cards that is higher than a second group of cards, e.g. cards that are higher than every board card in Texas Hold'em.

Example (Texas Hold'em):

The player has two overcards since both of his starting cards are higher than any card on the flop. An overcard in this situation means that there is a chance to hit top pair if a future board card pairs with an overcard.

Overpair Overpair

Example (Texas Hold'em):

The player has a pair of aces, which is higher than any card on the board and so higher than any pair that could be made with them. Therefore, it is an overpair.

Pair PairA pair is a hand with two cards of the same value..

Example (Texas Hold'em):

The player has a pair of eights.

Payout Structure Payout StructureThe payout structure of a tournament determines how the prize money is divided between the winners, and how many players will actually win money.

A typical payout structure for a sit'n'go:

  • 1. place, 50% of pool
  • 2. place, 30% of pool
  • 3. place, 20% of pool
  • 4. place and lower, no prize
Pocket Pair Pocket PairIn Texas Hold'em, a pocket pair is a pair made from both of the player's hole cards. For example, if a player has two kings, then he has pocket kings.
Pocket Rockets Pocket RocketsA starting hand of two aces in Texas Hold'em is called pocket rockets.
Postflop PostflopIn Texas Hold'em and Omaha, the postflop is the part of the game that comes after the flop.
Pot PotThe pot is the prize pool consisting of all the bets made in a hand. If the pot is divided between two or more players, e.g. in Hi/Lo variants in which the best and worst hands win, or because two or more players have the same hand, this is called a split pot.

There can also be more than one pot in the hand, i.e. when one or more players go all-in. All bets made above the all-in amount are put into a new pot, the side pot, so that only the players who have the necessary money can compete for it. The first pot is called the main pot.

Pot Control Pot ControlA move is described as being for pot control if it's aim is to determine the size of the pot, either by making it large or keeping it small.

The latter is usually the case if you have a good but not great hand and do not want to play over a lot of money.

Pot control can be effected by manipulating your own bet size, e.g. making it smaller than normal. It can also mean forgoing a bet or calling instead of raising.

Preflop PreflopIn Texas Hold'em and Omaha the part of the game that takes place before the flop is dealt is called the preflop.
Push PushTo push is to go all-in.
Quads (4oak, four of a kind) Quads (4oak, four of a kind)4oak stands for four of a kind, also called quads.
Qualifier QualifierIn Hi/Lo poker variants, the qualifier refers to the minimum standard that a hand must meet to qualify for a particular share of the pot.

The other meaning of qualifier is as a synonym for satellite, a tournament in which one stands to win a spot in another tournament.

Raise Raise


A raise is an action that a player can make when confronted by another player's bet. To raise means to bet over the amount wagered by your opponent. The number and size of raises per round may be bounded depending on the house rules. Usually, 3 or 4, or less often 5 raises are allowed per betting round. A raise that follows an opposing raise is called a reraise.

Complete and Incomplete Raises

If a player raises and that puts him all-in, i.e. he bets his whole stack, but does not have enough money or chips to make the minimum raise, then his raise is called incomplete or irregular. Depending on the house rules, such a raise might only be called incomplete if it is less than half of the minimum raise amount.

An incomplete raise does not reopen the betting, i.e. players who have already acted in the betting round cannot raise again. They can only call the incomplete raise or fold.


  • Player A bets $4.
  • Player B calls.
  • Player C has just $5 remaining and goes all-in

The minimum raise is $4. Player C must first pay $4 to see player A's bet and then has one remaining dollar with which to raise. His raise is incomplete since the smallest complete raise is $4. Players A and B can only increase their wagers by $1 or fold. They cannot raise again since they have already acted this round.

Rake RakeThe rake or "chop" is the house's cut of each and every pot. A hand where a rake is taken is called a raked hand. The raked amount is subject to certain conditions. In general, a rake of 5% of the pot is taken, as long as the pot has exceeded a predetermined size. The maximum rake per hand limit is also determined by the particular establishment and by the limit being played. A cardroom will not take a percentage rake when a hand does not have a flop. This is called "no flop, no drop"

Rake types:

  • Dealt rake: The rake collected at the end of a hand will be taken equally from all players who have been dealt into the hand.
  • Simple contributed: The rake collected at the end of a hand will
  • be taken equally from all players who have invested money in the pot.
  • Weighted contributed: The rake collected at the end of a hand
  • will be taken from all players who have invested money in the pot, but calculated
  • proportionately by the amount of money invested.
  • Actual rake: The rake of a hand will be assigned in full (100%) to the
  • winner of the hand.
Rebuy RebuyIn contrast to a freezeout tournament, in which a player is irrevocably eliminated when all his chips are gone, re-buy tournaments allow eliminated or shortstacked players to purchase more chips. Usually, this procedure, the rebuy, is such that as soon as a player's stack is below the original starting amount for the tournament, he may pay the original buy-in and receive the starting amount of chips again. This is only possible at the beginning of the tournament. After the rebuy phase, the play is normal freezeout.

