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Texas Holdem Terms

Texas Holdem Terms
by Wilson of

If you play cards you probably know the basic language or terms used in most games, but it's important to be familiar with each specific card game. The following jargon is commonly used in Texas Hold'em. The first step to success in any gaming adventure is studying the basics. I suggest starting with the definitions before you even think about throwing down cash.

Texas Hold'em Terms and Definitions:

Action - When a player stays in a hand, giving action to the round.

Ante - A small bet put in by each player.

All In - To put all the rest of your money into the pot.

Backdoor - Catching the turn and river cards to make a hand.

Bad Beat - To have a hand that is way behind and has little chance of winning, "catch" an unlikely card or cards to beat the much stronger hand.

Bankroll - The money a player has to play with is their bankroll.

Bet - To wager.

Bet the Pot - To make a bet equal to the pot size.

Big Blind - The larger of the two blinds, the blind that is put in by the player 2 seats left of the dealer, except when 2 players are left, then the dealer is the small blind.

Big Slick - Nickname for the hand of ace-king. One of the best starting hands in texas hold'em.

Blank - A card in the community cards that does not affect the players hands.

Blind - A forced bet for the first two positions at the table. The small blind is put in by the first position and the big blind is put in by the second position. The only time this changes is when there are 2 players left, at this point the dealer is the small blind.

Bluff - To act like a hand is better than it really is.

Board - The community cards, the cards shared by the players.

Boat - A nickname for a full house, a set and a pair.

Bottom Pair - A pair that includes the smallest ranked card on the flop.

Broadway - Ace high straight.

Bullets - Two aces.

Burn Card - To discard the top card from the deck. This is done before the flop, turn and river.

Buy The Pot - Make a bet that causes the other players to fold without having to show your cards.

Buy In - The amount of money you pay to enter a game.

Call - To put in the amount of money equal to the bets before you. Once everyone at the table has called or all the money is in the pot, play continues to the next round.

Cash Game - Game using either currency, or poker chips exchanged for currency. You can leave the game at any time with your money as opposed to a tournament where you play until you win or are knocked out.

Check - When no one has bet in front of you and you do not bet.

Check Raise - To check and have the betting come back to you (not everyone checked or called) and you raise. This can be a sign of very strong cards, that a player was slow playing but since someone raised they are now raising even more!

Chop - When players decide to end a game early and split up the winnings between whomever is left in the game.

Color Up - Exchanging smaller chips for higher valued chips, this can happen when there are a lot of chips and blinds have grown to where smaller chips slow a game down because of all the counting.

Community Cards - The cards dealt face up and used by everyone to form hands.

Connector - Cards in which two cards are one apart in rank.

Dead Man's Hand - Aces and Eights. Hand known from Wild Bill Hickock's last hand.

Dead Money - Someone who plays in a tournament but doesn't have a chance of winning so they are just contributing to the better players.

Dealer Button - A marker that indicates who is currently the dealer.

Draw to a Hand - Starting with cards that are 1 or 2 cards away from a hand and with the cards coming up making that hand.

Drawing Dead - No matter what cards come up at this point; you are drawing dead and can not possibly win.

Early Position - First player to act in a betting round.

Family Pot - A hand in which all the players call before the flop.

Fast Play - To play aggressively.

Fifth Street - Also known as the River, the fifth community card.

Flop - The first three community cards, put out face up.

Flush - Poker hand where all the cards are of the same suit.

Flush Draw - Poker hand where 4 cards are of the same suit and one more of that suit is needed to obtain a Flush.

Four of a Kind - Four of the same ranked cards, for example 4 Kings.

Fourth Street - Also known as the Turn, the fourth community card.

Free Card - The turn or river card in which you don't have to call a bet.

Free Roll Tournament - Tournament with free entry for prizes.

Full Boat - Another name for Full House, a set and a pair.

Full House - A set and a pair.

Gutshot Straight - A straight that is obtained by drawing a card that is inside the straight run.

Heads Up - When only 2 players are left in the game.

High Card - Poker hand is the highest card in the hand.

Hole Cards - Two cards in players hand.

In Position - Playing after another person.

Kicker - After matched hands, the top high card. For example if both players have a set of Jacks, the player with the next highest card has the top kicker.

Late Position - Final players to receive cards.

