Wiesenberg: MCU Dictionary of Poker | Letter A




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(n) 1. Able. 2. Abbreviation for an ace, usually found only in written text about cards. A♠, for example, is the ace of spades; A-A means aces. 3. Short for add-on, particularly in tournament listings. For example, a tournament might be specified as $200+$100R+$100A, that is, $200 buy-in, $100 rebuys, and a $100 add-on, or $33+R+A., that is, $33 buy-in plus $33 rebuys and a $33 add-on. Sometimes expressed as a number followed by an A, such as, for example, 1A, which means “one add-on.” 4. Able.


(n) a-b-c.


(n) In low games, 3-2-A, as 8-6-a-b-c for 8-6-3-2-A. Also abc, A-B-C, or A.B.C.


(adj, adv) 1. Playing predictably, or by the book (definition 1). “He’s an A-B-C player.” “He plays A-B-C.” Also, 1-2-3. 2. See a-b-c.


(n) In low games, 4-3-2-A, as 8-a-b-c-d for 8-4-3-2-A. Also abcd or A.B.C.D.


(n) See a-b-c-d.


(n) Same as age. Sometimes called just A.

above the curve

(n phrase) See curve.

absolute nuts

(n phrase) The nuts; usually preceded by the.

according to Hoyle

(adv phrase) With respect to the rules of poker, proper, that is, following the rules. The expression has moved from the world of poker to general usage in the English language as a vague phrase invoking authority. Named for Edmond Hoyle.


(n) The highest or lowest card in the deck. If the cards are arranged in order, the ace either starts this sequence: A-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-T-J-Q-K; or finishes this one: 2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-T-J-Q-K-A. In high poker, the ace is the highest card in a hand, with one exception: when it is part of a 5-high straight, that is, in this hand: A-2-3-4-5, of mixed suits (where it must be the lowest card to make the straight). In low poker (ace-to-five lowball), especially as played in California cardrooms, the ace is the lowest card in a hand. In high-low (split) poker games, the ace is either high or low, depending on how it is used. It can even be both high and low in some hands. For example, 7♣ 4♣ 3♣ 2♣ A♣ is a 7-low hand, and an ace-high flush. Also called bullet, bull, rocket, seed, spike, and other names.

ace high

(n phrase) In high poker, a no pair hand whose highest card is an ace. “I have ace high; can you beat that?” (Also, “I have an ace high; can you beat that?” The difference is that word “an.”) “Yeah, I got a pair of deuces.”


(adj) A term that often modifies (refers to) a straight or flush topped by an ace. “I was drawing to an ace-high flush, but all I made was an ace high.”

ace-high straight flush

(n phrase) Royal flush.

ace in the hole

(n phrase) In a stud game, having an ace as one’s downcard or one of one’s downcards. This being a desirable condition, the expression has moved from the world of poker to general usage in the English language with the wider meaning of an advantage or resource kept in reserve until needed.

ace kicker

(n phrase) See kicker.

ace killer

(n phrase) Hand that causes an ace holding, normally a powerful starting hand in hold’em, to become second-best.


(n) In hold’em, describing an ace accompanied by a small card, usually a 7 or smaller.

ace magnets

(n phrase) In hold’em, K-K as starting cards, sardonically named because pocket kings are involved in (too) many bad beat stories involving confrontations with aces.


(n) A form of high draw poker, usually found in home games only, in which a player cannot open the pot without holding at least two aces as openers. Compare with jackpots.

ace out

(v phrase) To win (perhaps by bluffing) while holding an ace high hand (that is, a relatively worthless hand (at least in draw poker), since it doesn’t contain even a pair). This expression has moved from the world of poker to general usage in the English language with the meaning of winning by deception or just barely beating someone in some venture. (If your opponent holds a totally worthless hand, an ace-high hand would just barely beat him; that is, you would ace him out.)


(n) Weak ace.

aces and spaces

(n phrase) 1. A pair of aces and unmatched cards of mixed suits, such that the additional cards don’t easily form straights or flushes, as, for example, Omaha starting cards of A-A-8-5 or hold’em board cards of A-A-10-7-2 of mixed suits. 2. In draw poker, a five-card hand consisting of two aces and three other worthless cards.

aces full

(n phrase) A full house consisting of three aces and a smaller pair. For example, A♥A♠A♦2♦2♣.

aces over

(n phrase) 1. Aces up. 2. Aces full.

aces up

(n) Two pair, the higher of which are aces.

