Red's Deal

Poker and Redspeak Glossary

action: Any bet made on a poker hand.

add-on: The act of buying more chips in a tournament which allows it.

all-in: The phrase used to describe when all of a player's money at a table is in the pot. Once all-in, a player is not eligible for any additional bets made -- these go into a side pot.

ante: An amount that it put into the pot by all players to receive cards. Technically this is not considered to be a bet. Later rounds in hold'em tournaments will often have antes in addition to blinds. Common in games such as 7-card stud or sometimes draw.

behind: 1) A player who has a worse hand than another player in a hand that has not yet been dealt fully to completion. For example, a player holding only a flush draw is behind a player holding a pair of queens before the draw.
2) A person that follows another person in the betting order -- e.g. the big blind is behind the small blind at a hold'em table.

bet: To place a wager on a poker hand. This must be done in a proper playing order (consecutively and clockwise) around a table.

big slick: A starting hand of Ace-King in hold'em.

blank: A dealt card that doesn't improve your poker hand. Often abbreviated as "x" in notation.

blinded off: In tournament play when a player is not at a table, they still must automatically post blinds when it is their turn to act. This process is known as being "blinded off."

blinds: Forced bets made by the players immediately clockwise from the dealer button to begin betting action around a table in any game that does not use antes. The position immediately clockwise from the dealer button is the small blind, the person in the next clockwise position is the big blind.

bluff: Betting, or acting in such a way at the poker table, that people believe you have a hand different than what you actually hold. Typically people bluff to make other players fold, giving up their chances at the pot.

button: See "dealer button."

board: The five community cards presented in the middle of a Hold'em table.

boat: Full house. Also sometimes called a "full boat."

brick and mortar: Real, physical card rooms or playing establishments, such as a Las Vegas casino -- as opposed to online where the experience is virtual.

broadway: The highest possible straight, namely 10-J-Q-K-A.

burn a card: To discard the top card of a deck before dealing cards to the board or a player.

buy-in: Either the amount of money it costs to sit down and play in a ring game, the entry fee to a tournament.

cronenberg: (r) To have your head explode off your shoulders. It's a reference to Canadian film director David Cronenberg ("Videodrome," "The Fly," "Scanners," etc.) who often had characters exploded in his earlier movies.

call: Matching a bet that another player has already made on the table.

calling station: A person who tends to call all bets.

cap: The maximum number of bets/raises that can be played on any given round. This varies by card room, but is typically four or five. In some card rooms there is no cap on the betting once play falls into heads-up play.

check: The option of remaining active in a hand, but not betting on your turn. You may check only if no other bets have been made in the hand for that round already. In games with blinds you're not allowed to check on the first round of betting action.

check-raise: The act of checking on your turn to bet, and then raising a bet that is made behind you. Typically the sign of a very strong hand but is sometimes an attempt to bluff.

community cards: Cards in the center of the hold'em or omaha table which can be considered to be a part of anyone's hand.

connectors: Two (or more) cards that are in rank order, e.g. J-Q.

cut-off: The player who acts immediately before the player with the dealer button.

dangling Ace: An ace with a weak kicker.

dealer button (aka "button"): The marker used in casinos to indicate the hypothetical dealer for a hand. The player holding the dealer button is the last to act on any hand. The button rotates one spot clockwise at the conclusion of each hand.

double gut-shot straight: A hand containing two distinct inside straight draws such as 10-5 drawing against a board of Q-9-8-7 (Jack makes the Queen-high straight, 6 makes the 9-high straight). A double gut-shot straight has the same odds as an outside straight draw.

draw: Cards that have yet to be dealt. For example, if you have four hearts, you have a flush draw.

drawing dead: A hand that cannot mathematically win, no matter what cards are drawn.

drop: Antoher term for the rake, usually used by casino management.

fifth street: In hold'em and omaha, it's fifth community up-card, more often called the "river." In 7-card stud it's the fifth card dealt to every player (and is not called the "river" in that game).

five-card hand: A hand that needs five cards to be made (straight, flush, or full house); or in seven card games, the best five cards dealt.

floor person: In a professional card room, the person who oversees all the dealers in the pit. This is the person you go to for any unresolved disputes at the table, or reclaiming your chips if you've been absent too long from a game.

flop: First three community cards laid out on the board as a group in hold'em and omaha.

fold: To give up on any given poker hand. A folding player mucks their cards and is no longer eligible to win the pot.

