You could probably fill a whole dictionary with poker jargon — it’s a game full of terms and phrases that will make little sense to the layman. If you’re new to online poker, here’s an alphabetical list of what we consider to be the most important terms to help get you started.
- Action – Your turn, you can use your action to bet, call, check, raise, or fold.
- All-In – To bet all your remaining chips.
- Ante – A small mandatory bet that all players must place before any cards are dealt. Blinds usually replace antes in Hold’em poker.
- Big Blind – The larger of the two ‘blinds’, which are mandatory bets that are put into the pot before any cards have been dealt. The big blind is always to the left of the small blind, and is equal to the minimum bet at the table.
- Bluff – To play as if your hand is better than it actually is.
- Board – In Hold’em, the board is all the community cards together: the flop, the turn, and the river.
- Burn – When dealing the cards at the beginning of each round, the dealer will discard the first card in the deck, known as ‘burning’.
- Buy-In – The price of entering a game or tournament.
- Call – To equal the existing bet, also known as ‘limping’ or ‘live betting’.
- Check – To stay in the round without placing a bet. If the bet is then raised, you will have to call or check-raise.
- Check-Raise – To check and then raise in the same betting round.
- Cold Call – To call two or more bets in a single action.
- Community Cards – The cards face up in the middle of the table that belong to every player’s hand.
- Draw – Drawing is playing an average to bad hand in the hope that it will turn into a good hand.
- Flop – When the first three community cards are dealt.
- Fold – To forfeit the round.
- Four of a Kind – A poker hand made up of four of the same rank (i.e. four Kings), also known as ‘quads’.
- Flush – A poker hand made up of five cards of the same suit (i.e. five Hearts).
- Full House – A poker hand made up of a pair and three of a kind (i.e. two Kings and three 10s).
- Hole Cards – Also known as ‘pocket cards’, hole cards are the two cards that are dealt face-down to the player.
- Implied Odds – The money you could potentially win if you hit on future community cards/streets, taking into consideration the money that is still there to be bet by other players. When drawing, implied odds are used to calculate whether calling a bet is worth it.
- Kicker – The card that determines the winner between two equivalent hands at the showdown.
- Nuts – The best possible hand in a round.
- Omaha – A variation of Hold’em in which players receive 4 hole cards, and their hand must consist of two of them, and 3 of the 5 community cards.
- Omaha Hi-Lo – An Omaha variation in which the final pot is split between a high hand, which follows traditional hand rankings, and a low hand, which starts at eight or below.
- Outs – Cards that will complete your hand. For example, if you needed one more Heart to make a flush, it would be referred to as an ‘out’.
- Pair – Two cards of the same rank.
- Pot – The sum of all the money wagered on a single hand. The pot sits in the middle of the table and is collected by the winner at the end of the hand.
- Pot Odds – The ratio of the amount of money in the pot, and the amount that you will have to bet. For example, if there’s £20 in the pot, and you’re facing a £5 bet, the pot odds are 4:1. So, in order to place the bet, you should consider the chances of your hand winning to be at least 4:1. Again, these are useful in deciding whether or not you should stay in the round.
- Raise – To increase the bet.
- River – The last (fifth) community card to be drawn.
- Royal Flush – The highest-ranking poker hand, a 10, J, Q, K, A straight all in the same suit.
- Showdown – When the remaining players show their hands following the final round of betting, and the winner is decided.
- Side Pot – A separate pot that is established when a player has gone all-in and can contribute no further wagers to the main pot.
- Small Blind – The lesser of the two blinds used in a game of Hold’em, usually equal to half the minimum bet at the table.
- Split Pot – When a pot is shared by two players with equivalent hands.
- Straddle – An optional third blind bet that is usually made by the player to the left of the big blind.
- Straight – A poker hand made up of 5 cards in sequence (i.e. 2, 3, 4, 5, 6).
- Straight Flush – A poker hand made up of 5 sequential cards of the same suit.
- Streets – Another term for the community cards. The fourth and fifth cards are sometimes referred to as fourth and fifth street.
- Texas Hold’em – The name of the most popular poker variant, with two hole cards and five community cards.
- Time – To request more time to consider your bet.
- Turn – The fourth community card.
Play Poker at a UK Online Casino
Now that you’ve got a handle on all the jargon, you should be ready to play a hand of online poker. If you’re still unsure of some of the rules, or want to know which online poker casino to sign up to, check out our list of the best online poker sites. There you’ll find information on how to play, along with some expert reviews of the best online poker casinos.
Once you’ve decided on the site that suits you best, click through to sign up, claim your welcome bonus, and join a poker table.
Robbie is an Editor at TopRatedCasinos who joined us in 2022 and has a year’s experience in the gambling affiliate space. Having quickly built up his expertise in all things casino — particularly in the arena of online payment solutions — he’s tasked with writing up guides and reviews across TopRatedCasinos, along with having a big hand in developing the way we format the site to best suit our users. In his spare time, Robbie is a keen sports fan, film buff, travel enthusiast, and all-round thing-liker.