Every poker player has to start somewhere. If you are new to Texas Holdem, then it is likely that you are not familiar with all of the poker terminology that you hear on TV or being spouted off by your friends. No problem, we all were there at some point. Below are many common Texas Holdem terms that you will hear in the game.
Dealer button – The button determines the position of the dealer relative for betting. This person does not usually deal cards, but the button is used to move the blinds around to each player. The player with the button is last to act and this is considered the best position at the table as he or she gets to see all action before it gets to them.
Blinds – Forced bets used to create action in a pot. There is a small blind and the big blind. The small blind is half the size of the big blind.
Ante – A forced bet made by each player before cards are received.
Hole Cards – These are the two cards dealt to a player to begin a hand. They are dealt face down.
Burn cards – Cards that are dealt off to the side before each street to ensure randomness of the game. These cards are dealt face down.
Community cards – The five cards that consist the board in a Texas Holdem game.
Flop – The flop is three community card dealt in the center of the table. These three cards are usable by anyone still playing in the hand.
Turn – The fourth community card that is dealt in the middle of the table. This is also commonly known as fourth street.
River – The fifth and final community card. Also called fifth street.
Showdown – When players show their hole cards to make their best five card hand.
Muck pile – A stack of cards that is used to deposit folded cards and burn cards during the play of a hand.
Pocket Pair – A pair made with the two hole cards in a player’s hand.
Top pair – When a player is able to make a pair from the highest card from the board, this is top pair.
Bottom pair – When a player is able to make a pair from the lowest card on the table
Middle Pair – A pair made from any of the cards other than the lowest or highest card on the table.
Trips – When a player makes three of a kind with one card in his hand and two on the board.
Set – Three of a kind made by matching one card on the board with a pocket pair.
Over pair – When someone has a pocket pair that is higher than the highest card on the board.
Nuts – An unbeatable hand. An example would be someone holding A-K of hearts and the board running 2h-4h-8h-3c-10d. The player with the A-K of hearts has the nuts for this hand.
Nut flush – Ace high flush. In the event that the ace is on the board, the player with the next highest card not on the board has the nut flush.
Nut straight – The best possible straight based on the board cards. If the flop is 6-7-8, then a player holding 10-9 just hit the nut straight.
Backdoor draw – A backdoor draw is when a player needs two cards after the flop to make his straight or flush.
Redraw – A player with a made hand and a draw to a better hand is said to have a redraw.
Suck out – When a player is behind in a hand and then catches his or her needed card to beat a superior hand.
Rocket – Pocket aces. Also known as bullets or American Airlines.
Kowboys – Pocket kings
All-in – When a player puts all of their chips at risk. A player is truly all-in when they put their chips at risk and are called by a player with an equal or larger stack.
String bet – When a player puts out a bet and then goes back to get more chips to increase the bet. A player must make their bet either all in one motion, or they must state the amount of their bet or raise.
Card Cap – Some small item used to protect your cards from being randomly scooped up and thrown into the muck by a dealer. Can be a chip or some other small trinket.
Under the gun – The first player to act after the big blind.
Cutoff – The player to act to the right of the button
Hijack position – The player to the right of the cutoff position.
Early position – the first three players at the table. The two blind and the under the gun player are early position. Considered the weakest position at the table.
Middle position – The three players to the left of the under the gun player in a hand. This is more favorable position over early position.
Late position – The last three to four players in a hand. (Four players in a 10 handed game.) This includes the button.
While this isn’t a complete list of common Texas Holdem terms, it is a list of the main terms you will need to know in order to keep up with the others in the game. Experience will likely fill in the gaps for anything that this list does not include. Of course, if you don’t know something, ask another player. Of course, you may want to wait until after the game to ensure they don’t peg you as a total fish.