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Ace The highest-ranking card

Ace High A five-card hand containing an Ace but no pair. Beats a king, loses to a pair.

Aces Up A hand with two pair, where one pair is aces, is said to be Aces Up

Acey Deucey (i) Any game where Aces and Twos are wild; (ii) when a player's two cards or two cards showing are an Ace and a Two

Action When it is a player's turn to make a decision, it is said to be that player's "action"; a hand with a lot of betting is said to have good action.

Advertising A strategy used to purposely give other players a false impression of how you play. It is typically performed early in the game and at an inexpensive opportunity. As a false sense of one's style is developed, this is exploited later at an opportunity when there is significant money to be won.

Aggressive A style of play characterized by much betting and raising, making it expensive for other players to stay in the pot. See also Passive, Loose, and Tight.

Ahead The amount of profit that has been made in a session. For example, "I’m ahead ten dollars."

All-in When a player bets all of the money that he has on the table. Typically used in no-limit poker, where the only limit on a player's bet is the amount that he has on the table.

Ante The amount of money that each player must throw into the pot before the game is dealt. It is the initial interest that each player has in the game before it is even begun, and is usually the same amount as the minimum bet at the table.

Ante Up A dealer request for antes to be paid.

Anything Opens In Draw, a game where there is no qualifier required to open the first betting round.

Art Gallery A five-card poker card made up entirely of face cards.


Back to Back Two paired hole cards, i.e. "Back to back Jacks"

Back Into, To To end up with a hand other than the one originally anticipated; i.e. chasing a flush and .backing into. a straight flush.

Bad beat (i) A story told involving a poker hand gone awry; a story of bad luck or with an unfortunate and ironic ending. (ii) To suffer a large loss when playing a strong hand.

Bankroll A players available funds are said to be his bankroll.

Behind A player who has lost money is said to be playing behind.

Belly Hit To complete an inside straight.

Bet (v) To place a sum of money into the pot, either to open, to see and call, or to see and raise; (n) the amount of money thrown into the pot.

Bet Into To bet before a stronger hand, or a player who placed a strong bet on the prior round.

Bicycle Wheel A straight made up of an Ace, Two, Three, Four, and Five. Otherwise called a Low Straight, the lowest possible Straight. Considered by some people to be the best hand in Lowball.

Big Blind (n) Hold'em, this is the largest compulsory ante that is paid by the player in the second seat to the left of the dealer.

Bitch, The The Queen of Spades.

Blackleg A nineteenth century term for a card player of ill repute.

Black Mariah (i) A term used in the Seven-Card Stud game High Chicago where a player has the best hand at the table and the highest Spade face-down; (ii) a Seven-Card Stud game in its own right where the hand that wins the pot must be both the best hand and have the highest Spade face-down.

Blind (bet) (n) In Hold'em, the pot is started with "blinds" instead of antes. One or two players to the left of the dealer are required to make forced bets before even seeing their hands. As the deal rotates around the table, so too does the burden of having to make the forced "blind bet". (v) to check or bet before receiving or examining hole cards.

Blue The color of poker chip most often used to represent the highest denomination of money. Source of the term "blue chip" stock.

Bluff The act of betting higher than one should with a particular hand, so players think you are holding a better hand than you actually are. A tactic used in the hopes that players with better hands will fold from the pot.

Board These are the community cards in Hold'em and Community poker games. In Stud games, these are the cards dealt face-up in each player’s hand.

Boat A Full House.

Bobtail An outside-straight.

Boss The strongest hand at a betting round.

Brick (i) In Stud poker, a card dealt face-up to a player that does nothing to help that player’s hand. (ii) In Community poker, a community card that is flipped up that does nothing to help a player’s hand.

Broadway A Straight made up of a Ten, Jack, Queen, King, and Ace. Otherwise called a High Straight, the highest possible straight.

Buck The term used to describe the dealer button which indicates which player represents the "dealer" in casino play (this player should receive the last card). Source of the phrase "The Buck stops here". See button.

Bug A Joker included in the game that can only be used as an Ace, or to complete a Straight or a Flush.

