Meet the Most Used Poker Terms to Get a Leg Up Next Time You Play

When you’re playing poker or even brushing up on your skills, there’s a good chance you’re going to hear a lot of jargon thrown around – and it helps to know what people are talking about. So, to help you get a leg up when you next play poker, or fully understand what is being said in a masterclass, we’re going to run you through the most common poker terms.

Get ready to dive into the most used poker terms so that you can get ahead of the competition next time you’re at the table!


Ante is a term used in most card games, and it’s simply a bet used to seed the pot or signify that you’re taking part in the next round. In poker, the Ante is collected to seed the pot in games that aren’t using blinds like in Hold’em games.


No, someone hasn’t snuck out the back door to avoid paying their tab. In poker, the backdoor is when you catch both the turn and river to make a drawing hand. In simple terms, the last two board cards were cards that gave you a hand that can compete and potentially go on to win.

Bad Beat

Nobody likes to get beaten by a completely wild hand of cards, and in poker that’s got its own name – a bad beat. Bad Beats are hands that had no purpose being in the game. These types of wins are usually bluffs that paid off as the cards needed came out on the board. You will likely hear this term an awful lot in the poker world as many people get upset when they get a bad beat.


The board in poker is another word for the community cards. In Hold’em these are the flop, turn and river cards.

Calling Station

When you’re playing poker, you really want a calling station in your game. A calling station is a player that calls a lot, but rarely folds or raises. These players help keep the pot growing and are rather easy to milk to grow your stack.


Nobody likes it when another player cripples the deck, and there’s a good reason for it – they always win. A cripple hand is when you have most or all of the cards other players might need to win the hand given the current board. For example, if you’ve got pocket aces and you flop the remaining two, you’ve crippled the deck.

Family Pot

A family pot is a pot where virtually all of the players have called before the flop. This doesn’t happen too often, but when it does you know there’s going to be a fairly large pot at the end of the hand.


When it comes to poker, you’re always after a good kicker when possible. A kicker is the second card in your hand presuming your other card makes a pair on the board. The kicker is used to settle a standoff between hands with equal value. For example if you have J-5 and your opponent has Q-5 with a board has a 5, your opponent would win as their Q kicker is higher than your J kicker.


A rainbow round is a very disappointing round and it’s impossible to land a flush. When the round is called a rainbow, it simply means that three different suits landed on the board, preventing the flush.


If a player goes on tilt, they’re often getting angry after a few good hands ended up costing them a fair chunk of their stack. When tilting, players tend to raise when they shouldn’t and play wild bluffs. Tilting will generally end up costing you your head, so if you feel yourself about to go on tilt, take a five-minute breather.

Under the Gun

Under the gun is used quite a lot in the poker world, and it can be confusing for players that don’t know what it means. Simply put, under the gun means you’re first to act in a betting round as you’re one to the left of the big blind pre-flop.

There you have it. If you can master these terms you’ll look and sound like a total pro at your next poker game. Go out there and use your new knowledge to rock the table!