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ACTION -- A fold, check, call, bet, or raise. (1) Opportunity to act. If a player appears not to realize it’s his or her turn, the dealer will say “Your action, sir or madam.”

(2) Bets and raises. “If a third heart hits the board and there’s a lot of action, you have to assume that somebody has made the flush.” For certain situations, doing something formally connected with the game that conveys information about your hand may also be considered as having taken action. Examples would be showing your cards at the end of the hand, or indicating the number of cards you are taking at draw.

AGGRESSIVE ACTION -- A wager that could enable a player to win a pot without a showdown; a bet or raise.

All-IN -- When you have put all of your playable money and chips into the pot during the course of a hand, you are said to be all-in. In table stakes games, a player may not go into his pocket for more money during a hand. If he runs out, a side pot is created in which he has no interest. However, he can still win the pot for which he had the chips. Example: “Poor Bob - he made quads against the big full house, but he was all-in on the second bet.”

ANTE -- A small portion of a bet contributed by each player to seed the pot at the beginning of a poker hand. Most hold‘em games do not have an ante; they use “blinds” to get initial money into the pot.

BACKDOOR -- Catching both the turn and river card to make a drawing hand. For instance, suppose you have A-K. The flop comes 10-6-4. You bet and are called. The turn is the J, which everybody checks, and then the river is the Q. You’ve made a“backdoor” Straight. See also “runner.”

BAD BEAT -- To have a hand that is a large underdog beat a heavily favored hand. It is generally used to imply that the winner of the pot had no business being in the pot at all, and it was the wildest of luck that he managed to catch the one card in the deck that would win the pot. We won’t give any examples, you will hear plenty of them during your poker career.

BET -- (1) The act of making a wager before anyone else on a betting round. (2)The chips used by a player to bet, call, or raise.

BIG BLIND -- The largest regular blind in a game.

BLANK -- A board card that doesn’t seem to affect the standings in the hand. If the flop is A-J-10 of clubs, then a turn card of 2 hearts would be considered a blank. On the other hand, the 2 of clubs would not be considered a blank.

BLIND -- A forced bet (or partial bet) put in by one or more players before any cards are dealt. Typically, blinds are put in by players immediately to the left of the button. See also Live Blind.

BLIND GAME -- A game which utilizes a blind.

BOARD -- (1)All the community cards in a hold‘em game - the flop, turn, and river cards together. Example: “There wasn’t a single heart on the board.”

(2) The board on which a waiting list is kept for players wanting seats in specific games.

(3) Cards face up on the table common to each of the hands.

BOARD CARD -- A community card in the center of the table, as in hold‘em or Omaha.

BOTTOM PAIR -- A pair with the lowest card on the flop. If you have A-6, and the flop comes K-10-6, you have flopped bottom pair.

BOXED CARD -- A card that appears face up in the deck where all other cards are facedown.

BROKEN GAME -- A game no longer in action.

BURN -- To discard the top card from the deck, face down. This is done between each betting round before putting out the next community card(s). It is security against any player recognizing or glimpsing the next card to be used on the board.

BURN CARD -- After the initial round of cards is dealt, the first card off the deck in each round that is placed under a chip in the pot, for security purposes. To do so is to burn the card; the card it self is called the burn card.

BUTTON – The “dealer” disk to indicate who is the (nominal) dealer. Also used to refer to the player on the button. Example: “Oh, the button raised.”

BUTTON GAMES -- Games in which a dealer button is used.

BUY -- (1) As in “buy the pot.” To bluff, hoping to “buy” the pot without being called. (2) As in “buy the button.” To bet or raise, hoping to make players between you and the button fold, thus allowing you to act last on subsequent betting rounds.

BUY-IN --The minimum amount of money required to enter any game.

CALIFORNIA LOWBALL -- Ace-to-five lowball with a joker.

CALL – To match the last bet without raising.

CAPPED --Describes the situation in limit poker in which the maximum number of raises on the betting round have been reached.

CARDS SPEAK -- The face value of a hand in a showdown is the true value of the hand, regardless of a verbal announcement.

