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language of poker

11 Poker Terms You Need To Know

The language of poker can seem confusing. Even if you’ve been playing for a long time, it feels almost impossible to know every single last phrase. Plus there are new ones being introduced all the time.

And if you’re new to poker, online or offline, it can be even more confusing. So stick with us and we’ll give you a no-nonsense rundown of the language of poker and the words you need to know.

1. Passive player

Spend a lot of time simply checking or calling during your poker session? In that language of poker, that means you’re a passive player.

2. Raccoon

Well, we’d rather be a passive player than a raccoon any day. We’re not talking about those cute woodland critters. Raccoons in poker play more based on their hopes and dreams of what could happen rather than taking time to think about the probabilities or even thinking about how other players are playing at the table. Raccoons are the dreamers of the poker world. But more often than not, they end up as roadkill on the felt.

3. Expected value

Now this is something every poker player should get into the habit of doing. Calculate your long term profitability and then you’ve worked out your expected value.

4. Zero sum

If you’ve got the same odds of winning a hand as you do of losing, you’re in a zero sum situation. It’s a doozy.

5. Crying call

You’re fairly certain you don’t have a winning hand. But you call anyway. That, my friend, is a crying call.

6. Hero call

Another interesting type of call is the hero call. In a way, it’s pretty similar to the crying call. Like the crying call, you call even though you don’t think you’ve a very strong hand. However, your reason for calling is slightly different. It’s because you’re positive your opponent is bluffing.

7. Junk

Ugh, we wish we never had to learn what this term in the language of poker is. It’s when you’re dealt a weak, useless pair of hole cards. They’re rubbish, they’re garbage, they’re trash. In other words, they’re junk.

8. Underfull

On the other hand, we’re (almost) always up for a bit of underfull action. This is a type of full house where the three of a kind is made up of one of the lower cards on the board.

9. Baby

Speaking of lower value cards, a baby is the lowest possible hand on the board.

10. Giving air

You’re giving air when you let your opponent know you’ll draw at least one more card if they call you, even though they’re about to fold.

11. Family pot

Let’s keep this next term in the language of poker in the family. You’ve got a family pot on your hands when everyone calls during the first round of bets.

Test out your new language of poker skills on the felt

Play a little bit of online poker and see if you can spot where these language of poker terms apply. Looking for somewhere new to check out? We’d recommend giving bet365 Poker a go. And new players can take full advantage of this bet365 bonus code.


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