Bullet(s) An Ace or pair of Aces.

Bump To raise.

Buried A card that a player needs to complete his hand that does not end up being dealt from the deck is said to have been "buried".

Burn (i) Losing a round in a game based on rounds, ex. Chase the Ace; a "double burn" is when two players lose a round; (ii) the act of placing the top card aside face-down and out of play, an anti-cheat mechanism used in Hold'em.

Bust A hand which has failed to improve.

Bust a Player To eliminate a player from a tournament by taking all of his chips.

Busted A player who is out of chips is busted.

Busted Flush/Straight A flush or straight of only four cards.

Button A plastic disc used in casinos where there is a house dealer to designate the player who would have otherwise been dealing if the deal were rotating. The player dealing the hand is said to be "on the button." See buck.

Buy-In The amount of money required to sit down at the table for a specific game.

By Me An expression used to indicate that a player checks or folds.


Cage A casino area, almost always behind bars where a player exchanges chips for cash.

Call The act of seeing a bet and not raising it any further. Some home games require that the first player to "call" is the first player to show his or her hand at Showdown.

Calling Station A player who always calls, and thereby cannot be bluffed.

Cap (i) A limit placed on a Guts poker game, to control how much money can be lost at one time; i.e. a five-dollar .cap. means that no player can win or lose more than five dollars at any given time; (ii) a limit placed on the number of raises that can be made in a betting round; i.e. many casinos employ a three-raise rule before the cap is reached.

Cards Speak A house rule determining that players do not need to call their own hands. If a player miscalls his hand, the house corrects that player. The opposite of Players Speak.

Case Card The last card of a denomination or suit, where the rest have been seen.

Cash In To leave a game and change one's chips for cash with the dealer.

Cash Out To leave a game and change one's chips for cash at the cage.

Catch To have the card a player wanted to pull appear at a draw.

Chase (v) When a player remains in the pot because his hand has the potential to improve to a better hand, that player is said to be "chasing" the better hand.

Check (v) When the betting round has not yet been opened, a player who opts not to bet is said to "check". The difference between this and a call is that in the latter instance, the betting round has been opened. (n) A term for a chip.

Check-Raising (or Sandbagging) A player who checks on a betting round, but raises when a bet is put to him in the same round

Chicago A Stud split-pot game where the pot is split between the player with the best hand and the player with the highest Spade face-down. Otherwise known as High Chicago. A variant that splits the pot between the best hand and the lowest Spade face-down is known as Low Chicago.

Chip A plastic, wooden or clay disc used to represent money.

Chop-Chop To split a pot in the event of a tied hand.

Cinch Hand A hand which cannot be beaten; see Nuts

Close to the Vest, Playing (i) Playing cautiously; (ii) holding one’s cards close enough to one self so that players on either side cannot see them.

Closed Poker Any poker, typically Draw poker, in which all cards are dealt face-down.

Coffeehouse, To To make reference to one’s hand out loud at the table, whether being honest or not. Banned in some home games.

Coin declare A method of declaring in Guts poker, where all players raise a closed hand over the table and open their hands at the same time; players who drop a coin or chip are declaring "in", those who drop nothing are declaring "out".

Cold A streak of bad cards or luck.

Cold Deck A deck of cards which has been set in advance by a cheat.

Come To play a poor hand on the hopes of improving it. Source of the term "playing on the come".

Community Any game where a certain number of cards are revealed to all players in the center of the table, and can be used in conjunction by each player with the personal cards that were dealt to each player.

Community Cards Those cards in a Community poker that are positioned in the middle of the table and are shared by all players.

Connectors Cards of consecutive numeric value which may make a straight.

Court Card Any face card. A Jack, a Queen, or a King.

Cowboy A King.

Cut To divide the deck into two piles and reverse their order after the shuffle, but before the deal.


Dead Card A card which is no longer playable within the rules of a game.

Dead Hand A hand which is no longer playable.

Dead Man’s Hand A hand consisting of both black Eights and both black Aces. The hand held by Wild Bill Hickok when he was shot in 1876.

