Wiesenberg: MCU Dictionary of Poker | Letter B




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(n phraseBrick and mortar club.

b&m cardroom

(n phraseBrick and mortar cardroom.

b&m club

(n phraseBrick and mortar club.


(nBest all-around player.


(n1. A small card, usually a 2 through 5 in games other than ace-to-five lowball, and ace through 5 in lowball. “I caught a baby.” — (adj2. Small. “I need a baby card.” “I have a baby pair.” 3. In lowball, smooth. A baby 8 in ace-to-five lowball would be an 8-5 or 8-4. The term is usually applied to an 8 or worse. (That is, while you might hear the terms baby 8 and baby 9 in a lowball game, you probably won’t hear baby 6 or baby 7.)


(adv1. Reverting to ace-to-five lowball, as in jacks back. — (vt2. Finance another player. See bankroll (definition 2).

back bet

(n phrase1. The bet made by a backline bettor. 2. A supplemental bet made in games such as Caribbean Draw Poker.


(vt1. In hold’em (and sometimes seven-card stud), catch two cards in a row on the turn and river to make a straight or flush when a player had only three cards to the hand on the flop (or fifth street in seven-card stud, and then catch the two cards in a row on the sixth and seventh streets); always followed by the name of the hand caught. The term often applies to a hand made on the end that the player of the hand wasn’t trying to make, implying that the player had something else to go for on three cards than the straight or flush. For example, a player starts with A♥ 8♥, and the flop is A♠ 6♦ 4♥. The turn is 9♥, and the river J♥, causing the player to backdoor a flush. See runner-runner. Sometimes the term refers to making four of a kind when a player had a pair in the hole (and nothing else on the flop). “I had a set the whole way, and he backdoored a straight on me.” 2. Make a hand other than what one was going for. “I flopped a four flush, but I backdoored two more queens and won.” — (adj3. Part of the phrase backdoor flush or backdoor straight.

backdoor flush

(n phrase) The hand made by catching two cards to a flush as described under backdoor.

backdoor straight

(n phrase) The hand made by catching two cards to a straight as described under backdoor.

back down

(v phrase) Give up on a particular hand; decide not to make a standfold for a bet (probably a substantial one).

backed up

(adv phrase1. Paired. “I have kings backed up” means, in a draw poker game, “I have one pair, kings.” In seven-card stud, having a pair in the hole; wired. — (adj phrase2. Paired. “I have backed up kings” means the same as the preceding.


(n) Someone who finances another player. See bankroll (definition 2). “How you gonna get into the tournament? I thought you were broke.” “I have a backer.”

back in

(v phrase1. In a pass-and-back-in game, come into the pot after having passed. 2. Come into a pot cheaply as a result of having a blind and there not having been a raise.


(n) The cash supplied by a backer. “How you gonna get into the tournament? I thought you were broke.” “I have backing.”

back into

(v phrase1. Win a pot unexpectedly or by default. For example, in hold’em, John has 3-2 offsuit on the big blind and everyone limps so John gets in “for free.” The flop comes A-A-A. If anyone bets, John is prepared to fold. A 5 comes on the turn. Again, no one bets. Now a 4 comes on the river, to complete a straight for John, a hand he would never have made if anyone had bet. John backed into the pot. 2. End up with a hand other than the one you were drawing to. For example, in seven-card stud, start with two pair on the first four cards and end up with a flush. Same as backdoor (definition 1). Also, back into a hand.

back into a hand

(v phrase) See back into.


(v1. Make an agreement between two or more players to accumulate chips by extracting a certain amount per hand or per bet from the winner’s pot and keeping the chips in a special area called the backline. For example, in a $10-limit game, if two players are backlining one chip per bet, and one of them wins a $100 pot (that is, the pot contains 10 bets), $10 goes on the backline. If they are backlining one chip per bet won, and both of them (only) are in the pot, only $5 goes on the backline (because the winner of the pot profited by $50, or five bets). At some prearranged time, the players split the backline. That is the point of this arrangement, that when one of the players is running bad, he makes some money off his “partner’s” good fortune. If the player who maintains the backline runs out of his own chips, there may be some argument about whether those chips are playable, or if the other player runs out of chips, he may want to get his share of the backline. For the reason that arguments sometimes arise from this sort of arrangement, many clubs do not permit backlining. In such clubs, some obstinate players do it anyway, but surreptitiously. It’s best when backlining that all parties involved in the agreement maintain sufficient chips to avoid running out in one pot or having to use the backline chips to bet with. A sharp tight player tries to make a backlining arrangement with a loose player. The loose player may lose money overall, but he wins more pots (because he plays more pots), and so the backline accumulates. The loose player doesn’t mind contributing when he’s winning, and when he’s losing, and his “partner” is lucky, he gets something from it. He just doesn’t realize that he’s taking the worst of it in yet another situation. Compare with save bets.— (n2. The chips accumulated by backlining. The name probably comes from where the chips are kept. The backline is usually a stack of chips behind a player’s own playing capital. Sometimes the backline is kept on the wooden rim, if the table has one.

backline bet

(n phrase) In California games, multiple players may wager on the same hand. When a player bets on a hand and is not seated at that location at the table it is called backline betting. Backline bettors usually stand behind the seated player on whose hand they’re betting but they can also be seated at another seat location. Whoever wagers the most on a hand determines how to set (definition 3) the hand.

backline bettor

(n phrase) One who makes a backline bet

back peek

(n phrase) A cheating maneuver that enables the dealer to see the face of the top card on the deck, accomplished by squeezing the top of the deck between thumb and little finger in such a way as to bow the top card in the middle so that its value can be surreptitiously viewed. This move is made prior to dealingseconds. Also called heel peek. Compare with front peek.


(n1. Reraise2. More specifically, a reraise from a player who previously limped in the same betting round. “I limped and then backraised with pocket sixes to isolate an all-in player.” — (v3. Make a small raise to prevent further or larger raises, when the number of raises in a betting interval is limited. Usually permitted only in home games, in which the rule that a raise must equal in size the previous bet or raise does not hold. 4. Make a reraise as described in definition 2. For definitions 2 and 4, also limp reraise.

back room

(n phrase) Where a single-table cardroom might have its game, possibly in a separate room. Also, in the back.

back-room poker

(n phrase) Poker played in a back room.


(n) The reverse sides of the cards, as opposed to the sides that show their ranks and suits. Opposite of faces (see face).

back seat

(n phraseLate position.

back to back

(adv phrase1. Serially, or in a row. “I won big pots back to back.” “I drew two cards and caught kings back to back.” 2. Wired.


(adj phrase1. Serially, or in a row. “I got even in back-to-back hands.” “I drew two cards and caught back-to-back kings.” 2. Wired.


(n) In low or high-low, particularly a flop game, an extra low card that helps prevent a low hand from getting counterfeited. For example, in Omaha, with a hand of A-J-6-2 and a board of K-7-3, the 6 serves as a backup for low in case an ace or 2 gets dealt on the turn or river (thus allowing the other two low cards in the hand to combine with the 3 on the board to form a qualified low. Also backup drawsecondary draw.

backup draw

(n phraseBackup.

backward player

(v phrase) One who thinks of himself as tricky because he checks good hands and bets big (as a bluff) with weak ones.


(adj) rough (definition 1); usually followed by the rank of the hand, as a bad eight.


(n) A split-pot game, played triple-draw, with the pot split between the best ace-to-five hand and the holder of the best four-card badugi. If no one holds a four-card badugi, the pot goes to the holder of the best ace-to-five hand. Also spelled badacy. Compare with badeucy.


