10 Poker Terms to Know

Once you enter the world of Poker, in one or more of its forms, you will begin to notice that it has a language all of its own. The words and expressions across Poker variations have a lot of character and metaphoric value. We have picked 10 poker terms you may have wanted to understand better.

The Terms

1. Flop

Texas Hold ‘em and Omaha have community cards that each player can use to form a hand. The flop is the first 3 of these cards. They are placed in the centre of the table for all to see. This term may also refer to the second stage of bets.

2. The Turn

Following from the ‘flop’, the turn is the 4th community card, which can also be referred to as ‘fourth street’ and is the third stage of bets.

3. River

The river card is the 5th community card in flop games (so in Hold ‘em and Omaha games it called the ‘fifth street’). In all poker variations this is the last card dealt. Stud Poker games use this term to mean the ‘seventh street’.

4. Tilt

Have you ever heard of the brand name ‘Full Tilt Poker’? Or, familiar with tilting a pinball machine? Basically, related to these meanings, when an online poker player has had some bad rounds and grows impatient, perhaps erratic, the player may start to go on tilt or play recklessly. A player in this state may be difficult to read.

5. Muck

When poker players fold, they toss their poor or unusable cards into a kind of dump area called the muck. So, a player tosses junk cards, ‘into the muck’.

6. Equity

This concept of equity in Poker is mainly just theoretical since, per its meaning, if a remaining player in a round is one of the last two then 50% of the pot might be won, however, normally only the winner will get it all (unless it’s is a split win game).

7. The Blind

When players sit on the left of the dealer they make a bet before seeing any cards, to begin the round, which is called the blind.

8. Draw

The draw can mean either the specific point when a player ditches unwanted cards and is dealt replacements, or, it generally can indicate when players are in need of cards to complete the hands they intend to make. If a player is ‘on the draw’ it refers to being in need of cards.

9. Slow Play

Slow Play is a strategic style of playing that is pretty much the opposite of bluffing. A bluff is when a player bet confidently upon a poor hand; whereas a slow play is when a player bets conservatively upon a winning hand. The slow play is reverse bluffing, if you will, with the aim of making other players feel overconfident so they add to the pot before eventually losing.

10. Pocket

Like having something in one’s pants pocket, cards in the pocket are face down on the table, values hidden. In certain forms of poker like Hold ‘em, the pocket cards refer to non-community cards held by each player and not known to others.

The Reasons to Speak Good Poker

These are just a sampling of the colourful vocabulary in Poker. Some players find that having a rich knowledge of the terminology of the game and being able to talk Poker as well as play is a lot of the fun.

Strategically, however, knowing your poker lingo also could help with playing and bluffing more effectively. So having your poker words down pat might be thought of as something a dedicated player definitely would want to do.

Here’s our tips for mastering poker & playing against a dealer.