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A Newbies Guide To Unusual Or Confusing Poker Terminology

Just started playing poker and don’t know your fish from your sharks and whether it’s good or bad to be a donkey? You need our poker glossary

So, you’ve not long started playing poker and you are getting your sharks confused with your fish, and you think slow-playing someone is ensuring you take an hour before each decision you make at the table.

I’m happy to admit that when I first started playing poker, long, long before the poker boom in the 2000s, some of the terminology used in the game was a little confusing at first.

Over the years though, through a process of osmosis, I’ve come to understand the terms and use them freely. So now, I am going to provide you with a nice little glossary of terms you can use when playing at bet365 Poker, or indeed in your own home games.

Unusual Or Confusing Poker Terms

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Acting Out Of Turn – this is when a player announces what their move will be at the table, before it is their turn to do so, when the action is with another player. This can be done accidentally, or intentionally to try and influence other players actions at the table. This latter form of acting out of turn is also a form of Angle Shooting (see below).

Angle Shooting – Intentionally doing something at the table to exploit or influence an opponent, such as covering the size of your chips or intentionally acting out of turn. While not technically illegal, such angle shooting moves are viewed as borderline fair by most players and will not likely engender much favour towards you from other players.

Back Into (The Pot) – This is when a player wins a pot with a hand that they would have folded to any other bet but all other players have folded too.

Blank, Brick, Bomb or Rag – A community card which does not improve the hand of any player remaining in game.

Bluff – To pretend you hold a hand much better than you do and bet accordingly to try and force other players to fold.

Brunson – A hand where your hole cards are a 10 and 2 of any suit. Named after pro player Doyle Brunson who won two World Series Of Poker events holding this hand.

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Bubble – The final finishing position in a poker tournament where you do not claim a prize. For example, if you enter a tournament with 50 players and the top 10 players receive a cash prize, and you finish 11th, you finished on the bubble.

Buy The Pot – When you make a bet when no other player has made a bet in the hope you will force the players to fold so you win the pot uncontested.

Calling Station – A player who frequently calls bets, but does not raise bets often.

Check-Raise – A play where a player, usually with a strong hand, checks initially with the intention of raising if another player or more places a bet.

Continuation Bet – A bet made after the flop by the player who bet first before the flop. This is also shortened to a C-bet.

Dead Man’s Hand – Although its accuracy is doubted, the dead mans hand was the hand reported to have been held by Wild Bill Hickok (below) when he was killed at the poker table, believed to be a pair of black aces and a pair of black eights.

Dirty Stack – A stack of chips which looks like it is of a single value, but in which chips of different values are hidden. This can be a result of not paying attention when stacking your chips, but can also be used to deceive players at the table intentionally.

Donkey, Donk or Fish – A weak player.

Double Up or Double Through – To go all in against an opponent with a larger number of chips than you and to win the hand, thus doubling the amount of chips you hold.

Downbet – Betting a smaller amount in the current round of betting than you did in the previous round of betting.

dead man's hand

Drawing Dead – When a player continues playing in a hand even though they have no possible chance of defeating an opponent.

Dry Board – A flop that does not improve the hands of any of the players remaining in it.

Family Pot – A hand in which every player, or almost every player, calls the first bet to remain in the hand for the flop.

Get Away or Laydown – When a player folds a strong hand against a superior hand, thus avoiding losing even more money.

Heads Up – Playing poker against a single opponent.

Hollywood – When you Hollywood at a table, you talk and act in an exaggerated way with the aim of encouraging an opponent to bet or act in a specific way.

Juice or Rake or Vig – The money collected from players for the house in table games.

Junk – A hand that has little value in it.

Kicker – The card in the hand that doesn’t determine the rank of the hand, but which can be used to decide which player has the best hand in the event two players share the same value hand. For example, if both players have got two pairs, one of jacks and one of eights, but one player holds a five and the other a ten, the player with the ten ‘kicker’ would win the hand.

Limp In – To enter a pot by calling rather than raising.

Mark – A player that other players will focus on to try and get chips from, often because the player is inexperienced.

Muck – To fold your cards, sometimes without revealing them.

Nuts – A hand that is the best possible hand given the situation in the game. A player holding the nuts cannot be beaten by an opponent.

On The Button – When the player is in the dealer position and will bet last in the round. It is the most advantageous position to bet from in poker.

Outs – How many cards a player has available for them to improve their hand and win the pot.

Polarized – When a player plays only hands that are very strong, or he or she bluffs.

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Pot-Committed – When in a game the size of the pot is so great because of the amount that has been bet in it, means that compared to their remaining stack, the player is committed to playing out the hand.

Push / Shove – To go all in with your chips.

Rainbow Flop – When the flop reveals three cards of three different suits.

Represent – To play a hand as if you are holding a particular hand (usually a strong hand) when in fact you do not. Essentially, it is very similar to a bluff.

River – The final card dealt in a game of Texas Hold’em, the fifth community card.

Sandbag – when a player intentionally slow plays at the table.

Scare Card – When a community card is revealed that could give another player a very strong hand.

Sell – To bet as if you have a weaker hand, when you hold a stronger hand, hoping to attract other players to call or raise your bet.

Shark – A talented poker player, usually a professional.

Slow Roll – To delay showing the winning hand in a showdown. It is not a polite thing to do at a poker table.

Tilt – When a player gets angry, upset and/or emotional at the table and reacts and starts to play emotionally rather than strategically.

Toke – A tip you give to the dealer when you win a hand in a bricks and mortar casino.

Trips – Three of a Kind

Value Bet – A bet made by a player when the aim of that player is for other players to call them.

Wet Board – a flop that makes it possible for players to have landed high value hands.

We hope this little glossary of tips will help you improve your knowledge of poker lingo!

Ian John

Working my way though the UK's top online poker sites (and some of the ones near the bottom as well) to bring you a first-hand take on the absolute best choices for online poker players from the UK.

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