CASE -- The last card of a certain ranking in the deck. Example: “The flop came J-8-3; I’ve got pocket jacks, he’s got pocket 8’s, and then the case eight falls on the river and he beats my full house.”

CENTER POT -- The first pot created during a poker hand. This is as opposed to one or more “side” pots that are created if one or more players goes all-in. It is also known as the “main pot.”

CHECK -- (1) To not bet, with the option to call or raise later in the betting round. A check is equivalent to betting zero dollars. The opportunity to “check” only occurs if no one has yet opened the betting when it comes time for you to decide what to do. When a player checks, it means that he or she doesn’t want to open the betting, but doesn’t want to quit either. It basically means “I’m not going to open the betting, but I’ll stick around and see what happens.”

(2) 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 check and then raise when a player behind you bets. Occasionally you will hear people say this is not fair or ethical poker. Almost all casinos permit check-raising, and it is an important poker tactic. It is particularly useful in low-limit hold‘em where you need extra strength to narrow the field when you have the best hand.

COLD CALL -- To call more than one bet in a single action. For instance, suppose the first player to act after the big blind raises. Now any player acting after him must call two bets “cold.” This is different from calling a single bet and then calling a subsequent raise.

COLLECTION DROP -- A fee charged for each hand dealt.

COLLECTION -- The fee charged in a game (taken either out of the pot or from each player).

COLOR CHANGE -- A request to change the chips from one denomination to another.

COME HAND -- A drawing hand (probably from the craps term).

COMMON CARD -- A card dealt face up 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.

COMMUNITY CARDS -- The cards dealt face up 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 HAND -- A hand that is defined by all five cards - a straight, flush, full house, four of a kind, or straight flush.

COMPLETE THE BET -- To increase an all-in bet or forced bet to a full bet in limit poker.

CONNECTOR -- A hold‘em starting hand in which the two cards are one apart in rank. Examples: KQ, 76.

COUNTERFEIT -- To make your hand less valuable because of board cards that duplicate it. Example: you have 8-7 and the flop comes 9-10-J, so you have a straight. Now an 8 comes on the turn. This has counterfeited your hand and made it almost worthless.

CRACK -- To beat a hand - typically a big hand. You hear this most often used to apply to pocket aces: “Third time tonight I’ve had pocket aces cracked.”

CRIPPLE -- As in to cripple the deck. Meaning that you have most or all of the cards that somebody would want to have with the current board. If you have pocket kings, and the other two kings flop, you have crippled the deck.

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 card used to shield the bottom of the deck.

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 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.

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.”

DECK -- A set of playing cards. In these games, the deck consists of either:

(1) 52 cards in seven-card stud, hold‘em, 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.

DOG -- Shortened form of “underdog.”

DOMINATED HAND -- A hand that will almost always lose to a better hand that people usually play. For instance, K3 is “dominated” by KQ. With the exception of strange flops (e.g. 3-3-x, K-3-x), it will always lose to KQ.

DOWN CARDS -- Cards that are dealt face down in a stud game.

DRAW DEAD -- Try to make a hand that, even if made, will not win the pot. If you’re drawing to make a flush, and your opponent already has a full house, you are “drawing dead.” Of course, this is a bad condition to be in.

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.”

EQUITY -- Your “rightful” share of a pot. If the pot contains 80, and you have a 50% chance of winning it, you have 40 equity in the pot. This term is somewhat fanciful since you will either win 80 or 0, but it gives you an idea of how much you can “expect” to win.

EXPECTATION -- (1) A term referring to the amount of you expect to gain on average if you make a certain play. For instance, suppose you put 10 into a 50 pot to draw at a hand that you will make 25% of the time, and it will win every time you make it. Three out of four times, you do not make your draw, and lose 10 each time for a total of 30. The fourth time, you will make your draw, winning 50. Your total gain over those four average hands is 50-30 = 20, an average of 5 per hand. Thus calling the 10 has a positive expectation of 5. (2) The amount you expect to make at the poker table in a specific time period. Perhaps in 100 hours play, you have won 527. Then your expectation is 5.27/hr. Of course, you won’t make that exact amount each hour (and some hours you will lose), but it is one measure of your anticipated earnings.

