A Guide to learn the Language of Gambling

Gambling theme

It does not matter if you like to play your poker at home with friends or in the casino if you do not know the language of gambling you are going to have a rough night.

gambling language

We have put together a list of the most useful casino and poker terms and expressions and you can find them here.

As new terms are always being invented we will try to keep this section up to date, so you do not look foolish next time you sit at the poker or casino table.

  • Ace-High – A five-card hand that has no hand combinations (flush, straight, pair etc), but contains one Ace.
  • All-in – When you bet all your money on a hand, either voluntarily in the belief that you have the strongest hand, or because do not have enough money to cover the full amount bet by someone else. You then contend for the pot in an amount proportional to what you contributed.
  • Ante – The minimum bet that players must place into the pot by each player before betting begins. The ante is placed before any cards are dealt.
  • Bad Beat – When a good hand that would have been expected to win the pot is beaten by a lucky draw.
  • Big Blind – The first bet posted by the player to the left of the player who posts the small blind. It is a forced bet. The big blind bet amount is equal to the lower bet. For example, in a $10 – $20 game, the big blind is $10. Applies in the following games: Texas Holdem, Omaha, Omaha Hi-lo
  • Big Pair – A Pair with a value of 10 or greater.
  • Big Slick – An A-K combination as pocket (hole) cards.
  • Blind Bet – A forced bet that is placed before any cards are dealt. It is considered a live bet for the first round of betting. You have big blind and small blind bets in the first round of betting.
  • Applies in the following games: Texas Holdem, Omaha, Omaha Hi-lo
  • BLIND GAME: A game which utilizes a blind.
  • Bluff : A bet or raise with a hand that is unlikely to beat the other players.
  • BOARD: (1) The board on which a waiting list is kept for players wanting seats in specific games.
    (2) Cards faceup on the table common to each of the hands.
  • BOARDCARD: A community card in the center of the table, as in Holdem or Omaha.
  • Bottom Pair : Pairing the lowest card on the board.
  • BOXED CARD: A card that appears face up in the deck where all other cards are face down.
  • BROKEN GAME: A game no longer in action.
  • Button : A player who is in the designated dealer position. See dealer button.
  • BUTTON GAMES: Games in which a dealer button is used. Usually found in
  • BUY-IN: The minimum amount of money required to enter any game.
  • CALIFORNIA LOWBALL: Ace-to-five lowball with a joker.
  • CARDS SPEAK: The face value of a hand in a showdown is the true value of the hand, regardless of a verbal announcement.
  • CAPPED: Describes the situation in limit poker in which the maximum number of raises on the betting round have been reached.
  • CHECK: To waive the right to initiate the betting in a round, but to retain the right to act if another player initiates the betting.
  • CHECK-RAISE: To waive the right to bet until a bet has been made by an opponent, and then to increase the bet by at least an equal amount when it is your turn to act.
  • Cold Call : To call a bet or multiple bets for the first time in a round.
  • COLLECTION: The fee charged in a game (taken either out of the pot or from each player).
  • COLLECTION DROP: A fee charged for each hand dealt.
  • COLOR CHANGE: A request to change the chips from one denomination to another.
  • COMMON CARD: A card dealt faceup to be used by all players at the showdown in the games of stud poker whenever there are insufficient cards left in the deck to deal each player a card individually.
  • Community Cards : The cards dealt faceup in the center of the table that can be used by all players to form their best hand in the games of hold”em and Omaha.
  • COMPLETE THE BET: To increase an all-in bet or forced bet to a full bet in limit poker.
  • Chase : To play a hand that is most likely worse than at least one other player.
  • Check : To pass without betting.
  • CUT: To divide the deck into two sections in such a manner as to change the order of the cards.
  • CUT-CARD: Another term for the bottom card.
  • DEAD CARD: A card that is not legally playable.
  • DEAD COLLECTION BLIND: A fee posted by the player having the dealer button, used in some games as an alternative method of seat rental.
  • DEAD HAND: A hand that is not legally playable.
  • DEAD MONEY: Chips that are taken into the center of the pot because they are not considered part of a particular player’s bet.
  • DEAL: To give each player cards, or put cards on the board. As used in these rules, each deal refers to the entire process from the shuffling and dealing of cards until the pot is awarded to the winner.
  • DEALER BUTTON: A flat disk that indicates the player who would be in the dealing position for that hand (if there were not a house dealer). Normally just called the button.
  • DEAL OFF: To take all the blinds and the button before changing seats or leaving the table. That is, participate through all the blind positions and the dealer position.