In a $20 rebuy tournament in which every player gets 2000 chips, a player can buy an additional 2000 chips for $20 as soon as he has fewer than 2000 chips. Instead of leaving the tournament when he's lost all his chips, he can buy in a second, third, fourth...time and start all over.

Reraise ReraiseA reraise is one that follows a raise by another player. If one player bets and is raised by a second player who is in turn raised by a third, then the third player has made a reraise.
River River


The fifth and final board card in Hold'em or Omaha is called the river or 5th street.

In Seven Card Stud, the seventh and final card dealt to the players is called the river, or 7th street.

Evaluation of the River Card in Texas Hold'em and Omaha

Just as in the turn, the river card is called blank if it is not likely to help anybody, i.e. it is not a high card and does not complete possible draws. A two on the river is a blank if the flop and turn were high, unsuited cards.

A river card that is likely to have helped some player is called a scarecard. A third board card of one suit is scary because it enables flushes. An ace after a harmless flop and turn would also be a scarecard. Such cards have the effect of startling players and can be more easily used for a bluff than blanks since it is more believable that the bluffing player might have been helped by the scarecard.

Rock RockA rock is a conservative player who only plays a few very strong hands. His strategy is to play only absolutely top cards, but he plays them aggressively and rarely folds, even if there are indicators that he's been overtaken by the opposition.
Royal Flush Royal FlushA royal flush is a poker hand consisting of the cards from 10 to ace in the same suit. 


Runner-Runner Runner-RunnerTwo perfect cards dealt over the course of the game. For example, a runner-runner draw is a draw that needs two perfect cards to materialize.
Satellite SatelliteA satellite is a tournament in which participants can win a buy-in or entry into a larger tournament. If a player cannot or does not want to pay a large buy-in for a big tournament, then he may buy into a satellite and attempt to win the larger buy in.
Set SetA set is a three of a kind made from one communal card and a pair of hole cards.

Example (Texas Hold'em):

The player three of a kind in eights. Since two of the 8's are his, he has a set of 8's.

Shortstack ShortstackA stack is short if it is small by comparison to the stack of the opposition, the maximum buy-in, or the current ante. A player possessing such a stack is calso called a shortstack. For example, a player at a table with a maximum buy-in of 100 big bets who has just 20 big bets in his stack is called a shortstack.

The small number of chips has a direct impact on the play. A shortstack cannot undertake moves that are complex or cost-intensive. He can only win as much as he has in his stack, hence, he cannot speculate on hands because his implied odds are insufficient.

In a tournament, a shortstack is under pressure to double or triple his stack as quickly as possible, but he cannot wait too long for a good hand since the ante will quickly devour him.

Showdown ShowdownThe showdown is the final portion of a hand, where the remaining players show their cards and compare to see who has the best cards and is therefore the winner of the pot. The showdown takes place after the last round of bets have been made.

If one or more players have gone all-in, i.e. bet all their remaining chips, and it is no longer possible for anybody to make new bets, then the revelation of the cards that follows and the playing out of the hand (without any further betting rounds) is also called the showdown. For example, in Texas Hold'em, any remaining community cards would be dealt (without betting in between) and all players cards would be revealed to see who the winner is.

Here's a quick example to illustrate this principle:
Showdown value Showdown valueIn general, the term simply describes the fact that a hand has a certain value on the showdown and that you can win a sufficiently profitable number of showdowns with it in order to make profit in the long run.

However, the term is usually used in situations where you can no longer bet for value since there is hardly any weaker hand that would pay a bet, while your hand is still good enough to take it to the showdown cheaply, where it will often be the best hand.