FACECARD -- A king, queen, or jack.

FAMILY POT -- A pot in which all of the players call before the flop.

FAST -- As in “play fast.” To play a hand aggressively, betting and raising as much as possible. Example: “When you flop a set but there’s a flush draw possible, you have to play it fast.”

FIXED LIMIT -- In limit poker, a betting structure where the bet size on each round is pre-set.

FLASHED CARD -- A card that is partially exposed.

FLOOR PERSON -- A casino employee who seats players and makes decisions.

FLOP -- The first three community cards, put out face up, all together.

FLUSH -- A poker hand consisting of five cards of the same suit.

FOLD -- When someone else opens, you can always jump ship and cut your losses. In other words, you “fold.” The act of folding is to “give up,” place your cards face down on the table, lose whatever you’ve bet so far. In other words, you give up early and lose your dough. This option is used when you think your hand is too weak to compete.

FORCED BET -- A required wager to start the action on the first betting round (the normal way action begins in a stud game).

FOUL -- A hand that may not be played for one reason or another. A player with a foul hand may not make any claim on any portion of the pot. Example: “He ended up with three cards after the flop, so the dealer declared his hand foul.”

FOULED HAND -- A dead hand.

FOURTH STREET -- The second up card in seven-card stud or the first board-card after the flop in hold‘em (also called the turn card).

FREE CARD -- A turn or river card on which you don’t have to call a bet because of play earlier in the hand (or a reputation which you have with your opponents). For instance, if you are on the button and raise when you flop a flush draw, your opponents may check to you on the turn. If you make your flush on the turn, you can bet. However, if you don’t get it on the turn, you can check as well, seeing the river card for “free.”

FREE ROLL – (1) A chance to win something at no risk or cost. (2) For one player to have a shot at winning an entire pot when he is currently tied with another player. For instance, suppose you have A-Q and your opponent has 2-Q. The flop is Q-J-10. You are tied with your opponent right now, but are free rolling on him, because you can win the whole pot with a straight and he can’t. If no K comes, you split the pot with him. If it does come, you win the whole thing.

FREEZE-OUT -- A winner-take-all tournament with no re-buys. That is, a game in which play continues until one player has all the chips.

FULL BUY -- A buy-in of at least the minimum amount of chips needed for a particular game.

FULL HOUSE -- A hand consisting of three of a kind and a pair.

GUT-SHOT STRAIGHT -- A straight filled “inside.” If you have 9-8, the flop comes 7-5-2, and the turn is the 6,you’ve made your gut-shot straight.

HAND -- (1) A player’s personal cards. (2) The five cards determining the poker ranking. (3) A single poker deal.

HEADS UP -- A pot that is being contested by only two players - “It was heads up by the turn.”

HEADS-UP PLAY -- Only two players involved in play.

HIT -- As in “the flop hit me.” It means the flop contained cards that help your hand. If you have AK, and the flop comes K-7-2, it hit you.

HOLECARDS -- The cards dealt face down to a player.

HOUSE --The establishment running the game

IMPLIES ODDS -- Pot odds that do not exist at the moment, but may be included in your calculations because of bets you expect to win if you hit your hand. For instance, you might call with a flush draw on the turn even though the pot isn’t offering you quite 4:1 odds (your chance of making the flush) because you’re sure you can win a bet from your opponent on the river if you make your flush.

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 incase the opponent wins the pot.

JOKER -- The joker is a “partly wild card” in high draw poker and ace-to-five lowball. In high, it is used for aces, straights, and flushes. In lowball, it 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 -- An unpaired card used to determine the better of two near-equivalent hands. For instance, suppose you have AK and your opponent has AQ. If the flop has an ace in it, you both have a pair of aces, but you have a king kicker. Kickers can be vitally important in hold‘em.

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, 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.)

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.

