Poker Dictionary Part Four

This is part four of the poker dictionary.

Many of these terms are from “Winning Low Limit Hold’em” by Lee Jones.

Quads

Four of a kind.

Poker terms starting with R

Ragged

A flop (or board) that doesn’t appear to help anybody very much. A flop that came down J -6-2  would look ragged.

Rainbow

A flop that contains three different suits, thus no flush can be made on the turn. Can also mean a complete five card board that has no more than two of any suit, thus no flush is possible.

Raise

To increase the amount of the current bet.

Rake

An amount of money taken out of every pot by the dealer. This is the cardroom’s income.

Rank

The numerical value of a card (as opposed to its suit). Example: “jack,” “seven.”

Represent

To play as if you hold a certain hand. For instance, if you raised before the flop, and then raised again when the flop came ace high, you would be representing at least an ace with a good kicker.

Ring Game

A regular poker game as opposed to a tournament. Also referred to as a “live” game since actual money is in play instead of tournament chips.

River

The fifth and final community card, put out face up, by itself. Also known as “fifth street.” Metaphors involving the river are some of poker’s most treasured cliches, e.g., “He drowned in the river.”

Rock

A player who plays very tight, not very creatively. He raises only with the best hands. A real rock is fairly predictable: if he raises you on the end, you can throw away just about anything but the nuts.

Runner

Typically said “runner-runner” to describe a hand that was made only by catching the correct cards on both the turn and the river. Example:”He made a runner-runner flush to beat my trips.” See also “backdoor.”

Poker terms starting with the letter S

Scare Card

A card that may well turn the best hand into trash. If you have T -8 and the flop comes Q-J-9 , you almost assuredly have the best hand. However, a turn card of T  would be very scary because it would almost guarantee that you are now beaten.

Second Pair

A pair with the second highest card on the flop. If you have A -T, and the flop comes K-T-6 , you have flopped second pair. See “top pair.”

Sell

As in “sell a hand.” In a spread-limit game, this means betting less than the maximum when you have a very strong hand, hoping players will call whereas they would not have called a maximum bet.

Semi-Bluff

A powerful concept first discussed by David Sklansky. It is a bet or raise that you hope will not be called, but you have some outs if it is. A semi-bluff may be correct when betting for value is not correct, a pure bluff is not correct, but the combination of the two may be a positive expectation play. Example: you have K-Q, and the flop is T-5 -J. If you bet now, it’s a semi-bluff. You probably don’t have the best hand, and you’d like to see your opponents fold immediately. Nevertheless, if you do get callers, you could still improve to the best hand.

Set

Three of a kind when you have two of the rank in your hand, and there is one on the board.

Short Stack

A number of chips that is not very many compared to the other players at the table. If you have $10 in front of you, and everybody else at the table has over $100, you are playing on a short stack.

Showdown

The point at which all players remaining in the hand turn their cards over and determine who has the best hand – i.e. after the fourth round of betting is completed. Of course, if a final bet or raise is not called, there is no showdown.

Side Pot

A pot created in which a player has no interest because he has run out of chips. Example: Al bets $6, Beth calls the $6, and Carl calls, but he has only $2 left. An $8 side pot is created that either Al or Beth can win, but not Carl. Carl, however, can still win all the money in the original or “center” pot.

Slow Play

To play a strong hand weakly so more players will stay in the pot.

Small Blind

The smaller of two blind bets typically used in a hold’em game. Normally, the small blind is one-third to two-thirds of a first round bet. See also “big blind” and “blind.”

Smooth Call

To call. Smooth call often implies slow playing a strong hand. Example: “I flopped the nut flush but just smooth called when the guy in front of me bet – I didn’t want to scare anybody out.”

Split Pot

A pot that is shared by two or more players because they have equivalent hands.

Split Two Pair

A two pair hand in which one of each of your cards’ ranks appears on the board as well. Example: you have T9, the flop is T-9-5, you have a split two pair. This is in comparison to two pair where there is a pair on the board. Example: you have T9, the flop is 9-5-5.

Spread-limit

A betting structure in which a player may bet any amount in a range on every betting round. A typical spread-limit structure is $2-$6, where a player may bet as little as $2 or as much as $6 on every betting round.

Straddle

An optional extra blind bet, typically made by the player one to the left of the big blind, equal to twice the big blind. This is effectively a raise, and forces any player who wants to play to pay two bets. Furthermore, the straddler acts last before the flop, and may “re-raise.”

String Bet

A bet (more typically a raise) in which a player doesn’t get all the chips required for the raise into the pot in one motion. Unless he verbally declared the raise, he can be forced to withdraw it and just call. This prevents the unethical play of putting out enough chips to call, seeing what effect that had, and then possibly raising.

Structured

Used to apply to a certain betting structure in poker games. The typical definition of a structured hold’em game is a fixed amount for bets and raises before the flop and on the flop, and then twice that amount on the turn and river. Example: a $2-$4 structured hold’em game: bets and raises of $2 before the flop and on the flop; $4 bets and raises on the turn and river.

Suited

A hold’em starting hand in which the two cards are the same suit. Example: “I had to play J-3 – it was suited.”