Deadwood The collection of cards near the center of the table, consisting of discards and folded hands.

Dealer-advantage A factor in any game where there is an obvious advantage to the dealer somewhere in the rules and stipulations. For example, a Guts game without a Kitty allows the dealer the last declare. If all other players have declared "out", the dealer automatically wins by declaring "in".

Dealer’s Choice A house rule determining that the deal of cards is to move in clockwise order around the table from hand to hand, with the particular game played determined by that game’s dealer. The dealer has full authority to call any game he chooses, and each player has full authority to agree to play the game or not.

Deceptive play Not to be confused with cheating, when a player bets in a way that does not correspond accurately to his hand. He is either Bluffing, in that his hand is not as good as he is trying to indicate, or Slow playing, in that his hand is better than he is trying to indicate.

Deck A pack of fifty-two playing cards.

The act announcing whether a player is attempting to win the high, low or both ends of a pot.

Default To win a pot by default is to win only because there are no other players left in the game. The player winning by default is not obliged to show his or her hand, as nobody paid to keep that player honest.

Deuce A Two.

Discard The act of exchanging cards from one’s hand for new cards from the deck.

Dog The underdog, or player less likely to win a particular hand.

Door Card The first card dealt to each player face-up in Stud poker, otherwise called Second Street in Five-Card Stud, and Third Street in Seven-Card Stud.

Down and Dirty The last card made available to each player. In Hold'em, it is the fifth community card. In Stud, it is the seventh card dealt face-down to each player.

Down Cards Hole cards, or any other face down cards.

Draw ii) Any game where players have the opportunity to exchange a designated number of their cards for new cards from the deck. (ii) in games where there are more cards to come (Stud, Hold'em, Community), a hand with potential to improve to a better hand is said to be "on a draw".

Drawing Dead Drawing cards to a hand that cannot possibly win the pot, regardless of what cards are received on the draw.

Draw Out To win a hand on the last card after playing an inferior hand.

Drop To fold a hand.


Face Card A king, queen or jack. See Court Card.

Family Pot A pot in which all, or at least most, players have stayed in until the Showdown.

Fifth Street In Hold'em, the fifth community card dealt. Also known as "the River".

Fill To receive the card one needed to complete a hand.

Fish (also a Jobber, Chump, Monkey or Mark) A habitual loser.

Five-of-a-Kind Five cards of the same denomination. Only possible in wild-card games.

Floor man A card room employee supervising a group of tables.

Flop, The The first three community cards dealt in Hold'em.

Fold (or Drop) The act of withdrawing from a game due to a bet that is higher than the player cares to match in order to stay in the game.

Four-flush A hand that is four cards to a flush. Typically does not have any true value as a poker hand.

Fourth Street In Hold'em, the fourth community card dealt. Also known as "the turn".

Flush Five cards of the same suit. Beats a straight, loses to a full house.

Free Ride A betting round in which no player chose to bet, allowing everybody to remain in the game at no cost.

Freeze-Out A term usually used to describe a tournament game where all players start with the same amount of chips and the winner is decided when one player holds all the chips.

Full House A hand containing three-of-a-kind, and a pair. Beats a flush, loses to four-of a-kind. In the case of two competing full houses, the higher trips win.


G, a One thousand dollars. Also known as a grand.

Go South With It To pocket winnings in the middle of a playing session, with the intention of keeping it and not gambling it.

Guts Any game that opens with each player declaring whether or not he is in or out of the game. Of those players who declare "in", the one with the best hand collects the pot, the others match the pot and the game is re-dealt. This type of game normally only ends when only one player declares "in". See Kitty.

Gutshot A term used to describe the card needed to fill an inside straight.


Hand (i) The collection of cards that a player is holding, making up a particular rank (e.g. Straight, Full House, etc.), (ii) a particular game or round of card-playing (i.e. "That was a fun hand")

Hard Rock A particularly tight player.

Heads-up When a game is reduced to two players, these players are said to be competing ’heads-up’ for the pot.

