The World Series of Poker has sprouted many followers in the last couple of years. Amateur tables are popping up all over the world and friendly cash games are everywhere come Friday night. Whether it is for thrill or profit the so called sport of poker has the attention of many onlookers year round. While Amateurs know the basics of the game they usually get lost in all the poker lingo spoken at the casino poker tables. While some is lingo is made up by experienced players to throw off the amateurs, some are actually well known terms in the poker world that any amateur trying to make it big should know. Below is a guide to all the poker lingo you could ever want to impress your friends or intimidate an experienced opponent. Take a look.
Ante: The initial money thrown into the pot to induce betting. This is done before the flop.
All In: When a person decides to put all his chips in to bet on a certain hand. No Limit Hold’Em is the most popular game and All Ins are allowed as many times as a player wants. In Limit Hold’Em you cannot bet more then the pot itself.
Backdoor: Backdoor is a reference to when players are chasing a card that has not come up yet but has a good chance to. Having 4 cards of the same kind is a backdoor flush draw, having four cards in a row is a backdoor straight draw.
Bad Beat: A Bad Beat occurs when a player has a large advantage over the other and the last card beats the big hand by luck. Bad beat is usually used to imply that the player with the weak hand should not have been in the hand at all and it was by mere luck that he won his underdog hand.
Blind: In Texas Hold’Em, the game uses blinds instead of antes. The blinds are forced bets to induce some money in the pot by the two people sitting to the left of the dealer. The first person to the left of the dealer is the “small blind” and bets a smaller amount. The second person to the left of the dealer is the “big blind” and bets twice what the small blind has.
Bottom Pair: The lowest pair out of the cards out on the table.
Check: When a player decides to not bet he calls “Check”. This is the option of betting zero dollars.
Check Raise: When a player checks with a strong hand hoping another opponent will raise. The player then re-raises with his strong hand thus getting more money out of his opponent in the pot.
Drawing Dead: When a player is trying to make a hand that will still not win the pot.
Flop: The first three cards that are “flopped” onto the table. These are also called community cards.
Heads Up Play: When there are only two players playing a certain hand they are considered “heads up”.
Muck: A pile of unused cards usually in front of the dealer. These come from folded or burned cards. To “much your cards” is to fold them by throwing them into the muck pile.
The Nuts: Likely the favorite expression of any poker player. The Nuts indicates a hand that is mathematically unbeatable with the cards on the table.
Offsuit: When the two cards you are dealt are of different suits.
Pocket: The two cards dealt to you in Texas Hold’Em that only you can see.
Rake: The total amount of money that the casino’s dealer takes out of every pot.
The River: The last card to be flopped on the board. The 5th card to come out in a Texas Hold’Em game.
Short Stack: The short stack is referring to the player with the least amount of chips at the table.
Tell: A tell refers to a players action when he or she has a good or bad hand. Some players take off their sun glasses when they have a bad hand. Other players tend to itch their right hand when they have a good hand.
The Turn: The fourth card to be flopped onto the table in a Texas Hold’Em game.
These are the necessary terms in order to keep up with the pros. There are hundreds of other terms in the world of poker, yet they are much less needed or too experienced for the amateur. Learn this lingo and impress your friends or play at experienced tables and wow the crowd. Lastly, poker is a great game, but the greatest player in poker knows one this: When to know you’re beat. Everyone likes to hold’em, but sometimes you get that feeling and you just have to fold’em.
About The Author
John Harding is a respected poker author. More articles can be found at
This article was posted on October 28, 2005