Poker Dictionary of Terms Part II
September 11, 2017
A hand made back door is one made using both of the last two cards, as in seven card stud or Texas hold’em. For example, if in hold’em you hold AhTh and the flop comes Ad4c9h, you have top pair and a backdoor flush draw. The back door draw isn’t anything to get excited about, but it can tip the scales occasionally. While you’re busy playing your made hand, you might accidentally make a flush in the back door.
I couldn’t believe he stayed around for that back door straight with no other outs.
When you make a hand other than the one you were originally drawing to, you are said to have backed into it. For example, if your first four cards in a seven card stud hand are AA44, and you end up making a flush, you backed into the flush.
Different people seem to feel differently about what counts as a bad beat. One thing is certain: you have to lose the hand. What makes the beat bad? Maybe one or all of the following: you lose in a situation where you’re a very big favorite; you lose with a hand you couldn’t possibly have been expected to fold; you lose so improbably you feel compelled to tell the story multiple times; you lose to a player who couldn’t have beat you without misplaying the hand (but who was astoundingly lucky); you lose in a way that seemed inconceivable until you saw it happen; or more than two experienced players at your table say, “ouch.”
Here’s an example. Say you’re playing hold’em, you hold AA, the flop comes A55, and someone holding 98, suited with one of the fives, catches two perfect cards for a straight flush, you have suffered a very painful bad beat. The guy holding 55 is in a similar position, only more so.
The phrase “bad beat” is heard often in the phrase “bad beat stories,” because many poker players, especially (but not exclusively) occasional or inexperienced players, love to tell stories about how rotten their luck was. Some people don’t mind listening, or even enjoy these stories. Other people (especially jaded poker veterans who are pretty sure they’ve heard and seen it all) would sooner sit through eight hours of root canal surgery than listen to one bad beat story. Don’t take it personally.
Another phrase you’ll hear is “bad beat jackpot.” Some games have jackpots for particular types of bad beats.
After that bad beat I put on him, he went on tilt for about six months.
The total amount of money one is willing (and able) to put at risk. Many players keep poker bankrolls separate from their other finances. An adequate playing bankroll for a particular game (assuming positive expectation) is an amount large enough to survive the expected swings due to variance. For a negative expectation game, an adequate bankroll is one which doesn’t run out before you die.
Some players also limit their risk on a per-session basis, in effect playing with a session bankroll. Whether a bankroll is for poker in general, for poker this week, or for poker today, depends on how you manage your money.
To bankroll someone is to provide some or all of the money they use to gamble. In effect, you assume part of the risk in return for part of the profit.
Before the last cards have been dealt, you either have the best hand or you don’t. If you don’t, you’re said to be behind. See also chase.
Even though I was probably behind, I decided to raise because I had a lot of outs.
Another name for an inside straight draw. See also double belly buster.
To bet is to put money into the pot, usually by opening as later action in a round is a raise or a re-raise. As a noun, a bet can be the money added to the pot by a player on one turn, or the amount required in order to call. It can also be used to mean “turn to act,” and lastly, especially when used in the plural, it can be used to mean the number of bets and raises.
Who bet? (meaning who opened)
That’s his bet. (meaning that there is the money he wagered)
What’s the bet? (meaning how much to call)
Your bet. (meaning your turn)
Let’s make it two bets. (meaning I raise)
A bicycle wheel (also called a wheel or a bicycle) is just the following hand: A2345. Normally this is a straight to the five. In games played for low, this is sometimes the best possible low hand (see ace to five). It’s also a great hand in some high-low games where it’s the nut low and counts as a straight for the high pot. Note that in Kansas City Lowball, a wheel is 23457, or the nut low. See also steel wheel.
In limit games in which the size of the maximum bet increases in later rounds, a big bet is the largest bet size. A small bet is the smallest bet size. So in a 5-10 hold’em game, small bets are $5 and big bets are $10. See structure and limit.
Big Bet Poker
Pot-limit and no-limit poker are sometimes referred to as big bet poker (as contrasted with limit games of any size). The “big” in a sense refers to the size of bets relative to the pot, irrespective of the amount of money involved.
See blind bet.
An ace and a king as your hole cards in hold’em.
I had big slick eight times last night, and didn’t win one pot with it.
Black is the most common color for $100 chips. If someone tells you they saw someone betting black at a blackjack table, it means they were betting at least $100 a hand. See also white, red, and green.
Any card that doesn’t look like it’s going to help anyone.
I was pretty sure she was on some sort of draw, so I didn’t mind betting into her when the river was a blank.