(n) Badacey.

bad beat

(n phrase) The situation in which a strong hand is beaten by a longshot or improbable hand, particularly when the holder of the eventual winning hand should never have been in the pot in the first place (if playing correctly, at least by the reckoning of the loser of the pot).

bad beat jackpot

(n phrase) See jackpot.

bad-beat story

(n phrase) A story told by someone who lost a pot, often a big one, in a bad beat. Usually no one but the teller is interested in hearing the story. The analog in the fishing world is the one that got away.




(n) A split-pot game, played triple-draw, with the pot split between the best deuce-to-seven hand and the holder of the best four-card badugi. If no one holds a four-card badugi, the pot goes to the holder of the best deuce-to-seven hand. Also spelled badeucey, baduci. Compare with badacey.





bad percentage play

(n phrase) A bet or play that is mathematically unsound.

bad position

(n phrase) See position (definition 3, 4).

bad run

(n phraseLosing streak.




(n1. Four-card triple-draw ace-to-five lowball with suited cards being equivalent to pairs. The best hand is A-2-3-4 of four different suits. K-Q-J-10 is better than an A-2-3-4 that has two cards of the same suit. The game is sometimes played in high-stakes mixed games (see mixed game), both limit and pot limit. Smaller stakes are found online. In private games, it’s often a forced bet game. Also spelled badougi, badouqidookie,
padoogiepadookipaducahpaduki2. In this game, any four-card hand of four suits.


(n1. A small bet made to encourage a raise. See trap. — (v2. Make the bet described in definition 1.


(n) The second position to the left of the dealer. Sometimes called just B.

balanced games

(n phrase) The philosophy in some public cardroom that keeps two games of the same type at the same limit balanced with respect to the empty seats. Rather than one full game, and one short game, two games at the same limit would have the same number of empty seats. The rules that govern when and how players can move between such games vary from cardroom to cardroom. For example, if a cardroom has two 20-40 hold’em games, and 14 players, rather than seat nine players at one game and five at the other, the floor personnel ensure that the games stay at seven and seven. If one more player comes in, the games would become eight and seven. Whatever is considered the main game — sometimes the more desirable game in terms of action; sometimes the game that started first — gets the extra player when there are an odd number of players. The reason to have balanced games is so the cardroom doesn’t lose players who might not otherwise hang around to play in a short game. What often results is two short games full of disgruntled players. Compare with forced-move game.


(n phrase) In hold’em, 2-2 as starting cards, from a ballet dancer’s tutu.


(n1. Dollar; dollar chip. 2. A high card dealt to a seven-card stud 8-or-better player who’s trying for low. “I started with 6-5-2-A and then I was dealt banana, banana, banana.” 3. Montana banana.

b and m cardroom

(n phraseBrick and mortar cardroom.

b and m club

(n phraseBrick and mortar club.


(n1. Player’s bank. A regular player might request of a cashier, “I need $1,000 out of my bank.” — 2. (v) Act as cashier, that is, sell and buy chips, usually in a private game. (The term has a different meaning in house-banked casino games.)

banked game

(n phrase) House-banked game.


(n1. The player who sells and buys the chips, usually in a private game. This function is often fulfilled by the host of the game. 2. The player against whom all other players play in California games, analogous to the house in a casino. For this meaning, also player dealer.

banking game

(n phrase) House-banked game.


(n1. Playing capital. This might be the entire amount a given player has available or it might just be the amount he has brought with him for a given session. Sometimes expressed as BR. — (vt2. Put up the money for one or more players; provide backing for. Also see sponsor.

bankroll buster

(n phrase) A hand or situation that can devastate either a player’s own chip stack or that of an opponent.


(n) An Internet mailing list, based in the San Francisco Bay Area (hence the ba) devoted to discussions of poker. Also see rec.gambling.poker.


(vt) Officially exclude someone from playing in a particular establishment. “I hear Sin City barred Frankie for holding out.”

Barbara Hutton

(n phrase1. See dimestore. Comes from the name of the dimestore heiress. 2. In hold’em, 10-5 as starting cards.


(n) Austrian, Swiss, or German name for casino stud poker.


(n) Big August rec.gambling Excursion. An annual convention held in Las Vegas by members of rec.gambling.poker, that is, on-line poker players, featuring a no-limit tournament, other less-organized events, and much hilarity, including “must-toke” games such as Chowaha.


(n) Someone who attends BARGE or is on the BARGE e-mail mailing list.


(n) A kind of pidgin English that BARGErs use. An example is “Rai” for “Raise.”


(nFull house. (Rare.)


(n) Very good hand; likely a wheel in lowball or a high straight flush in high poker.


(adv) Officially excluded from playing in a particular establishment. “Frankie’s barred from Sin City for holding out.”


(n) A variant of seven-card stud, played in home games only, in which 3s and 9s are wild. A player dealt a 3 face up must either match the pot or fold. In some games, the player is not even offered the opportunity of folding; he must match the pot. Since the number 4 also has special significance in the “real” game of baseball, it also has special meaning in baseball. A player dealt a face-up 4 immediately receives another face-down card, to be used as an extra hole card. Sometimes (rarely) the game is played as five-card stud, in which case the player dealt a face-up 4 receives another face-up card.

baseball poker

(n phraseBaseball.

base deal

(n phrase) Dealing bottoms.

base dealer

(n phraseBottom dealer.


(n) Bottom of the deck; usually preceded by from the. Usually refers to the move of a bottom dealer. “I saw him coming from the basement” means I saw him deal a card from the bottom of the deck.


(n phrase) In hold’em, 3-A as starting cards; from the ice cream chain’s “31 Flavors.”

battle of the blinds

(n phrase) Describing a hand, usually in hold’em, played between only the holders of the small and big blinds.

bay and a gray

(n phrase) A $6 bet, consisting of a red chip ($5) and a white chip ($1). Such a bet would be made in a $3-$6 limit game. Bay comes from horseracing, where it is a reddish brown horse with black markings; red casino chips often have black markings on their edges.


(nChat term for “be back.”


(n) Shorthand, particularly in e-mail and Internet postings, for big blind. Also a chat term.


(nChat term for “be back later.”


(n1. Bet blind-raise blind (definition 1). — (v phrase2. Bet blind-raise blind (definition 2). One player asks another, “BBRB?” This means, if you bet blind, I will raise you blind,” or, “If I bet blind, will you raise blind?”


(nBottom dealer.


(n) Chip; dollar. “Dealer, would you sell me some ante beans?” “Cost ya a bean to get in this pot.”


(n1. See loaded for bear2. Tight player.


(vt1. Get ahead of. “I can’t beat this game.” — (n2. The situation of losing a pot, often to someone defying the odds; usually preceded by bad. “I flopped four kings. The guy called all the way with deuce-trey suited and backdoored a straight flush. What a beat!”

beat [someone] in the pot

(v phraseBeat [someone] into the pot.

beat [someone] into the pot

(v phrase) Gladly call a bet when holding a superior hand. “I went all in on. Lili had flopped a full house, so of course she beat me into the pot.” Also, beat [someone] in the pot.

beat the board

(v phrase1. In a stud game, have a hand better than any other player’s board. The opposite is can’t beat the board, and means that a particular player’s entire seven-card hand cannot beat the four exposed cards of another player. 2. In hold’em, have a hand that is better than the board. The opposite is can’t beat the board, and implies that the player is playing the board. (See play the board.)

beat your neighbor

(n phraseNo peeky.

be dealt in

(v phrase) Receive cards. See deal in.


(n) A form of widow game found only in home games, in which each player is dealt five downcards, as in draw, followed by a betting round, and then 10 cards are arranged in two columns of five, with each turned face up one at a time, each followed by another betting round (yes, 11 betting rounds). Each player makes the best hand possible by using any combination from his five and two next to each other from the widow.

