Learn the Terms

Poker Terminology

As you play the game, there are going to be poker terms that you are unfamiliar with. Instead of asking someone at the table, you can rely on this glossary to help you out with some of the most common ones.

Ace-high

This means that the highest card you have is an Ace, though you don’t have a pair, flush, or straight.

All-in

You are betting your entire chip stack.

Backdoor

The last two cards you need to make a winning hand.

Big slick

This reference is when you hold a king and an ace in your hand, not necessarily of the same suit.

Bluff

This is when you don’t have a good hand but you pretend that you do through heavy betting and raising.

Button

This is the marker that indicates dealer position. It moves once per hand and you may find yourself “on the button.”

Community cards

These are the five cards shared by everyone.

Flop

After initial betting, three cards are dealt face up as the community cards and are the “flop” to indicate second round betting.

Free roll

A tournament that is free for you to enter.

In the Money

If you are in the final part of the tournament and everyone is going to win some kind of prize, then you are “in the money.”

Nuts

This means you have the best possible hand. If you are nuts when the river is dealt you cannot be beat.

Rainbow

This is when the flop has three different suits.

River

This is the last card dealt to the community and finalizes betting.

Satellite

A smaller tournament you use to qualify for a larger one.

Turn

The fourth card in the community – the one right after the flop.

Under the gun

You are “under the gun” if you are left of the button and the first person to act.

Various Hands in Poker

A hand is going to consist of five hands. This is going to vary in terms of the game you are playing, but at the end of the day, whether they are in your hand or part of the community cards, you want the five best cards to make a hand.

The hands in poker that are listed below are ranked in terms of what will beat them. The ones at the top of the list are the easiest to beat and the one at the bottom is the ultimate hand.

High Card

High card means you have the highest card on the table, which is usually going to be a King or Ace.

Pair

Pair means you have two cards of the same value, such as a pair of jacks.

Two Pairs

Two pairs provide you with two separate pairs.

Three of a Kind

Three of a kind means you have three of the same value card, such as three queens.

Straight

This hand signifies that you have five cards in a sequential value.

Flush

This hand signifies that you have five cards in the same suit, such as all of them being spades.

Full House

A full house is three of a kind plus two of a kind. You may have three kings and two jacks.

Four of a Kind

Four of a kind means you have four cards all of the same value.

Straight Flush

Straight flush means you have five cards of sequential value and that are of the same suit.

Royal Flush

A Royal flush is the ultimate hand. It means you have a straight flush that is ace high, which means 10-J-Q-K-A all in one suit, such as diamonds.

You want to be sure you know how your poker hand measures up. How you bet is going to depend on the hand you have (or how much you want to bluff). If you don’t know what hand beats what, it will make it hard to know how to bet or what is going on within the game. You need to know what the rankings are before you sit down (unless you know everyone at the table).

This is an advantage to playing online. You can have a cheat sheet beside you to tell you about the hands and their ranking and no one will ever be the wiser.