Online Poker Glossary
Satellite: A tournament that does not award cash to its winners, but awards a seat in a following "target" tournament.
Scare Card: A card that may well turn the best hand into trash. If you have Tc-8c and the flop comes Qd-Jd-9s, you almost assuredly have the best hand. However, a turn card of Td would be very scary because it would almost guarantee that you shall lose.
Second Pair: A pair with the second highest card on the flop. If you have As-Ts, and the flop comes Kd-Th-6c, you have flopped second pair. See "top pair."
Sell: In a spread-limit game this means betting less than the maximum when you have a very strong hand, hoping players will call whereas they would not have called a maximum bet.
Semi-Bluff: It is a bet or raise that you hope will not be called, but you have some outs if it is. A semi-bluff may be correct when betting for value is not correct, a pure bluff is not correct, but the combination of the two may be a positive expectation play. Example: you have Ks-Qs, and the flop is Th-5s-Jc. If you bet now, it's a semi-bluff. You probably don't have the best hand, and you'd like to see your opponents fold immediately. Nevertheless, if you do get callers, you could still improve to the best hand.
Set: Three of a kind when you have two of the rank in your hand, and there is one on the board.
Short Stack: A number of chips that is not very many compared to the other players at the table. If you have $10 in front of you, and everybody else at the table has over $100, you are playing on a short stack.
Showdown: The point at which all players remaining in the hand turn their cards over and determine who has the best hand -- i.e., after the fourth round of betting is completed. Of course, if a final bet or raise is not called, there is no showdown.
Side Pot: A pot created in which a player has no interest because he has run out of chips. Example: Al bets $6, Beth calls the $6, and Carl calls, but he has only $2 left. An $8 side pot is created that either Al or Beth can win, but not Carl. Carl, however, can still win all the money in the original or "center" pot.
Slow Play: To play a strong hand weakly so more players will stay in the pot.
Small Blind: The smaller of two blind bets typically used in a
Texas Hold'em game. Normally, the small blind is one-third to two-thirds of a first round bet. See also "big blind" and "blind."
Smooth Call: To call. Smooth call often implies slow playing a strong hand. Example: "I flopped the nut flush but just smooth called when the guy in front of me bet -- I didn't want to scare anybody out."
Soft-Play: To go easy on another player at the table (e.g., not betting or raising against him). Suppose you and your brother are the last two people left in a hand. On the river, you have the nuts, but he bets. If you don't raise, you are "soft-playing" him. Please note that soft-playing is prohibited in tournaments and can result in penalties, up to and including forfeiture of winnings.
Splash the Pot: To toss chips directly into the pot rather than put them in a stack in front of you. Don't do it.
Split Pot: A pot that is shared by two or more players because their hands are equal.
Split Two Pair: A two pair hand in which one of each of your cards' ranks appears on the board as well. Example: you have T9, the flop is T-9-5, you have a split two pair. This is in comparison to two pair where there is a pair on the board. Example: you have T9, the flop is 9-5-5.
Spread-Limit: A betting structure in which a player may bet any amount in a range on every betting round. A typical spread-limit structure is $2-$6, where a player may bet as little as $2 or as much as $6 on every betting round.
Stop-and-Go: A play where you call (rather than re-raising) a raise, but then come out betting on the next card.
Straddle: An optional extra blind bet, typically made by the player one to the left of the big blind, equal to twice the big blind. This is effectively a raise, and forces any player who wants to play to pay two bets. Furthermore, the straddler acts last before the flop, and may "re-raise."
String Bet: A bet (more typically a raise) in which a player doesn't get all the chips required for the raise into the pot in one motion. Unless he verbally declared the raise, he can be forced to withdraw it and just call. This prevents the unethical play of putting out enough chips to call, seeing what effect that had, and then possibly raising.
Structured: Used to apply to a certain betting structure in
online poker games. The typical definition of a structured Hold'em game is a fixed amount for bets and raises before the flop and on the flop, and then twice that amount on the turn and river. Example: a $2-$4 structured Hold'em game: bets and raises of $2 before the flop and on the flop; $4 bets and raises on the turn and river.
Suited: A Hold'em starting hand in which the two cards are the same suit. Example: "I had to play J-3 -- it was suited."
Table Stakes: A rule in a poker game meaning that a player may not go into his pocket for money during a hand. He may only invest the amount of money in front of him into the current pot. If he runs out of chips during the hand, a side pot is created in which he has no interest. All casino poker is played table stakes. The definition sometimes also includes the rule that a player may not remove chips from the table during a game. While this rule might not be referred to as "table stakes," it is enforced almost universally in public poker games.
Tell: A clue or hint that a player unknowingly gives about the strength of his hand, his next action, etc. May originally be from "telegraph" or the obvious use that he "tells" you what he's going to do before he does it.
Thin: As in "drawing thin." To be drawing to a very few outs, perhaps only one or two.
Tilt: To play wildly or recklessly. A player is said to be "on tilt" if he is not playing his best, playing too many hands, trying wild bluffs, raising with bad hands, etc.
Time: (1) A request by a player to suspend play while he decides what he's going to do. Simply, "Time, please!" If a player doesn't request time and there is a substantial amount of action behind him, the dealer may rule that the player has folded.
(2) An amount of money collected either on the button or every half hour by the card room. This is another way for the house to make its money (see "rake").
To Go: The amount a player must call if he wishes to continue playing. Example: "The big blind was $20. Sarah raised $40 more, making it $60 to go."
Toke: A small amount of money (typically $.50 or $1.00) given to the dealer by the winner of a pot. Quite often, tokes represent the great majority of a dealer's income.
Top Pair: A pair with the highest card on the flop. If you have As-Qs, and the flop comes Qd-Th-6c, you have flopped top pair. See "second pair."
Top Set: The highest possible trips. Example: you have Tc-Ts, and the flop comes Td-8c-9h. You have flopped top set.
Top Two: Two pair, with your two hole cards pairing the two highest cards on the board.
Top and Bottom: Two pair, with your two hole cards pairing the highest and lowest cards on the board.
Trips: Three of a kind.
Turn: The fourth community card. Put out face up, by itself. Also known as "fourth street."
Under the Gun: The position of the player who acts first on a betting round. For instance, if you are one to the left of the big blind, you are under the gun before the flop.
Underdog: A person or hand not mathematically favored to win a pot. For instance, if you flop four cards to your flush, you are not quite a 2:1 underdog to make your flush by the river (that is, you will make your flush about one in three times). See also "dog."
Value: As in "bet for value." This means that you would actually like your opponents to call your bet (as opposed to a bluff). Generally it's because you have the best hand. However, it can also be a draw that, given enough callers, has a positive expectation.
Variance: A measure of the up and down swings your bankroll goes through. Variance is not necessarily a measure of how well you play. However, the higher your variance, the wider swings you'll see in your bankroll.
Wheel: A straight from ace through five.
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