High/Low (i) A stipulation added to any game, usually Stud games, where the pot is split in half between the player with the best hand and the player with the worst hand (see Lowball), (ii) a Seven-Card stud game in its own right with no wild cards and with the pot split between best and worst hands.

High Roller A player who gambles for large sums of money.

Hit To receive a card one needs to improve a hand.

Hit and Run A player who wins a large pot and quickly exits from the table and the poker- playing, as not to lose any of the money just won. Considered unethical.

Hold'em A form of Community poker where some cards are dealt to each player and the rest are dealt in the middle of the table and shared by all players. There are five community cards with the first three flipped up together, followed by the fourth, followed by the fifth, with betting rounds in between. Texas Hold'em is the staple casino poker game, made popular as the official game of the World Series of Poker.

Hole Cards Cards in the "hole" means cards dealt face-down in Stud or Hold'em games.

Honest, To keep To call another player's bets in case they are bluffing to ensure that they do not win the pot by default. Also called "paying to see", in that if a player wins a pot by default, he or she is not obliged to show his or her hand because nobody paid to see what the player has.

House, the (also called the Keeper) (i) The game’s host; (ii) the place in which the game is being played.

House Rules The written or assumed rules and regulations that govern the specific play of poker in a given place; i.e. "The House Rule here is that a Five-of-a-Kind beats a Royal Flush."


Ignorant End The low end of a straight.

Improve To draw cards in Draw poker or to be dealt cards in Stud poker that increase the rank of the player’s hand; i.e. "I improved on the draw."

In A player who has called all bets is considered "in".

Inside Straight (or Gutshot Straight) A hand that is one card away from a Straight, but the card needed falls inside the straight, as opposed to at the beginning or end. For example, a 4-5-7-8 is an inside straight, because the Six needed falls inside the cards held to complete the Straight.


Johnny (or Jake or Jacques or Knave) A Jack.

Joker Two or three extra cards included with a deck of playing cards; typically not used, but when they are, they are used as wild cards. See Bug.


Kibitzer A spectator who is not only watching the game, but also commenting aloud as to what is happening in the game.

Kickers (i) The two cards in a seven-card hand that are not part of the best five-card hand. (ii) The highest unpaired card in a player's hand is the player's kicker, and is used to determine the winner between tie hands; i.e. K-K with a Jack kicker.

King with the Battle Axe The King of Diamonds.

Kick To raise.

Kitty A blind hand dealt face-down and not revealed until Showdown. When used typically in Guts poker, the kitty's hand must also be beat in addition to the other players' hands.

Knave A jack

Knock A player may knock the table with his fist to indicate a check.


Lay Down To reveal a hand at showdown.

Leg One game in a series of poker hands, where the rules require that a player win a number of times to collect the pot. In Double-Legged poker, for example, a player must win two hands (or legs) in order to collect the pot.

Legitimate play When a player bets in a way that corresponds accurately to his hand; i.e. does not attempt to represent a hand that he does not have.

Light, to be To be short on the funds required to remain in the game. Some tables allow a player to state, for example, "I’m light, I owe the pot five dollars", meaning that the player will owe five dollars to the player who wins the pot, unless that particular player happens to win. See Table Stakes.

Limit Poker Poker played with fixed betting amounts.

Limp In To call in late position.

Little Blind the smaller compulsory ante in Hold'em paid by the first player to the left of the dealer.

Little ones The lowest card in a player’s hand and any that match it in the same hand. For example, if the lowest card in a player’s hand is a Three, and that player has two of them, they are both the little ones. Typically designated in wild card games, such as Kings and Little Ones.

Live one A poor player with a lot of money to lose. See Whale.

Lock A hand that cannot lose. See Nuts.

Look To call the final bet before showdown.

Loose A style of play characterized by playing many hands. Loose-passive means a player who plays many hands but does not typically bet or raise. Loose-aggressive means a player who plays many hands and typically bets or raises.

