How you can improve your poker game by learning these important slang terms

How you can improve your poker game by learning these important slang terms

After learning all the poker tips and strategies, you may feel ready to join the competitive poker arena. However, there is one last thing to learn if you are to succeed in massive tournaments like WSOP – the poker lingo. Poker has become more like a culture with its fun and engaging terms and phrases. Knowing them can make a huge difference with regards to your gaming experience. In a special way, you get to feel what it’s like to own the game. Moreover, you’ll be able to communicate more effectively and confidently at the table. So here are some great poker slangs to get you started.

1. Ante

This is one of the basic poker terms that you’ll meet first. An ante is a bet that everyone is required to make at the start of a poker game before the dealer issues the cards. The ante ensures that there is at least some cash in the pot for pay-outs. Players are, therefore, incentivised to play a hand rather than fold. It is often confused with blinds, which are also forced bets that players make before the cards are dealt. The difference is blinds are made by one or two players only.

2. Muck

This refers to folding without showing anyone at the table the value of your hand. Note that you can only muck when your turn succeeds a winning hand in a showdown.

3. Juice

Juice describes a percentage of money that the gambling operator takes out of a prize pool or bet. It can also be called “vigorish” or “rake” depending on the context. Most cash games will have a fixed juice which players have to pay in addition to the buy-in for a tournament. For example, if a tournament has a buy-in worth £10,000 + £300 entry fee, the £300 is the juice.

4. Jackson Five

This poker terminology is derived from its phonetic resemblance to Jacks and Fives or the infamous Jackson five music group. It simply describes a hand with J & 5 and could be J5, JJ55, or JJJ55 full house. It is quite a strong hand that’s difficult to play too.

5. Bad Beat

This is one slang you are going to use a lot. It refers to losing a hand that you from the beginning were likely to win. It occurs especially if you lose to a lucky draw. Here’s how you can use it in a sentence, “After holding onto that flush for an entire round, I can’t get over the bad beat by a four of a kind!”

6. Cold Call

To cold call is to call a raise after your opponents have placed a bet as well as raised once or multiple times. For example, if you are playing no-limit Holdem and another player raises before a flop (three cards dealt face-up to initiate the second round of betting) and then you call, you will have made a cold call. Since the big blind is usually regarded as a wager, any bet or raise that are immediately followed by a call typically become cold calls. However, if you raise and your opponent who is in the big blind makes a call, that doesn’t qualify as a cold call.

7. Double Belly Buster

This poker slang describes a hand that contains two inside straight (gut-shot) draws at the same time. For instance, if the flop contains K hearts, 10 spades, and 7 diamonds and you have J clubs and 9 clubs, you’ll need either a Q or 8 of any shade to complete a gut-shot draw. In this hand, Q and 8 are called belly busters. Since they are two they typically become double belly busters. A double belly buster is the same as an open-ended straight draw.

8. Wheel

A wheel, or ‘bicycle’ as it is called sometimes, describes a straight that contains A-2-3-4-5. In poker, a wheel is the most powerful low hand you can get.

9. Under the Gun

If you are under the gun, you are the first gamer to act in a poker round. Before a flop, under the gun refers to the near left of the dealer/button.

10. Lock

It is every poker player’s wish to have a ‘lock’ during a poker tournament. A lock is a hand that can’t lose. It makes you virtually unbeatable in that particular round when you get it.

With these basic poker terms and phrases, you can brave the tournaments with more confidence. So learn as many as you can.