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Casino Gaming News

Poker Dictionary of Terms Part I

6, 7, 8, 65, 64, 74, 75, 76, etc.

In games played for low, an unpaired low hand is referred to by its highest card, often its highest two cards and sometimes more if needed. So 8432A (in ace to five lowball) is “an eight” or “an eighty-four.” (There’s only one way to make an 84, so you’d never need to say an 843). If you showdown an 86 and another player shows down an 86, you might need to point out that you have an 863 while they have an 864. 5432A is usually just called a wheel. See also smooth and rough.
If you don’t bet your sixes, you might as well not even play.


Seven-card stud high-low with an 8 or better qualifier is sometimes referred to as 78. Old record albums are also sometimes referred to 78’s, because that’s how many revolutions per minute you have to play them at in order for them to sound right.

8 or better

A common qualifier for low hands in high-low split games is that they must be unpaired with no card higher than an 8. Note that “8 or better” implies high-low split. See also 8.

Ace to five

In a game played for low, ace to five means straights and flushes don’t count and the ace can be used as a low card. The best possible hand in an ace to five game is therefore A2345 (often called a wheel). See also deuce to seven and lowball.


To do something when it’s your turn, one of: check, call, fold, open bet, and raise. See also action.


The placing of money into the pot. A table with a lot of action is one at which there are a lot of bets, raises, and re-raises – in other words, betting action. In most cardrooms, verbal comments like “I raise” are binding, and are therefore said to constitute action.

To give action is to put money into the pot when someone else should be expected to win the hand. To receive action is to have someone else put money into the pot when you expect to win the hand. It’s better to receive than to give.

Action is also used to mean someone’s turn to act.

This table is too tight, let’s go someplace where there’s some action.

Sure, I’ll give you some action.

Your action, sir.


Some tournaments allow players the opportunity at a certain point to buy additional chips, called an add-on. This is different from a re-buy, because usually anyone still in the tournament can add on, and the opportunity to add-on usually marks the end of the re-buy period.

I was in such bad chip position, I decided it wasn’t worth paying for the add-on.


Advertising usually means showing down a mediocre hand, to give the impression that you play overly loose or that you play a generally weak game. The idea is that other players will then give you more action when you make a legitimate hand. Since people are bad at revising first impressions, this potentially beneficial effect can be long-lasting.
Typical advertising plays in hold’em might be to show down top pair with a weak kicker (e.g., K2), middle pair, or a gutshot draw that missed. These hands have marginal intrinsic value, but playing them early in a session might pay off later. Of course, it’s best to advertise if you actually want to be called down more often, e.g., at an especially tight table. At a table full of calling stations, it might be unnecessary or even harmful.

More generally, advertising can mean anything you do at the poker table to manipulate how other players assess you.


A style of play characterized by frequent raising and re-raising. This is not the same thing as loose play. Many good players are selective about the cards they will play, but aggressive once they get involved in a hand. An aggressive table is one dominated by aggressive players.


When a player puts the last of their chips into a pot, that player is said to be all-in. When playing table stakes (as in most places), an all-in player is not eligible to win any money bet above their final bet (the side pot). However, the all-in player will be eligible for the main pot, and therefore cannot be forced from the hand.
It’s a shame you had to go all-in with your straight flush, because you could’ve gotten two or three more bets out of those guys.

After he raised my small opening bet, I put him all-in.


An angle is any technically legal but ethically dubious way to increase your expectation at a game. Depending on who you ask, a particular weapon in your arsenal may be a sleazy underhanded trick (a typical angle) or a vital strategic tool that no player should be without. An example might be pretending to be about to fold (or even folding out of turn and then retrieving your cards, if the rules allow it), in order to encourage a call (when you are about to raise). A player who regularly takes advantage of angles is said to be an angle shooter.


A small forced bet that everyone at the table is required to pay before each hand. In games with an ante, these bets constitute the initial pot. When used as a verb, it means to post this bet.
Sir, you forgot to ante.

No, that’s my ante right there.