Bee deck

(n) A standard paper deck for cardroom use, made by the American Playing Card Company; so called because of a drawing of a large bee on the ace of spades. Since the cards often have a diamond pattern on the back, they are sometimes called diamond-back cards.

beer hand

(n phrase) In hold’em, 7-2 as starting cards. Possibly comes from a cardroom saying that if you win with those cards you have to buy everyone a beer.

before the flop

(n phrasePreflop.


(n) In high games, a no-pair hand (and one that is not a straight or flush, either) with no card higher than a 10.


(v) Stop being aggressive in a specific hand; just call a bet. After raising several times, a player calls another reraise while saying, “I’ll behave.” That is, he will not put in a further raise.


(adv1. Losing. “Are you behind or ahead?” 2. With regard to a reference position at the table, acting after (usually immediately after). If the deal is one position to your left, you are behind the deal. If a player is sitting to your left, he acts behind you. 3. Not (currently) having the best hand. “I knew my pair of sixes was behind Emilie’s aces, but I also knew if I caught another one I’d get all her chips, so I took another card off.”

behind a log

(adv phrase) Describing a situation in which a player is far ahead of a game and thus playing only premium hands. Sometimes playing behind a log.

behind the log

(adv phraseBehind a log.

belly buster

(n phrase) A card that makes an inside straight.

belly-buster straight

(n phrase) A straight made by catching a belly buster.

belly card

(n) A card that makes an inside straight.

belly hit

(n1. A card that makes an inside straight2. The situation in which a hand catches a card that makes an inside straight.

belly straight

(nInside straight.

belly stripper

(n) A card having its long edge shaved. See side strippers.

belly strippers

(nSide strippers.

belly up

(v phrase) Usually followed by to the bar. “I’m going to belly up to the bar” means “I’m going to go to the bar.”


(adv1. Honestly; usually preceded by play. To play belly-up implies honest play from a usually dishonest player. “Why do I deal myself seconds? Because I can’t win when I play belly-up.” 2. Playing carefully, as opposed to recklessly. “I don’t lose as much when I play belly-up, but I don’t have any fun, either.”3. Broke; busted. “I went belly-up after I had that flush beat.”

below the curve

(n phrase) See curve.


(v) Mark a card by creasing or folding slightly.


(n1. A card marked by creasing or folding slightly, so that a cutter can cut to that card. See briefhit the brief. — (adj2. Pertaining to a card, having such a marking. Can also refer to a card being innocently or accidentally folded. “Give us a new deck; we’ve got a bent card.”


(n1. A $100 bill. 2. $100.

Benny, Jack

(n phrase) See Jack Benny.

Bernstein, Joe

(n phrase) See Joe Bernstein.


(n) The nuts; usually preceded by the.

berry patch

(n) An easy (to beat) game, particularly one full of live ones gambling it up.

best all-around player

(n phrase) The player who wins the most points in a tournament that consists of several events, usually based on a point system wherein finishing position is awarded points, with first place the most, and so on. An award, called best all-around player award, is given to the player who accrues the most points. Sometimes a freeroll tournament is played among the top point finishers. Also called BAAP.

best all-around player award

(n phrase) See best all-around player.

best flush

(n phrase) A form of draw poker found only in home games, in which only flushes win. If there are more than one flush, the best one wins, exactly as if two or more flushes were competing in an ordinary game. If there is only one five-card flush, that hand wins. If there are no flushes, then the best four-card flush wins. If there are no four-card flushes, then the best three-card flush wins. Rarely, the best two-card flush wins.

best hand

(n phrase) The winner at a particular point doing the play of a hand, particularly at the showdown. An oft-heard cardroom saying is “The best hand stood up.”


(n) A cheating technique, necessarily involving signals, in which only the best hand among two or more partners is played in any one pot, thereby saving the others money when that hand is beat, and reducing the difficulties of figuring out who gets how much at split time. For example, Slim and Shorty are playing best-hand in an ace-to-five lowball game. Slim is under the gun with a pat 7-6-3-2-A, and is about to open, when he sees Shorty signaling that he has a pat 6-5-4-3-2. Slim very carefully discards his hand. (He does not throw the cards wildly into the discards; they might bounce and accidentally turn over. Slim would have a difficult time explaining to the other players why he wasn’t even opening the pot with such a good hand.) Shorty plays the hand, and likely wins it. If he loses, however, he doesn’t cause Slim also to lose money to the holder of the winning hand, thereby saving the cheating team half of what they would have lost. Best-hand is one of the most difficult scams to detect, because the players are not raising for each other, nor are they performing any physical manipulations upon the cards. Even with careful observation, best-hand could easily be confused with the legitimate situation of players staying out of each other’s way.

best of it

(n phrase1. Advantage or edge. In hold’em, it might be said of a conservative player, “When he calls a big bet, he’s usually got the best of it.” For this sense, the opposite of worst of it2. An edge gained by cheating; often preceded by taking or take. “He’s never in a game unless he’s taking the best of it.”


(v1. Wager. “I bet.” — (n2. The action required of a person whose turn it is to bet. “Whose bet is it?” 3. A unit wager in a limit game. “It’s three bets up to you” means, if you come into the pot, you have to put in three betting units.” If you were in a $2-limit game, you would have to put $6 in the pot to play (or $8 — four bets — if you raised); If you were in a $200-limit game, you would have to put $600 in the pot to play.


(v) Put in the second, third, or higher bet; always preceded by a number, as in two-bet or three-bet.

bet after the declare

(v phrase) A variation found in home games in which there is an extra round of betting after players have made their declaration. The showdown follows this round of betting. Also called bet-declare-bet.

bet at

(v phrase) Make a bet directed at a particular player. “When he checked, I bet at him.”

bet at the pot

(v phrase) Make a bet, particularly with the implication of trying to win the pot right there, that is, with the intention of not getting called.

bet blind

(v phrase) Make a bet without looking at one’s cards. This occurs most frequently in lowball, in which a player draws one or more cards and, on the second round of betting, bets before receiving the card or cards. This is done usually for the purpose of stimulating action, but sometimes to discourage an opponent from raising. Sometimes players claim to bet blind but have actually seen their draw card or cards; doing this is considered bad form, and gives the claimant a bad reputation. The term is also heard in seven-card stud, with a player betting before receiving the river card, or in hold’em before the river card is dealt.

bet blind-raise blind

(n phrase1. The term usually applies to a draw game, generally lowball, and is often shortened to BBRB. The situation in which one player offers to bet without looking at his cards if the second will raise, similarly without looking at his cards. — (v phrase2. This is usually part of a proposition. That is, one player asks another, “Bet blind, raise blind?” This means, “If you bet blind, I will raise you blind.”

bet dark

(v phrase) See dark.


(v phraseBet after the declare.

bet down to the felt

(v phrase) See felt.

bet for value

(v phrase) Bet a hand with the intention of getting called by one or more lesser hands, as opposed to getting the others to fold. Usually implies betting a hand that has only a slight edge, and one that a conservative player would likely check with. Also value bet.

bet in the dark

(v phrase) See dark.

bet into

(v phrase) Make a bet before another player, often one who potentially has a better hand, or make a wager aimed at a particular player or hand. “How could you bet into him when he stood pat?” Or, “I never bet into a one-card draw.” Compare with bet at.

bet into a dry pot

(v phrase) See dry pot.

bet in turn

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

bet limit

(n phrase) See limit (definition 1).


(n, adj phraseBet-or-fold.


