Glossary

Poker has a language somewhat to itself. Here is a glossary to familiarize yourself with poker terms. Many of the poker terms in this glossary are linked to one another. If you click a link within a definition, click your browser's "back" button to return to the definition you just left.

A

Ace-high

A five-card hand that contains one Ace, with no straight, flush or pair.

Aces Full

A full house with three aces and any other pair.

Aces Up

A hand that contains two pairs, one of which is a pair of Aces.

Action

Checking/Betting/Raising.

Active Player

Any player who is still in the hand.

Add-On

Comes at the end of the re-buy period during an MTT (Normally after 60 Minutes).

All-in

When a player makes a bet using his entire chip stack, or when a player calls another players bet and in doing so has to use his entire chip stack - “I’m All-in”.

Ante

A fee paid in the later round of tournaments by all players in the hand and in addition to the blinds. The ante amount increase each time the blinds increase.

B

Backdoor

Requiring the remaining 2 cards, both the turn and the river, in order to make your hand. Example: Having J/Q of Clubs with a flop of A of Clubs, 5 of Hearts, 6 of Spades. The turn and river are K & Q of Clubs.You made a backdoor flush.

Bad Beat

When a player with a strong hand that is statistically favourite to win the pot is beaten. On the Empire Poker Bad Beat Jackpot tables a bad beat is considered as having four of a kind 8s or better but losing the hand.

Bad Beat Jackpot

A jackpot prize paid to the loser, the winner, and every other player at the table if four of a kind 8’s are beaten (only players dealt in at the start of the hand and only only on designated jackpot tables).

Bankroll

The amount of money you have in your Empire Account or are willing to put into the account over a set period of time.

Bankroll Management (BRM)

Selecting the correct game to sit in dependent on bank-roll size, knowing when to leave, and knowing when to sit in bigger games or move back to small games.

Big blind

The larger of the 2 forced bets usually twice the small blind.

Blank

A useless card that does nothing to improve your hand.

Bluff

To make other players believe that one has a better hand than he/she might otherwise have, by betting or raising.

Bounty

In some MTT tournaments there will be a reward for knocking a specified player out of the tournament, the reward is called a “Bounty”.

Break

As many MTT’s take several hours to play there are regular breaks built into the tournament structure, normally 5 minutes, at 55 minutes past the hour.

Bubble

Something to avoid at all costs!The bubble is the last player in a tournament to be eliminated before the prize money starts. For example an MTT might have 200 entrants and the prize money begins at position 15, to finish 16th is the bubble (no prize money for the bubble!).

Bullets

A pair of Aces.

Button

Also known as the dealer button, it is a small round disk that is moved from player to player in a clockwise direction following each hand, to theoretically indicate the dealer of each hand.

Buy-in

Refers to the amount you sit at a cash game with, or refers to the cost of entering a MTT or SnG.

C

Call

Where you match the bet made previously by an opponent.

Cash game

Tournaments are played with chips with a point value, Cash Games are played with chips of a cash value.

Check

When it's a player's turn to act and there has been no action in front of them and he opts not to bet, he 'checks.'

Check Raise

Where a players first action is to check hoping for players after him to make a bet, then if another player bets and, the action returns to the original player, he raises!

Community Cards

The five cards in the centre of the table used by all players to make their best 5 card poker hand (all 5 cards are know as “the Board”).

Continuation betting

A term you will hear a lot, you have Ad Kd pre-flop and you raise or re-raise. The flop comes down a rainbow 4 5 6- your Ad Kd does not look quite so good, this is where a continuation bet might just win the pot. Simply put, you made the last action, you make the next action also, almost regardless of what the next card or card brings. (see also “Bluff”).

D

Dealer's Position

Being the last to act in a betting round. On the button.

E

Early Position

Position on a round of betting, where the player must act before most of the other players at the table. (It's considered the two positions located to the left of the Blinds.).

Entry Fee

The house charge for hosting a tournament, typically 10% of the entry stake.

Entry Stake

Similar to Buy-in, although this refers only to the cost of entering a tournament, all entry stakes make up the total prize pool.

F

Fifth Street

Also known as the 'river' card, this represents the fifth community card on the table and the final round of betting.

Fish

A player deemed to be inexperienced and one that will lose more than he wins “Fish food for Sharks”.

Flat Call

Calling a bet without raising.

Flop

First three community cards that are dealt face-up in the center of the table, all at one time. After the 'flop' the second round of betting takes place.

Flush

Any five cards of the same suit.

Flush Draw

When a player has four cards towards a flush, all of the same suit and is hoping to draw a fifth to make a flush.

Fold

Where you wish to no longer take part in a hand – you fold your cards (also known as “pass”).

Four of a Kind

Four cards of the same number or face value ('quads').

Fourth Street

Is the fourth community card dealt (also known as the 'turn') and represents the third round of betting.

FreeRoll

Free to enter MTT’s with prize money or prize packages.

Full House

Any three cards of the same number or face value, plus any other two cards of the same number or face value. For example, three Aces and two 10s.

H

Heads-up

When only two players are involved with a hand.

Hole Cards

All players receive 2 cards before any betting commences – the 2 cards are your hole cards “I had pocket 3’s in the hole”.

I

In the money

When enough players have been eliminated from a tournament (MTT or SNG) so that all the remaining players will win money according to the payout structure. The players are said to be“in the money”.

