All you need to know about poker terminology

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Jeffrey | Poker Strategy

If you’re new to the poker scene, you’ll more than likely be aware there’s a lot to pick up and understand. From knowing which are the best hands, to knowing the poker tells that could help you get one-over on an opponent. But most of all, there’s the terminology. Poker has its very own glossary and if you want to be successful, it’s best you learn the lingo. But never fear – we will run you through all you need to know with our guide to poker terminology. So the next time you’re playing at a live casino, you’ll understand a little better.

A small portion of a bet contributed by each of the players at the beginning of the game, for the pot. Antes aren’t used in hold’em games (see blind).

A bet that places all of the player’s chips into the pot.

Used in hold’em games, the blind is the bet put in by the two players to the left of the dealer (or button). The big blind is the larger of the two blinds, and is often double the size of the small blind. The big blind is the first-round bet, which will need to be matched by participating players.

The button is the position of the dealer and in live games it’s signified by placing a plastic disk (or button) in front of them. When a new hand starts, the button moves round in a clockwise position. The button is always in an advantageous position, as they bet last.

To continue playing in a hand, by contributing the minimum amount of money required to the pot.

To pass on betting and move play on. If you don’t wish to bet, you can check; however, if subsequent players take a different action (for example ‘call’ or ‘raise’), play will return to you, to either follow suit, or ‘fold’.

Community cards
Community cards are ones that are dealt face-up in the middle of the table, for all players to see and use to create their best poker hand.

The flop is the name given to the first three community cards which are dealt after the first round of betting is complete.

To give up your cards and rule yourself out of the remaining hand. For example, if you think your hand is too weak to compete with others, you fold and leave your cards face-down on the table.

Your hand is the best five cards you can make with your pocket cards and the community cards.

When it comes to showdown, if you and another player have the same hand, the one with the highest kicker wins the pot. For example, if the community cards are 6-6-4-4-3 and you have A-K, but your opponent has K-J, you win because you have the ace, which is the kicker.

The nuts is the term given to the best possible hand at any given moment. For example, if you have pocket 6s and the flop is 2-7-6, you’d have the nuts in the form of a three-of-a-kind. This could all change after the turn and the river, though.

Pocket Cards
Pocket cards are the two cards that are dealt to you (or if you’re playing Omaha, it’s four cards). These are also known as hole cards.

As the name suggests, to raise is to increase the betting stakes. Should you raise, all players that wish to participate must follow suit.

The river is the name given to the final of the five community cards dealt.

After the final round of betting, any remaining players turn their hands face-up to showdown to see who the winner is. A hand will only reach the showdown if a player calls, or goes all-in prior to the final round of betting.

Poker tells are signals that determine how weak or strong a player’s hand is, or their level of ability. The best players will be able to read their opponents’ tells well, while also not providing many themselves.

The turn is the name given to the fourth of the five community cards dealt. It is sometimes known as ‘fourth street’.

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