Poker Terminology

Ever wondered what the various terms in poker stand for?


This section has explanations for the general terminology used in poker.


To act in poker is to make a play, in other words you either call, raise, bet or fold when it is your turn.

Action refers to when it is the players turn to act, i.e. "The action is on John to act"
Active Player
An Active player is a player that is still involved in the current game, in other words he hasn't folded.

An Add-On is when a player has lost all the money that he has brought to the table, and then "buys" more chips to with at the table. Usually in tournaments, players can Add-On once.

All In

When a player goes All-In, he puts all the chips that he has at the table into the pot for that round.


The ante is made at the beginning of the game. It is a "buy-In" into the game. It is commonly used to start the pot with. Some poker rooms do not have antes.

Bank Roll

A player's bank roll is the amount of money that he has to wager for the duration of his poker career.


A bet in poker is when money is added to the pot, be it with a blind bet, call or raise.


A blind is a forced bet. In many poker games there are usually two forced bets, the small blind and big blind. The small blind is usually the table lower limit and the big blind the table high limit. The small blind is usually made by the person that sits to the left of the dealer for that round, and the big blind is made by the player sitting to the left small blind. This might seem unfair, but the dealer chip rotates clockwise after each game, so every player will at some stage have to post either the small or big blind.


To bluff in poker is to make the other players think you have a better hand than you really do. It is often done get other players to fold when you have an inferior hand.

Cut Off

The cut off is the person immediately to the right of the dealer. This is usually the last person to have action in the betting round.


To deal is to distribute the cards after being shuffled. All active players are dealt cards according to the rules of the game being played.

The dealer is the person who is dealing the cards. It can also be the person who has the dealer chip. In this case he may not be the person that deals the cards.
Door Card
The door card is the first card that is dealt face up. In Texas Hold'em the first door card is the first card to be placed face up in the flop round.
Exposed Card
A card whose face has been deliberately or accidentally revealed to players normally not entitled to that information during the play of the game. Various games have different rules about how to handle this irregularity.
To fold is to discard one's hand and forfeit interest in the current pot. Folding may be indicated verbally or by discarding one's hand face down into the pile of other discards called the muck.
Hole Cam
Nowadays with the televised poker tournaments, hole cams are used to show the television viewers the player's face down cards in the game.
The juice is the money taken by the casino or poker room where the game is taking place. In poker it is also called the rake.
A pool of money built by collecting small amounts from certain pots, often used to buy refreshments, cards, and so on. The home-game equivalent of a rake.

To muck in a poker game is the same as to fold. The cards from players that have folded are placed in the mucked cards pile. These are the cards that have been discarded from the current game.

No Limit

A game played with a no-limit betting structure allows each player to raise any amount of his stake at any time (subject to the table stakes rules and any other rules about raising).


To open in poker is to place the first bet in a poker game.

Poker Face

A blank expression that does not reveal anything about the cards being held. Often used outside the world of poker.


The pot is pool of chips where all players that are placing bets place their chips when the bet in a game of poker. The antes and blinds (if used) are also placed in the pot.


A satellite poker tournament is usually the forerunner for a larger poker tournament where the winner of the satellite tournament wins a place at the bigger tournament.


A deck that has been ordered, usually King to Ace by suit (spades, hearts, clubs and diamonds). In casinos, it is customary to use a set-up deck when introducing a new deck to the table. The set-up is spread face up for the players to demonstrate that all of the cards are present before the first shuffle. Also called to "spade the deck".

Texas Hold'Em

This section contains information relative to Texas Hold'em Poker.

Here is a quick overview of how Texas Hold'Em is played... Click on an image to enlarge...

The Flop

The flop is the round when the first three community cards are dealt. These three community cards are dealt face up.

River Round

The river round is the final round of betting in a game of Texas Hold'em. At the beginning of this round the fith and final card is placed face up in the community cards. This is also an expensive round as bets are usually at the table high limit.

Turn Round

This is the round when the fourth community card is placed face up. In this round betting is usually called the expensive round as in this round betting is made at the table high-limit.