Getting to Grips with Texas Hold'em Poker Terminology

Getting to Grips with Texas Hold'em Poker Terminology

Learning to play Texas Hold'em Poker, particularly in a live gaming environment, can sometimes feel like learning a new language. Well here is an essential guide to Texas Hold'em Poker terminology, in the order you'll need it, to ensure you don't flop before the flop.

Starting a Game

These are the terms you'll need to know the moment you sit down at the table:

  • Buy-In: the minimum amount of chips required to join a game or tournament
  • Dealer: the player who actually or theoretically deals the cards
  • Button: sometimes called the 'buck' or 'hat', this is a marker that indicates the (nominal) dealer, and therefore the person who plays last in the current round. This moves clockwise around the table after each round
  • Burn: discarding the top card from the deck, face down, to prevent a player from seeing the first card dealt
  • Blind: in Hold'em, a pre-agreed sum that must be bet by the player to the left of the dealer each turn. The player on the immediate left contributes the small blind, the next player, the big blind
  • Extra Blind: a player entering a game, or returning to the table, may be expected to put in a blind regardless of their position relative to the button
  • Post: the act of contributing the blind

The Cards

Victory might well be on the cards, but you’ll have to know the function of each of these first:

  • Hole Cards: the first two cards dealt to each player
  • Community Cards or 'The Board': the shared cards which are gradually presented face-up on the table
  • Flop: the first three community cards laid out, face-up, together
  • Turn: the fourth community card, sometimes called the fourth street
  • River: the fifth and final community card, sometimes called the fifth street
  • Kicker: a card used to assess which of two near-equal hands wins, usually by face value


Now to the nitty-gritty. Poker is won and lost on knowing which of these moves to make:

  • Call: matching the most recent bet or raise, and the proper way to say, "I'll see that bet". You can't call/see a bet and raise on the same turn
  • Raise: Increasing the current bet
  • Check: a bet of zero, used when you don't need to call and don't want to raise
  • Fold: laying down your cards and forfeiting the game, as well as any bets already in the pot
  • All-In: when you don’t have enough chips to call or raise, and bet everything you have left; a win will award a matching proportion of the pot
  • Muck: the folded cards at the end of the game, and the act of conceding without showing your hand
  • Rake: this is the percentage of a pot taken by the house (casino/host) as a commission


Poker is full of colourful terms for players, hands and gaming styles. A few favourites are:

  • Tell: a sign a player unknowingly gives about his/her hand
  • Rock: a predictable player whose approach is tight and not very creative
  • Tilt: when a player is being reckless in their approach, they're 'on tilt'
  • Calling Station: a passive player who calls a lot, but rarely raises or folds
  • Coffee Housing: deliberately misleading players about the strength of a hand

To experience Texas Hold'em first hand, visit Betfair Casino today!

Poker Tips

Recommended Poker Sites

shield of trust Secure trusted partners Trusted star verified Verified
  1. Deposit €10, receive up to €40 in Free Play

  2. 100% Welcome Bonus up to €300 + €20 Free Bonus, No Deposit Needed Promo Code: WELCOME100

  3. Deposit $20, receive up to $100 in Free Play

    18+ New Players only. Gamble responsibly. Terms Apply 18+ New Players only. Gamble responsibly. Play Now
  4. bet365 Poker - Welcome Package of up to €365

  5. Deposit £10, receive up to £100 in Bonus Money + €6 in Twister Tokens

    18+ New Players only. Gamble responsibly. Terms Apply 18+. T&C Apply Play Now
  6. €1,000 Welcome Bonus

    18+ New Players only. Gamble responsibly. Terms Apply 18+. T&C Apply Play Now
  7. Deposit €20, Get €50 Welcome Bonus

    18+ New Players only. Gamble responsibly. Terms Apply 18+. New Customers only. Create a nickname & deposit €20. T&Cs apply. - Full Terms Apply Play Now
  8. Deposit €20 Get €30 worth of tickets

  9. 250% Welcome Bonus up to €1,500

    18+ New Players only. Gamble responsibly. Terms Apply 18+. T&C Apply Play Now
Advertiser Disclosure
Every online gambler deserves a safe and fair place to play. Our mission at is to create a safe online environment for players through free, impartial and independent reviews of Ireland's best online gambling companies so that you can play with confidence and security. All ratings and reviews are made independently of the operator by our team of gaming experts and with every company being fully licensed they can be trusted to offer fair play. We accept compensation from the companies advertised on this page and this may affect the brand positioning. We endeavour to continuously update this list so we can bring you the most current sites and the best available offers but we cannot review every site in the market.

DISCLAIMER: Online Wagering is illegal in some Jurisdictions. It is your responsibility to check your local regulations before playing online. GDC Media Ltd takes no responsibility for your actions.
© 2011-2021 GDC Media Limited. All Rights Reserved. is a registered trademark of GDC Media Limited.
Terms and Conditions  |   Privacy Policy

Asset 4 Android GET IT ON facebook Download_on_the_App_Store_Badge_US-UK_RGB_blk_4SVG_092917 twitter