four-flush: Four cards to a flush.

four-straight: Four cards to a straight.

fourth street: The fourth community up-card in hold'em and omaha also known as the "turn." In seven-card stud it's fourth card dealt to every player and is not called the "turn."

freeroll: 1) A tournament with no entry fee.
2) More rarely a situation where two players have matching hands, but one player has a possibility for drawing to improve and the other doesn't (for example: AdKd versus AcKh on a board showing 10d Jd Qc).

game theory: The study of game winning strategies.

gapped: Cards that are one away from of each other in a straight, e.g. 10-Q.

gilroy: Three 10's. Primarily used in the western US, it's a reference to the fact that Gilroy is 30 miles south of San Jose, CA.

gut-shot straight: An inside straight draw.

hand: The cards any player holds at a given time (community cards plus that player's hole cards). Also refers to one full session of betting (hole cards, flop, turn and river).

heads-up: Two players playing only against each other with no other contenders in the pot.

hole cards: The first two down cards dealt to everyone in a game of hold'em or stud, the first four cards dealt in omaha. More rarely known as "pocket cards."

implied pot odds: The ratio of the size of your bet when compared to what you would win if all betting goes to an obvious conclusion in subsequent rounds.

inside straight: A player needing a card in the middle of a straight draw, for example 5-6-8-9. The probability of making this hand is half as likely as an outside straight draw. Also called a gut-shot straight.

kicker: an extra or outside card to a group. The hand A-A-Q-Q-K would be known as "two pair, aces and queens with a king kicker." A "weak" kicker is any lower indexed card.

knock: 1) In triple draw games it's an expression for someone who chooses not to draw on a round.
2) The action someone makes on a poker table when they check. The act of checking is sometimes known as "knocking."

laughing informer: (r) The "Re:D" text logo used as an abbreviation for Red's Deal.

limit: A form of poker betting where, if you bet, you must bet a specified amount. In hold'em and omaha, the amount you bet is doubled on the turn and river. In stud the limit optionally doubles on fourth street if a pair is exposed and always doubles on fifth street. For example in $3/6 Hold'em, if you bet, you must bet only $3 on your hole cards and on the flop, and $6 on the turn and river. You may raise (or be raised), but again, it has to be by the betting units of the game.

loose: A player who plays a wide array of starting hands and/or bets and raises aggressively.

lowball: A form of poker where low hand wins, or a community board in Hold'em that shows only lower ranked cards (typically 10's or less).

main pot: Also simply called the "pot," it's the money all betting players are eligible to win. Once a player is all-in a side pot is made for any additional wagers.

muck: 1) To throw cards into the middle of the table (an act of folding). These are now considered discards and are declared dead.
2) All discards, and burn cards, as well as cards that were not dealt in a any player at the end of a hand are also called the "muck." You can think of it as "that mess of cards over there."

no-limit: A form of poker betting where, if you bet, you may bet any amount up to your entire stack. Raises in No-Limit must be at least equal to the last bet size.

nuts: The best hand, or the best possible hand.

orbit: One complete lap of the dealer button around a card table.

out: A card that will turn a currently losing hand for someone who is behind into a winner.

outside straight: A player needing a card on either end of a straight draw, for example 4-5-6-7. The probability of making this hand is the same as a double-gut-shot straight draw and twice as likely as an inside straight draw.

over-cards: cards that have a higher rank when compared to other cards (e.g. a king is an over-card of a jack).

pass: To fold.

piggy backing: Placing a clear plastic box over one player's chips while she is absent from the table so another player can put their chips on top and play out of the currently-vacant spot. We've only seen this used in east coast US casinos.

pocket pair: Two cards of the same rank dealt as hole cards to the same player, e.g. 9c9h.

posting (or "post"): Making a blind bet.

pot odds: The ratio of the size of your bet compared to the size of the pot you are calling. For example if you have to make a $10 bet to call in a $30 pot you have pot odds of 3-to-1. If you were to win this hand, you would be paid three times what your original bet was.

pot: The chips accumulated from all bets in any given hand.

prop: A person who is paid by a professional card room to play their own money in a poker game -- formally known as a proposition player.

quads: Four-of-a-kind.