L

Late Position

Position on a round of betting where the player must act after most of the other players have acted, (usually considered to be the two positions next to the right of the button).

Limit

There are 3 types of betting structure, No Limit, Limit, and Pot Limit. Limit is where the amount of a single bet is restricted to the size of the big blind, and the amounts of raises are limited in number (4) per betting round.

Limp-In

To enter the pot by simply calling rather than making a raise. The most common understanding of limping in is when the first person to act only calls the Big Blind.

M

Micro cash game

Where the cash amount required to sit at the table is at a very low level, also the blinds are very small –perfect for the new player.

Middle Position

Somewhere between the early and late positions on a round of betting (the fifth,sixth and seventh seats to the left of the button on 10-seater tables).

Minimum sit down

The minimum amount of cash chips you are allowed to join a cash game with.This is normally a multiplier of the big blind (e.g. $1 / $2 blinds with a multiplier of X 35 will require $70 to join the table.

MTT

Multi Table Tournament, a tournament with many entrants, the bigger the number the bigger the prize money!.

N

No Limit

A poker game without an upper restriction on the size of any bet. Bets are only restricted in size by the amount of chips a player has at a given moment in time. No limit Hold’em is globally the most popular poker game played.

Nuts

The best possible hand at any point of the game. If you have the nuts after the river card you cannot be beaten.

O

Odds

The probability of making a hand vs. the probability of not making a hand.

Offsuit

2 hole cards of a different suit.

On the Button

Being the last player to act in a betting round. Dealer's Position.

On Their Back

This is when 2 or more players are All-In; therefore there can be no more betting. All players cards are then turned face up, and the remainder of the board is dealt.

On Tilt

This is a term used for a player that has taken a few bad beats and is now playing in hands he should not be in, he is probably chasing his losses.

Open-ended Straight

Four consecutive cards whereby one additional card is needed at either end to make a straight.

Outs

The number of cards left in the deck that will improve your hand. e.g. after 4th street you have an open ended straight draw 4-5-6-7, an 8 or a 3 will make the straight and there are 4 of each left in the deck, therefore you have 8 outs.

P

Pass

To fold your cards.

Playing the Board

In Hold’em when your best five card hand is all five of the community cards. E.g the board is 6,7,8,9,10 and your hole cards are A,5 – you play the board with a straight from 6 to 10.

Pocket pair

Where you are dealt a pair (see also "Hole Cards").

Pocket Rockets

A pair of Aces as your hole cards. 220-1 odds for getting this hand.

Position

Where a player is seated in relation to the dealer, therefore establishing that player's place in the order of betting.

Pot

The money or chips in the center of a table that players try to win.

Pot Odds

A calculation of value where the likelihood of you wining the hand is compared to the size of the pot and the size of the bet to establish if it is correct to call or pass.

Pre-flop

Generally referring to bets made and called (action) before the flop is dealt.

Prize fund

A calculation of total tournament entrants multiplied by the entry stake gives the total amount in the prize fund.

Prize money

Same as prize fund.

Q

Quads

4 of a kind.

R

Rainbow

Is where the flop comes down all different suits, therefore the odds of hitting a flush are much lower.

Raise

To increase the previous bet.

Rake

The small charge made per pot by the house normally 5% of the pot up to a maximum of a few dollars, only in cash games.

Rank

The value of each card and hand.

Re-Buy

Enables a player to buy back into a tournament(normally the first hour) if they were to loose all their chips. This is only applicable to tournaments explicitly stated as a re-buy tournament.

Re-raise

When a player has already raised the bet and instead of calling you raise the bet further.

River

This is the last card to be dealt, it is also known as 5th street.

Royal Flush

This is an Ace high straight (A-K-Q-J-10) of the same suit. It is the best possible hand in poker.

Runners

Refers to the amount of players taking part in an MTT.

S

Satellite

A mini-tournament to win an entry into a larger tournament.

Shark

A player deemed to be a winner who grows his bankroll by feeding from “Fish”.

Short Stacked

A term that describes a moment in a SnG or MTT where your chip stack is quite small compared to the remaining opponents.

Showdown

At the end of the final betting round, it's when all active players turn their cards face-up to see who has won the pot.

Side Pot

A separate pot(s) which is contested by remaining active players when one or more players are all-in.

Small Blind

The amount put in the pot by the person immediately to the left of the dealer 'button' prior to the cards being dealt.

SnG

Single Table Tournament, normally 10 players, (Sit & Go).

Starting cards

Same as hole cards.

Starting hand value

How likely your starting cards are to make you the winner of the pot.A pair of Aces is the best starting hand. Therefore this is the order of hand ranking; Ace & King for example is number 4 on the list behind AA KK QQ.

Starting stack

This refers to the amount of tournament chips each player begins either a SnG or MTT with.

Straight

Five consecutive cards of any suit.

Straight Flush

Five consecutive cards of the same suit.

Suited Connectors

2 cards of the same suit that are numerically next door e.g. 9 & 10 of hearts.

T

The action

“The action is on you” which means it is your turn to either call, pass, raise etc.

The board

When the Flop, Turn & River cards are all on display, this is known as “The Board”.

Turn

This is the fourth card dealt. It is the third round of betting.

U

Under the Gun

Where you are the first person on a betting round to act, will always be the first player to the left of the button still holding cards.

V-W

Variance

The statistical measure of how your results will be dispersed generally due to the run of cards received for a given time period.

Wheel

A 5 card hand that is a straight from the Ace to five.

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