Aces Up bet

(n phrase) See four-card poker.


(n, adj) 1. The ranking of low hands as played in ace-to-five lowball or similar games, like triple-draw lowball. The best hands, sometimes called number hands (see number hand), are, A-2-3-4-5 (often called a wheel), 6-4-3-2-A (called a 6-4 or number two), 6-5-3-2-A (number three), 6-5-4-2-A, 6-5-4-3-A, 6-5-4-3-2, 7-4-3-2-A, and 7-5-3-2-A. 2. A shortened name for ace-to-five lowball.

ace-to-five draw

(n) Ace-to-five lowball.

ace-to-five lowball

(n) The version of lowball draw, once popular in California (but played in many other areas), in which the lowest card is the ace, and straights and flushes have no significance. The best hand is A-2-3-4-5, sometimes called a wheel or, less commonly, a lowball. Usually the joker is set as the lowest unpaired card in the hand (a very few clubs play ace-to-five lowball without the joker). The game is played bet-or-fold before the draw. Ace-to-five lowball is also sometimes called California lowball, particularly when the sevens rule is in effect (but all ace-to-five games do not necessarily have the sevens rule). Also see deuce-to-seven. Sometimes called simply ace-to-five. Sometimes shortened to A-to-5 lowball or A-to-5.


(n, adj) A ranking of low hands in which the ace is low, but straights and flushes count against the player as in deuce-to-seven lowball, so the best hand is 6-4-3-2-A, followed by 6-5-3-2-A, 6-5-4-2-A, 6-5-4-3-A, 7-4-3-2-A, and 7-5-3-2-A. Ace-to-six is the hand ranking used in games like London lowball and in some home games.

ace up the sleeve

(n phrase) Describing the situation in which a cheater has withdrawn an ace from the deck and secreted it in his sleeve to be introduced into the game later, or, more generally, has taken some unfair advantage. The expression has moved from the world of poker to general usage in the English language to describe the situation in which someone is hiding some probably unfair advantage. Compare with ace in the hole.


(n) 1. Two pair, aces and 2s. 2. In hold’em, A-2 as starting cards. 3. A non-poker game, usually played in home games, but also found rarely in casinos, in which players bet that a third card in succession will fall in rank between the first two, which are dealt face up before the bet. Sometimes called Red Dog. 4. A variant of backgammon.


(n) Aces up.

a chip and a chair

(n phrase) See chip and a chair.


(adj) When you just barely lift the right edge of your drawn card (see squeeze, definition 1 or 2) in lowball such that you can see only the rightmost vertical edge and only down to but not including the index, for any card ace through 10 you see either none, one, two, three, or four vertical pips (see pip). Nothing across is an ace, 2, or 3; two across is a 4 or 5; three across is a 6, 7, or 8; and four across is a 9 or 10. Similar to the discussion under spotter, some lowball players couple the knowledge that a card could be in one of these ranges with game theory to decide on whether or not to bet.


(v) Make a poker play at the required time; bet, call, raise, or fold, as appropriate, in turn. When it’s your turn to do something, someone might say, “It’s your turn to act,” or, “It’s up to you to act.”

act in turn

(v phrase) Play in turn, that is, when one is required and specifically not out of turn.


(n) 1. The relative liveliness of a game, often measured by the frequency and quantity of bets and raises. “This game has a lot of action.” Often part of the phrase fast action. 2. Being required to act. When it’s your turn to do something, someone might say, “It’s your action,” or, “The action is up to you.” 3. That portion of the pot that a player short of the full bet can win a multiple of. For example, in a no-limit game, if John bets $100, Matt calls the whole $100, and you call, but you have only $20, you are said to have $20 worth of action in the pot. A side pot of $160 ($80 from each of them) will be created between John and Matt; $20 of John’s bet goes into the main pot, as does $20 of Matt’s bet, and all of your bet; you can win the $60 main pot if you win. 4. A player’s investment, current or potential, in a pot or game, particularly as part of the phrase take someone’s action. For example, in a $20-limit ace-to-five lowball game, the button has killed the pot. Matt, in the middle blind, cannot play. Susie shows Matt her cards prior to throwing them away. She has 4-5-6 and does not want to put in another $30 and possibly face a raise. Matt says, “Play, and I’ll take half your action.” That is, he will give her $15 to play those cards. Whether he would put up half the cost of a subsequent raise and possible action after the draw is not at all clear. Besides, such backing of a hand is not usually permitted, and, furthermore, Matt probably was not serious. 5. A player’s investment, current or potential, in a pot or game, particularly as part of the phrase take someone’s action. action Also, if I have staked someone in a game, I have a piece of his action. 6. Part of the phrase in action. — (adj) 7. Lively, usually loose or liberal. “He’s an action player.” “This is an action game.” Also see give action.

