Everything About Poker: Key Terms, Abbreviations, and Slang
Table of Contents:

  • Key Concepts in Poker
  • Abbreviations and Shortenings
  • Slang and Jargon
  • Glossary of Terms without Categories
Before your first game, we strongly recommend familiarizing yourself with the key terms. At the very least, to understand what's happening.
At most, to become a professional and start earning from the games.
Varieties of Poker:
Poker has numerous variants widely known across the world. Sometimes, even in remote regions of Russia or provinces of China, their own versions of poker emerge, differing from the classic game. However, we won't delve into extremes and will list some popular variants.

Texas Hold'em
The most common variant of poker.
The rules are simple: each player is dealt two cards, and then five communal cards are revealed on the table. The winner is determined by the best five-card combination.
The second most popular variant of poker.
In this game, each player receives four cards, and then five communal cards are revealed. The combination is made up of two cards from the player's hand and three communal cards.
Draw Poker
Also known as 'poker with exchange'.
It's a game where each participant is dealt five cards, and then, after a betting round, they are given the opportunity to replace undesirable cards. The number of replacements may vary depending on the type of game.
Stud Poker
One of the oldest variants of poker, originating in the United States during the Civil War.
The most popular version is seven-card stud. Participants receive one card face up and two cards face down. After each round of betting, one more card is revealed face up (this happens three more times), and a final card is dealt face down.
Chinese Poker
More closely resembles solitaire than traditional poker.
Each player is dealt cards that they arrange into three rows. Points are awarded for specific combinations, and the losing player is required to pay based on the points earned.
Short Deck Poker
This is a variation of Hold'em that uses a shortened deck of cards.
In this version of poker, the lowest card is the six. The rules for forming combinations differ slightly from traditional poker. For example, in short deck, a straight holds greater value than a flush.
Combinations and Starting Hands

Poker revolves around forming combinations. Each combination consists of 5 cards, and the winner is the one who has the best 'hand.' In Texas Hold'em, to form a 5-card combination, you can use 2 pocket (private) cards and 5 community cards revealed on the table.
High Card. When there are no matches, the winner is determined by the highest card.

Two Pairs. Matching two cards on the table. For example, you have AK, and the board shows A-K-9-2-4. Another situation could be holding 77 in your pocket while the board displays 8-5-8-Q-J. You have two pairs: sevens and eights.

Straight. Five consecutive cards (suits do not matter). For instance, you have 89, and the dealer has dealt 2-T-5-7-J. Your combination is a straight from seven to jack. The ace plays a unique role here, as it can be the highest card in a poker combination (T-J-Q-K-A) or the lowest (A-2-3-4-5). However, the combination K-A-2-3-4 does not count as a straight.

Full House. This consists of a set (three of a kind) and a pair. For example, you have AJ, and the board shows A-A-2-7-J. You would have a full house with aces and jacks.
Pair. Two cards of the same rank, which can either be entirely in your hand or in combination with one card from the table.

Three of a Kind (Trips). Three cards of the same rank. For example, you have 22, and the board shows 8-5-2-A-K. If two identical cards are communal, the combination is called trips. Example: you hold 67, and the board displays 2-4-7-7-A. Your combination is trips of sevens.

Flush. Five cards of the same suit. The values don't matter.

Four of a Kind (Quads). Four cards of the same rank.

Straight Flush. A combination of a straight and a flush — five cards of the same suit in sequence.

Royal Flush. A variant of the straight flush from ten to ace.
Poker Terms
During the game, when opponents discuss situations on the board, you will hear the following poker terms. It's important to understand what they signify.

Blank Card (Blank). A card that did not improve the combination.

Double Gutshot Straight Draw (Two-way Straight Draw). A situation where you have four consecutive cards, and you need one card either from below or above to complete the straight. For example, when you have TJ, and the flop reveals 8-9-A.

Gutshot. A situation where you are missing one card in the middle to complete a straight. For example, you have 89, and the flop shows 5-J-Q.

Connectors. Pocket cards with consecutive ranks. For example, 78 or 89.

Overpair. Two pocket cards of the same rank that are higher than all the cards revealed on the board. For example, KK on a board of 4-8-T.

Middle Pair. Matching the second-highest card opened on the flop. For example, on a board of 7-6-K, you have A7 — it's a middle pair of sevens.

Top Pair. Matching one of your pocket cards with the highest card on the board. For example, on a board of 7-6-K, you have AK.
Pocket Pair. A pair of cards that were dealt face down.

Backdoor. A situation where both the turn and the river bring cards that strengthen your combination. For example, you have AJ. After the flop of 2-6-T, your chances were only for a backdoor straight. To achieve this, a king and a queen should come on the turn and river.

Draw (Draw Hand). An incomplete combination.

Kicker. The card that determines the winner when two or more participants have the same combinations.

Nuts. The best possible hand.

Overcard. A pocket card (or two) that is higher in rank than all the cards on the table.

