Mega-Poker.Net - Poker Game Rules

Mega-Poker.Net Poker Glossary

The Rules of Poker
Rule excerpt from LaunchPoker

A full Texas Hold'em table typically has nine or ten players; any less and the game may be referred to as short handed. To determine who begins the game a single card is dealt to each player; high card will be the first dealer. The dealer position is indicated by a white plastic chip referred to as the button, which is also what the dealer position is called, sometimes referred to as being on the button. After each round of play, sometimes called a hand, the dealer button rotates to the left, ensuring that everyone gets to play in this and all other positions.

Before cards are dealt the forced bets must be paid, which are called the big blind and the little blind. The little blind is sometimes called the small blind as well. A bet is when money is put into the pot for the first time in a round. The amounts of the bets and blinds are predetermined, and the little blind is always half the big blind. The little blind position is always the seat to the left of the dealer, and the big blind is the seat to the left of the little blind.

The dealer will then deal two cards (referred to as pocket cards or hole cards) face down to each player, one at a time, starting with the player on his left. Once the cards are dealt, each player looks at their cards; on their action they must then decide if they wish to call the current bet (the big blind, which is the highest amount bet at this point) which means to match it, fold their hand with out betting if they don't like their cards, or raise the bet by putting in more money. Each player, starting with the seat to the left of the big blind, makes their choice and acts. If a player raises the bet, each player must now call the new amount, including those who may have already acted. At any time a player may re-raise, meaning that they raise it again beyond the amount it was raised previously. If no player raises the big blind, then the player in that position may check, meaning they do not want to put more money in, or raise. It is important to note that if a players raises he may not raise again unless he was re-raised, as opposed to called. The round of betting stops when all players have either folded or called the last raise.

The dealer burns a card, which means they deal it to one side and it is not used in play, and then deals three cards face down. The dealer then turns the thee cards face up simultaneously; this is called the Flop. These are the first of five community cards that all players can use, along with their pocket cards, to make the best possible poker hand. The standard poker hand ranks are used. The player in the little blind position (once again, the first seat to the left of the dealer) is now UTG, or Under The Gun, meaning they are first to act now and on every subsequent round of betting. They must make a decision as in pre-flop play, with one change: they can choose to check if they don't want to bet or fold. Many experts advise players to stop here if they do not improve their hand, as they have now seen five of the seven cards they will use. Once again, the betting round ends only when all players have folded or called the last bet or raise.

The dealer burns another card and then deals a fourth community card, called the Turn, face up. There is another round of betting, exactly as after the flop, with the small blind seat being UTG.

After a final burn card, the dealer turns over the fifth and last community card, called the River. There is one final round of betting. At this point (or before) if all but one player folds, the last player who didn't fold wins the pot. This player may muck his hand, which means to toss it into the discard pile by the dealer without showing anyone what it was.

A showdown occurs when a player is called after the River, and could involve anywhere from two players to the entire table, depending on how many stayed in to this point. All players still in the hand show their cards, starting with the last person to bet. At any point after this player showed his cards other players in the showdown may muck their hand, essentially conceding the pot; just think of mucking as folding. They are admitting they have been beat without having to show their cards. This strategy (mucking) helps keep the other players from learning your playing style, such as if you bet heavy on two pairs or like to chase a flush.

  The best five-card poker hand wins.

  That is the essence of Texas Hold'em, but there are a number of other important points to understand.

Where you sit at a Texas Hold'em table is a very important factor in how you play. The dealer position is considered the strongest on any given round, as being on the button means you act last in every post-flop round. Acting last means you act with the most information, which is essential to making the right decision whether to bet or raise, check, call or fold, and the game of poker is all about making the right decisions.

Being in early position means you are one of the first to act in a round of betting, and is considered weak due to the lack of information you have before you act. Middle position is less weak and falls between the early and the late position. The late position is the strongest, such as the dealer and the player to his right, who is referred to by some as the cutoff. The cutoff could take the choice away from the dealer by betting or raising big, bumping him out and becoming the latest player in the hand, and thus in the strongest position.