Limp In - To call pre-flop.

Limit Game - A version of Texas hold'em in which a player must bet/raise by the current blind amount.

Live Blind - When a player has a forced bet and the player still has the option of raising when it is their turn.

Live Cards - Cards that are not matched up with an opponent, so matching either card improves your hand.

Low Limit Game - A small stakes game.

Middle Position - Player that acts half way through the round.

Muck - To fold the hand.

No Limit Game - A version of poker in which a player may bet any amount of chips (up to the number in front of him) whenever it is his turn to act.

Nuts - The best possible hand. When a player has the nuts, no one can beat their hand.

Offsuit - Cards with different suits.

Open Ended Straight Draw - Hand with 4 cards in a row and a possible card on either side of the straight.

Outs - The possible cards that will allow you to win the hand.

Over Card - Card that is higher than any card on the board.

Over Pair - A pair that is higher than any community card rank.

Over the Top - To bet over another bet, also known as a reraise.

Pair - Two cards of the same rank, for example two Jacks.

Pocket Cards - The card in the players hand.

Pocket Pair - Two cards of the same rank.

Position - Position of the player at the table, how far into the round the player has to act on his/her hand.

Post a Blind - When a player puts in money for the forced blind. The small blind is put in by the first position and the big blind is put in by the second position. The only time this changes is when there are 2 players left, at this point the dealer is the small blind.

Pot - Money that is in the current hand that the players are playing for.

Pot Committed - A point when the player has so much money into the pot, they will continue to stay in no matter what.

Pot Limit - Texas hold'em where a player may bet up to the amount of money in the pot.

Pot Odds - The amount of money that is in the pot compared to how much money the player has to put in to stay in the game.

Protect Your Money - To bet so that weaker hands fold, this will keep the number of players against you down and stop weaker hands from getting lucky.

Push - Tie in the game.

Rags - Bad cards.

Raise - To call and place a bigger bet.

Rake - Amount of money taken out by the house.

Rebuy - An option to buy back into a tournament after you've lost your money.

Represent - To play a hand in a way that represents a certain hand.

Re-raise - To raise a raise.

River - The fifth and final community card.

Rounder - A skilled poker player.

Runner - Referred to as runner-runner, meaning that both cards on the turn and river make the players hand.

Satellite Tournament - A tournament which awards a seat at a bigger tournament.

Semi-bluff - Bluffing without a strong hand, but a hand that can still be drawn to.

Set - Three of a kind.

Short Stacked - When a player has very little money compared to other players.

Showdown - When all the players show their hands at the end of a round.

Side Pot - A pot that is created since a player has all their money into the pot and at least two players are left betting above the all in players bet.

Slow Playing - Playing a strong hand weakly.

Small Blind - The smaller of two blinds, which is put in by the player left of the dealer.

Splash the Pot - To toss chips into the pot instead of keeping the chips in front of you. This makes it hard to keep track of bets.

Split Pot - Pot that is split by 2 or more players since they all have the same hand.

Stack - The stack of chips a player has.

Straddle - An optional extra blind bet which is made by the player one to the left of the big blind which is twice the big blind. It is basically like having 3 blinds.

Straight - Hand with 5 cards in sequence.

Straight Draw - Hand with 4 cards in sequence, with at least 1 card left to be flipped.

Straight Flush - Hand with 5 cards in sequence all of the same suit.

String Bet - Betting where the player puts in a certain amount of chips, then adds more after increasing the bet. This is not allowed since string betting could be a way of getting a reaction from your opponents.

Suited Cards - Cards that are the same suit.

Suited Connector - Cards that are the same suit and are off by one in rank.

Tell - Something that a player does that gives away information about their hand.

Three of a Kind - Three cards of the same rank.

Tilt - A player that is playing recklessly.

Top Kicker - After matched hands, the top high card. For example if both players have a set of Jacks, the player with the next highest card has the top kicker.

Trips - Three of a kind.

Turn - The fourth community card. Put out face up, by itself. Also known as "fourth street."

Two Pair - A hand that contains 2 pairs.

Value Bet - A bet for value, when a player wants more players to call the bet to more money into the pot.

As you can see, there is a ton of language involved in the game of Texas Hold'em. Players who study the game will always have the advantage over the less educated players. Luck to ya.

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