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Poker Confidential – poker terms explained

📁 articles, How to, Slider 🕔09.March 2018
Poker Confidential – poker terms explained

So you’ve been playing poker for some time, or maybe you’re just starting out. Either way, you’ve explored Khelo365 and you’ve got a few games under your belt. You’re starting to feel a little at home; but the problem is that poker, because it has such a rich cultural history, is often full of terms and concepts that newer (and sometimes even veteran) players might not be familiar with. That’s why we’re taking the time to go over a number of aspects of poker in this series – just to make everybody more comfortable with this timeless game.

Today, we’re taking a look at poker terminology – specifically, we’re explaining a number of poker terms that you might have come across, as well as some interesting ones that you might not have. Some familiar terms have an interesting origin story and, while you may know what a given term means, knowing why it’s called that is much more interesting! So let’s get started:

Flop/Turn/River

You probably know this already, but just in case – the flop refers to the first three cards that are turned face-up in a game of Texas Hold’Em, followed by the single-card turn and finally the single-card river. But how did they get those names?

Well, legend has it that the flop was so named because of the sound the cards make when they hit a poker table – which is, of course, usually made out of felt. The turn has a more metaphorical origin, because it can often ‘turn the tide’. And finally, the river – the final piece of information the players get to see, that often is the key to either triumph or heartbreak – can ‘sell you down the river’.

Ante

The ante is a forced bet, to be made by all players before the deal. This has the effect of doubly incentivizing players to play their hands and not fold immediately – it ensures that the pot is worth something even at the beginning of the round, and that players will effectively have lost money if they fold.

Under the gun

The player to the immediate left of the big blind is said to be ‘under the gun’ – that is, it is up to them to initiate the betting in the first round.

Drawing hand

A drawing hand is a hand that is either worthless or of very little value to begin with, but holds the potential of improving to a considerably stronger hand via the flop, turn or river. For example, a player with two cards of the same suit could draw into a flush if the cards go his way.

Catch

In related terminology, drawing the cards you need to complete a drawing hand is known as ‘catching’. So the player in the above example could be said to have caught a flush.

Broadway

A straight that runs from a 10 to an Ace is sometimes called a broadway.

Action card

Usually used to refer to the turn or the river, an action card is a card that helps more than one player around the table; and usually causes significant betting action upon its arrival.

Dead man’s hand

And finally, a two-pair poker hand that consists of black aces and black eights is known as the ‘dead man’s hand’. The origin of this term is quite macabre – this was supposedly the hand held by Wild Bill Hickock, legend of the Old West in late 19th century America, at the moment he was shot dead.

poker terms

That’s it for the first part, but check back next week for more Poker Confidential – we’re always trying to stack the deck in your favour!

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