Poker Terminology


In Hold’em, the Button represents the player who is acting as Dealer for the hand. This determines who will act and in what order, and also determines the blinds. The initial dealout begins to the Button’s immediate left and goes clockwise around the table; the Button itself moves around the table, moving one space clockwise at the conclusion of each hand.


Buy In

When a player exchanges currency for chips to be used at the table this is a Buy In. Buy In may also refer to the amount required to play, for example a tournament may have a $500 Buy In, where every player is required to Buy In for $500 to play in the tournament.



When the action reaches you in a Poker game, you may Call. This is to say that you will match any previous bet placed, and you will match it exactly so as not to constitute a raise.


Calling Station

Refers to a player who is perceived to display weakness by his actions; someone who frequently checks or calls, but rarely, if ever raises or places a bet.



A cap is a limit imposed on the number of raises and re-raises that may be placed in a single round of betting. Generally this cap is either three or four, however it is usually raised if only two players remain.



When a player is dealt a card needed to complete a hand, they are said to have caught it. For example, if you held two hearts in your hand, and there are two hearts on the board going to the flop, and the flop comes a heart, you would be said to have “caught” a heart.



When the action arrives to a player, if no outstanding bets are in place, the player may Check. That is to say, they are happy with the pot and don’t wish to tender a raise/bet.


Check Raise

A strategy employed to trap an opponent- a player will check when the action comes to him, hoping to provoke a bet from his opponent. If his opponent makes a bet, upon the action returning to him, the player will call the bet and raise it further. For example, if Player A and Player B were Heads Up, a Check Raise might go like this:

-The action falls on Player A; he checks
-Player B, suspecting Player A has a weak hand makes a raise
-Player A calls the raise, and makes a large re raise of his own


Cold Call

When the action reaches a player and there are already two or more raises outstanding, the player commits a Cold Call by calling all outstanding bets at once. For example:

-Player A acts first, makes a 100 chip raise
-Player B acts second, calls Player A’s 100 chips, and re-raises it another 100 chips
-Player C calls the cumulative makes a Cold Call, by calling the cumulative 200 chip raise.



When two or more cards are of consecutive rank, they are called Connectors. For example, if you were dealt 10-J, those are Connectors.



If you were dealt a pair of Kings as your hole cards at a Hold’em table, you would be said to hold Cowboys.



When it’s a player’s turn to act as dealer, it is their Deal. This is when the Button reaches the player’s position at the table.


Double Up

When a player is All In and facing elimination, they will either be eliminated or they will Double Up. If they win the hand and double their chip total, they are said to have Doubled Up



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