Poker Glossary

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4-4 – Mid-life crisis – 44 and time to get that sports car you’ve always dreamed of.

4?-4? – Dark Vader – Lord of the Sith, dark fours.

6-6-6 – Sign of the beast – scary kid on a tricycle.

9-5 – Dolly Parton – working nine to five, what a way to make a living.

A-4 – The Ladyboy – Looks like a pair of Aces at first, but on closer inspection…

A-K – Anna Kournikova – Looks great doesn’t play very well.

Alligator blood – A term used to describe a fearless individual who plays aggressively even when short-stacked and wins, or a player who hangs on for a long time despite a perilously short stack.

Ante – A nominal amount that’s placed in the pot by every player before the hole cards are dealt. Antes sit on top of the small and big blind.

Babies – Low cards, usually less than Six. (Also known as David O’Leary’s, after the 2001/2002 Leeds football team.

Bad beat – You’re favourite to win and you get outdrawn by the underdog. It happens to the best of us, you just don’t want it at the final table.

Boat – Another name for a full house. Also ‘full boat’.

Broomcorn’s uncle – A player who refuses to play anything,folds every hand and gets eaten up by the blinds. ‘You’re going out like Broomcorn’s uncle ‘ is almost guaranteed to put your opponent on tilt.

Bubble – The last non-paying position in a tournament. Play normally tightens up at this point as no-one wants to be the bubble boy.

Cardnage – When two monster hands collide and both players, confident of winning, stick all their chips into the pot.

Collusion– when you and your mates join forces on a single table in a bid to cheat your way to the top.

Crack – To draw and beat a better hand. ‘That’s the third time I’ve had my bloody Aces cracked this week.’ .

Dangler – A card in an Omaha hand that doesn’t connect with any of the other three.

Deliverance – A bad beat situation in which you’re all-in and massively ahead until the last card comes down – and it’s one of your opponent’s two or three remaining outs. You have, in other words, just been violated on the river. Is that the sound of banjos I hear…?

Donald Campbell – An unfortunate dealing incident where, without warning, one of the cards you’re sliding across the felt lifts off the table and flips over.

Dog track – A table made up of novice players – or calling stations – who show no regard for raises and call with anything. This means every pot’s a family pot and every hand a race to the river.

Double bellybuster – A two-way inside straight draw, like 3-5-6-7-9. In this case a Four or Eight will make your straight. Also known as a double gutshot.

Don’t tap the aquarium – If there are fish around your table don’t scare them off before you take their money.

Drawing – When you’re hoping to improve your hand with the remaining cards to come. You’ve got four to a flush and need to see the fifth to make your hand.

Drawing dead – When you’ve got no chance of winning even though there are still cards to come.

Family pot – A hand where all, or nearly all, of the players call pre-flop creating a big pot that everyone’s playing for.

Fish – The favoured insult of the PokerPlayer office. Fish love to throw their chips at you, hence…

Freeroll – A tournament you don’t have to pay anything to enter, but still provides a prize – like the PokerPlayer Grand Prix…

Golf bag – A flush, all clubs.

J-5 – Jackson Five – Otherwise known as ‘Motown’.

J-K – Harry Potter – J K Rowling (Swap the cards around and it’s Kojak).

Jonny Wilkinson – The hand that wins with a better kicker.

Kicker – The card that’s used to break ties between hands. So if you go all-in with A-K against someone with A-Q, your King kicker will take it unless there’s a Queen on the board.

Marty Feldman – A pair of hole cards so great they make your eyes pop out. ‘Blimey, he’s just been dealt a Feldman, I fold.’

Muck – to discard your hand, throwing them back inot the centre of the table, usually because they’re a pile of crap.

The nuts – The best possible hand, you can’t beat the nuts. (in football speak, the Brazilian team circa 1970).

Playing the board – In Hold’Em you don’t have to use either of your two hole cards, If there’s a flush on the board you can play it.

Poker face – Impassive expression. Either honed from years of practice or inadvertently through too much botox.

Rabbit hunting – Checking the cards that would have dropped on the board after the hand is over. ‘Can I just check to see if I’d have hit the flush? Shit.’

Rags – Useless cards that don’t improve your hand; blanks.

Ragged flop – A flop of rags, generally low and unsuited.

Rainbow – Either a flop with three different coloured suits, or a final board with no possibilities of a flush.

Rake – The amount of chipstaken by the house asthe service fee. For sit-and-gos this is normally 10 percent of the buy-in, so you’ll see $10+$1 as the total cost to play.

Rebuy – To buy more chips in a game when you’ve lost your initial stack.

Riverboat – A full house made on the river, naturally.

Rope-a-dope – When you’re holding the stone cold nuts and slow-playing someone into betting against you.

Rush – When you hit a run of unbelievable cards and can’t lose a han.d

Sandbagging – Another term for slow-playing an opponent with a monster hand.

Satellite – A mini-tournament which, if won, gives you entry into a larger tournament. A WSOP buy-in is $10,000 but you can qualify for the world’s biggest poker tournament through satellites which cost less than $100.

Semi-bluff – A bluff you make that gives you outs to draw to a winning hand. You’ve got 7-6 on a flop of 5-8-A. You’re not going to be winning the hand but you’ve got plenty of outs if someone calls you down.

Short stack – You’re sat at the table and everyone’s got more chips than you. You are the short stack.

Squeeze bet – A bet to extract additional money from someone who’s very unlikely to win the pot.

Steaming– Playing recklessly due to frustration. Also known as going on tilt, you may as weel hand your cashcard and PIN to your opponent.

Steel wheel – Like the ‘wheel’, but a straight flush A-5.

The Terminator – Someone who calls remorselessly regardless of their hand.

Trips – Another name for three of a kind. Also known as a set.

Under the gun – The player that bets first in any given round.

Value bet – When you make a reasonable bet with (what you think) is the winning hand, with the intention of being called.

Wheel – The lowest possible straight, Ace through Five. Also known as the ‘bicycle’.

Widow Twanky – When you indulge in a bout of amateur dranatics in a bid to win a pot. ‘Cor blimey guv, you’ve made it expensive for me to call… Oh , go on then.’

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