Common Poker Terms
Sunday, 18. December 2011

As with any game, poker has developed its own very unique vocabulary. If you are interested in playing poker, certainly at the casino, then it is important to have a certain command of the various poker terms and slang.

The game of poker is a game of incredible action and color. Poker seems to attract an extremely colorful range of characters. With colorful characters comes colorful language and poker has no shortage of colorful language.

The following is a small list of some basic poker terms to help you get started on your way:

Cards higher/lower than the board: This term refers to the value of the cards you hold in a poker game where some cards are dealt face up. If you hold a king, for example, in your hand that no one can see and the highest card face up on the poker table is a nine, then your card is higher than the board.

High Cards: Which cards are considered high can change from game to game, but in general anything from a ten up through an Ace is considered high.

Hole Cards: These refer to the cards that are dealt to a person in a poker game where there are community cards. In some poker games, these types of cards can also be referred to as “pocket cards” or “personal” cards. In poker, the idea is to use your hole cards with the cards dealt face up on the table to create the best possible five card hand for yourself.

Low Cards: Again, what is considered a low card will depend on the game and the type of poker being played. In general, though, anything from a deuce to a nine can be considered low.

Door Card: The cards dealt face up in a starting hand, especially in a game of stud.

Live Cards: Cards that have not been dealt face up on the poker table and so are still possible to get.

Dead Cards: Cards that have been dealt in the poker game and so are no longer in the deck, available to you.

The “nuts”: The “nuts” in a poker game is the highest hand a player can achieve with respect to the community cards. It is also sometimes referred to as the “lock.”

Fast Play: In this type of aggressive poker play, you raise and raise as much as possible, usually to pressure other players out of the game by convincing them that you have a strong hand.

Scoop: Getting the entire pot in a hi-low game. You can scoop the pot (and so avoid sharing the winnings) by winning with a high hand where there is no low hand.

Slow Play: In this less aggressive poker play, you are just meeting bets rather than raising. Poker players slow play to avoid investing too much money in a hand they have no confidence in. Slow play also encourages players to stay in the game and so increases the pot odds - and the pot, if you have a high hand you expect to win.

Community Cards: These are the cards that are dealt face-up in the center of the poker table. Every player can use these cards with the cards in their hands to build a five card hand.

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