Winning a hand:
Besides everyone but you folding, the only way to win a hand is in a showdown. The five best cards are used out of the five community cards and each player's hole cards, which can lead to some interesting situations. For example, if the board, or table cards, is AAQQ10 and no player has better than a pair of eights in their hand, the board is the best possible hand, and all players in the showdown will chop the pot, which means to divide it evenly among those players. The same holds true if two players tie a hand. In the event of a flush or a straight, the player holding the highest card in the series wins; if the board has the five highest, the pot is chopped.

Poker Glossary


Aces Up A pair of aces with any other pair
Action A player's turn to act.
Ajax Ace/Jack in the hole
Alligator Blood Plays well under pressure. "Nerves of Steel".
All-in Betting all of your remaining chips.
American Airlines A pair of Aces in the hole.
Ante Forced bet that players must make before seeing any cards. This guarantees money in the pot for each hand.

Back Door Hand made in the last two cards.
Bad Beat Losing when you have a very strong hand, usually to a very unlikely draw on the last card.
Bankrole The total amount of money you plan to gamble with
Base Deal Dealing cards from the bottom of the deck rather than the top. A form of cheating
Beer Hand 7 and 2 hole cards for Texas Hold 'em. The worst possible starting hole cards
Belly Buster An Inside Straight draw.
Berry Patch An easy game, with many poor players.
Bicycle A Straight, A-5.
Big Lick 6 - 9 unsuited in the hole.
Big Slick Pocket Ace/King
Blank Poor card that has no impact on the game. Also called a rag.
Blinds Mandatory bet before each round. Usually the player two places to the left of the dealer will have to pay the Large Blind, and the player to the immediate left of the dealer will have to bet half as much for the Small Blind
Bluff To bet strongly with a poor hand, as if you have strong hand in an attempt to make others fold.
Board The visible cards in a poker game. These are the community cards in games like Hold'em or Omaha, and the up cards in Stud games.
Boat Another term for a Full House
Bottom Pair The lowest pair on the board in Hold'em or Omaha. For example if the flop is 2c, 7h, Ks, and you have the 2h, and 10d in the hole, then your pair of twos is the bottom pair.
Bring in To open a round of betting
Broadway An Ace High Straight
Brush Cardroom employee who handles the seating chart.
Bullets A pair of Aces in the hole.
Bump To Raise
Burn To discard the top card of the deck. This is done to prevent anyone from being able to determine the next card.
Button The marker that signifies the dealer's spot. The player with the button receives the last card dealt in a round.
Buy In The amount you must pay to enter a game.

Call To match the current high bet.
Calling Station A player who almost always calls and seldom raises.
Cap In many limit games there is a restriction on the number of bets allowed each round. A player caps the betting by making the last allowable raise.
Cards Speak A rule that says the cards determine the best possible hand, not the player. If a player has a better hand than he realizes, the better hand is the one that is used.
Chameleon Player in a game who changes and varies his style of play from wild and unpredictable to tight and aggressive.
Chase Calling when you have not yet made your hand.
Check To basically skip your turn to bet. This still allows you to bet later in the round should anyone else bet. This is similar to betting $0.
Check Raise To check at first, then raise should anyone else bet. This is done as a way to lure other players into betting when you think they may fold if you bet outright.
Chop See Rake
Coffeehousing Excessive often distracting talking at the table.
Cold Call To call both a bet and a raise.
Community Card A card dealt face up on the table that can be used by any player at the table.
Computer Hand Q 7 starting hand.
Connectors Pocket cards of sequential rank.
Counterfeit A card that does not help you, but is likely to make an opponents hand better than yours.
Cowboys Kings
Crying Call When some calls even though they are almost certain they are beat.

