big bet: the bet that comes on the turn and river in limit hold'em. It is
usually double the size of the preflop and flop bet. In a $2/$4 limit hold'em game, the big bet is $4.
blank: a card that probably won't make a difference in determining the winning hand.
For example, if the board reads Ad-8h-9s-Kc, the 2c on the river would be a blank. It doesn't fill any
straights or flushes, and the only hand that it could possibly help is pocket twos.
button: in Texas Hold 'em, the dealer's seat. This is the most advantageous seat since
it acts last in every round of the hand. The dealer's seat is signified by the placing of a round, white
disc, usually with the word "Dealer" printed on it.
buying the button: making a bet or a raise that causes all of the players to your left,
including the button, to fold. Buying the button gives you the advantage of acting last for the remainder of
cap: to put in the last bet in a round of betting. In online limit hold'em, bets are
usually capped at four, so there can be a bet, a raise, a reraise, and a final reraise.
check raise: checking when the action is on you, then raising when a player behind you
bets. Usually done with a very strong hand to collect an extra bet, but sometimes used as a bluff.
cutoff: the position to the right of the button. Only the cutoff and the button are
considered to be late position seats. Many players try to steal the blinds from the cutoff if all the players
to their right have folded.
gutshot: a straight draw that only one card rank will fill; also called an inside straight
draw. If you hold T-9 and the flop is Q-8-2, you have a gutshot straight draw because only a jack will make
your straight. The old adage is never to draw at an inside straight, but sometimes the pot odds make such a
heads-up: playing against a single opponent.
ignorant end: the lowest ranking card in the straight. A bad feeling comes when you
fill your straight, but have the ignorant end of it. For example, you hold 8-8 with a board of
9-T-J-2-Q. Now any king will beat you.
kicker: a card that accompanies a made hand of fewer than five cards. Usually the card
of highest rank not used to complete the made hand. The rank of the kicker determines the winner of the
hand. If you hold A-K and your opponent holds A-Q and the board reads T-7-A-J-2, you win with a pair of aces,
king kicker (your hand is A-A-K-J-T versus your opponent's A-A-Q-J-T). In other words, you have your opponent
make a play: bluff.
overcard(s)- a card or cards of greater rank than what is showing on the board. If the
flop is 8-J-4, and you hold K-Q, you hold two overcards. Drawing to overcards without any other draws is
usually a bad play.
overpair: a pocket pair whose rank is higher than the rank of any card on the board.
If you are holding J-J with a flop of 9-7-2, you have an overpair.
rag: a card of little or no worth. Players win with rags (e.g., 7-2 suited) only by
bluffing out opponents and avoiding a showdown. Sometimes paired with ace, as in ace-rag, meaning an ace with
an unsuited low or middle card.
rainbow: a flop with cards of three different suits. Players with hands or draws that
could be beaten by a flush love to see rainbow flops because not many players will call bets to hit two running
runner-runner: two cards in a row, usually describing the turn and the river. Used
when a losing hand draws out on a better hand against very bad odds. For example, Ad-2d on a board of
3d-Ks-Qh-Td-6d has hit runner-runner diamonds to fill the nut flush.
semi-bluff: betting or raising with a hand that isn't yet made but one that can improve to a
strong hand. Let's say you hold A-9 of hearts. The flop comes 8-4-2 with two hearts. A player to
your right bets. If you raise here, you will be semi-bluffing. You don't have a hand better than ace
high and are probably losing at the moment, but if any heart falls that doesn't pair the board, you will have the
stone cold nuts. Also, any ace or nine will give you a reasonable chance at having the best hand,
particularly if your raise forces out players to your left holding overcards. Thus, you have 15 good outs
twice. Moreover, your raise may intimidate the original better, who might then check to you on the turn and
fold if you bet, regardless of the card that falls.
set: three cards of the same rank. If you hold 8-8 and the flop comes 8-K-2, you have
"flopped" a set. A very powerful hand in Texas hold'em because it is usually disguised. Some people use
the term "trips" interchangeably with "set" (including Doyle Brunson in Super System). Others will insist
that a set means a pocket pair with a card of the same rank on the board: your A-8 has flopped trips (not a set)
slowplay: to disguise the strength of your hand by checking or calling. In Texas
hold'em, players often slowplay a strong hand, waiting for the betting levels to increase. If you hold A-A
and the flop is A-A-7, you will slowplay this hand to the river.
small bet: the size of the minimum bet before the flop and after the flop. In a $2/$4
limit hold'em game, the small bet is $2.
smooth call: to call a bet with what you think is the best hand, done with the intention of
raising at a later time. A classic weak play used to disguise a strong hand.
spike: to catch a card on the turn or river that you need to win a hand, usually against
very long odds. "He spiked an ace on the river, and his A-Q beat my pocket kings."
texture: the potential of a board to produce strong hands. The greater the potential,
the more texture a board has. A flop of A-8-2 of all different suits has very little texture. However,
a flop of K-Q-J of clubs has lots of texture because it is coordinated (three cards that can make a straight) and
suited (three cards that can make a flush).
trips: three cards of the same rank. Often used interchangeably with set, but some
prefer to distinguish between the two terms based on whether the pair is in the pocket on on the board. See
value bet: a bet that you make when you believe you have the best hand or when you believe
that your hand can improve to be the best hand. An example of a value bet would be when you have top pair,
top kicker with a board that shows three cards of a suit. If first to act, many people would check this hand
against one or two opponents. However, you will be more profitable in the long run if you make this value
bet. If you are drawing to the nut flush after the flop against six opponents, you might make a value bet by
raising if you happen to act last. You are a 2-to-1 underdog to make your flush, and you would be getting
5-to-1 on your raise.