Blind Bet (or Blind)
A blind bet, or blind, is a forced bet that must be posted before you see any cards. Blinds are an alternative to antes for getting money in the pot initially. Blinds are more often used in flop games like hold’em and omaha than in stud and draw games. Typically in hold’em the two players to the left of the dealer button are forced to place blind bets. In limit play, the small blind (to the dealer’s left) is typically half the size of a small bet, and the big blind (to the small blind’s left) is a full small bet. Betting then starts with the player to the left of the big blind (who is considered under the gun), who must at least call the big blind to stay in. When you sit down at a new table, it’s good to wait until it’s your turn to blind before playing a hand. See also live blind, structure, and straddle.
“Big blind” and “small blind” are also used to refer to the players who posted these bets.
I didn’t get a playable hand for over three hours, but I lost $135 in blinds.
I tried to steal the blinds with a late-position raise, but the big blind raised me back.
A bet with a weak hand (typically a busted hand), usually intended to get other players to fold. A bluffing player usually has little or no chance of winning a showdown, but may suspect that other players will fold if they have not made strong hands either. In limit play, bluffing is more often a good idea against weak, tight players, who may fold even if they think they have a chance of winning. Bluffing is a bad idea against players who call too often, because it’s unlikely to scare them out of the pot. Bluffing is also a much more significant factor in pot-limit and no-limit play, where the bluffer can make calling an expensive proposition. See also semi-bluff, represent, speeding, table cop, and advertising.
The community cards in a flop game (like hold’em) or the up cards in a stud game (like seven card stud). Someone who “plays the board” isn’t using any of their hole cards.
Another name for a full house. I’ve also heard “full boat,” but I think it sounds idiotic so I’m not giving it a separate entry.
If there are three cards of different ranks on the flop in hold’em (or any flop game), and you pair the lowest one, you have bottom pair.
I figured bottom pair was enough since we were heads up.
Some tournaments offer small amounts of cash – bounties – to anyone who knocks out another player in the tournament. This is typically in low buy-in tournaments, and the size of the bounty is usually fairly small (since as many bounties as the number of entrants might be awarded).
A blank, or (especially in low or high-low games) a card that counterfeits one’s hand. “Brick” is more often heard in seven card stud, while “blank” is more appropriate to hold’em, probably because a brick is a personal thing, while a blank is a community thing.
An ace high straight.
To bring in the betting is to make the first bet on the first round of a hand (not including blind bets and antes). A player who does this is said to “bring it in.” In seven card stud, often the lowest card on the board is forced to bring it in. The bet so placed is called the bring-in.
A cardroom employee responsible for managing the seating list is sometimes called the brush.
A joker, usually in five card draw or draw lowball. In high games, a bug can usually only be used as an ace or to complete a straight or flush.
A pair of aces in the hole.
A buried pair is a pair in the hole in seven card stud – a pair in the first two down cards. Buried kings are kings in the hole, buried aces are aces in the hole, etc.
In order to reduce the chances of players getting advance information about cards to come, in many games the top card on the deck is discarded at certain pre-determined points in the dealing process (e.g., in hold’em, before the flop, turn, and river). These cards are the burn cards. In general, any time a card is discarded from the top of the deck it’s called a burn card.
To run out of money, especially in a tournament.
I busted in the second round, when my rockets lost to 87 off suit.
A hand in poker without so much as a pair (i.e., any hand that will lose to a pair of 2’s). A busted hand that missed a draw to a straight or a flush is a busted straight or a busted flush.
A button is a marker, usually a plastic disc, used to mark a particular position at the table. Usually “the button” refers specifically to the dealer button, used to mark the dealer position, or the player playing in that position. In games with a professional house-supplied dealer (who is not playing), this marks the player who acts in the dealer’s position (who is dealt the last card and who is last to act in games where the order is fixed). This player is said to be “on the button.” Other buttons include the ever-popular big blind button, used to indicate a player who was absent when it would have been their turn to post a blind bet (and who will be forced to post before they can return to the game).
(For some reason, in Maryland the dealer button sits to the left of where it should be, so when you’re on the button you post the first blind and act first in subsequent rounds. As far as I know Maryland is the only blatant exception.)
I wouldn’t have called with that hand, except that I was on the button.
To buy a pot is to make a bet large enough that other players would be extremely unlikely to call.
To buy the button in flop games is to raise before the flop in order to induce the players with better position than yourself to fold. If everyone closer to the button folds, you’ve bought the button. Obviously this works better the closer to the button you start out.
The amount of money with which you enter a game is your buy-in. In a ring game, this is (hopefully) the amount you get in chips. Most ring games have a minimum buy-in that’s typically less than you’ll realistically need. In a tournament, your buy-in is the amount it costs you to get your initial bunch of tourney chips. As a verb, to buy in is to make your initial purchase of chips.
I wanted to play in the bigger game, but the buy-in was too high.