action board

(n phrase) In hold’em, a board that tends to generate action, that is, much betting, calling, and raising. Similar to action flop.

action button

(n phrase) 1. A bet that must be posted, in a seven-card stud or Omaha 8-or-better game (or, sometimes more specifically, the button — definition 3 — signifying that the holder must immediately make the bet), by the winner of a scoop pot above a certain size. For example, if the low card normally must bet $1 in a $5-$10 game, and there is an action button out, anyone who calls the $1 is committing to bet $5 later. No one would call the $1 without intending at least to call the blind raise by the action button. Whether the action button acts in turn, or after everyone else has acted, depends on the cardroom. Posting an action button is not the same as a kill (definition 3). 2. Advance action button. 3. A button placed by the house dealer in front of the hand that will compete first against the player dealer in California games such as pai gow poker.

action card

(n phrase) In hold’em, a card appearing on the board that tends to generate action, that is, much betting, calling, and raising. Could be an ace, a paired card, or the third or fourth to a possible straight or flush.

action checkbox

(n phrase) Advance action button, usually presented as a checkbox or radio button that can be selected or deselected.

action flop

(n phrase) In hold’em, a flop that tends to generate action, that is, much betting, calling, and raising. For example, three high cards, three cards in sequence, or three cards of the same suit.

action game

(n phrase) A game with a lot of action (definition 1).

action only

(n phrase) In many cardrooms, with respect to an all-in bet, only a full bet is considered a legitimate wager, in terms of whether this constitutes a raise that can be reraised. Anything less than a full bet is considered to be action only, that is, other players can call such a bet but not raise it. For example, Lili bets $10. Henry calls. John goes all in for $14. When the bet gets back to Lili, she is permitted only to call the extra $4; the same goes for Henry. John’s raise is called action only. See discussion at full bet.

action preselection checkbox

(n phrase) Action checkbox.

action preselection option

(n phrase) The presence of an advance action button, or the ability on a particular online site to use one (or more).


(adj) Still in contention for a pot. “Before the draw, there were five people in the pot; after the draw, there were three active players.”

active hand

(n phrase) A hand still in contention for a pot. See active.

active player

(n phrase) A player still in contention for a pot. See active.

add on

(v phrase) Buy an add-on.


(n) 1. A last buy-in optionally permitted in a rebuy tournament, usually with no minimum stack requirement. That is, at the point of the add-on, every player still in the tournament can get another buy-in, generally receiving for the add-on in a larger amount of tournament chips than any of the rebuys. The add-on usually comes after a predetermined amount of time, say one hour. “The buy-in is $100, with two $100 rebuys in the first hour, and one $100 add-on at the end of the first hour.” The original buy-in might give a player $1,000 in tournament chips, each rebuy might get $2,000, and the add-on might get $5,000. 2. The act of adding on, or the point in a tournament at which players can add on. “Did you take the add-on?” “I had an average stack at the add-on.”

add-on tournament

(n phrase) A tournament that has an add-on.


(v) Change one’s play as playing conditions warrant; adapt to opponents’ playing styles.

advance action button

(n phrase) In online poker, a button or control that permits a player to select a play (fold, bet, raise, raise any, etc.) before it is his turn to act. The software waits to implement the action until it is the player’s turn to act. Sometimes the control is in the form of a checkbox or radio button, in which case it is called action checkbox. Sometimes shortened to action button.


(n) Same as edge (definition 1 or 2).

advantage player

(n phrase) A thief or cheater, that is, someone who wins by taking an advantage or edge (definition 2).

advantage tool

(n phrase) A cheating device, as a marked card or a mechanical device for hiding one or more cards, as, for example, a holdout machine.


