Looking at Some of the Most Important Poker Terms to Know

Poker is an exciting game that will get your heartbeat racing. It is an incredibly easy game to learn, but it is immensely difficult to master. As a result, you can spend years studying it and still find new strategies to learn and master. There are always ways to improve your game so that you can become a more profitable player. However, if you are a brand new player, there are some things you will need to learn before you get intricated in poker strategy. Notably, you are going to familiarize yourself with a lot of poker terms and shorthand. Most sites and books that teach players poker strategies will use these poker terms regularly. As a result, if you do not know them, you will not understand a lot of what you are reading. Here we will take a look at a few of the most important poker terms for you to understand.


Action is one of the most important poker terms to learn, and it refers to any action you might take in a poker hand. The dealer might tell you that it is your action. That means that it is your turn to act. Depending on what has happened before you, you will have the opportunity to check, call, bet, raise, or fold.

You can check when no one has made a bet before you. This is when you pass your turn without making a bet, but you stay in the hand. Another thing you can do if no one has bet before you make a bet yourself. This is when you voluntarily put money into the put, forcing other players to decide whether they want to continue the hand or not.

If someone makes a bet before you, you can call, raise, or fold. Calling is when you match the amount of the bet, continuing the hand. You might also want to raise, which is when you increase the amount of the bet, forcing all other players to call or fold. Finally, you can fold, which is when you throw away your cards, conceding the hand.


The blinds are a staple of all versions of poker. Blinds are forced types of betting for the two players sitting to the left of the dealer. The player directly to the left of the dealer is the small blind, and the player two spots to the left is the big blind. The blinds are intended to prevent players from playing too passively. With blinds in play, it forces players to play more hands than they might without blinds. If you do not play hands, you will eventually be blinded out, so you need to play. Players need to call or raise the big blind if they want to continue the hand.

Another type of blind that is in most games is an ante. An ante is a small number of chips that every player needs to pay at the beginning of each hand. It increases the size of the pot, and like with the blinds, it forces players to play more hands. Not only will they need to pay the blinds once a cycle, but they also need to pay the ante every hand. Typically, the ante is worth 10 percent of the big blind.

Flop, Turn, and River

When you are playing Texas Hold'em (the most popular type of poker), you need to know what each communal card is called. These are poker terms that will be stated several times every game you play and in strategy books. If you are not familiar with these poker terms, then you will be putting yourself at a disadvantage. After a round of betting, the first three communal cards are revealed to the players. These three cards are called the flop. The flop is one of the most important parts of the game because it is when the most cards are revealed.

After another round of betting, the fourth communal card is revealed. This card is called the turn. There is then another round of betting before the final card is revealed. The final communal card is called the river. There is then a final round of betting before players need to reveal their hands if there is more than one player remaining.

Hole Cards

When you are looking at important poker terms, you will see the term hold cards. These are the two cards that are dealt to you at the beginning of the hand. Almost all versions of poker will have whole cards. You receive two of them in Texas Hold'em.


When you are playing poker, it is common for two players to have the same pair. For example, if two players have a pair of kings, they do not immediately tie. That is because players use the five best cards in their hands. So, if you have an ace and a king in your hand when you have a pair of kings, the ace is your kicker. The kicker simply refers to the card in your hand that does not involve itself in the rank of your hand. So, if two players have the same pair, the player with the best high card will win the hand. The only time there is a tie is when two players have the exact same value five cards deep.

Those are just a few of the most important poker terms for you to learn. There are many other poker terms for players to learn over time. Unfortunately, we cannot teach you all of the important poker terms here. So, you will need to do a little research. Rest assured, if you familiarize yourself with common poker terms, you will be a better player for it.