The poker table is one of the most intimidating places to be if you’re not an expert. For newcomers, there will be a bunch of important terms that you’ve probably never heard of. But that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t ever try it. It’s never too late to learn.
Plus, if you eventually start getting good at poker, there’s tons of money to be won. Poker is one of the most strategic table games that you’ll find at the casino. To get good, however, you’ll need to do a bit of research, and the best place to start is with a good glossary.
This article will cover 11 of the most important poker terms, give you definitions, and make sure you’re ready for your first game.
Let’s jump into it!
This one is pretty self-explanatory and is used in many different types of casino games. When the dealer directs the word “action” toward a player, this means that it’s their turn to play.
But, funnily enough, this isn’t its only meaning. Sometimes we say action in regards to the pot of bets. When used in the term “a lot of action” it means that the pot has been bet on often at the table.
You may have heard the phrase “up the ante” which in many cases means to raise the stakes. This term carries a similar meaning in poker. When you hear someone say “ante” it means the minimum amount that can be bet to join in on a game. This amount is established at the start of the round.
Commonly, to go all in is to place all your eggs in one basket. It means to act and play with confidence and without fear. At the poker table, the term means the same.
When a player says that they’re going all in it means that they are risking all of their poker chips on one single hand.
4. Community Cards
Even if you’ve never played a game of poker, you’ve perhaps watched someone else play at some point in time. The five cards laid out in the middle of the table, between all of the players, are the community cards.
Some people who play poker call the community card, the “board” instead. Either term works just fine.
The waiting game strategy is one of the most popular to use when playing poker. When someone says draw, it refers to a situation where the hand may not be good yet but has the chance to improve based on the community cards at the centre of the table.
You can also “draw dead” but trust us, you don’t want this happening. When this happens the hand that had the potential to be good, ends up below expectations.
When playing community poker we use the term “backdoor”. It is also common in other types of poker, like Texas Hold ‘Em, but definitely not as common as in community poker.
The term backdoor in community poker is used when a player makes a hand on his or her turn but also on the river. Backdoor is used interchangeably with “catching a runner”.
The term blind has an almost identical meaning to ante, except it is far more commonly used in informal and low stakes poker games. Bling refers to the minimum amount that a player needs to bet in order to play a round of poker.
It gets a little bit more intricate though, as blind is an expansion on ante. A small blind refers to betting half the ante, while a big blind refers to betting the full ante. Some games allow for half bets, but professional players often go for the big blind, in order to make big winnings.
If you’ve ever played a game of poker or watched someone else play a game you probably heard someone say the word “call”. A call in poker happens when one player makes a bet that equals the bet made by the player whose turn it was prior.
We call players who always call instead of raising the bet “calling stations”.
When playing poker the community cards never start all facing up. That’s why poker is all about playing the waiting game. A poker game will start with the first three cards on the board (community cards) turned face up. We call these first three cards the flop.
The fourth card that is turned over is often referred to as the “turn”. When the fifth and final card is eventually turned over, we call that the “river”.
Poker is all about bluffing and tricking opponents into either raising a bet or folding out of the game. When a player decides to make a bet without a hand capable of actually winning the game, we call this play a bluff.
Other players can call out this bluff by remaining in the game. When a bluff is successful you get all other players to fold out of the game, making you the winner by default.
11. River Runner
Earlier we mentioned that the turn and the river cards only appear on the board as the game progresses. But what would we call someone who has a hand that matches both the turn and the river cards?
Well, simply put, that player is known as the river runner.
Poker is quite a complex game, and definitely one of the most strategic games to play at sites like Lucky Creek online casino or at land-based venues. There are many different tactics you can employ to be successful in a game of poker. Before employing any tactics, however, it’s important that you know all of the basics.
Starting out by learning all of the important terms, as we’ve defined above, is the best way to improve your novice skills. Of course, there are plenty more terms that you’ll learn through playing often, but the eleven above should be enough to get you started!