Here's a quick example to illustrate this principle:

  • Stacks & Stats
  • UTG ($100.00)
  • MP ($100.00)
  • CO ($100.00)
  • Hero ($100.00)
  • BB ($100.00)
  • SB ($100.00)
  • Preflop: Hero is BU with 7  8 
    3 folds, Hero bets $3, 1 fold, BB calls
  • Flop: ($6.50) 2 K A (2 Players) 
    BB checks, Hero bets $4, BB calls 
  • Turn: ($14.50)  7 (2 Players) 
    BB checks, Hero checks 
  • River: ($14.50) 6 (2 Players) 
    BB checks, Hero checks 

You raised a suited connector first-in from late position and one of the blinds calls your raise. The flop reveals two over-cards, you don’t have a pair and have neither hit a flush draw nor a straight draw.

The opponent checks the flop and as the preflop aggressor you make a flop continuation bet with the only intention to get the opponent to fold - your hand is absolutely worthless with the exception of the fold equity you can create.

However, your opponent calls and you hit a small pair on the turn. The opponent checks to you. Although you have a pair now, you can’t bet for value since it is very unlikely that your opponent will call with a weaker hand. It is possible now that your opponent has picked up a draw and will also check the river if the draw doesn't complete. Your pair therefore has showdown value and you check with the intention of getting to the showdown.

Side Pot Side PotThe side pot is a pot on the side in a hand with an all-in player. The main pot in a hand is the pot that all active players may win. If a player goes all in and at least two opponents are still playing and not all-in, then all successive bets are put into the side pot and only the non-all-in players may win them.
Slowplay SlowplaySlowplay is an overarching term for playing a strong hand passively to keep the opposition in the game, to give the impression of a weaker hand, or to give them the opportunity to get relatively good cards in the course of the hand, thereby causing them to (falsely) believe they can win.
Small Blind Small BlindIn a poker game with blinds, the small blind is the lesser of the two blind bets. It can also refer to the player who pays such a bet.
Sit & Go (SNG) Sit & Go (SNG)Sit & Go tournaments, or ‘SNGs’, are a great way to learn to play poker because they cover all the fundamentals of tournament play, but don’t take anywhere near as long. However be warned that SNG strategy differs in a lot of ways from traditional tournament play for a number of reasons, so make sure you check out our SNG poker articles.

What are Sit & Goes

One of the biggest lessons SNG poker will teach you is about the importance of your chip stack. Understanding how your chip stack can be used as a weapon, and how its relative value changes, is a fundamental part of SNG strategy.

Once you have got to grips with the basics, an advanced element of SNG strategy is the Independent Chip Model, otherwise known as ICM. Your chips have a numerical value in the tournament, but ICM will teach you what those chip are worth in real money terms. ICM is difficult to get to grips with, but is an integral part of becoming a winning SNG poker player.

Preflop aggression is also a key component in SNG poker and one of the core skills that SNG strategy will teach you for all other variants of poker is how important being the aggressor is. Once you master how to play on the bubble of SNGs you will develop a more fearless approach to using your stack to accumulate more chips. Here you will find an overview of the best online poker rooms to play texas hold'em.

Split Pot Split PotA split pot is one that is split between multiple players because they have hands of equal value.
Squeeze Squeeze


A squeeze, or to put a squeeze on somebody, or a squeeze play, means to make a large raise after there has already been one raise and at least one call. Whereas the first player ideally folds, since he's now caught between two or more opponents and doesn't know what the players after him will do, the second player and all those after him often don't have strong enough hands to call a reraise and so will fold.

If the reraise is called, it is still possible to win the pot in subsequent rounds with a continuation bet.


  • Player A raises by $4.
  • Player B calls.
  • Player C raises by $20 -> he squeezes.

Prerequisites for a squeeze play

Your own image, the styles of the opposition, your relative position to them and the stack sizes are the important factors for a successful squeeze.

A trivial ground rule is that a squeeze only makes sense if the opponents can fold. On the other hand, the range of the opposition, in particular that of the open raiser, must be large enough that he could hold a hand that he would immediately discard.

It makes no sense to squeeze if the opposition is very loose or the raising player only raises a few hands, so that he will seldom fold them. Furthermore, the opposition must respect your reraises. 

Stack StackThe stack is the amount of money or chips that a player has at the table. He cannot bet more than his stack.
Steal StealIf no other player has entered the hand, you can often take the blinds without any resistance if you raise from late position.
Straddle StraddleDefinition: In a live game, when a player decides to 'straddle', he is putting in twice the big blind before the cards are dealt. Usually, it is the player under the gun who straddles. Essentially, it is a raise in the dark, as all players following must now call or raise the amount of the straddle bet. This is usually done so a player can leave the table but return to play his cards, or as a way to generate more action.
Straight StraightA straight is a hand consisting of five cards in sequence.