(n, adj phrase) A form of draw poker in which, before the draw, if the pot has not yet been opened, a player must, in turn, either open the pot, or fold. Also called pass-and-out or pass-out. Compare with pass-and-back-in.

bet odds

(n phrasePot odds.

bet out

(v phrase) Make the first bet in a given round. “He bet out on the flop.”

bet out of turn

(v phrase) Put money in the pot before it is one’s turn to do so, that is, before other players who are supposed to act first have had a chance to indicate what they are going to do. In most cardrooms, acting out of turn is not binding. A player who puts money in the pot out of turn is usually permitted to withdraw that money, and is usually required to do so. Betting out of turn is often an honest mistake, particularly from a beginner or someone who doesn’t pay enough attention to what is going on; sometimes, though, it is an angle intended to influence the action of others.

bet size

(n phrase1. Limit (definition 1). 2. The dollar or chip amount of the wager being made or under discussion. “What was the bet size?”

bet sizing

(v phrase) In a no-limit game, making bets of such an amount that, the bettor hopes, make it either attractive to enter the pot or do not offer proper money odds (with the intention of getting opponents to fold).

bet [someone] off a hand

(v phrase) See get [someone] off a hand.

better ace

(n phrase) In hold’em, having as hole cards an ace with a higher kicker than an opponent who also has an ace in the hole.

better spot

(n phrase) A more favorable playing situation, either playing in a better game or having better position (definition 3, 4) at the table one is in. Often expressed as part of a desire. “I can’t do anything right at this table. I need to find a better spot.”

bet the farm

(v phrase) See farm.

bet the limit

(v phrase) Bet the maximum permitted, usually in a spread-limitno-limit, or pot-limit game.

bet the pot

(v phrase) Make a bet equal to the size of the pot, in a no-limit or pot-limit game.

bet the raise

(n phrase) A betting limit in which a player can bet or raise a maximum equal to the total amount of chips the previous player has put into the pot. For example, Joe opens for one chip. Henry can call the one chip or raise one chip (thus betting two). If Henry bets two, Emilie can call the two chips or raise two chips (thus betting four). If Emilie bets four, Lili can call the four chips or raise four chips (thus betting eight). And so on.

bet the ranch

(v phrase) See ranch.

bet the size of the pot

(v phraseBet the pot.

bet thin

(v phrase) Bet only a small edge, if even that; make a that has only a very slight .

bet through

(v) When a player bets first in a situation in which two or more active players remain, he is said to be betting through the players between him and the last player. Sometimes come through.

betting interval

(n phrase) The period of time in a given round during which each active player has the option, in turn, of folding, betting, or raising, that is, from the first to the last bet in that round. See round of betting.

betting level

(n phrase) The limit at which a tournament is currently being played at a particular time. For example, a hold’em tournament might start at a betting level of 20-40, and then after 20 minutes, increase to a betting level of 40-80.

betting limit

(n phrase) See limit (definition 1).

betting pattern

(n phrase) A discernible methodology by which a player bets. A player with a betting pattern tends to bet the same in similar situations. For example, if he starts with a raise in hold’em when holding high cards, he bets on the next round regardless of whether the flop has helped him. Experts often find betting patterns in opponents more useful and reliable than tells (see tell).

betting round

(n phraseBetting interval.

betting stakes

(n phrase) See stakes.

betting structure

(n phrase) See structure.

Betty Hutton

(n phrase) A poker game played only in private or home games, a form of seven-card stud in which 5s and 9s are wild.


(n) The second-highest game in a particular club. Compare with A-gamebig apple.

Bible of Poker, The

(n phrase) Popular name for Super/System.


(n) In lowball, the best hand: in ace-to-five (the version of lowball usually played in California cardrooms), a bicycle is A-2-3-4-5 of various suits (including all the same suit); in deuce-to-seven lowball, a bicycle is 2-3-4-5-7 of mixed suits (they cannot be all the same suit). In high poker, a 5-high straight. Also called a wheel or a lowball. The name may have come from Bicycle cards.

Bicycle cards

(n) A paper cardroom deck manufactured by the American Playing Card Company with cards that feature a bicycle rider on the back. Also called Rider back. Compare with Bee deck.


(v, nDeclare, as pertains to declaration (definition 2).


(adj) Pertaining to $1,000. “I lost six big” means “I lost $6,000.”

big apple

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

big bet

(n phrase1. In a double-limit game, a bet at the larger bet size. For example, in 10-20small bets are $10 and big bets are $20. — (adj phrase2. Describing a pot-limit or no-limit game; often part of the phrase big bet game.

big bet game

(n phrase1.pot-limit or no-limit game. 2. High-stakes game.

big bet poker

(adj, n phrase) A pot-limit or no-limit game.

big bill

(n phrase1. $100 bill. 2. $1,000 bill.

big blind

(n phrase1. In a three-blind traveling blind game, the blind put up by the player two places to the dealer’s left. In any traveling blind game, the largest mandatory (as opposed to voluntary) blind. Also see middle blindlittle blinddealer blind2. The player occupying this position.

big blind special

(n phrase) A situation, usually in hold’em, in which (assuming no raising) the player in the big blind is dealt weak starting cards, but ends up making the best hand because he was able to see the flop for free, often by making two pair or a set from a starting hand like 9-3 or 10-2. Compare to small blind special.

big bobtail

(n phrase) A nonstandard hand sometimes given value in a private or home game, four cards to a straight flush. The hand ranks just below four of a kind.

Big Brother

(n phrase) In hold’em, 8-4 as starting cards. Comes from George Orwell’s 1984, in which Big Brother played a prominent part.

big card

(n phrase1. In high poker, usually a queen, king, or ace, and sometimes a jack. 2. In low poker, usually a 9 or higher, cards that cannot be part of a low hand in 8-or-better games. 3. In low poker games without a qualifier, cards that are relatively high. Compare to little cardmedium card.

big casino

(n) The 10 of diamonds; in lowball, a hand topped by this card. Comes from the game of casino (definition 3). Also see little casino.Also, big cassino.

big cassino

(n phraseBig casino.

big cat

(nBig tiger.

big chick

(n phrase) In hold’em, A-Q as one’s starting cards. May be a play on big slick.

Big Dance

(n) The championship event of the World Series of Poker; usually preceded by the.

big dime

(n) $10,000; usually heard only among sports bettors.

big dog

(n phrase1.nonstandard hand sometimes given value in a private or home game, five cards 9 to ace with no pair, which ranks below a little tiger and above a little dog2. A large underdog; that is, a situation in which a player or hand is unlikely to win, or the player or hand itself.

big field

(n phrase) A starting field that is comparatively large.

big flop

(n phrase) A flop that gives a player a big hand or a flop that contains high cards.

big full

(n phrase1. In a flop game, the highest possible full house given the cards on the board. For example, with a board of Q-Q-J-6-5, a player having a queen and a jack has a big full of kings over jacks. Compare with small full2. The specific hand aces full of kings.

big game

(n phrase) The biggest game in the house; usually preceded by the.

Big Game

(n phrase) A very large game, often regularly played at one of the biggest casinos in Las Vegas, and usually populated with some of the best poker professionals in the world and sometimes a few amateurs; usually preceded by the. The minimum bet is $1,000, and often much higher; the minimum buy-in could be upwards of $100,000.

big hand

(n phrase) A powerful hand, perhaps a full house or better in high poker, or a 6 or better in ace-to-five lowball. “His hand shakes whenever he has a big hand.”

big kicker

(n phrase) A high kicker (definition 2), probably an ace or king.

big lick

(n phrase) In hold’em, 6-9 as starting cards. A play on big slick and the sexual act.

big limit

(n phrase) One of the largest games played in a particular establishment or area. “He plays only big limit.” Also called high limit.


