With all those different terms, expressions and abbreviations, it's easy to get lost in the poker jungle. Here's a little glossary to help you find your way.

Before sitting down...

Poker Rooms, Card rooms These are the places where you'll permanently find a great variety of poker tables and stakes. Entry is usually free, but card rooms make their profit by charging the players an hourly fee or by taking a small cut of every pot played. On, you will be playing for fun only, with no real money involved.

Cash game Also known as ring games, are open game that you can buy into or cash out (leave) at any time. If you lose what you have in front of you, you can keep playing by buying more chips.

Tournament (or tourney) Is a poker competition that differs greatly from cash-games. Tournaments work by collecting an entry fee from every player. The amount of this fee is fixed before the game begins. All the entry fees are pooled together, creating what is known as the “prize pool”. The prize pool is distributed among the tournament’s winners.

Sit-and-go – Also known as Sit’n’Go or single table tournaments (STT) are tournaments with a limited number of players, usually from 2 to 10 players. Additional tables can be added to a sit-and-go tournament meaning that as many as thirty players can play. A STT begins as soon as all the seats at the table have been filled.

Satellite, supersatellite Tournaments where, for a small entry fee, you can qualify for a bigger tournament, with a more expensive entry fee such as the WSOP world championship event with a $10,000 buy-in.

Buy-in The minimum amount that you must pay in order to participate in a cash game or a tournament.

Rebuy The act of buying more chips after losing your initial stack (the number chips you had in front of you when you first started the game). Generally only cash games allow you to rebuy; however some tournaments allow players to rebuy for several rounds.

Add-on – In a tournament, the last re-buy you can make before the rebuy period ends. Add-ons are different from rebuys in the sense that all players are generally eligible to purchase an add-on regardless of how many chips they have left in their stack. Add-ons often contain more chips than a standard rebuy.

Freezout Is a tournament where you can't rebuy. Losing all your chips means you are out of the tournament. This is the most common type of tournament.

Chips Circular tokens used for betting. Chips usually come in several colors, each color corresponding to a different value.

Bankroll The total amount of money a poker player has available to play.

Stack the total amount of chips that the player has at the table. A deep stack can refer to having lots of chips; while short stacked means that you are running low. Players will often evaluate how comfortable they are according to the number of big blinds they can pay with their stack.

The game begins !

Button An object placed in front of the player to indicate he is the dealer. Very useful in card rooms and casino where the cards aren't dealt by the players themselves, but by the house's dealer. You will also see the button on the tables (it’s a golden circle with a D in the middle).

Blinds Forced bets that the first (small blind) and second (big blind) players to the left of the dealer put down on the table before the cards are dealt. The amount of the blinds dictates the structure of the game and its importance. The big blind is usually twice the amount of the small blind.

Antes In some cash-games and tournaments, the antes are the bets that every player (not just the two players located on the left of the dealer) put down on the table before dealing begins. Antes are another way to make the game more expensive and are especially used in tournaments to control the duration.

Under the gun (UTG) Designates the first player to act during a Texas Hold'Em hand. Obviously, this is a very uncomfortable position.

Texas Hold'em, Omaha, Omaha Hi-Lo (High Low), Stud Are the names of the most common variants of poker, with Texas Hold'em being by far the most popular.

"Dealer's choice" A game where the player on the button picks his game of choice before the hand starts.

Limit, Pot-limit, No-limit Are all the different forms of betting. In Limit, you bet and raise according to fixed amounts. In Pot-Limit, you can only bet up to the current size of the pot. In No-Limit, you can bet as much as you want at any time.

Board Designates the 5 community cards that unfold on the green felt. The board is shared by all the players around the table. The dealer first deals three cards (the flop) then the turn (4th street) and finally the river (5th street)

Pot The amount of chips currently bet. The pot gets bigger as the players wager.

Bet, raise, call, check, fold When it's your turn to act, those are your options.

Check-raise Is a two-step strategy: first, you check, then you proceed to raise after your opponent bets. A check-raise can be used as a bluff to make your opponent think you're holding a big hand. Or it can be used to increase the pot size when you have a really good hand.