(v) Bluff in an obvious manner, or make a point of showing a bluff after winning with it, usually for the purpose of setting up one or more other players (see set up). Sometimes, rarely, show good cards to let opponents know that’s all you play, presumably so you can bluff them later.


(n) The act of advertising (see advertise).


(n) See advertise. “That big bet was just advertising.”


(n) An online business that provides rakeback to players. This usually comes about when the affiliate has an agreement with an online cardroom to provide players to the cardroom, in exchange for which the affiliate gets a payment, either a flat fee per player or a percentage of the referred player’s rake. To attract a new customer, the affiliate provides the player with some percentage of the amount that the player pays in the form of the house drop, perhaps as high as a third, supplied as a payment to an online account held by the player, electronic check, or, sometimes, paper check.

after-hours game

(n phrase) A private game, played after a cardroom closes for the night, often held in a motel or hotel room, and sometimes crooked.

after the rabbit

(n phrase) Follow the rabbit.

against the field

(adv phrase) Facing a field (definition 1) of multiple opponents. For example, if you have a particular hand with four opponents, the odds against your winning the hand would be termed as being against the field.

against the odds

(n phrase) Describing a hand or situation that, mathematically, is favored to lose.


(n) 1. One’s best game, in terms of the quality of one’s play, as, “He’s playing his A-game.” “Bring your A-game.” 2. The highest-stakes game in a given establishment. Compare with B-game, big apple, C-game. Opposite of Z-game.


(n) An obsolete term for the player immediately to the left of the dealer in games that use an automatic betting scheme. Also called edge, elder hand, or eldest hand. Sometimes the player in that position is the last to bet before the draw, which is equivalent to the situation involving an under-the-gun blind. Also see able.


(n) The partner of a thief in a cheating scheme.


(n) 1. A raise or reraise. In a big bet game, a large bet, raise, or reraise. 2. What an aggressive player or game exhibits.


(adj) Pertaining to a style of play characterized by much betting, raising, and reraising. This is not the same as loose play. Some of the best players are very selective about the cards they play, but when they do get into a pot, play those cards aggressively. Sometimes subcategorized as loose-aggressive and tight-aggressive.

aggressive game

(n phrase) A game characterized by aggressive betting.

aggressive play

(n phrase) Play characterized by aggressive betting.


(adj) Aggressive.


(adv) 1. Winning. “Are you ahead or behind?” 2. With regard to a reference position at the table, acting before (usually immediately before). If the deal is one position to your right, you are ahead of the deal. If a player is sitting to your right, he acts ahead of you. 3. Leading. “So far Phil is ahead, but Mike has just added a flush draw to his possibilities.”

ahead of [a/the game]

(adv phrase) Winning.


(n) Shorthand, particularly in e-mail and Internet postings, for all in. Also a chat term. Also, a/i.


(n) ai.


(n) In hold’em, 6-2 as starting cards. Origin unknown.


(n) 1. Absolutely nothing (said of a hand). “Did you think I was betting on air?” Often complete air. 2. In a lowball game, letting another player know whether you are going to draw cards or not, sometimes letting the player know how many, usually with the intention of getting that player into the pot. Usually part of the phrase give air. “Gimme some air. I’ll draw two if you’re drawing one.” 3. Inadvertently exposing cards; usually part of the phrase put air into [a hand]. “You’ll like sitting next to Johnny; he puts a lot of air into his hand.” That is, if you sit next to Johnny, the way he holds his cards you can often see some of them, which, presumably, gives you an edge (albeit an unethical one) on him.


(n) 1. In hold’em, a card that completely misses a player; brick. “I had a pair and a flush draw and caught a complete airball.” —2. (v) Miss. “I figured he was prepared to fold some of his hands, like after a flop that completely airballs.”


(expression) A cardroom expression generally indicating annoyance or disgust, such as just after having suffered a bad beat.


(n) In hold’em, A-J as starting cards. Also called foamy cleanser.

Alabama night riders

(n phrase) Three kings.

Alaska hand

(n phrase) King crab.


(expression, imitative) “I’ll call.”


(n) The king of clubs. Probably comes from Alexander the Great. Known in the French deck as Alexandre.


(n) Alexander.