(adj) Pertaining to big limit. “He’s a big-limit player.” Also called high-limit.

big nickel

(n phrase) $500 or $5,000.

big one

(n phrase) $100 or $1,000, or a bill of that size. “How’d you do today?” “Lost a big one.” (You can usually tell by the size of game the player habitually plays how much he means.) 2. Big game. “Got your name up for the big one?”

Big One

(n phrase) The championship event of the World Series of Poker; usually preceded by the.

big pair

(n phrase) A large pair, generally 10s (in hold’em) or jacks or higher.

big player

(n phrase) A big-limit player, or someone who plays in large no-limit games.

Big Raise Hold’em

(n phrase) A house-banked casino game dealt from one deck, in which players play separately against the dealer. The game is related to hold’em in the way hands are formed, but is not really a poker game. Each player makes an ante bet and can also make a Big Raise bet of from one to three times the ante. This is done before receiving any cards. A further bet can be made to play against the bonus pay table; this bet wins when the player’s final hand is a pair of eights or better. Each player receives two hole cards and the dealer receives three cards – two face down and one face up. If the dealer’s upcard is an ace or a king, the player must go “all in,” risking both the ante and Big Raise. Otherwise, the player has a choice: risk the ante or the Big Raise bet (but not both), unless he has a pair, in which case he can risk both (go all in). After bets have been placed, the dealer then reveals his starting hand and deals three community cards, which then combine with the player’s hole cards to form the player’s five-card hand, and with the dealer’s three (if he started with an ace or king) or two hole cards to form the dealer’s best five-card hand. If the player’s hand beats the dealer’s, the player wins even money on the bet left in action, with ties pushing. Certain hands win payouts for the bonus bet, ranging from even money for a pair of eights to 50:1 for a royal flush. In addition, the ante and Big Raise bets always win 50:1 for a royal flush and 40:1 for a straight flush (in addition to the bonus payout). The game was invented by Shuffle Master, a company that makes automatic card-shuffling machines for casinos and cardrooms and devises new casino games.

big score

(n phrase) The winning of a large amount of money.

big slick

(n phrase) In hold’em, A-K as starting cards. Also known as Santa Barbara.

big squeeze

(n phrase) High-low six-card stud, sometimes played with a twist.

big stack

(n phraseTall stack.

big stack poker

(n phrase) Having a comparatively large amount of chips in a big bet game (definition 1) and playing aggressively because of the leverage the big stack affords. Compare with , which is not the same thing.

big tiger

(n phrase) A nonstandard hand sometimes given value in a private or home game, five cards 8 to king with no pair, which ranks above a tiger and just below a flush. Also called big cat.

big wrap

(n phraseFull wrap.


(n) An Omaha variant popular at BARGE. The game is played just like pot-limit Omaha, except that on the flop a single die is rolled. If the result of the roll is a 1, 2, or 3, the game is played 8-or-better. If the roll is 4, 5, or 6, the game is played high only. The game is named for its originator, Don “ADB Bingo” Reick.




(n1. A $100 bill. When you cash out just over $100, the cashier might ask, “Do you want a bill?” The cashier wants to know if you would prefer five twenties, or a single $100 bill. 2. $100. “How’d you do?” “I lost a bill today.”

bird dog

(n phrase1. Someone who checks out the action at a club (usually implying that he was sent by a rival club). For example, Big George wanders into the Pasatiempo Club about 10 p.m., hangs on the rail for awhile, and then leaves, without putting his name down for any of the games. The manager of the Pasatiempo knows that Big George is heading back to the Garden Snake Club to report that the Pasatiempo has 15 full tables, and several names on the board. The manager says to the owner, “Did you see that bird dog Big George in here just now?” “Yeah, don’t mind seeing him in here when we’ve got a full house.” (The owner would mind if half the tables were empty, because he wouldn’t want that information to get back to the owner of the rival Garden Snake Club.) 2. Someone who hustles players from one club into another. (Doing so is strictly against all cardroom etiquette, and is likely to get the perpetrator barred if he’s caught.)


(n) Queen.


(n1. Two or more queens. 2. In hold’em, two queens as starting cards.




1. Black chip. (adj2. See all black.

black chip

(n phrase) A $100 chip, in many cardrooms and casinos.

black chip game

(n phrase) A high-stakes game, that is, one using $100 chips.


(n) Old term for a card cheat or thief.

Black Maria

(n phrase1. The queen of spades; sometimes called just Maria2. The ace of spades, particularly when associated with the game of high spade in the hole3. High spade in the hole4. Also in home games, seven-card stud in which the pot is split between the holder of the high hand and the player who has the queen of spades in the hole.


(n) A card of no value to a hand. The term is usually used in stud and hold’em. For example, in hold’em, with a flop of A♥ J♠ T♥, a turn card of 3♣ would be considered a blank. The 2♥ or Q♦ would not be. Also, brickrag.


(n1. A hand consisting of five face cards. It has no ranking in cardroom poker, though sometimes does in private games. The term is often used by lowball players to embellish their hard-luck stories. “That guy just got his second bicycle, and what’d I get? Another blaze.” 2.nonstandard hand sometimes given value in a private or home game, consisting of five face cards, ranking between two pair and three of a kind, or sometimes between a flush and full house.


(v1. Win a lot of money a little at a time, from either a game or a particular player. “He’s been bleeding the game all day.” 2. Steadily lose money. “I’ve been bleeding for hours.” Also, hemorrhage.


(n1. A bet put in by a player before he gets his cards. A blind is part of that player’s bet if he comes into the pot, as opposed to an ante, which just “belongs to the pot.” A blind can be mandatory, as in a traveling blind game (with its dealer blindmiddle blind, and big blind), winner blind game, or one in which each player must blind a pot within a specified time, or else it can be optional, in which case it is often called a kill or overblind. Also see under-the-gun blind and little blind2. The player who puts in the blind. “Whose turn is it?” “It’s up to the blind.” — (v3. Put in one of the blinds. “It’s your turn to blind the pot.” “It’s your turn to blind.” 4. Make a blind check; usually followed by it. “I’ll blind it.” For definitions 1 to 3, also see come in on the blindin the blindmiss the blindtake the middle blind. — (adv5. Without looking at one’s cards. “I’ll bet blind.” 6. In three-card Manila, describing a player who has not looked at his cards. 7. See Minnesota hold’em.


(adv) Describing the Southern California form of limit poker, in which one blind is put in by the player to the left of the deal position, and any player winning two pots in a row must overblind the next hand (that is, double the stakes). Who wins a hand is usually kept track of by a plastic disk labeled “blind” on one side. The winner of one pot receives the disk face down with his chips; if he wins the next pot, the house dealer turns the disk so that the “blind” side is face up. For example, in a 3-blind game, the player under the gun puts three dollar chips in the pot before receiving his cards, and he acts last on the first round of betting. Sometimes also called -kill.

blind and straddle game

(n phrase) A game in which the player to the left of the dealer (the blind) puts in (usually) one chip before getting any cards, and the player to his left (the straddle) puts in two chips. This represents a blind open followed by a blind raise. 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 ante and straddle. Also see little blindmiddle blindbig blind.

blind bet

(v phrase1. Bet blind. — (n phrase2.forced bet made before the cards are dealt; blind (definition 1). 3. A bet made (presumably) without looking at one’s cards.

blind chips

(n phrase) Chips that are part of a blind or overblind.

blind game

(n phrase) A game with blinds. See blind (definition 1).

blind man

(n phrase) Player who holds the big blind. “It’s up to the blind man.”

