Poker Terms

If you’re new to poker, you may be confused by some of the terminology used in poker game. Don’t worry, that’s quite normal! I remember when I first started playing Texas Holdem Online many years ago and not knowing what a blind and an ante was. When I was watching the World Poker Tour on TV, I didn’t know what the heck Vince and Mike were talking about when they used terms like “under the gun”. But those can be learned and this page will explain common poker terms.

General Poker Terms


The pot is the ammount of money that can be won in a given poker hand. When players bet, they add money to the pot.

Dealer button

It’s a marker of some kind, usually a circular plastic disk. It indicates which player is the “dealer” for the current hand. Even if you play in a casino where you have an actual dealer that isn’t playing the game, the deal button is still exchanged between players from hand to hand as it affects the order of play. This ensures that there is a fair rotation between who gets to act first at the table, and who gets to act last.

Poker Blinds

Blinds are forced bets from one or more players, depending on what game you’re playing. In Texas Holdem for example, their is “big blind” and a “small blind”. Players sitting in these blind positions must put money in the pot before they even see their cards. The Small Blind represents half the amount of the big blind, and these ammounts are predetermined. Blind positions are usually immediatly after the dealer position. Blinds serve two primary purposes. First, they generate a starting pot so there’s always money to be won on every hand. Second, in tournament poker the values of the blinds go up over time and this ensures that the tournament ends ate some point. Blinds can get very expensive, forcing players to put all of their chips in the pot.


These are like blinds except that everyone at the table must pay them. It’s a forced bet for everyone, but the amount is much smaller than the blinds. Usually, you only see antes in tournaments, and only when the blinds reach a high level. A lot of online poker rooms don’t even use antes in their tournaments.


When two players have identical poker hands (like two pairs, and both pairs are the same), the card that is used as the “tie breaker” is referred to as the kicker. For example 10, 10, K, J, 5 beats 10,10,3,5,Q because the King from the first hand is the highest kicker.

Betting Actions

These refer to folding, betting, calling, raising and checking. These betting actions are explained in detail on the poker betting page.

Table Position

This refers to where you sit in relation to the dealer button. Table position is frequently used in poker strategy.

Under the Gun

In games like Texas Holdem and Omaha, this is the position to the left of the big blind which acts first before board cards are dealt.

Online Poker Rooms Terms

Blind Structure

In online poker room tournaments, this refers to two things: The timeframe in which the blinds go up (every 4 minutes, 10 minutes, 15 minutes, etc) and the amout of the blinds for each level (level 1 = 10/20, level 2 = 20/40, level 3 = 50-100, etc). Se every time the predetermined blind time elapses, the blind timer resets and the blind value increases to the next level.

Scheduled Tournament

Refers to a poker tournament that will take place at a set date and time.


Sit’N’Go (or SNG) are ongoing and unscheduled poker tournaments. For example, if you join a 27 player Sit’N’Go, the game will begin as soon as 27 players register.

Multi Table

This means that the tournament or Sit’N’Go will have multiple tables. For instance, a 27 player SNG could be made up of 3 tables of 9 players each. As players get eliminated, they are eventually reallocated to 2 tables (when you get to 18 players in this example). When more players are eliminated, you get all remaining players at the same table, called the “final table”. In this example, this would over when there are 9 players left.

Deposit Bonus

A deposit bonus usually applies to poker players who make their very first deposit at a given poker room. As a reward, they are offered “free” poker money sometimes as much as their initial deposit. There is a catch however: You must earn points to release your bonus and this is done by playing poker for real money. There is usually a time limit to earn your points as well. Very few rooms offer “instant” bonuses, but it that’s what you’re looking for you should try use our Titan Poker Bonus Code to get 100% up to $500 PLUS a free $20 instant bonus.

Reload Bonus

Some poker rooms periodically offer reload bonuses to their existing players. It’s a way to encourage players to make additional deposits. They typically works just like initial deposit offers where you have to earn your bonus amount. Carbon Poker offers reload bonuses regularly if you’re interest. Don’t forget to grab our Carbon Poker Bonus Code if you want to play there.

Texas Holdem terms

Because Texas Holdem is so popular, players and commentators often describe Texas Holdem hole cards with nicknames. Here’s a list of popular Texas Holdem terms:

A,A – American Airlines, bullets, pocket rockets
A,K – Big Slick, “Walking back to Houston”
A,J – Ajax
K,K – Cowboys
K,Q – Marriage
K,J – Kojak
K,9 – Canine
Q,Q – Dames, divas, ladies, the Hilton sisters, Siegfried & Roy
Q,J – Maverick, Oedipus Rex
Q,7 – Computer Hand
Q,3 – A San Francisco Busboy
J,J – Jokers, hooks
J,9 – T.J. Cloutier
J,5 – Jackson Five, Motown
10,5 – Five and dime
10,2 – The Doyle Brunson. (He won two World Series of Poker titles with this hand.)
8,8 – Snowmen, Octopuses
7,7 – Hockey Sticks, walking Sticks
7,2 – The Hammer
5,5 – Nickels, presto
5,4 – Jesse James, for his Colt .45
4,4 – Sailboats
2,2 – Ducks

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