  • DEAL TWICE: When there is no more betting, agreeing to have the rest of the cards to come determine only half the pot, removing those cards, and dealing again for the other half of the pot.
  • DECK: A set of playing-cards. In these games, the deck consists of either:
    (1) 52 cards in seven-card stud, holdem, and Omaha.
    (2) 53 cards (including the joker), often used in ace-to-five lowball and draw high.
  • DISCARD(S) : In a draw game, to throw cards out of your hand to make room for replacements, or the card(s) thrown away; the muck.
  • DOWNCARDS: Cards that are dealt facedown in a stud game.
  • DRAW:
    (1) The poker form where players are given the opportunity to replace cards in the hand. In some places like California, the word draw is used referring to draw high, and draw low is called lowball.
    (2) The act of replacing cards in the hand.
    (3) The point in the deal where replacing is done is called the draw.
  • Drawing Dead : Drawing to a hand that cannot win because someone already holds a hand that will beat what you are drawing to.
  • Dominated : A hand that yields three or less outs which makes improving it very difficult.
  • Early Position : A position in which you must act before most of the players during a round.
  • FACECARD: A king, queen, or jack.
  • Flop : The first three community cards dealt up at one time at a poker table.
  • FIXED LIMIT: In limit poker, any betting structure in which the amount of the bet on each particular round is pre-set.
  • FLASHED CARD: A card that is partially exposed.
  • FLOORPERSON: A casino employee who seats players and makes decisions.
  • FLOP: In holdem or Omaha, the three community cards that are turned simultaneously after the first round of betting is complete.
  • FLUSH: A poker hand consisting of five cards of the same suit. FOLD: To throw a hand away and relinquish all interest in a pot.
  • FOURTH STREET: The second upcard in seven-card stud or the first boardcard after the flop in holdem (also called the turn card).
  • FOULED HAND: A dead hand.
  • FORCED BET: A required wager to start the action on the first betting round (the normal way action begins in a stud game).
  • FREEROLL: A chance to win something at no risk or cost.
  • FULL BUY: A buy-in of at least the minimum requirement of chips needed for a particular game.
  • FULL HOUSE: A hand consisting of three of a kind and a pair.
  • HAND:
    1. All a player’s personal cards.
    2. The five cards determining the poker ranking.
    3. A single poker deal.
  • HEADS-UP PLAY: Only two players involved in play.
  • INSURANCE: A side agreement when someone is all in for a player in a pot to put up money that guarantees a payoff of a set amount in case the opponent wins the pot.
  • JOKER: The joker is a “partially wild card” in high draw poker and ace-to-five lowball. In high, it is used for aces, straights, and flushes. In lowball, the joker is the lowest unmatched rank in a hand.
  • KANSAS CITY LOWBALL: A form of draw poker low also known as deuce-to-seven, in which the best hand is 7-5-4-3-2 and straights and flushes count against you.
  • Kicker: The highest unpaired card that helps determine the value of a five-card poker hand.
  • KILL (OR KILL BLIND): An oversize blind, usually twice the size of the big blind and doubling the limit. Sometimes a “half-kill” increasing the blind and limits by fifty percent is used. A kill can be either voluntary or mandatory. The most common requirements of a mandatory kill are for winning two pots in a row at lowball and other games, or for scooping a pot in high-low split.
  • KILL BUTTON: A button used in a lowball game to indicate a player who has won two pots in a row and is required to kill the pot.
  • KILL POT: A pot with a forced kill by the winner of the two previous pots, or the winner of an entire pot of sufficient size in a high-low split game. (Some pots can be voluntarily killed.)
  • Late Position: A position in which you act after most of the other players during a round.
  • LEG UP: Being in a situation equivalent to having won the previous pot, and thus liable to have to kill the following pot if you win the current pot.
  • LIVE BLIND: A blind bet giving a player the option of raising if no one else has raised.
  • LIST: The ordered roster of players waiting for a game.
  • LOCK-UP: A chip marker that holds a seat for a player.
  • Loose: Playing more hands than normal.
  • Loose Game: A game with a lot of players in most hands.
  • LOWBALL: A draw game where the lowest hand wins.
  • LOWCARD: The lowest card facing up at seven-card stud, which is required to bet.
  • Middle Pair: Pairing the second highest card on the board.
  • Middle Position: A position in which you act somewhere between most of the other players during a round.
  • MISCALL: An incorrect verbal declaration of the ranking of a hand.
  • MISDEAL: A mistake on the dealing of a hand which causes the cards to be reshuffled and a new hand to be dealt.
  • MISSED BLIND: A required bet that is not posted when it is your turn to do so.
  • MUCK:
    1. The pile of discards gathered facedown in the center of the table by the dealer.
    2. To discard a hand.
  • MUST-MOVE: In order to protect the main game, a situation where the players of a second game must move into the first game as openings occur.

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