Slowplay Betting small (or not betting at all) with a big hand to trap your opponent.

All in The verbal action of wagering all your chips. If you lose, you won’t have anything left.

Showdown Revealing your hole cards when a hand is over. The best hand that has been turned face up wins the pot. If two players are holding the same hand, the pot is split.

Kicker When two players make the same pair or the same three of a kind, their second card (the kicker) is used to designate the winner. Let's say one player has A-T and the other has A-J on a A-2-5-7-Q board. In that case Ace-Jack makes the best five card hands and wins. However, if the board reads A-2-2-6-K, this is a split pot because both players have the same five-card hand (which is two pairs with a King kicker, A-A-2-2-K). Always take a careful look at the boards to avoid confusion, or play online and let the figure it out for you.

Draw You're “drawing” when you need cards to improve your hand. You're usually drawing either to a flush or a straight. In Texas Hold’em drawing can take place on the flop, turn or the river.

Backdoor An unlikely draw that happens thanks to good cards on the turn and the river (like getting a flush with an A-K of diamonds when the flop only had one diamond). The odds of hitting a backdoor flush or straight are very slim.

Rush You're on a rush when you win several hands in a row.

Bluff You don’t really expect us to explain this one, do you?

Talking like the pros

Bad Beat A very unlucky hand when you started off as a clear favorite. You'll usually tell a bad beat story at the bar over a beer after your elimination from the tournament. “I went all in with a pair of aces and some fish called me with 9-2...”

Fish, donkey These terms describe (in a polite way) a bad player. Fish often refers to new players, like the guy who called you with 9-2 only to beat your Aces.

Shark a professional poker player. Sharks like to eat fish and will sometimes gobble up a donkey if one happens to fall in the water.

Tilt, Steam A psychological state of confusion, frustration or loss of control. Players are known to go into tilt after being hit hard by a bad beat (you know, Aces against 9-2, that kind of stuff), often leading them to lose even more. Some players attempt to talk other players into steaming as a type of poker strategy (however, it’s usually the talker who is really on tilt).

Tight A player or strategy where you do not enter many pots and only play good cards. This is opposed to a loose player, who apparently wants to see every flop no matter what he's holding.

Playing online

Lobby (or main screen) The home page of the website or poker software where you select the cash-games and tournaments you want to play.

Account The pages or screens where you can check and manage all of your personal data.

Play money The currency of choice on With Play Money chips, you’re not risking anything, it’s completely free!

Waiting list When a cash-game table is full, you always have the possibility to put your name on the waiting list, so that you can grab a seat as soon one is available.

Sitting out You sit out when you leave the table, while still holding on to your seat (i.e. you can come back when every you want)... Beware: in a tournament, you'll still have to post the blinds if you sit-out, wasting precious chips.

Hand history Click on the “hand history” button in your poker software if you want to see a recap of your most recent hands.

Online chat : keep it short...

LOL Laughing Out Loud.

LMAO Laughing My Ass Off.

ROFL Rolling on the Floor Laughing (most poker players like to laugh)

NH Nice Hand.

VNH Very Nice Hand.

GH Good Hand - this is not really a compliment but is rather a way of being polite. You'll usually say it to your opponent after losing a pot. Yes, we know, it hurts.

TY Thank You, or TX (Thanks) This is how you answer to NH.

GC Good Call. Something to say when your opponent sniffed out your bluff.

GG Good Game. A way of saying goodbye to someone who just got eliminated.

GL Good Luck.

"Sorry, misclick" A misclick in an inadvertant click on your mouse. This is particularly useful when you just made a dumb move and won the hand in an awful way (say, 9-2 vs A-A all-in before the flop). If you feel like a donkey, just blame your equipment!

"ZZZ" Wake up !

Unfortunately, you'll sometimes be on the receiving end of some insulting banter such as “moron”, “F*** you” (no need to explain here) or WTF (“What the F***”), etc. Its best just to ignore it and not participate in that kind of stuff as it ruins the game for everyone.

The most important rule for online chating is to keep it zen and respect your opponents. Our games are often watched by administrators, so should you find yourself kicked off the tables during a game for being rude, don’t be too surprised.