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So, you've decided to master the game of poker. Practice, a keen eye, and a lot of confidence will help you to succeed, but you also need to pick up the lingo. There are several terms that you may not be familiar with. The following glossary should help you to speak poker as well as you play it.

All-In : When all a player's chips are in the pot.

When a hand is dealt in a poker game, rules dictate that a player can only win or lose the amount that he has in front of him. A player can not pull out more money from his pocket to use as a wager if he thinks he has the winning hand. Conversely, he cannot take money off the table if he thinks he has a losing hand and wants to lower their risk. Because of these rules, players go “all-in.” This means that during any hand if they are risking all their chips before the showdown, they are “all-in.”

Blind : A forced bet in flop games. Typically the player to the immediate left of the button is the small blind and the player to the small blinds left is the big blind. Similar to an ante.
A blind is used in poker to create action. If the game was played without them, it would make players less eager to be the first one to enter a pot. With the blinds in the game, players are more eager to play for the money and will also try to steal the pot if they are in position.

Cage :The place where you exchange your cash for chips or vice versa.
The cage is another name for the casino cashier. Similarly to a bank, the cage is where money transactions take place. The main business that is done at the window of the cage is exchanging money for chips. Sometimes a player exchanges his money for chips so he can play and other times he cashes in his chips for money.

Drawing Dead: Drawing to a hand that, even if it hits, will lose to a hand that is already better.

Expected Value (EV): The average amount you will win when betting in the same situation numerous times.

Favorite: To have the best chance to win.

Flop: The first three community cards in Texas Hold'em and Omaha .

Gutshot: A straight draw that requires a card in the middle to hit to complete the straight. It is also called a "belly buster" and an "inside straight draw."

Heads-Up: Playing against a single opponent.

Hole Cards:
The first cards dealt to you that your opponents cannot see.

Implied Odds:
Bets that you can reasonably expect to collect in addition to the bets already in the pot if you hit your hand.

Kicker: A card used to break ties. In Hold'em, if you have A-5 with an ace on the board, your 5 is your kicker. If an opponent also has an ace and their kicker is higher, you lose.

Loose: To play more hands than should be played.

Middle Pair: To have a pair containing the second highest card on the board.

To discard a hand.

Cards that can come that will improve your hand.

Overcard: A card that is higher than other cards, usually in reference to community cards that are higher than your hole cards.

Two cards that are the same rank (such as two kings).

Your place in the order of betting action. If you act first, you are in first position.

Rake: The amount a card room takes from each pot, usually a percentage that has a set upper limit.

Seat Charge: The amount of money some card rooms charge per hour to play in addition to, or in place of, a rake.

Steal: To force an opponent to fold when you don't have the best hand.

Tilt: When a player is emotionally upset and starts making poor decisions.

Trips: Three of a kind (such as three queens).

Under the Gun:
The first person who must act on the first round of betting.

Wired Pair: When your hole cards contain a pair.

You may not have all the slang down for your first game, but with the help of these terms, you should have an easier time entering the world of poker.


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