LIST -- The ordered roster of players waiting for a game.

LIVE BLIND -- A forced bet put in by one or more players before any cards are dealt. The “live” means those players still have the option of raising when the action gets back around to them.

LOCK-UP -- A chip marker that holds a seat for a player.

LOWBALL -- A draw game where the lowest hand wins.

LOWCARD -- At seven-card stud, the lowest up card, which is required to bet.

MANIAC -- A player who does a lot of hyper-aggressive raising, betting, and bluffing. A true maniac is not a good player, but is simply doing a lot of gambling. However, a player who occasionally acts like a maniac and confuses his opponents is quite dangerous.

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 -- The pile of folded and burned cards in front of the dealer. Example: “His hand hit the muck so the dealer ruled it folded even though the guy wanted to get his cards back.” Also used as a verb - “He didn’t have any outs so he mucked his hand.” (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.

NO-LIMIT -- A version of poker in which a player may bet any amount of chips (up to the number in front of him) whenever it is his turn to act. It is a very different game than limit poker.

NUTS -- The best possible hand given the board. If the board is K-J-10-4-2 of clubs, then A-Q of clubs is the nuts. You will occasionally hear the term applied to the best possible hand of a certain category, even though it isn’t the overall nuts. For the above example, somebody with Ace of hearts-Q of spades in the above hand might say they had the “nut straight.”

OFF-SUIT -- A hold‘em starting hand in which the two cards are of different suits.

ONE-GAP -- A hold‘em starting hand in which the two cards are two apart in rank. Examples: J9, 64, etc.

OPEN -- If no betting has begun when your turn comes, you may “open” the pot (an attractive option for you Grateful Dead fans out there). This simply means that you make the first bet (any amount up to the betting limit).

OPENER BUTTON -- A button used to indicate who opened a particular pot in a draw game.

OPENER -- The player who made the first voluntary bet.

OPENERS -- In jacks-or-better draw, the cards held by the player who opens the pot that show the hand qualifies to be opened. Example: You are first to bet and have a pair of kings; the kings are called your openers.

OPTION -- The choice to raise a bet given to a player with a blind.

OUT -- A card that will make your hand win. Normally heard in the plural. Example: “Any spade will make my flush, so I have nine outs.”

OUTRUN -- To beat. Example: “Susie outran my set when her flush card hit on the river.”

OVER BLIND -- Also called oversize blind. A blind used in some pots that is bigger than the regular big blind, and usually increases the stakes proportionally.

OVER CALL -- To call a bet after one or more others players have already called.

OVER CARD -- A card higher than any card on the board. For instance, if you have a Ace and a Queen and the flop comes J-7-3, you don’t have a pair, but you have two over cards.

OVER PAIR -- A pocket pair higher than any card on the flop. If you have QQ and the flop comes J-8-3, you have an over pair.

PASS -- (1) Decline to bet. In a pass-and-out game, this differs from a check, because a player who passes must fold. (2) Decline to call a wager, at which point you must discard your hand and have no further interest in the pot.

PAT -- Not drawing any cards in a draw game.

PAY OFF -- To call a bet where the bettor is representing a hand that you can’t beat, but the pot is sufficiently large to justify a call anyway. Example: “He played it exactly like he made the flush, but I had top set so I paid him off.”

PLAY BEHIND -- Have chips in play that are not in front of you (allowed only when waiting for chips that are already purchased). This differs from table stakes.

PLAY OVER -- To play in a seat when the occupant is absent.

PLAY THE BOARD -- To show down a hand in hold‘em when your cards don’t make a hand any better than is shown on the board. For instance, if you have 22, and the board is 4-4-9-9-A (no flush possible), then you must “play the board” - the best possible hand you can make doesn’t use any of your cards. Note that if you play the board, the best you can do is to split the pot with all remaining players.

PLAYOVER BOX -- A clear plastic box used to cover and protect the chips of an absent player when someone plays over that seat.

POCKET -- Your unique cards that only you can see. For instance, “He had pocket sixes” (a pair of sixes), or “I had ace-king in the pocket.”