Flush Draw. An incomplete flush, where you are missing one card to complete the combination.
The Game Stages
In Texas Hold'em, a hand consists of several stages:
Preflop — the stage of betting when no one has seen the community cards yet, and participants make bets based on the strength of their hole cards and their position at the table.

Turn — the second street, where betting begins when the dealer reveals the fourth community card.

Showdown — the demonstration of hands by opponents on the river if one of them has called a bet, or both have played through a "check".
Flop— the stage of betting that starts when the dealer reveals three community cards (the flop).

River — the third street. Betting on it begins when the dealer reveals the fifth community card.
Actions and Bets
It is impossible to imagine poker rules without bets - active actions from the participants in a hand aimed at winning the pot. These can be mandatory or voluntary, depending on the type and format of the specific game.
Ante — mandatory bets from each player. Typically, the ante is equal to one-tenth of the big blind.

Blinds — mandatory bets made by players to the left of the button position. The player immediately behind the dealer places the small blind, and the one next to them places the big blind. These are compulsory bets made before the flop without seeing their hand.

Donk Bet — a bet made without position on later betting streets against an opponent who showed aggression on the previous street.

Call — matching an opponent's bet.

Continuation Bet (C-Bet) — continuing aggression on the flop (turn or river) after a raise on the preflop.

Overbet — a bet whose size exceeds the current pot size.

Open Raise — the initial raise made on the preflop.

Reraise — a subsequent raise of a bet.

Steal — an attempt to steal the pot (ante or blinds) from a late position. The range for such action is usually quite wide.
Pot — chips located in the center of the table. The pot is formed from mandatory and voluntary bets.

Three-Bet (3bet) — the act of making another raise after an initial raise. On the preflop, a 3-bet is a simple re-raise (the second raise), and on other betting streets, it's the third raise. The next raise is called a 4-bet.

Isolate — re-raising a bet with the intention of being heads-up with an opponent on subsequent streets.

Bet — the first voluntary bet on any of the streets.

Limp — calling the mandatory bet, which is typically the size of one big blind, when no one at the table has raised yet.

Raise — increasing the size of a bet.

All-In — betting all of one's chips, pushing them into the center of the table.

Resteal — reacting with a 3-bet or 3-bet all-in when an opponent attempts to steal the pot from a late position.

Fold — declining further participation in the hand by discarding the hand to the dealer in the center of the table
Table Positions
There are no experienced players who wouldn't be familiar with poker slang. This includes positions and the flow of the game. On the preflop, the first action is taken by the player sitting just behind the big blind. On all subsequent streets, the person in the small blind position or the one closest to the button when moving clockwise opens the betting. Let's take a look at how positions are distributed at the poker table when 9 people are playing.
Early Position — the first 2 seats at the table, located just to the left of the big blind.

Button — the position near the dealer's chip. This is the best position in poker because on all streets (except for the preflop), the button has the final say in the betting round.

Small Blind — the position immediately to the left of the dealer. It involves a mandatory bet, usually equal to half of the big blind.
Middle Position — the 3 seats to the left of the players in early position.

Big Blind — the position clockwise from the small blind position. It also involves placing a mandatory bet, but it is of a larger size, typically equal to 1 big blind.

Cutoff (Cutoff Seat) — the position to the right of the dealer.
Abbreviations and Acronyms
ABC Poker — playing according to standard strategy, where a player avoids impulsive actions or costly bluffs.

VPIP (Voluntarily Put $ in Pot) — an indicator in online poker showing how often opponents participate in hands.

ITM (In The Money) — an abbreviation that stands for «in the money.» It means reaching the payout positions in a tournament or Sit 'n' Go (SNG).

RFI (Raise First In) — an online poker term indicating the percentage of hands an opponent opens with a raise.
VOD (Video on Demand) — poker videos created for educational purposes. They can be either paid or free.

PFR (Preflop Raise) — an indicator showing how aggressively opponents play their hands preflop.

RNG (Random Number Generator) — used for card distribution in poker rooms. Some people believe it's rigged, but, of course, it's not.

HUD (Heads-Up Display) — statistical information about opponents' gameplay displayed directly on the screen in online poker.

MTT (Multi-Table Tournament) — a multi-table tournament.
Slang and Jargon
Underdog — a hand with low chances of winning. For example, pocket twos against pocket aces wins only 19% of the time in an all-in situation preflop.

Barrel — another bet made by the aggressor on subsequent streets.

Cooler — a situation where multiple opponents are dealt strong hands, and they couldn't have played differently.

Gamble — to play not for profit but for the thrill, relying on luck.

Loose Play — the inclination to participate in many hands.

Misclick — an action performed by mistake (intended to raise but clicked fold, for example).

Slowplay — a situation where an opponent with the nuts or a very strong hand doesn't rush to take active actions, enticing others into the hand.

Snap Call — an action that requires no thought. An instant call.

Upswing — a situation where a player is on a winning streak, and Downswing — when a player is not achieving positive results.

Tight Play — the tendency to play a narrow range of starting hands with maximum caution.

