Poker lingo can often be an intimidating boat to navigate for an experienced player. That’s why we’ve complied 23 common poker terms you will hear both at the tables and in the articles here on UNFELTED.
If you can think of any poker lingo you remember learning for the first time, share them with us in the comments below.
23 Common Poker Terms
- Position: your position at the table relative either to the button or the other players at the table.
- UTG: Under The Gun, the player directly to the right of the Big Blind.
- Button (BTN): the last player to act in the hand postflop and the most powerful position in the game.
- Small Blind (SB): the position directly to the left of the button. The SB must put out a forced bet half the size of the Big Blind.
- Big Blind (BB): the position directly to the left of the SB. The BB also has a forced bet, which is always double the size of the SB. The amount of the BB is also the minimum bet anyone can make at any point in the hand. So, for example, if the blinds are 10/20, 20 is the minimum amount anyone can make.
- Blind versus Blind (bvb): When everyone folds and the only players left in the hand are the SB & BB.
- Limp: simply calling the big blind preflop, as opposed to raising.
- 3-Bet: a reraise of a raise.
- 4-Bet: reraising a reraiser.
- C-bet: C-bet stands for continuation bet and refers to when you or your opponent raise before the flop and continue your aggressive action by betting again after the flop.
- Iso: iso stands for isolation bet and refers to a situation where you or your opponent limp preflop and then get raised. The reason it’s called an isolation bet is because making this sort of raise is often intended to get everyone else to fold, thereby isolating the original limper as the only opponent in the hand, or taking down the pot uncontested if the original limper decides to fold as well.
- Barrel: barreling means betting multiple times. A double-barrel means betting on both the flop and turn or on the turn and river and a triple-barrel means betting every street.Triple barreling is one of the most powerful lines (see #16)in poker as it puts the maximum amount of pressure on your opponent, especially if the final bet forces them to put their tournament life on the line.
- Probe: A probe bet is a bet made after your opponent fails to make a C-bet.
- Float: floating is when you call an opponent’s bet with a weak hand with the intention of potentially bluffing on later streets.
- Range: The complete collection of hands you or your opponent are likely to have in each specific situation. For example, if you get check-raised on an AK4 flop (meaning your opponent checked to you, you bet, and he or she then raised) and you know your opponent is an extremely tight player who rarely bluffs, their “range” is extremely strong (or “narrow”), comprised primarily of top pair or better. Alternatively, if you’re playing an ultra aggressive player in a HU game and they raise on the button, their range is likely to be extremely “wide”, meaning that is contains a large number of hands, perhaps even all of them. If this is still a little unclear to you, do not worry. We will be discussing range in greater depth in one of the following chapters as it is one of, if not the, key elements of being a successful poker player.
- Line: your line is the entire collection of decisions you make throughout a hand. So, for example, when you have a strong hand against an opponent who doesn’t like to fold, your “line”will likely just be: raise, bet, bet, bet as you attempt to get the most chips from your opponent.
- Street: Each of the flop, turn, and river is known as a “street”.
- EV: EV stands for expected value, which is essentially the long-term average outcome of a given scenario. So, for example, if you go all in against your opponent preflop with AA against his or her KK, your expected value is about 82%of the pot, meaning your opponent only has approximately an 18% chance of winning all the chips if the situation was repeated ad infinitum.
- Balance: Having a similar number of value-bets and bluffs in each specific situation.
- Value Hand: A hand that is not a bluff
- Value Bet: A bet is a value bet when it has a positive expectation, that is, when it will win more than one bet for every bet put into the pot. More simply put, a value bet is abet that is made with a hand that wants to get called.
- Nit/Nitty: Slang for a player who plays relatively few hands and is hesitant to get into a big pot without a big hand.
- Spew/Spewy: Slang for an extremely bad bet or call, as well as for a player that is being overly aggressive in all the wrong spots.
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