Lowball, Low, Lowboy Type of game where the lowest hand at the table wins instead of the best hand. Players who do not count Straights and Flushes in Lowball count the A-2-3-4-5 as the best possible Lowball hand (see Bicycle Wheel). Players who count Straights and Flushes in Lowball count the A-2-3-4-6 as the best possible Lowball hand, as it is the worst possible poker hand.


Make the deck To shuffle the deck.

Mark A sucker. See whale, fish.

Marker A disc used to indicate that an absent player owes money to the table.

Marked deck A deck with at least one card that has a marking on it (i.e. a rip in the card, a discoloring, etc.) identifying that card to cheating players.

Mechanic A proficient cheat who can manipulate the deck.

Meet To call.

Misdeal A deal that must be started again because of an irregularity.

Monte Carlo A specific type of Guts poker with three cards, including three-card Straights and Flushes.

Move In To go all-in.

Muck (n) The collection of discarded hands that forms when a hand is played, to "throw one's hand in the muck"; (v) To discard one's hand, to "muck" one's hand.


No Fold’em Hold’em A term used to describe a loose Texas Hold'em game where players will generally call most bets rather than fold.

No-Limit A betting format where a player is allowed to bet as much money at any point as he has in front of him on the table. See Table Stakes.

Nut, Nuts, Nut Hand The best possible hand that a player can have, given the information that is available. In Community or Hold'em poker, that information is the shared community cards. In Stud poker, that information is the face-up cards that the player has showing.


Off-Suit Cards of different suits.

On-Tilt A player who is betting loosely, generally because they are losing.

One-Eyed Jacks The Jacks of Spades and Hearts.

Opening The act performed by the player who initiates the betting round by starting it off with a bet. The ’opening bet’ is the sum of money with which that player opens the betting round.

Outside Straight A hand that is one card away from a Straight, but the card needed falls at the beginning or end of the four cards held in order to complete the straight. For example, a 4-5-6-7 hand is an Outside Straight, because the cards needed to complete the straight, a Three or an Eight, fall before or after the cards held.

Outs The possibility that would turn a losing hand into a winner.

Over cards Any cards higher than the flop cards that would give top-pair.


Pack A deck of cards.

Pair Two cards of the same denomination.

Pass To fold. Often incorrectly used to indicate a check.

Passive A style of play characterized by checking and calling bets, rather than betting and raising. See also Aggressive, Loose, and Tight.

Pat, To Stay The act of choosing not to take any new cards on the draw.

Picture Card A face, or court card.

Pig, Calling The act of trying to win both halves of the pot in a split-pot game. Used when players must declare what half of the pot they are going for (either high or low in High/ Low games; either spade or best hand in Chicago games) and a player decides to try both. A player who calls pig must win both halves of the pot or wins nothing at all.

Pile A stack of chips.

Pip The symbols on a non-face card which indicate it's rank.

Play Back To re-raise.

Players Speak The House Rule that each individual player is responsible for identifying his or her hand. What the player calls must indeed be in that player’s hand for the call to count. A player that ’under calls’ his or her hand has identified that hand as worse than it really is. See Cards Speak.

PocketAnother term for hole cards.

Pocket Pair Two hole cards of the same rank.

Poker Face Adopted by more seasoned players, the ability to hide the strength or weakness of one’s hand based on one’s ability to retain composure. A player has no poker face if that player's hand can be read by other players.

Position A player's proximity to the dealer. A player immediately to the left of the dealer is said to be in early position, while the dealer is considered to be in last position. Late position is generally advantageous as it allows a player to see how everybody else has bet before making a decision. See Position Bet.

Position bet A bet based on that player’s position at the table, as opposed to betting solely on the strength of one’s hand. For example, betting in late position on an earlier betting round to discourage players from betting against you on later betting rounds.

Pot The accumulated amount of money in the center of the table; awarded to the winner of the game.

Pot Limit A game in which the maximum bet is equal to the size of the pot.

Pot Odds A means to assess the value of an investment into a hand. Pot odds calculate the amount of money in the pot against the player's chances of winning the hand.

Pregnant Threes An overdone Draw game where Threes, Sixes, and Nines are all wild.