(adv) Still having chips, usually in a tournament, that is, not yet busted out. Also, in the hunt, in the race.

all black

(adj or adv phrase) Having a spade or club flush. Also, all blue, all purple.

all blue

(adj or adv phrase) Having a spade or club flush. Also, all black, all purple.

all green

(adj or adv phrase) Having a flush. This term is used only by those who have played a lot in home games and not much in cardrooms. (If four-color decks (see four-color deck) come more into prominence, the phrase may be heard more in cardrooms.)

“All he needs is a chip and a chair.”

(expression) See chip and a chair.

all in

(adv phrase) Out of chips, due to having put one’s remaining chips into the current pot, while other active players still have more chips and have the option of further betting. “He can’t call the whole bet because he’s all in.”

All in.”

(expression) A verbal declaration by a player that he is all in, that is, he is either betting or raising all his chips, or the call he is making requires him to put all his chips into the pot.


(adj) 1. Tending to run out of chips, due to going all in frequently. “He sure likes to chunk ’em in. He’s an all-in player.” — (n) 2. A hand, player, or bet that has gone all in. “The all-in won a big main pot.”

all-in bet

(n phrase) A bet made by a player in which he puts all his chips in the pot because he is all in; a bet of all one’s chips.

all-in disconnect protection

(n phrase) All-in protection.

all-in protection

(n phrase) In online poker, a facility that prevents a player’s hand from being folded when the player loses his Internet connection. If the player gets disconnected, the player is all in for the amount that has been bet up till that point and a side pot is created for any further action. If the player has the best hand at the showdown, he receives the main pot. All-in protection is usually offered only in limit games. Big-bet games are generally designated as not having all-in protection.

“All my chips.”

(expression) “I’m going all in.” Sometimes shortened to “AMC.”

all pink

(adj or adv phrase) Having a heart or diamond flush. Also, all red.

all purple

(adj or adv phrase) Having a spade or club flush. Also, all black, all blue.

all red

(adj or adv phrase) Having a heart or diamond flush. Also, all pink.

all the way

(adv phrase) 1. Describing going or being all in. 2. Describing staying in a pot, calling opponents’ bets and raises until the showdown.

all the way.”

(expression) Betting all one’s chips, usually preceded by go. “If I make this hand, I’m going all the way.”

“All the way in one play.”

(expression) “I’m betting all my chips.”

alone player

(n phrase) A cheater working with no confederates.

a lot of hands

(n phrase) See lot of hands.

a lot of his children out there

(n phrase) Describing having a big investment in a pot. “He’s got a lot of his children out there” means he just made a substantial wager.

alternate straight

(n phrase) Skip straight.


(expression) “All my chips.” An announcement, usually in a no-limit game, on his turn that a player is betting or raising all of his chips.

American Airlines

(n phrase) 1. In hold’em, a pair of aces as starting cards. 2. In other games, a pair of aces. Both senses come from the logo of the airline.

America’s Mad Genius

(n phrase) See Mad Genius of Poker.


(n) Ammunition.


(n) Chips. “Houseman, I need more ammunition” is a request for more chips.


(n) A form of seven-card stud found only in home games in which cards are passed to left and right, some times multiple times, and with five cards chosen at the end and rolled, that is, exposed one at a time. Also called pass the trash, Screwy Louie.


(n) In hold’em, 2-2 as starting cards. Comes from the Anaheim NHL team the Mighty Ducks.

… and change

(n phrase) See change (definition 2).


(n) 1. A maneuver, on the border between legality and illegality (but usually clearly unethical), to take unfair advantage of another player. Extreme example: Some clubs consider putting fewer chips than required into the pot an uncompleted bet that is not valid until completed, and that, furthermore, can be removed until such time as sufficient chips are bet. (Fortunately, there aren’t many such clubs.) In such a club, you bet $100 and another player puts in $99. You show your cards, which have him beat. He says, “I put in only $99; I didn’t call your bet.” He withdraws the chips. Of course, if he had you beat, he would quietly take the whole pot. If someone pointed out at that juncture that he called only $99, he would probably say, “Oh, pardon me, just an oversight; I meant to call,” add the missing chip, and then drag the pot. All of that is part of an angle. See angle shooter. Another example: In a no-limit game, the holder of the big blind might say to the small blind, “If no one else comes in, you put them all in blind and I’ll call you.” Everyone folds to the small blind, who puts in all his chips without looking. The big blind, already looking at this cards, calls. The small blind says, “Hey, you’re looking. We agreed to go all in blind.” The big blind says, “That’s all right. I had already committed. It doesn’t make any difference if I look now.” However, if the big blind didn’t like his cards, he would say, instead, “Oh, I forgot we agreed on that and I already looked.” Another angle is deliberately miscalling one’s hand in an attempt to get the other player to fold a better hand. When caught, the perpetrator claims to have misread his hand. — (v) 2. Perpetrate an angle. More commonly shoot an angle.

