Poker is a game where a sharp eye and bucket of confidence can help you win big. But you also need to know your lingo in order to get your point across to other players. We’ve put together a comprehensive list of poker terminology to make it easier for you to master the game.
Ante – A small amount of money that all players must contribute before a hand is dealt. This makes the pot more valuable right off the bat and is usually mandatory before you can see your cards.
Flop – The 3rd community card that is revealed during the betting round. The flop can change the strength of your hand significantly. For example, if you have pocket kings and the flop comes with an ace then that could spell disaster for your hand. But if the flop shows another pair of kings then you may have an opportunity to hit your flush on the turn or river and improve your chances of winning.
Turn – The fourth community card that is revealed during the betting round. Turns can change the strength of your hand significantly too, for example, if you have a flush and your opponent hits his pair on the river then that will ruin your flush. But if you have a straight and the turn is a jack then that will give you an improved straight, meaning you now have a full house and are in the lead.
River – The final community card that is revealed during the betting round. River can completely change the strength of your hand or totally eliminate it. For example, if you have a straight and the river is a 5 then you will lose your straight and the hand will go to the player with a 6 or higher.
High Card – The highest hand that doesn’t qualify as a pair or better. This is used to break ties.
Fold – To get out of a hand. You can fold at any time during a hand and you should do so if your opponent has a strong hand or if you think you have an unfavorable chance of winning. It is a common mistake among beginner players to assume that folding means losing, but in reality it can be one of the best moves you can make.
When you first start playing poker, it is a good idea to stick with low stakes games and try to avoid games against players who are much better than you. This way you will avoid massive swings and be able to develop your strategy much faster. But when you move up stakes, it’s important to remember that you’ll be facing a lot more aggressive opponents who will try to bluff a lot more frequently, so stick with your strategy and don’t be afraid to raise your bets when necessary. It will pay off in the end! Good luck!