Poker Language: Understanding The Lingo

Although poker is a game and not a culture, it has a language of its own that many people find confusing. And it might be, because this particular language is based on words that have different meanings and all of a sudden they become specific poker notions a beginner finds hard to understand and adapt to. So, to help prevent this problem before it even arises and to initiate you in the world of poker we will go over some basic words and phrases used frequently when at a poker table or in a poker room. The last thing you need is too enter a casino (online or offline) and to get confused at the table when you see or hear these words. To have a smooth and healthy poker game, you must understand everything that comes with it, including the poker language.

The blind (small blind or big blind) - this is a forced bet that substitutes the antes in traditional poker. The blinds are bets placed by the persons left to the dealer: the first person will bet the small blind and the second one the big blind. The blinds are placed before you can see your cards.

The board cards - when referring to board cards we mean the cards exposed on the table, dealt from the flop on, cards that can be seen and shared by all players.

The draw - one person draws when he is trying to improve the hand he already has with the cards that board cards that still need to be placed on the table. A draw means you have specific cards in mind and you want those cards to be placed on the table.

The pre flop - This is the turn in which your hand is dealt. You will receive in the preflop the two cards that will be seen just by you. So will the other players.

The flop - the flop is the round in which the first board cards are placed. The cards are three in hold'em.

The turn - it comes right after the flop and this is the round that reveals the fourth board card.

The river - the last card gets reveled in the river, meaning the fifth board card will be placed on the table. You now have access to seven cards (two in hand and five on the table).

Limit poker - a game of limit poker is the game in which there are pre-settled some limits for the bets. For example in a game of $4-$8, the bets and raises on the pre-flop and flop will be $4 and after that, on the turn and river they become $8.

Shorthand poker - a game is referred to as a shorthand game when at the poker table there are less than 6 people.

Longhand poker - A game is referred to as a longhand game when at the poker table there are more than 7 people.

The outs - The outs are the cards you need for your draw it to hit. So, if you need a king or any card of hearts, then to calculate your outs you will have to think that there are four kings, and twelve hearts. You will also consider the cards you can see. So, if you have a king of hearts in your hand and another heart, and the flop brought two hearts and a king of spades, then you will need one of the two kings left or one of the 8 hearts left in the deck, having a total of 10 outs for your draw.

Position - This refers to the position you have at the poker table. Positions are counted in the order of bet placing, that means from the dealer and clockwise. The dealer last to place a bet : first is the small blind and then the big blind, which are also called early positions. The persons that place their bets later, the last ones, are sitting in late positions.