Poker Glossary of Terms and Definitions

The casino world has many types of terms to learn and Poker alone holds many of the key custom language. By becoming familiar with Poker terms, a player can be more efficient in their poker play. Let TwinSpires Casino help improve your game by highlighting the most common and crucial poker terms and their definitions.

Article Image

Casino chips. (Image by Studio_3321)

25 Common Poker Term Definitions

Term Description
Action Either referring to a player’s turn to play, or the amount of bets in the pot. A “lot of action” refers to a pot that has been frequently bet.
Ante A minimum amount of action required in order to take part in the hand. Established at the beginning of the table.
All-In The act of risking all of your chips on one single hand.
Backdoor A term used in community poker where a player makes a hand on the turn and the river. Also referred to as “catching a runner”.
Bad Beat A term for bad luck in poker.
Blind Similar to an ante, it is a forced bet that also represents the minimum amount required to participate in a hand. A “small” is half the ante and a “big blind” is the full ante.
Burn To discard the top card from the deck face down.
Call A bet that is the equal amount to the bet made prior. A player who calls frequently without raising or folding is known as a “calling station”.
Check To not bet without folding.
Community Cards The cards in the center of the table which are shared by all players in community poker. Also known as the “board”.
Draw The act of playing a hand that is not very good yet, but could improve given the board. A player who “draws dead” did not hit the hand they were hoping for.
Flop The first three community cards as a group. The fourth card is known as the “turn” while the final card is called the “river”.
Fold To forfeit any bets made and surrender your cards within a hand.
Gutshot Straight When a player has the middle two cards of a straight as his pocket cards. Also referred to as an “inside straight draw”.
Heads Up A pot that is being contested by only two players. Showdown is heads up, but is the last two remaining players at the table.
Hole Cards The cards dealt face down to a player. Also known as “pocket cards”.
Kicker In the case of identical cards, the kicker refers to cards not used within the hand that help determine who has a better hand. A nickname for “high card”.
Muck The pile of folded and burned cards during a hand. Also refers to players folding in some cases.
Nuts The best possible given hand on the board. Can change through the course of the game.
Overcard A card higher than any other on the board. Example: You have 10-9, and the flop is 6-4-2. You do not have anything yet but you have two overcards.
Quads Four of a Kind
Ragged/Rags A flop that doesn’t help anybody gain an advantage
Rainbow A flop that contains three different suits. Indicates that a flush isn’t possible.
Tilt To play wild or recklessly. Opposite of a “rock”.
Trips Three of a kind