(r): (r) In this glossary, it refers to items that are redspeak as opposed to common poker terms.

rail birds: People who stand at the rail in a poker venue.

rail: The edge of a poker venue where spectators stand. When you bust out in a tournament, you're sent to the rail.

rainbow: Cards of all different suits. A rainbow board has no flush possibilities.

raise: To bet an additional amount over a bet that another player has already made at the table.

rake: A small percentage of each pot (typically 5-10%) that goes to a professional card room for running a poker game. Sometimes called the "drop" by casino management.

rank: The number on a card. In the majority of poker games cards are ranked, in ascending order, 2-A.

re-buy: To purchase another stack of chips in a tournament.

redspeak: (r) Slang used by Mark "The Red" Harlan for reasons only he truly knows.

ring game: People playing individual hands of poker at a table in a game where they may leave at any time. Poker played around a kitchen table for match-sticks would be considered a ring game. This is different from a tournament format where players compete with tournament chips until they bust out.

river: the fifth (and final) community card played to the board in hold'em and omaha. (more rarely called "fifth street"). In stud it's the last down card.

roshambo: The formal name of game rock/scissors/paper you played when you were a kid.

round of betting: Everyone at the table being offered a chance to bet after seeing cards in hold'em is called a "round." There are four rounds of betting in hold'em and omaha: after the hole cards are dealt, after the flop community cards are exposed, after the turn community card is exposed and after the river community card is exposed. In 7-card stud there are five.

Re:D: (r) The text logo for Red's Deal, also called the "laughing informer."

redspeak: (r) Slang terms used by Red.

runner-runner: drawing a card on the turn and then drawing another on the river that makes a hand.

satellite: A smaller tournament designed to feed the winner(s) into a larger tournament.

see: Another phrase meaning "to call" a bet.

set: 1) Three of a kind.
2) In triple draw games it's a term meaning you choose to draw no cards on a particular round, i.e. "I'm set."

shill: Similar to a prop, these people are paid by a professional card room, but play with the house's money and are not allowed to keep winnings.

short-handed: A table that is missing players, or is intentionally seated with a capacity of six players or less.

showdown: When cards are exposed at the end of a hand to determine winners and losers.

side pot: A pot created by people who have more money than an all-in player. Any player eligible to win a side pot is also eligible for the main pot, whereas the all-in player is not eligible to win the side pot(s) and may only win the main pot. During the showdown, the cards eligible for the last side pot to receive bets are exposed first.

singelton: A single card.

skim: A small percentage of a pot taken in home games for the house, similar to a rake. In many US states skimming is illegal.

slow play: Intentionally not betting hard on a good hand early in the betting in an effort to squeeze more money out of it.

spread-limit: A form of poker better where, if you bet, the amount must be in a range. For example in a $1-5 game, you may bet anywhere between $1 and $5 on any betting action. Raises in spread-limit must be equal to, or greater than, the previous bet.

stack: The entirety of someone's poker chips at a table.

steel wheel: A-2-3-4-5 of the same suit.

steal the blinds: Making a raise in an effort to get the players with blinds on the table to fold. This typically happens by the player at the dealer button or in the cut-off position.

suck out: A person with a lesser hand who draws a community card and produce a winning hand.

suited: Two cards of the same suit.

tank: The place someone goes when they are thinking, "My all-in put Grandma into the tank."

tight: A player who only plays the best starting hands and/or bets conservatively.

tilt: Someone playing carelessly after losing a hand they believed they should have won.

tournament: A poker game where all the entry fees are pooled and players are given a set number of chips. Prizes are awarded to the top finishers according to their exit point in the tournament. A tournament is different from a ring game format where players are simply competing in consecutive hands, but may leave at any time.

trips: Three of a kind.

turn: The fourth community card placed on the board in hold'em and omaha. More rarely called "fourth street."

under the gun: The player immediately clockwise from the big blind. More rarely it's used to describe the first person to act at a hold'em table after the hole cards are dealt.

underdog: A player at a mathematical disadvantage in a hand.

wheel: 1) The lowest possible straight A-2-3-4-5.
2) In 2-7 triple draw low ball it's an unsuited 2-3-4-5-7.

World Series of Poker (WSOP): The top poker tournament in the world. Played in Las Vegas every year the main event is a $10,000 No-Limit Hold'em tournament. The winner of the main event is considered by most people to be the top player in the world for that year. Harrah's owns the WSOP trademark and in recent years has begun branding non-Las Vegas events with that moniker. On Re:D, when we refer to the "WSOP," we mean the main one in Las Vegas, NV. We consider the other events to be posers.

x: Poker notation for a blank card that doesn't help your poker hand.