Short Deck (6+ Hold'em) — poker with a shortened deck, starting not with twos but with sixes.

Fish — a weak player with little or no experience.

Heads-Up — playing poker one-on-one.
Backer (Sponsor) — a person who invests money in a specific player. This is done not on a gratuitous basis but for profit.

Grinder — a player who regularly plays many MTTs or cash games.

Bad Beat — a situation where a weak hand beats a stronger one after the cards are dealt.

Implied Odds — the potential chances of completing a hand.

Maniac — a player with an extremely aggressive (loose) playing style.

Nit — a cautious player who plays a very small percentage of starting hands.

Straddle — a variant of an optional bet in a cash game, typically placed after the big blind.

Slowroll — an unethical move where a person pretends to agonize over a decision and takes a long time to reveal an absolute nuts or a hand they couldn't fold to a bet.

Tilt — an unstable emotional state of a person caused by a series of winning or losing hands. It is characterized by impulsive actions.

Tells — verbal and non-verbal cues from players that help make correct decisions in hands against them.

— Fold Equity — the probability that an opponent will fold their hand in response to our bet.

High Roller — a poker player who plays at high stakes.
Glossary of Terms without Categories
Out — a card needed to complete a hand.

Add-On — purchasing additional chips, allowed in some MTTs, but only after the rebuy period has ended.

Bubble Boy — the last player who didn't make it into the prize pool. After their elimination, the prize zone begins.

Bankroll Management — a method of managing your poker bankroll. If you don't learn to handle your gaming budget properly, you risk losing all your money before even mastering poker terminology.

Free Card — revealing the turn or river after everyone has checked, meaning no raises were made.

Bluff — a bet made without a strong hand.

Coinflip (Coin Flip) — a situation after going all-in where the chances of winning are nearly equal.

Multi-Tabling — a situation where a player simultaneously competes at multiple tables.

Pot Control — one opponent's attempt not to «blow up» the pot, keeping it small.

Rake — a certain amount collected by the game organizer (room, casino) for participation. In MTTs, the rake is included in the buy-in.

Hand — the cards that were dealt face-down. Also referred to as an individual deal.

Rebuy — the opportunity to replenish the chip stack in a tournament.

Satellite — a qualifying stage where tickets to more expensive tournaments are awarded. It's a good opportunity to qualify for a competition that may be beyond your bankroll. A prominent example of a successful satellite entry is Chris Moneymaker, who won the main event of the World Series of Poker, initially entering through several satellites. The first one was played for just $39, and the first-place prize was around $2.5 million.

Stack — all tournament chips or cash brought to the table in a cash game. For instance, Casino Sochi has introduced its own gaming currency called «CSU» (Casino Sochi Unit) for cash games.

Final Table — the last stage of an MTT when only one table remains in play.

Chip Leader — a participant in a tournament with the most chips in their stack.

Any Two (Any Two Cards) — any two cards, without specifying a particular range.
Buy-In — the monetary entry fee for participation in an MTT.

Bubble — the stage in an MTT where you need to wait for one or more players to be eliminated to reach the prize zone.

Bankroll — the amount of money used for playing. In other words, your gaming budget

Tell — a weakness in an opponent's behavior, gestures, or strategy. Professionals use tells to make the right decisions in a hand against a specific opponent.

Bounty — a reward for eliminating an opponent from a tournament. Paid in knockout tournaments.

Range — the set of cards that an opponent might have.

Multi-Pot — a pot that multiple players are simultaneously competing to win.

Semi-Bluff — a bluff that has a chance of improving to a strong hand.

Pot-Limit — a format of poker games that limits the maximum bet size to the current pot size.

Regular — a person who participates in many tournaments or cash games, an experienced player. Often used to refer to professionals or strong enthusiasts.

Re-Entry — the opportunity to re-register in a tournament by paying the buy-in again.

Sizing, Bet Sizing — the size of a bet.

Spin & Go (Spins) — a single-table tournament for three opponents, where the prize pool is determined by RNG.

Split Pot (Chop) — a situation where the entire pot (or part of it) is divided among opponents.

Time Bank — the time allotted for making decisions in a hand.

Street — the next round of betting, which begins after the flop, turn, or river.

Chart — a range of starting hand combinations and possible actions with them in various gaming situations.

Pot Odds — the ratio of the current pot size to the amount of chips required to call the pot.

Effective Stack — the smallest stack in a hand. For example, if you have 2,000 chips, and your opponent has 1,000 chips, the effective stack is 1,000 (the maximum you can win).
Now it's time to put your knowledge into practice! Good luck!
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The site is not an information resource, all posted information is for reference only. The site does not organize games for money, the purpose of the resource is not directly or indirectly to interest and encourage site visitors to participate in gambling.
Partnership: sv@svschool.pro
The site is not an information resource, all posted information is for reference only. The site does not organize games for money, the purpose of the resource is not directly or indirectly to interest and encourage site visitors to participate in gambling.