Straight Flush Straight FlushA straight flush is a poker hand consisting of five sequential cards of the same suit.


Street StreetIndividual parts of the game or cards dealt are called streets. In Texas Hold'em, for example, the turn is the 4th street since the turn card is the fourth communal card to be dealt.
Suited SuitedTwo or more cards are called suited if they are of the same suit.
Suited connectors Suited connectorsSuited connectors are sequential cards such as 87, 54 or 32, which are also suited. Other types include one gap connectors, such as 53 or 86, which are separated by two card values, as well as two gap connectors such as 52 or 96, which are three values apart.

The strength of connectors is that they can become straight draws more easily than unconnected cards and the closer they are to each other, the more opportunities there are for straight draws. Unlike off-suited connectors, which have different suits, suited connectors also have the advantage of becoming a strong flush draw more easily.


Tilt Tilt


In its broadest interpretation, tilt is the emotional state of a player who has great difficulty controlling their game through rational decisions, but rather acts very emotionally. For example, when a player takes a few large losses and tries to make them up as quickly as possible by betting aggressively and playing large pots with weak hands, then he is on tilt.

Types of tilt

The most obvious form of tilt is aggressive tilt. A player tries to win big pots with aggressive moves, as described above. He bluffs a lot but also puts his opponent on a bluff frequently. He plays very loosely, very aggressively and tends to play for big pots, even with marginal hands. This can ultimately lead to him getting into double-or-nothing situation in a more or less hopeless spot and shoving all-in, like sitting at a Roulette table and putting it all on red.

This kind of tilt also means that the player ignores his bankroll management and makes bets at limits which his bankroll can't cope with and where one lost buy-in alone can mean a big part of the bankroll.

Another, sneakier kind of tilt is passive tilt, where losses or experiences make a player so shy and fearful that he no longer plays aggressively enough. He behaves very passively and doesn't even trust himself to play his good hands aggressively, as he ought to, because he suspects there's a bad beat lurking around every corner.

Triggers and consequences of tilt

Tilt is normally triggered by losses. They don't have to be particularly large, they need only impact a player so that he falls into the state of mind where he thinks he must regain his losses at all cost.

The consequences are often catastrophic. If the player does not have exceptional good luck, he will make his relatively small losses large in no time with aggressive tilt, until he burns through his whole bankroll. In its passive form, the player continually cuts his winnings, so that from one loss he then makes consistent, long-term losses. He plays badly, much too passively and scared. A generally good player becomes a bad player, as he no longer acts as he should and often, he knows it.

Avoiding tilt

Tilt is a very basic phenomenon in games of chance. At some point, something clicks in a player's mind and suddenly all he can do is watch his money fly out the window. There are few people who are immune to it. The only way to avoid a tilt is to check yourself at the first signs of it and quit playing as soon as you notice you're heading towards tilt. This is when you're playing emotionally, playing a lot of hands and trying to make the biggest possible profits as quickly as possible. Once it sets in, it will be hard to control while you're playing.

Time bank

Some online platforms offer players time in addition to the time they have for an action, a sort of account for extra thinking time called a time bank. The time bank exists for the duration of a table or tournament and players needing more time to choose an action can withdraw time from this bank until it is empty. The bank is not refilled when time is taken. For example, a player may have 60 additional seconds thinking time available which he can use successively.

Top kicker Top kickerThe highest possible side card or kicker in a poker hand.

Example (Texas Hold'em):

The player has a pair of kings. With the ace, he also has the best possible kicker. There is no possible pair of kings with a better kicker that can beat this hand. An opponent would need a higher ranking hand, two pair or better, to beat this hand.

Top pair Top pairIn poker variants with community cards, a pair made from a player's card and the highest community card is called top pair.

Example (Texas Hold'em):

The player has a pair of kings, one of which is his and the other is the highest community card, hence, top pair.

Tournament TournamentA poker tournament is a game type in which the participating players pay a set amount, the buy-in, into the prize pool, which they then play each other for. Each player gets the same number of chips in the beginning and is eliminated if he loses all his chips. There is a special form known as re-buy tournaments, where players to are allowed to buy chips again during the early phases of the tournament.