POSITION -- (1) The relation of a player’s seat to the blinds or the button. (2) The order of acting on a betting round or deal.

POST -- To put in a blind bet, generally required when you first sit down in a card room game. You may also be required to post a blind if you change seats at the table in a way that moves you away from the blinds.

POT ODDS -- The amount of money in the pot compared to the amount you must put in the pot to continue playing. For example, suppose there is 60 in the pot. Somebody bets 6, so the pot now contains 66. It costs you 6 to call, so your pot odds are11:1. If your chance of having the best hand is at least one out of twelve, you should call. Pot odds also apply to draws. For instance, suppose you have a draw to the nut flush with one card left to come. In this case, you are about a 4:1 underdog to make your flush. If it costs you 8 to call the bet, then there must be about 32 in the pot (including the most recent bet) to make your call correct.

POT-LIMIT -- The betting structure of a game in which you are allowed to bet up to the amount of the pot.

POTTING OUT -- Agreeing with another player to take money out of a pot, often to buy food, cigarettes, or drinks, or to make side bets.

PRICE -- The pot odds you are getting for a draw or call. Example: “The pot was laying me a high enough price, so I stayed in with my gut-shot straight draw.”

PROPOSITION BET -- A side bet not related to the outcome of the hand.

Protect -- (1) To keep your hand or a chip on your cards. This prevents them from being fouled by a discarded hand, or accidentally mucked by the dealer. (2) To invest more money in a pot so blind money that you’ve already put in isn’t “wasted.” Example: “He’ll always protect his blinds, no matter how bad his cards are.”

PROTECTED HAND -- A hand of cards that the player is physically holding, or has topped with a chip or some other object to prevent a fouled hand.

PUSH -- When a new dealer replaces an existing dealer at a particular table.

PUSHING BETS -- The situation in which two (or more) players make an agreement to return bets to each other when one of them wins a pot in which the other plays. Also called saving bets.

QUADS -- Four of a kind.

RACK -- (1) A container in which chips are stored while being transported. (2) A tray in front of the dealer, used to hold chips and cards.

RAGGED -- A flop (or board) that doesn’t appear to help anybody very much. A flop that came down J-6 -2 would look ragged.

RAINBOW -- A flop that contains three different suits, thus no flush can be made on the turn. Can also mean a complete five card board that has no more than two of any suit, thus no flush is possible.

RAISE --To increase the amount of a previous wager. This increase must meet certain specifications, depending on the game, to reopen the betting and count toward a limit on the number of raises allowed. When you “raise,” it requires you to first “see” the previous bet, and then increase the bet. For example, if the previous person bet 5 and you want to bet more than that, you would say “I see (match) your 5, and raise you (increase the bet) another 5.”

RAKE -- An amount of money taken out of every pot by the dealer - this is the card room’s income.

RANK -- The numerical value of a card (as opposed to its suit). Example: “jack,” “seven.”

REPRESENT -- To play as if you hold a certain hand. For instance, if you raised before the flop, and then raised again when the flop came ace high, you would be representing at least an ace with a good kicker.

RERAISE -- To raise someone’s raise.

RIVER -- The fifth and final community card, put out face up, by itself. Also known as “fifth street.” Metaphors involving the river are some of poker’s most treasured cliches - e.g. “He drowned in the river” or " If you want to go fishing, you have to go to the river"

ROCK -- A player who plays very tight, not very creatively. He raises only with the best hands. A real rock is fairly predictable- if he raises you on the end, you can throw away just about anything but the nuts.

RUNNER -- Typically said “runner-runner” to describe a hand that was made only by catching the correct cards on both the turn and the river - “He made a runner-runner flush to beat my trips.” See also backdoor

SAVING BETS -- Same as pushing bets.

SCARE CARD -- A card that may well turn the best hand into trash. If you have 10§-8§ and the flop comes Q-J-9, you almost assuredly have the best hand. However, a turn card of 10¨would be very scary because it would almost guarantee that you are now beaten by someone holding a K.

