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Texas Hold’em poker vocabulary

One of the most intimidating aspects of poker that may scare away new players is the extensive use of jargon and specialized terms. If only these words were spoken in plain English rather than poker speak, every poker novice would have the chance to jump right in and understand the rules of the game much easier. To encourage this quick and painless immersion for all Canadians new to the game of poker, Poker.ca has put together a list of important words to keep in mind when playing poker with a focus on Texas Hold’em.

Due to the popularity of poker and other such games in Canada, even Canadians who have never played poker are probably aware of the word ‘ante’. This is the name of the pre-determined quantity of money that players must put into the pot before the poker game can begin. In the Texas Hold’em style of poker, however, there often is no ante. For this reason, there’s another term that is used in such cases: ‘blind’. A blind is basically poker jargon for a forced bet. In Texas Hold’em poker games, this means that the player directly to the left of the dealer is called the ‘big blind’, and the player to the left of the big blind is called the ‘small blind’.

If there is no ante being played in a poker game, the two blinds are the only players who have to put money into the pot to get the hand started. For each hand of poker, these roles rotate so that different players are the big blind and small blind for each hand, making sure that everyone shares the financial role.

The next step involves each poker player being dealt two cards, face down. When cards are dealt face down in poker, they’re called ‘hole cards’, or just ‘the hole’. Conversely, the next three cards that are dealt will be face up community cards and known as ‘the flop’. The fourth community card in Texas Hold’em poker is called ‘the turn’, and the fifth is called ‘the river’. The origins of these poker terms are up for debate, but as long as you remember them, you are well on your way to understanding the game of poker.

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