The prize money is distrubuted proportionally, or graduated according to placement and when a player went out. The particular payout structure determines which place gets money and what distribution key is used to dived the money up amongst the individual places. Special prizes or places in another tournament can also make up the prize pool instead of money.

Types of tournament

Freeze out

In the classical freeze out tournament form, a player is eliminated for good when he loses all his chips. Tournaments where only the first place player wins the entire pool are also called freeze outs.


In the early phases of the tournament, each player has the option to re-buy chips, should his stack fall below the size of his starting stack. Additionally, every remaining player usually has the option at the end of the re-buy phase to re-buy again, regardless of the number of chips he has. This is called an add-on.


A multi-table tournament is one in which thousands of players can participate at once, so that it requires several tables in the beginning. Over the course of time, tables are closed as players are eliminated and remaining players are redistributed to tables with free places. This goes until there is one table left, the final table, at which the winner is ultimately announced.


STT stands for single-table tournament, this means the number of players is heavily restricted, as is the duration.


An SnG or Sit and Go is a tournament that starts when a pre-defined number of players have registered for the tournament. It does not start at a particular time like MTT's, rather, it could happen at any time as soon as enough players have joined.


A satellite is a pre-tournament or qualifying tournament, where participants can play for a seat in a larger tournament aired later. Often, only the top placed players, or maybe even the top player, get a seat in the later tournament. The buy-ins for a satellite are much smaller, meaning that there is the chance to play for a lot of prize money for a relatively small investment. Chris Moneymaker is a prime example, having bought into a satellite, or in fact a sub-satellite (a satellite tournament for a place in a satellite) for $40, he went on to win the main event of the WSOP, taking down $2 million in a tournament that would usually have cost a buy-in of $10,000.


A freeroll is a sponsored tournament without buy-in. Entry is free for all players.

Trips TripsIn general, the term 'trips' refers to three of a kind.

In games that involve community cards, three of a kind can be referred to as trips if the hand is composed of two community cards that make a pair and a matching hole card. In contrast, a set consists of two hole cards that make a pair and a matching community card.

Example (Texas Hold'em):

The player has three of a kind, fives. As two of the three fives are community cards and only one of the fives belongs to the player's hole cards, this three of a kind can also be called trips.

Turn Turn


In poker variants with community cards such as Texas Hold'em or Omaha, the fourth community card is called the turn or 4th street.

In Seven Card Stud, a player's fourth card is also called turn or 4th street.

Rating the turn card in Texas Hold'em and Omaha

A turn card is called a blank if it is very unlikely that it helps any player. If a card is neither of high value nor completes a possible draw nor connects with the flop, it is a blank.

A turn card is being called a scare card, if there is a good chance that it helps a player. A scare card, for example, would be a third community card of a suit which enables a flush, or an ace after a harmless flop. Scare cards get their name because they have an intimidating effect. They can be used much more easily for a bluff than a blank, because it's more believable that these cards have helped someone.

Two pair Two pairA two pair is a poker hand consisting of two different pairs.

Example (Texas Hold'em):

The player has a pair of kings and a pair of queens, so a two pair in all.

Two-suited Two-suitedA combination of cards, for example community cards in Texas Hold'em, is two-suited if it contains two cards from the same suit.


Under the gun (UTG) Under the gun (UTG)When playing with blinds, under the gun (UTG) refers to the position immediately to the left of the blinds who has to act very early on in every betting round and therefore has an immense positional disadvantage compared to other players.
Underpair UnderpairIn poker variants with community cards, an underpair is a pair made from only a player's cards that is smaller than any card on the board. Hence, any pair made with the board will beat an underpair.

Example (Texas Hold'em):

A, K, and 10 are all larger than 8, so the pair is an underpair.

Value ValueValue like expected value is poker jargon for the profit you expect to result from a hand or action. However, the word is used in a more diffuse and unspecific sense when it refers to equity or pure winnings, so that we say that there is value in a hand or situation if we can make long term profit with it. An action executed for value is one which will be profitable in the long-term.

It can also mean the rank of a hand, or the value as the strength of a card.

Value bet Value betA value bet is a bet made to increase your profit, for example if you have the best hand in the final betting round and want your opponent to put more money in the pot. This bet has a positive expected value and so increasing the pot size increases your equity and therefore, your winnings.
Wired pair Wired pairA wired pair (connected pair) is a pair that consists of a player's first and second card. In Texas Hold'em, a wired pair consists of the two starting cards a player is dealt. In Seven Card Stud, it is the two downcards in your starting hand.