Put Down To fold.


Quads A Four-of-a-Kind.

Qualifier In Draw, a given criteria that must be met by a player in order to either open the first betting round or win the pot. It is usually a specific ranked hand; i.e. in the game ’Jacks or Better, Trips to Win’, a pair of Jacks is the qualifier to open the first betting round, and a Three-of-a-Kind is the qualifier to win the pot.


Rag In Stud poker, when a player is dealt a card that does not help the hand at all. For example, being one card away from a Flush and being dealt a card of a different suit that does not even pair up with any cards currently held.

Railbird A one-time player, now a broke spectator.

Rainbow A hand containing at least one card of all four suits. The nemesis of a Flush.

Raise (or Bump) The act of matching all of the bets that have been previously made, and then adding yet another bet for all other players to have to match.

Rake The commission on a pot taken by the house.

Rank The number or hierarchy of a single card. For example, in "Queen of Spades", ’Spades’ makes reference to the suit, while ’Queen’ makes reference to the rank.

Rap To knock the table to indicate a check.

Read To read a player means to look for physical tendencies or beyond their Poker Face to discern whether their hand is true to what they are representing.

Re-Buy To re-enter a tournament for an additional entry fee.

Red The color of poker chip most often used to represent the middle denomination of money, typically two times the table’s ante and/or minimum bet.

Representing Based on evidence that other players can see (face-up cards in Stud, community cards in Hold'em), a player is said to .represent. a certain hand based on the way he is betting. He may or may not actually have the hand that he is representing.

Re-raise The act of adding another raise to an already raised bet.

Riffle To shuffle one.s chips. River i) In Hold'em, the last community card turned face-up; ii) more loosely in Stud, the last card dealt face-down to each player.

Rivered, To be A player who loses a hand to another player who completed a better hand on the last card of the round (the River) is said to have been "rivered".

Rock An extremely tight player.

Roll To turn a card face up.

Royal Flush A-K-Q-J-10 of the same suit. The best possible hand in all non-wild card games.

Run (1)A straight. (2) A streak of good cards.

Running Bad On a losing streak

Running Good On a winning streak.

Rush A player who is playing against the odds due to a streak of good cards is said to be "on a rush".


Sandbag To check a strong hand with the intention of raising or re-raising any bets. See Check-raise.

Satellite A small-stakes tournament whose winner is granted entry into a bigger tournament.

School A noun used to describe a group of players in a regular game.

Seeing Matching a previously made bet, or all previously made bets, in order to stay in the game. When a betting round reaches a player, that player can .see and call. (does not bump with any more money) or "see and raise" (bumps with more money).

Three-of-a-kind, or "trips".

Set A Player In To bet as much as an opponent has left in the hopes of forcing them to go "all-in".

Shill A casino employee who plays with house money to make enough players to complete a game.

Short Stack The player with the least amount of chips.

Showdown The end of the hand, and point where it is determined by players which of them wins the pot. The showdown is the act of all players remaining in the game showing their hands in full to the table.

Shuffle To mix the cards before dealing.

Side-Pot A separate pot contested by players when a player is "all-in".

Skin (1) To draw a card. (2) To cheat.

Slowplay The act of under-betting a good hand, as to not scare other players into folding early. It is used to build the size of the pot without revealing too much about one’s hand. It is the opposite of Bluffing, which is over-betting a bad hand.

Small Blind The smaller of the two compulsory antes. See little blind.

Snake eyes A pair of Aces.

Soft play To let a friend off easy in a hand.

Soixante-neuf French for sixty-nine, an expression for when a player’s two cards showing are a six and a nine.

Split pot (i) Any game where the pot is split between more than one player; used in high/low games and Chicago games; (ii) a pot that needs to be split two ways between players who have two identical hands.

Squeeze To look slowly at one's hole cards without removing them from the table. The common method by which most players examine their cards in Hold'em.

Stack The pile of chips in front of a player.

Stacking the deck Dealer purposely arranges the cards in his favor while shuffling.