angle shooter

(n phrase) A poker player who uses various underhanded, unfair methods to take advantage of inexperienced opponents. The difference between an angle shooter and a cheat is only a matter of degree. What a cheat or thief does is patently against the rules; what an angle shooter does may be marginally legal, but is neither ethical nor gentlemanly. Nor is it in the spirit of the game. Unfortunately, poker is not a gentleman’s game. In addition to learning how to protect yourself against cheating players, you must learn to watch out for the angle shooters. See angle.

angle shot

(n) An angle, or the act of shooting (perpetrating) an angle. Sometimes simply shot.


(n) In an online cardroom, this term refers to the dealing of cards, chip movement, and so on, which take place as smooth movements. At some sites, you can disable this facility so that these actions take place instantaneously. That is, instead of seeing an animation of the cards sliding across the table to the players, you just see them appear at the players’ positions.

Anna Kournikova

(n phrase) In hold’em, 9-5 as starting cards. From the tennis pro’s initials; also linked to an associated saying, in that both are said to look better than they play.


(v) 1. Declare. 2. Voice an announced bet.

announced bet

(n phrase) A verbal declaration by a player, in turn, in a no-limit or spread-limit game, of the amount of his bet, or, in other games, that he is betting. In games in which announced bets are permitted, they are usually binding (when made in turn).

“Another country heard from.”

(expression) A saying heard when someone who has not yet acted comes into a pot with a fresh raise after there already has been a raise.


(n phrase) In hold’em, 4-2 as starting cards. In The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, a computer decided that the answer to everything in the universe was 42.


(n) 1. One or more chips put into each pot by each player before the cards are dealt. An ante is not part of a player’s next bet, as opposed to a blind, which usually is. 2. All of the antes in a particular pot, taken as a whole; usually preceded by the. “Nobody else had anything when I had rolled-up aces, and all I won was the ante.” 3. The player to the left of the dealer, usually in an ante and straddle game. — (v) 4. Put an ante into a pot. “Someone’s light in this pot; did you ante, Andy?”

ante and straddle

(n phrase) A game in which the player to the left of the dealer (the ante) puts in (usually) one chip before getting any cards, and the player to his left (the straddle) puts in two chips. (Sometimes the dealer also puts in one chip.) The first player to have a choice on making a bet after having seen his cards is the player two positions to the left of the dealer. This is an old name for what is now called a two-blind traveling blind game. This is similar to a blind and straddle game. Also see small blind, middle blind, big blind.

ante bean

(n phrase) An ante, or a chip used to ante.

ante bet

(n phrase) A side bet made in some nonpoker games, such as Caribbean Stud or Wild Hold’em Fold’em.

ante game

(n) A poker game with antes instead of blinds. Forms of stud are the usual ante games. Compare with blind game.

ante off

(v phrase) See blind off.

ante up

(v phrase) Put one’s ante in the pot.

Ante up.”

(expression) A request, usually by the dealer, to one or more players to ante up.


(n) Much. “How’d you do today?” “Oh, I didn’t win anything.”

anything opens

(n phrase) Open on anything.

any two cards

(n phrase) The only requirement that some hold’em players seem to need to participate in a hand. That is, they play every (or almost every) hand. Sometimes rendered as the initialism ATC.


(n, initialism) Australia and New Zealand Poker Tour.


(n) Shorthand, particularly in e-mail and Internet postings and in tournament listings, for add-on.


(n) Apology card.

apology card

(n) In lowball, the appearance in the current hand of the card that would have made what one was drawing to the previous hand. For example, a player draws, in ace-to-five lowball, to A-2-3-4 and catches a 4. Next hand, he looks at the first card he receives from the dealer. It’s a 5, which he turns face up for the whole table to admire (presumably because some of them may never have seen a 5 before), while saying, “There it is, the apology card.”


(n) See software.


(n) Big game, often the biggest game in a particular club. “I lost $1,000 in the apple today.” Also, big apple.


(n) See software.