Dead Man's Hand Two pair, Aces and Eights. Wild Bill Hickok was mudered while holding this hand.
Deuce A two
Dolly Pardon 9 - 5 hole cards
Donkey A bad player. A fish.
Door card In stud games, the first card dealt face up to a player.
Down to the Felt Out of money/chips.
Doyle Brunson 10-2 hole cards in Texas Holdem. This is the hand with which Super System author Doyle Brunson won the WSOP.
Drawing Hand An incomplete hand such as four cards to a straight in which you are drawing cards, hoping to make your hand.
Ducks Twos

Eyes of Texas A pair of Aces in the hole.

Family Pot A round where everyone calls the opening bet.
Fast Aggressive
Fifth Street The fifth card dealt in stud poker, or the final card in games with five community cards.
Fish Poor player
Flop The first three community cards in games such as Texas Hold'em or Omaha
Flush Five cards of the same suit. 2, 5, 7, Q, K of Clubs for example. The higher cards in a flush determine the best hand. An Ace high flush beats a King high flush. See the Poker Hand Rankings page for more details.
Fold To give up on your hand.
Four Flush Four cards to a flush.
Four of a Kind Four Cards of the Same Rank
Full House A hand with three cards of one rank, and two cards of another rank. 7h, 7d.7s and 10h, 10c for example. See the Poker Hand Rankings page for more details.

Gay Waiter Q 3 in the hole. (Queen with a Trey)
Gunshot An Inside Straight Draw
Gutshot An Inside Straight Draw

Hammer, The 7-2 offsuit. Specifically a winning hand with these as your hole cards. A popular hand among the poker bloggers.
Heads Up A one on one poker match or round.
Heinz 5 7 in the hole
High Society The highest denomination of chips in a particular establishment
Hilton Sisters Wired queens
Hole The first two down cards in poker game.
Hooks A pocket pair of Jacks

Implied Odds The odds you are getting from the expected calls in future betting rounds.
Inside Straight Hand in which you have four cards to a straight, but are missing one in the middle. For example 8,9,J,Q.
Isolate Bet strongly in an attempt to make everyone fold except one other player.

Jackson Five Pocket Jack/5

Kicker The highest unpaired card in your hand. Used as a tie-breaker. If two players have the same pair, the one with the higher kicker will win the pot.
Kojack Pocket K/J

Ladies Queens
Lay Down To fold
Limp in In the first round of betting, simply calling the big blind rather than raising. This allows the big blind to see the flop for free, and indicates a weak hand.
Lock A hand that is guaranteed to win at least part of the pot
Loose A player who stays in more hands than most, and stays in them longer.
Lumber Yard K - 8 in the hole

Make a Hand To get a certain hand. For example, if you have 4,5,6,7 then you need a 3 or an 8 to Make your hand.
Maniac A very loose and aggressive player. Rarely folds or calls. Bluffs often and raises frequently.
Mechanic Someone who cheats by manipulating the cards while dealing
Montana Banana 9-2 in the hole (article 92 made poker legal in Montana)
Motown J 5 in the hole
Muck Pile of discarded cards.
Mullets Pocket 7's in Texas Hold 'em.

Nut flush Highest possible flush
Nuts, The The best possible hand, given the cards on the board.
Nut Straight Highest possible straight.

Odds The probability of making your hand.
Off Suit Cards with different suits, usually referring to hole cards. For example 8c, 9s might be called 8, 9 off suit.
On Tilt Betting wildly or making poor bets. Usually after a bad beat.
Open Make the first bet in a round.
Open Ended Straight A hand with four consecutive cards. A straight can be completed by drawing the fifth card at either end. For example, 5,6,7,8.
Outs Any remaining card that will give you the winning hand. For example if you have the 8, 9, 10, Q in various suits, and have not seen a Jack, then you have four outs to a Straight.
Overcard A hole card higher than the highest card on the board
Over the Top To raise a large bet.