Standoff A hand which ends in a tie. The pot is divided evenly.

Stand Pat To not draw cards when given the opportunity.

Stay, Stick To call a hand without raising.

Steal A late position bluff intended to take the pot from a table of weak hands.

Steaming To play badly, and loosely. See On-Tilt.

Straight Five consecutive cards. Beats trips, but loses to a flush.

Straight Flush Five consecutive cards of the same suit. Beats any hand but a higher straight flush.

Straight poker Usually referring to Draw poker, means that there are no wild cards and no special rules or stipulations.

Street In Stud and Hold'em poker, a round of one card dealt to each player. For example, the fifth card dealt to each player is called Fifth Street.

String Bet A bet in which player puts some chips into a pot, and then reaches for more to raise a previous bet without declaring a raise before calling. This an illegal bet.

Stuck Losing.

Stud Any game where each player has some cards dealt face-down and some face-up that all other players can see. Likewise, each player can see the face-up cards of the other players.

Suicidal King The King of Hearts, named such as it appears he is piercing his own head with his sword.

Suited Cards Cards of the same suit in one hand. A player with enough suited cards is likely pursuing a Flush.

Sweeten the pot To raise.


Table (1) The surface on which the game is played. (2) The group of players at the table.

Table Stakes The House Rule that no player can bet (or lose) any amount that is not in front of him and on the table. In other words, a player cannot put additional money on the table in the middle of a hand in order to be able to bet more. This is more often cited in No-Limit poker, where a player who wishes to call a bet but does not have enough money in front of him is permitted to go All-in, remain in the game, and win as much money as he was able to call.

Tapped, Tap City To go broke.

Tap Out To bet all of one's chips.

Tells Signals from a particular player that help the observer discern what kind of a hand that player has; i.e. biting one’s bottom lip whenever dealt a good hand, lighting up a cigarette whenever dealt a bad hand, etc. A player with tells is the opposite of a player with a good Poker Face.

Three-flush Three cards of the same suit.

Three-Of-A-Kind Three cards of the same denomination. Beats two pair, but loses to a straight.

Three Pair A comical reference to a seven-card hand containing three Pairs. Because a poker hand only consists of five cards, there is no such thing as three pairs (six cards) even though it is what that player was dealt. In other words, three Pairs is really just two Pairs.

Tight A style of play characterized by much folding and not playing many hands. Tight-passive means a player who does not play many hands, and does not typically bet or raise when playing a hand. Tight-aggressive means a player who does not play many hands, but when he does, he typically bets or raises.

Trips (or Set) A three-of-a-kind. Triplets.

Trey A Three.

Trump Rarely used in poker; a designated suit. A card of the trump suit beats any other card played except a higher card of the trump suit.

Tugboat Expression for a Full House made up of low cards. For example, a Full House of three Two’s and two Five’s.

Turn The fourth community card dealt face-up in Texas Hold'em.

Two Pairs A hand containing two pairs. Beats a pair, but loses to Three-of-a-kind.


Under-Raise To raise less than the previous bet if a player is going all-in.

Under the Gun The player who is the first to bet is said to be under the gun.

Up-Card An open or exposed card.


Whale A poor player with a lot of money to lose.

Wheel A-2-3-4-5. The lowest hand in Lowball. See Bicycle Wheel.

Whipsawed (or Sandwiched) Seated between two players who are constantly raising and re- raising each other’s bets. This places the player in the position of having to choose whether or not to compete with the two players.

White The color of poker chip most often used to represent the smallest denomination of money, typically the table’s ante and/or minimum bet. The logic behind this is that store-bought poker chips typically contain more white chips than red or blue.

Wild card A card designated by the dealer before the deal that, if dealt to a player, can be made into any card of any suit that player chooses. For example, if the dealer calls that Two's are wild, then any player with a Two can make that Two any card of any suit that he chooses, even to complete a Straight or a Flush.

Wired Two paired hole cards. See Back to back.


Yard One hundred dollars.


Zombie A player who shows absolutely no emotion during game play, making him or her virtually impossible to read.