(n, initialism) Asian Pacific Poker Tour.


(n) 1. A game full of fish. 2. See Don’t tap on the aquarium.

“Are we bumping heads?”

(expression) See bump heads.


(n) *ARGE, or, less specifically, anything to do with the online poker community.


(n) Any of several BARGE-like conventions, including ESCARGOT, FARGO, MARGE, and SARGE. Also rendered *ARG.


(n) Someone who attends BARGE or any of the other *ARGE conventions or is on any of the e-mail mailing lists.


(n) The queen of clubs. May be an anagram of regina (queen in Latin), or a corruption of Argea, a daughter of King Adrastus of Argos in Greek mythology.

Arizona hold’em poker

(n phrase) A casino game, banked by the house, dealt from one deck, in which players do not compete against the dealer. The game is related to hold’em in the way hands are formed, but is not really a poker game. (See nonpoker games.) It is also very similar to Let It Ride Bonus. Each player has three betting areas marked A, 1, and 2. Each player makes an ante bet in betting area A. Each player receives three cards face down, and two cards are dealt face down as community cards, which will be used by each player to make a five-card hand. Players then look at their cards. Each player decides in turn to continue betting, or stop at just the ante bet. To continue, a player places a bet equal to the ante bet in area 1. The first community card is then turned over. Again each player who has made another bet decides in turn to continue betting, or stop where he is. To continue, a player places a bet equal to the ante bet in area 2. At this point, each player has made one, two, or three bets. The second community card is then turned over. The dealer reveals each hand in turn. If the player does not have a pair of 10s or higher, he loses all bets. Winning payouts are: royal flush, 250:1; straight flush, 50:1; four of a kind, 25:1; full house, 12:1; flush, 10:1; straight, 8:1; three of a kind, 3:1; two pair, 2:1; pair of 10s through aces, 1:1.

Arkansas flush

(n phrase) Four-card flush.

a round from home

(n phrase) Round from home.

around-the-corner straight

(n phrase) In high draw poker, a special straight, a nonstandard hand sometimes given value in a private or home game, five cards in a series in which the sequence of cards is considered to continue from king through ace, as, for example, J-Q-K-A-2. Sometimes the hand ranks between three of a kind and a “normal” straight; sometimes it ranks between a “normal” straight and a flush.


(n) The totality of a poker player’s weapons or bag of tricks; everything a player is capable of. “His arsenal includes the ability to pull the trigger three times.”


(n) Mechanic who marks cards.

artist in coloring

(n phrase) Painter.

Asian five-card stud

(n phrase) A form of five-card stud played with a stripped deck. Although this game has all the elements of poker, it is nonetheless sometimes classified as a California game.

Asian games

(n phrase) The former name for California games. The term is still sometimes used in casinos and cardrooms.

Asian Pacific Poker Tour

(n phrase) A series of tournaments that take place in Asian countries and Oceania. Sometimes rendered as the initialism APPT.

Asian section

(n phrase) The part of a casino or cardroom in which Asian games are played.

Asian stud

(n phrase) Asian five-card stud.

ask for a count

(v phrase) See count.

As Nas

(n phrase) A (purportedly) ancient Persian game that some say is an ancestor of poker.


(n) What sits on a poker chair, particularly as heard in the phrase chasing the luck with your ass.

assigned bettor

(n phrase) The player who is first to bet in a particular round.


(n) Shorthand, particularly in e-mail and Internet postings, for any two cards. Also a chat term.


(adv) Someone who regularly loses to you. Also called personal ATM. “George always pays me off. He’s been my personal ATM for months.”


(n) Shorthand for ace-to-five lowball.

A-to-5 lowball

(n phrase) A shortened name for ace-to-five lowball.

attack the blinds

(n phrase) Raise with the intention of forcing out blinds and stealing their chips; steal the blinds.

at the table

(n phrase) 1. In the process or act of playing poker. “He has a great image at the table, but away from it, he’s just a wuss.” 2. Seated. “There were only four players at the table when the jackpot was hit.”


(n) In hold’em, T-T as starting cards. Comes from Audi’s TT sports car.

Austin Squatty

(n) In hold’em, J-4 as starting cards, named after John Holmes “Austin Squatty” Jenkins III, who supposedly liked to raise and reraise with this hand. Jenkins was a Texas historian, antiquarian bookseller, publisher, and poker player, given the nickname because of his habit of sitting cross-legged while playing. He was known for putting up the money for the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre, and was shot and killed under mysterious circumstances in 1989.