blind man’s bluff

(n phrase) Another name for Indian poker.

blinded off

(adv phrase) Pertaining to the situation described under blind off. “John was given a time-out for his behavior and got blinded off until he could return.”

blinded out

(adv phrase) Having lost all one’s chips in a tournament by not being present to play the blinds. “John was given a time-out for his behavior and got blinded out of the tournament.”

blind off

(v phrase) In a tournament, when a player doesn’t show up at the start of a tournament but has paid for his chips, or after a break or on a second or succeeding day of play, or during the duration of a time-out, his chips are put into the pot to cover his blind (definition 1) or blinds each time the blinds come to him, until he does show up. If the player never shows up or shows up too late, all his chips might be blinded off. When the situation involves antes, the term ante off is sometimes used.

blind open

(n phrase1. A game in which the player to the left of the dealer (the blind) puts in (usually) one chip before getting any cards. After all the cards have been dealt, the player to the left of the blind must either fold, call the opening bet, or raise. In some games, this player must come in for a raise (or fold). Sometimes called blind tiger2. An opening bet made without looking at one’s cards.

blind opening

(n phraseBlind open (definition 1).

blind out

(v phrase) Lose all one’s chips in a tournament by not being present to play the blinds. See blind off.

blind raise

(n phrase) A game or situation in which the player to the left of the dealer (the blind) puts in (usually) one chip before getting any cards and the next player puts in two chips. This is a forced raise.

blind robber

(n) Someone who steals the blind (usually from the middle blind position to win the big blind, or the dealer position to win both blinds), that is, opens a pot without having good cards, hoping the blind will just throw his cards away and the opener can win the chips represented by the blind or blinds without having to actually play the hand. See steal the blinds.

blind stealer

(nBlind robber.

blind structure

(n) The structure of a game with respect to the sizes of its blinds. A small blind of $3 and a big blind of $5 would be one blind structure; while $5 and $10 would be another.

blind stud

(n) A home game, also called Mike or racehorse, played as five-, six-, or seven-card stud, with the exception that all cards are dealt face down. For example, in the seven-card stud variant, each player receives three cards face down, followed by a round of betting, another card face down, another round of betting, a fifth card face down, another round of betting, a sixth card face down, another round of betting, and a final card face down, with a final round of betting. The game generates a lot of action, but is more of a gamble — and thus presents less opportunity to the skillful, analytical player — than the “normal” stud versions with their several rounds of face-up cards.

blind the pot

(v phrase) Put an overblind into a pot.

blind tiger

(n phraseBlind open (definition 1).




(n) The marks put on cards described under peg.


(n) A totally worthless hand. When caught bluffing, a player might announce, “I’ve got a blivit.”


(n) A worthless watch. This has cardroom relevance, because you will often encounter a broker trying to sell you a hoop or a block.


(n) In community card games, holding one or more cards that block and opponent’s possibilities, that is, are among the opponent’s outs. For example, in hold’em, if a player has J-T and the board shows K-Q-7-4, the player might think he has eight outs, but if you hold 9-9, you have two blockers.

blockout work

(n phrase) Marking the backs of cards by covering part of the design with ink. Compare with cutout work.

block system

(n phrase1. A form of blind open (definition 1) in which large compulsory blind bets start the action. 2. Blockout work.


(n) In hold’em, 6-3 as starting cards. Comes from a player (also nicknamed Broomcorn) from Super/System who liked the hand to vary his play.

blood game

(n phrase) A, usually, high-stakes poker game, in which the prime objective of the players is to win money. Also called cutthroat game. The opposite of a social game.

blood poker

(n phrase1. Blood game2. Playing poker primarily for money, as opposed to social reasons. See social game.




(n) The joker. This term is used only by those who have played a lot in home games and not much in cardrooms. Sometimes called blook.


(vt1. Lose a pot. “I blew that pot.” — (vi2. Lose. “How you doing?” “Blowing.” “On the nose he never blows.”

blow back

(v phrase) Lose one’s profit, often due to having stuck around too long.


(adj) See all blue.

blue chip

(n phrase) A chip of some high but unspecified denomination. Blue chips are generally no longer used in cardrooms. The expression has moved from the world of poker to general usage in the English language meaning of high value. A blue chip is a stock of high investment quality, or, more generally, a person, property, or asset of exceptional quality.


(adj) Beyond the world of poker, of exceptional quality, as a blue-chip stock. See blue chip.


(v1. Bet a weak hand with the hope of driving the other players out. Sometimes done with the intention of losing (and thus being forced to show the hand), which makes it a form of advertising. See advertise. — (n2. The act of bluffing. “That was a good bluff.” For both definitions, also called snow.


(n phrase) A magazine devoted to poker playing.

bluff at the pot

(v phraseBluff.

bluff catcher

(n1. A hand with which a player feels he must call, even in a situation in which he is likely to lose. If a player stands pat in draw, and you call with three aces, you can say, “I had a bluff catcher.” Some players (sometimes facetiously) refer to a good hand as a bluff catcher, often when they just call with the hand in preference to raising, probably because they’re afraid of being reraised. For example, in hold’em, aggressive Susie, behind a deep stack, bets the pot on the end with the board showing 4♦ 8♠ T♠ 6♦ Q♠. Tight John flat calls (see flat call) her (that is, he does not raise) with the nut flush. Most players would consider that a raising hand, but a straight flush is possible. John does not want to be accused of playing tight, so he says, “I’ve got a bluff catcher,” as he shows down A♠ K♠. (And further reinforces his image. No one would call him with less than a big full house if he ever raised after the draw.) 2. A medium-strength hand that can beat some bets but whose main strength is that it is likely (in the situation) better than only a bluff.


(n1. A player who bets weak cards to force opponents to fold, that is, one who bluffs (see bluff). 2. A player who bluffs often.

blur intensity

(n phrase) The lightness or darkness of printing or the blur of color that can be seen on cards that are partially flashed by a sloppy dealer or inattentive player. Catching blur intensity can indicate a high or a low card to someone with tachistoscopic vision, without actually revealing the rank. Such knowledge is of questionable value.


(n 1. In a flop game, the community cards, or sometimes just the flop or the flop plus the turn2. In seven-card stud, one’s upcards (as opposed to downcards or hole cards). 3. In seven-card stud, all the upcards of all the active players. “I didn’t like my chances of making the flush because there were already seven spades on the board.” 4. A list of players’ names or initials, those who want seating in or changes to particular games. In many clubs, there really is a blackboard or other large writing surface at the front or side of the room with lists of names. Sometimes called signup board or waiting board.

board card

(n phrase1. In hold’em-type games, any one of the community cards2. In seven-card stud, any upcard (as opposed to a downcard or hole card).

board cards

(adv phrase1. All of the cards on the board (definitions 1-3). 2. Two or more of the cards on the board.

board lock

(n phrase) In a hold’em-type game or seven-card stud, a cinch or lock.


(nBoard man.

board man

(n phrase) The casino employee (it could be a person of the female persuasion) who writes names or initials on the board, and calls players as their seats open up. Also, boardmanboard person. (Why isn’t there a board woman? Who knows?)

board pair

(n phrase1. In a flop game, the situation in which one of the cards of the board is of the same rank as another. 2. In seven-card stud, the situation in which one of the boards contains a pair, or, those paired cards themselves. “If there’s a board pair on fourth street, you can bet either at the lower or higher limit.” “He was high with a board pair.”


(nBoard man.

board person

(n phraseBoard man.

board texture

(n phrase) The makeup of a board (definition 1 or 2), usually with respect to what possibilities exist for players to make certain hands, such as consisting of two or three consecutive cards or cards of the same suit.