Paint Face Card
Pat Hand In draw games, being dealt a made hand.
Pocket First two down cards in poker game.
Pocket Pair Two cards of the same rank in the hole
Pot Limit A limit on the maximum allowable raise. The limit is the amount currently in the pot.
Pot Odds The ratio of the amount of money in the pot to the amount it will cost you to call the current bet
Prom Nite 6 - 9 suited in the hole.
Put To guess what someone is holding. If someone starts betting when a queen comes up, you might "put" him on a pair of queens.

Quads Four of a Kind

Rabbit Hunting Looking through the muck for undealt cards after a hand.
Rag Poor card that has no impact on the game.
Railbird Spectator
Railroad Bible A Deck of Cards
Rainbow A flop containing three different suits.
Raise To increase the amount of an opponent's bet
Rake Set amount or percentage that the house claims from each pot.
Rakeback Rakeback is a percent of the rake paid back to you for playing at a poker site. Normally set up through an affiliate.
Ratholing Generally frowned upon practice of taking money off the table after winning some pots.
Read To be able to gauge a person's hand based on their actions.
Represent To have the appearance of a certain hand. For example, if the flop comes up with three spades, anyone who bets heavily might represent a Flush.
Ring Game Standard nontournament poker game.
River The last card dealt in a game.
Rock A tight and aggressive player who folds often and doesn't play a lot of hands.
Rolled Up In seven card stud, three of a kind with your first three cards
Royal Flush 10-A Straight Flush See the Poker Hand Rankings page for more details.

Sailboats A pair of fours in the hole
Sandbag Slow Play. To play a strong hand as if it is weak in an effort to lure opponents into betting.
San Francisco Busboy Q 3 in the hole. (Queen with a trey)
Scare Card A card on the board that could mean a monster hand for someone. The fourth card to a flush or strait for example.
See To Call
Semi-Bluff Like a bluff except that your hand might be good enough to win if someone calls you.
Set Three of a kind.
Short Stack Having less chips than every one else at the table.
Show Down When all cards have been dealt and betting is complete, player hands are revealed.
Side Pot If a player goes all-in, and there are two or more bettors with more funds that call, they may continue to bet. Their future bets are placed in a separate pot.
Siegfried and Roy A pair of queens in the hole
Slow Play When you have a strong hand, to represent that you have a weak hand, to encourage others to bet.
SNG Sit n Go. Small tournament with no set start time. Players sit down and the tournament starts as soon as there are enough players.
Snowmen A pair of 8's in the hole.
Splash Tossing your chips into the pot before anyone can verify the amount.
Steal the Pot To make a strong bet when it appears no one else has a good hand, causing everyone to fold.
Straight Five sequential cards. For example 8, 9, 10, J, Q. Suits can be mixed. See the Poker Hand Rankings page for more details.
Straight Flush Five cards with sequential rank, all in the same suit.
String Bet Illegal bet made by placing chips in the pot, then going back to your stack for more chips. This allows you to guage an opponent's reaction with each chip amount.
Suited Cards of the same suit
Suited Connectors Sequential hole cards in the same suit. For example 10h, Jh

Tapioca Out of money/chips
Tell Something a player will do that gives away the strength of his hand.
Three of a Kind Three cards of the same denomination. 4h, 4c, 4s for example. See the Poker Hand Rankings page for more details.
Tight A conservative player who doesn't play many hands.
Top Pair The highest pair on the board in Hold'em or Omaha. For example if the flop is 2c, 7h, Ks, and you have the 10h, and Kd in the hole, then your pair of Kings is the top pair.
Trips Three of a kind
Turn, The The fourth card in Texas Hold'em or Omaha.

Under the Gun First to bet in a given round

Walking Sticks A pair of 7's in the hole
Wired Pocket cards of the same rank.
W.S.O.P The World Series of Poker. Annual series of poker tournaments held at Binions Horseshoe Casino in Las Vegas. The final event is a No Limit Texas Holdem tournament with a buy in of $10,000.


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