SCOOP -- To win the entire pot in a high-low split game by a wager or showdown.

SCRAMBLE -- A facedown mixing of the cards.

SECOND PAIR -- A pair with the second highest card on the flop. If you have A-10, and the flop comes K-10-6, you have flopped second pair.

SEE – To match the last bet. When you “see” another player, it means that you match their bet. So if someone bets 2 and you want to stay in the game, you have to “see” their 2 by putting 2 of your own into the pot. Normally used when raising. Example: “I’ll see your bet, and raise.”

SELL -- As in “sell a hand.” In a spread limit game, this means to bet less than the maximum when you have a very strong hand, hoping players will call where as they would not have called a maximum bet.

SEMI-BLUFF -- A powerful concept first discussed by David Sklansky. 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 maybe a positive expectation play.

SET -- Three of a kind when you have two of the rank in your hand, and there is one on the board.

SETUP -- Two new decks, each with different colored backs, to replace the current decks.

SHORT BUY -- A buy-in that is less than the required minimum buy-in.

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.

SHUFFLE -- The act of mixing the cards before a hand.

SIDE POT -- A separate pot formed when one or more players are all in. 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. Furthermore, any more bets that Al and Beth make go into that side pot. 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 -- In a game with multiple blind bets, the smallest blind.

SPLIT POT – (1) A pot that is shared by two or more players because they have equivalent hands, either because of a tie for the best hand or by agreement prior to the showdown.

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 10-9, the flop is 10-9-5, you have a split two pair. This is in comparison to two pair where there is a pair on the board. Example: You have 10-9, the flop is 9-5-5.

SPLITTING BLINDS -- When no one else has entered the pot, an agreement between the big blind and small blind to each take back their blind bets instead of playing the deal (chopping).

SPLITTING OPENERS -- In high draw jacks-or-better poker, dividing openers in hopes of making a different type of hand (such as breaking aces to draw at a flush).

STACK : Chips in front of a player.

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.”

STRAIGHT FLUSH -- Five cards in consecutive rank of the same suit.

STRAIGHT -- Five cards in consecutive rank.

STREET -- Cards dealt on a particular round in stud games. For instance, the fourth card in a player’s hand is often known as fourth street, the sixth card as sixth street, and so on.

STRING BET -- (1) 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 or she verbally declared the raise, he or she 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. (2) A wager made in more than one motion, with out announcing a raise before going back to your stack for more chips (not allowed).

STRUCTURED -- Used to apply to a certain betting structure in “flop” games such as hold‘em. The typical definition of a structured 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.

STUB -- The portion of the deck which has not been dealt.

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.”

SUPERVISOR -- A card room employee qualified to make rulings, such as a floor person, shift supervisor, or the card room manager.

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. (1) The amount of money you have on the table. This is the maximum amount that you can win or lose on a hand. (2) The requirement that players can wager only the money in front of them at the start of a hand, and can only buy more chips between hands.

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.

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” or “Clock.” 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”). (3) An expression used to stop the action on a hand. Equivalent to “Hold it.”

TIME COLLECTION -- A fee for a seat rental, paid in advance.

TOP PAIR -- A pair with the highest card on the flop. If you have A-Q, and the flop comes Q-10-6, you have flopped top pair.

TRIPS -- Three of a kind.

TURN -- The fourth community card. Put out face up, by itself. Also known as “fourth street.”

TWIST – Right to exchange one card at the end of a hand. Normally players must pay for the right to twist a card. Example: Dealer calls “Seven card stud with a 25 twist.” The game is normal seven card stud, but after the last card, each player may choose to pay 25 and twist one card. In a twist, the player must turn in a card and receive a card in the same position. If he or she exchanges an up-card, the twist will be an up-card.

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 who is 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.”

UPCARDS -- Cards that are dealt face up for opponents to see in stud games.

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 which, given enough callers, has a positive expectation.

VARIANCE -- A measure of the up and downswings 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.

WAGER --(1) To bet or raise. (2) The chips used for betting or raising.

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