(n1. Full house. — (vi2. Make a full house. “I drew three cards and boated.”


(n) Four cards to a straight or flush.

bobtail flush

(n phrase) Four cards to a flush.

bobtailed straight

(n phraseBobtail straight.

bobtail straight

(n phrase1. Four cards to a straight. Also see double-ended straightopen-ended straighttwo-way handtwo-way straight2.nonstandard hand, four cards to a straight, that ranks higher than one pair and lower than a four-card flush.

Bo Derek

(n phrase) In hold’em, T-T as starting cards. Comes from the star of the movie 10.


(n) A $1 chip. Probably comes from home poker games, in which the white chips (bone color?) are usually the lowest denomination.


(n1. Premium2. Signup bonus3. A side bet, or separate wager, available in many house-banked casino games in which players get paid for ending up with various holdings, according to payoff tables. Games like Fortune Pai Gow and three-card poker (definition 2) offer bonuses.

Bonus Six

(n phrase) A house-banked casino game dealt from one deck, in which players do not compete against the dealer. The game is related to poker in the way hands are formed, but is not really a poker game. It has some similarities to stud games, in that a player starts with three cards and has the option, upon increasing his bet, of receiving more cards, or declining to bet and folding. To start the game, each player puts up an ante and an optional insurance fee. This insurance fee is half the size of the ante bet, and will not be returned or win anything; it only permits the player to receive an optional sixth card at the end (hence the name of the game). Each player receives two cards face down, and one community card is dealt face up. That community card becomes part of each player’s hand. Each player now has a three-card hand consisting of his two hole cards and that community card. Each player now decides whether to continue or fold. If a player folds, he forfeits his ante bet. If a player stays, he adds to his wager (raises) an amount equal to the ante. All players who raised receive a third hole card. Each player still in now has a four-card hand consisting of his three hole cards and the one community card. Each player again decides whether to continue or fold. If the player folds, he forfeits both his ante and the second bet. If a player stays, he again raises an amount equal to the ante. All players who raised receive a fourth hole card. Each player still in now has a five-card hand consisting of his four hole cards and the community card. If a player initially purchased insurance and does not have a paying hand at this point, he has the option of buying a sixth card, at a cost equal to the ante. The fee for the sixth card is never returned. That is, this fee is not a bet or part of the total wager and, just like the original insurance cost, is not returned and wins nothing. If the player buys a sixth card, he can then make the best five-card hand among his six cards (his five hole cards plus the one community card). A player still in who did not pay insurance forms a five-card from the combination of his four hole cards plus the community card. The dealer then pays off each winning hand. The ante is first paid 1:1 for a hand of a pair of 6s or better. In addition, the three total bets are paid off as follows: royal flush, 1,000:1 (1,000 times the amount of the three bets); straight flush, 100:1; four of a kind, 50:1; full house, 20:1; flush, 6:1; straight, 4:1; three of a kind, 3:1; two pair, 2:1; pair of 6s or better, 1:1.

bonus whore

(n phrase) One who engages in bonus whoring.

bonus whoring

(n phrase) Playing multiple online cardrooms just for the bonuses (see signup bonusreload bonus). After the bonus whore earns back the bonus (plays the requisite number of hands or amount of time), he goes on to another site. This practice used to be more common when bonuses were more easily earned than now. Bonus whoring is still prevalent in nonpoker online casinos (and to which the term also applies), where bonuses are easier to earn (in some but not all).


(n1. “The book” is a mythical set of instructions supposedly containing the poker wisdom of the ages. A player speaks of “playing by the book,” by which he means he is playing a hand the way he thinks it is supposed to be played; such players usually think “playing by the book” is equivalent to playing tight. Actually, there is no book. 2. In draw poker (high), the drawing of three cards. “How many cards do you need?” “Gimme a book.” — (v3. Have or experience, when part of the phrase book a loserbook a win, or book a winner.

book a loser

(v phrase) Have a losing session.

book a win

(v phrase) Have a winning session.

book a winner

(v phrase) Have a winning session.

book of rules

(n phraseRule book.

book player

(n phrase) Someone who plays predictably, that is, by the book (definition 1).


(n) A mythical “switch” that a rigged site uses when a player starts winning too much, so that the player loses back some or all of his winnings, in a supposed attempt to redistribute the money so that poor players don’t go broke too quickly and thus stick around longer to contribute more rake.


(v, nRaise.

border artist

(n phrase) A cheater who uses border work.


(adj) Of a marginal decision, one with no clear-cut mathematical advantage or disadvantage. Often part of the phrase borderline decision.

borderline decision

(n) See borderline.

border work

(n phrase) Markings (or cosmetics) put on the borders of cards with paint, ink, or some other fluid, so that a thief can read the ranks (and sometimes suits) of the cards from the back or side. See shade work. Sometimes called edge work. Compare with daubpaintshade work, and shading.

border worker

(n phrase) A cheater who uses border work.

boss hand

(n phrase1. The winner of a pot. 2. Any excellent hand.

Boston 5 stud

(n phrase) A house-banked casino game dealt from one deck, in which players play separately against the dealer. The game is related to poker in the way hands are formed, but is not really a poker game. To start the game, each player puts up an ante and a first wager. The first wager amount is twice that of the ante. Each player can also make an optional bonus bet; a player must play the main game to make a bonus bet. Each player and the dealer receives three cards face down. After players see their cards, they must either fold or place a second wager equal to the first wager. Any player with a three-card bonus hand must place the hand face up on the table prior to receiving the final two cards, so the dealer can award the bonus. Players who made a second wager receive their two final cards dealt face down. Each hand in which the player has paid for all five cards is individually compared to the dealer’s five-card hand, and the higher hand wins. If the player’s hand beats the dealer’s hand, the player wins even money on the first and second wagers, and the ante pushes. If the dealer’s hand beats the player’s hand, the player loses all wagers. If the player’s hand and dealer’s are equal in value, all wagers push. Regardless of whether the player or dealer has the higher hand, the player wins a bonus for hands of two pair or greater, based on the ante bet. If the player has a bonus hand but loses to the dealer, he still gets the bonus but loses the ante bet. Bonuses are paid as follows: The three-card bonus bet pays for a three-card straight flush, 40-1; three of a kind, 30-1; straight, 6-1; flush, 4-1; pair, 1-1. The ante bonus pays: for a royal flush, 1,000:1; straight flush, 200:1; four of a kind, 100:1; full house, 25:1; flush, 15:1; straight, 10:1; three of a kind, 5:1; two pair, 2:1.


(n) In the poker world, a poker bot. More generally, any software agent, that is, a program that interacts with other network services intended for people in a way that makes it appear to be a real person.

both ends

(n phrase1. Both ways2. Of a straight draw that can be filled at either end, such as 4-5-6-7, which can be made with any 3 or 8.

both hole cards [must] play

(n phrase) See jackpot.

both ways

(n phrase) In a high-low split game, having cards that put one in contention for both the best high and best low hand, or having cards that actually win both. Sometimes rendered both ends.


(n) Card dealt from the bottom of the deck.

bottom card

(v phraseLast card.

bottom deal

(v phraseDeal bottoms.

bottom dealer

(n phrase) A cheat who deals cards from the bottom of the deck. Also sometimes called b-dealersubway dealer, or cellar dealer.

bottom end

(v phraseIgnorant end.

bottom pair

(v phrase) In a flop game, pairing one of your hole cards with the lowest card on the board. For example, if you have A♥ 7♥, and the flop is Q♣ T♦ 7♣, you have flopped bottom pair.


