A version of poker in which a player may bet any amount of chips (up to the number in front of him) whenever it is his turn to act. It is a very different game than limit poker. The best treatise on no-limit poker is in Doyle Brunson’s Super/System.
The best possible hand given the board. If the board is Ks-Jd-Ts-4s-2h, then As-Xs is the nuts. You will occasionally hear the term applied to the best possible hand of a certain category, even though it isn’t the overall nuts. For the above example, somebody with Ah-Qc in the above hand might say they had the “nut straight”.
A hold’em starting hand in which the two cards are two apart in rank. Examples: J9s, 64.
A card that will make your hand win. Normally heard in the plural. Example: “Any spade will make my flush, so I have nine outs.”
To beat. Example: “Susie outran my set when her flush card hit on the river.”
To call a bet after one or more others players have already called.
A card higher than any card on the board. For instance, if you have AQ and the flop comes J-7-3, you don’t have a pair, but you have two overcards.
A pocket pair higher than any card on the flop. If you have QQ and the flop comes J-8-3, you have an overpair.
To call a bet where the bettor is representing a hand that you can’t beat, but the pot is sufficiently large to justify a call anyway. Example: “He played it exactly like he made the flush, but I had top set so I paid him off.”
Play the Board
To show down a hand in hold’em when your cards don’t make a hand any better than is shown on the board. For instance, if you have 22, and the board is 4-4-9-9-A (no flush possible), then you must “play the board” – the best possible hand you can make doesn’t use any of your cards. Note that if you play the board, the best you can do is to split the pot with all remaining players.
Your unique cards that only you can see. For instance, “He had pocket sixes” (a pair of sixes), or “I had ace-king in the pocket.”
To put in a blind bet, generally required when you first sit down in a cardroom game. You may also be required to post a blind if you change seats at the table in a way that moves you away from the blinds.
A version of poker in which a player may bet up to the amount of money in the pot whenever it is his turn to act. Like no-limit, this is a very different game from limit poker.
The amount of money in the pot compared to the amount you must put in the pot to continue playing. For example, suppose there is $60 in the pot. Somebody bets $6, so the pot now contains $66. It costs you $6 to call, so your pot odds are 11:1. If your chance of having the best hand is at least one out of twelve, you should call. Pot odds also apply to draws. For instance, suppose you have a draw to the nut flush with one card left to come. In this case, you are about a 4:1 underdog to make your flush. If it costs you $8 to call the bet, then there must be about $32 in the pot (including the most recent bet) to make your call correct.
The pot odds you are getting for a draw or call. Example: “The pot was laying me a high enough price, so I stayed in with my gutshot straight draw.”
(1) To keep your hand or a chip on your cards. This prevents them from being fouled by a discarded hand, or accidentally mucked by the dealer.
(2) To invest more money in a pot so blind money that you’ve already put in isn’t “wasted.” Example: “He’ll always protect his blinds, no matter how bad his cards are.”
A flop that contains three different suits, thus no flush can be made on the turn. Can also mean a complete five card board that has no more than two of any suit, thus no flush is possible.
An amount of money taken out of every pot by the dealer – this is the cardroom’s income.
The numerical value of a card (as opposed to its suit). Example: “jack,” “seven.”
To play as if you hold a certain hand. For instance, if you raised before the flop, and then raised again when the flop came ace high, you would be representing at least an ace with a good kicker.
A regular poker game as opposed to a tournament. Also referred to as a “live” game since actual money is in play instead of tournament chips.
The fifth and final community card, put out face up, by itself. Also known as “fifth street”. Metaphors involving the river are some of poker’s most treasured cliches – e.g. “He drowned in the river.”
A player who plays very tight, not very creatively. He raises only with the best hands. A real rock is fairly predictable – if he raises you on the end, you can throw away just about anything but the nuts.
Typically said “runner-runner” to describe a hand which was made only by catching the correct cards on both the turn and the river – “He made a runner-runner flush to beat my trips.” See also “Backdoor.”