Australia and New Zealand Poker Tour

(n phrase) A series of tournaments that take place in Australia and New Zealand. Sometimes rendered as the initialism ANZPT.


(adv) Being in a must-bet situation.

automatic bet

(n phrase) A bet, often a bluff, made, regardless of one’s cards, in a situation in which the bet usually wins. For example, in a lowball game, if one player drew four cards and passes after the draw, and the next player drew one and passed, the latter almost always makes an automatic bet, because most of the time that player has the best hand and the few times that he doesn’t, the drawer of four cards doesn’t call anyway.

automatic betting scheme

(n phrase) Ante and straddle.

automatic bluff

(n phrase) A situation in which the correct strategy is to bluff regardless of the strength of one’s cards; automatic bet.

automatic call

(n phrase) A must-call situation, that is, one in which a player has either a very strong hand or in which the player is getting such good pot odds for the current (usually final) bet that it would be “bad poker” to fold.

automatic fold

(n phrase) 1. A hand so poor that it should be surrendered against any bet. 2. A situation in which the correct strategy is to fold with substandard cards. 3. In online poker, an advance action button that preselects folding one’s hand.

auto-muck hands

(v phrase) When this facility is enabled in an online cardroom, the software automatically discards your cards at the showdown in turn when you have a loser. When this facility is disabled, the software prompts you in turn to either discard your losing cards or, if you wish, show those cards before then discarding them.


(v) Either auto-post antes or auto-post blinds.

auto-post antes

(v phrase) When this facility is enabled in an ante game at a table of an online cardroom, the software automatically puts in your ante for you at the start of each hand.

auto-post blinds

(v phrase) When this facility is enabled in a blind game at a table of an online cardroom, the software automatically posts (see post) your blinds for you at the appropriate time.

auto-post when entering a table

(v phrase) When this facility is enabled at a table of an online cardroom, the software automatically immediately posts (see post) a blind for you as soon as you sit down.


(n) In an online cardroom, the graphical representation of a player while he is seated at a table, presented in the form of a caricature at his seating position at the table. Some sites predefine avatars and assign them to specific seats, some allow players to choose from a predefined (but limited) collection not tied to specific seats, while still others allow players to upload their own images, which can then be seen by all participants and viewers. (These uploadable images are technically not avatars, but are mentioned for completeness.) Some sites also allow players to turn on or off the representation of avatars; when turned off, a player sees only iconic representations of players (as, for example, circles or disk-shaped figures).

average chip count

(n phrase) Average stack size.

average stack size

(n phrase) In a tournament, the average number of chips remaining per player, calculated by dividing the total number of chips in play by the number of remaining players. For example, if a tournament had a starting field of 500, and each started with $10,000 in chips, then the total number of chips in play would be $5 million. If 100 players remained, the average stack size would be $50,000.


(n) See staying out of the way of.


(n) The percentage of a pot kept by the management to pay expenses; usually called drop.


(n phrase) In hold’em, starting cards of an ace plus another unspecified card, probably small.

Entire dictionary copyright (©) 2010, Michael Wiesenberg. Online publication rights owned by Mike Caro / MCU. No part of this dictionary may be republished without written permission.


3 thoughts on “Wiesenberg: MCU Dictionary of Poker | Letter A”

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  1. Ed:

    Thanks for pointing out the mistakes. These occurred during processing. Other mistakes have been found and these are being addressed.


  2. Following the definition for:

    ACCORDING TO HOYLE is the definition for ACE. however the word ACE does not appear in bold prior to the definition.

    Following the definition for:

    ANSWER is the defnition for ANTE. however the word ANTE does not apear in bold prior to the definition.

    there may be more proof errors but caught these two so wanted to let you know.

    1. Hi, Ed —

      Note that Michael Wiesenberg replied to you below. We think the mistakes appeared during processing of the files here at Poker1, prior to upload. Thanks for pointing these out.

      The corrections will be made within a few days of this comment’s date (2011-08-30).

      Straight Flushes,
      Mike Caro

      FOLLOW-UP NOTE: This entry was fixed on 2011-08-30 at 2:50 p.m. Central (Daylight Savings) Time. The changes were approved by Michael Wiesenberg.

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