(n) Cards dealt from the bottom of the deck.

bottoms dealer

(nBottom dealer.

bottom set

(v phrase) In a flop game, matching your hole cards with the lowest card on the board. For example, in hold’em, if you have 7♣ 7♥, and the flop is Q♣ T♦ 7♦, you have flopped bottom set. Compare with top setmiddle set.

bottom two

(n phraseBottom two pair.

bottom two pair

(n phrase) In hold’em, forming pair with the lowest two cards on the board. For example, if you have T-9 and the flop is K-T-9, you have flopped bottom two pair. Also, bottom two.

bottom wrap

(n phrase) In Omaha, a situation in which the four downcards provide a draw to the low end of a straight on a hand with more than eight cards that will fill the straight. For example, with hole cards of 6-4-3-x and a flop of Q-7-5, any 8, 6, 4, or 3 makes a straight. Compare with top wrap.


(n) See mistigris.


(nGamble (definition 1). “He has a lot of bounce.”


(n1. A premium paid in some tournaments for busting another player. Sometimes a bounty is given for knocking anyone else out; sometimes particular players (for example, winners of previous tournaments or well-known players) have bounties on them. 2. Bust-out bounty.

bounty hunter

(n phrase) In a bounty tournament, a player who concentrates on knocking out opponents who have bounties (see bounty) on them.

bounty tournament

(n phrase) A tournament in which bounties are offered. See bounty.


(n1. A (usually empty) rack (of chips). “Time to cash out. Bring me three boxes.” 2. Box man3. The chip rack in front of the house dealer from which he or she makes change for or sells chips to the players. 4. By extension, the house dealer’s location when dealing, usually heard as part of the phrase in the box, which literally means engaged in dealing.


(adj) Facing the wrong way, usually said of a card in a deck. “Redeal those, houseman. I see a boxed card.”

boxed card

(n phrase). See boxed.

box man

(n) House dealer.


(n) Jack. “I have three boys” means “I have three of a kind, jacks.”


(nBankroll (definition 1).




(n) The gold bracelet awarded (along with the prize money) to the winner of one of the events of the World Series of Poker. By extension (metonymy), the wearer of such a bracelet. For example, you might hear someone say at a tournament, “There were five bracelets at my table.” Also known as gold bracelet.


(n) An ancient English card game that some say is an ancestor of poker. Its name comes from a challenge, the word “brag,” issued at some point in the game by one player to the rest to come up with cards as good as his.

Brass Brazilians

(n) The nuts; usually preceded by the.


(nChat term for “be right back.”


(vt1. Win all of somebody’s chips. “Who broke Smiley?” 2. Miss. “I broke the hand when I caught a 10.” That implies that the 10 was not the card the player wanted to draw. 3. Throw away part of a lowball hand (presumably with the intention of making a better hand, because as it stands the hand is probably not a winner), often the top card from that hand, but sometimes two or more cards. “I knew he had me beat, so I broke the 9, made a 6, and beat a smooth 7 for him.” In this sense, usually part of the phrase break a hand or break plus the specific card. 4. Throw away part of a high hand (presumably with the intention of making a better hand, because as it stands the hand is probably not a winner) in draw poker. For example, a player with K♣ K♥ 7♥ 6♥ 3♥ might throw the K♣ if he was against a pat hand. He would be said to be breaking the kings. If he had opened the pot, he might be breaking or splitting openers (see split openers). 5. Remove some chips from your stack, usually followed by [one’sstack or chips. In some clubs, if you break your stack when it is your time to bet, that is considered a bet, and you must follow through, that is, complete the bet. This is to prevent an angle shooter from putting chips into the pot to gauge another’s reaction and then withdrawing the chips without betting; in some clubs a bet is not considered complete until the player has released the chips from his hand. — (vi6. In lowball, to draw. (The implication is that if circumstances were different the player could stand pat on the hand.) “You don’t need any cards? Okay, I’ll break.” — (n7. A stop in play or time out of a game. “If I don’t take a break I’m going to go on tilt.” 8. In a tournament, time between rounds when play halts and players can take a bathroom, smoking, or food break. “There will be a dinner break after the completion of the first three rounds, plus two shorter bathroom breaks.” 9. Time taken by a house dealer between downs. (See down, definition 6.) “How long before this dealer gets a break? He’s killing me!”

break a game

(v phrase) Perform the action of stopping a game from being played, when, for example, only a few players remain — not enough for a full game — after other players have quit. Such action is generally performed by a floorperson. Sometimes break a game up.

break down

(v phrase1. In a tournament, break a game, to even other tables or the overall distribution; usually followed by a game or a table2. Change larger denomination chips for smaller ones. Opposite of color up.

break even

(v phrase1. End up, after a playing session, neither winning nor losing, often implying after having been losing. 2. Part of the phrase cards break even3. See nut (definition 1).


(adj) Of a play or situation in which, in the long run, neither profits or losses are expected. “Calling here is a break-even play.”

break-even player

(n phrase) A player who, in the long run, neither wins nor loses.

break for action

(v phrase) In lowball, throw away part of a good hand to get a play from someone who would otherwise fold. “Come on, call the raise, and I’ll break for action.” The preceding might be heard in a no-limit lowball game in the following situation. One player has raised. The opener does not want to call because he needs two cards, which is not a good gamble against what might well be a pat hand. The raiser wants a call from the other because he has the potential of winning a very large pot as opposed to just a small pot if the other folds, so he tries to entice the opener, implying that if the opener draws two, he will break his pat hand and draw one. (The implication is only that he has a pat hand, not that he will draw. Once a player offers this sort of proposition, it is not proper cardroom etiquette to renege on it. While most cardrooms do not enforce propositions, the other players will consider a player who offers a proposition and does not follow through a poor sport and not believe him when he has a legitimate offer, nor will they ever give him any action.)

breaking hand

(n phrase) In ace-to-five lowball, an 8, 9, or 10 (that is, a hand topped by one of those cards) that can be broken under pressure. 9-4-3-2-A is a breaking hand, because you can throw the 9 and draw to a wheel; 9-8-7-3-A is not, because there really is no place to break. (Deuce-to-seven hands are similar, just topped by higher cards.) Also called a two-way hand.

break it down

(v phraseBreak them down.

“Break it down.”

(expression) A verbal request by a player to a house dealer to break them down.

break off

(v phrase) In lowball, same as break (definition 3). “I’ll break off the 9,” means, “I have a pat 9, but I don’t think it can win, so I shall throw away the 9 and draw one card to a [presumably] good hand.”

break [someone]

(v phrase1. See break (definition 1). 2. Relieve a dealer so that he can go on a break. “Go break Cindy; she’s been down for over an hour.”

break them down

(v phrase) Separate chips by denomination and then by stacks so that the chip amount can be ascertained or verified. A request to do this is often made by players when opponents make large bets in no-limit games. The action is often done automatically by dealers when big chip stacks are bet. Also, break it down.

“Break them down.”

(expression) A verbal request by a player to a house dealer to break them down.


(n phraseVest holdout.


(n) See mistigris.


(n1. In Omaha (or hold’em), a useless card that hits the board. For example, you hold T-J-Q-K and the board has 7-8-9. You would now like a brick, or worthless card, to hit on the turn, to avoid sharing the pot with a low draw. 2. A large bundle of cash, perhaps $10,000 or more, tightly wrapped so that it looks like a brick. — (v3. To counterfeit. You might hear a player say, “The dealer bricked my lock.” 4. Catch a bad card (often referring to seven-card stud or hold’em). Also brick outwhiff.

brick and mortar

(n phrase) Pertaining to a brick and mortar club, as a brick and mortar tournament.

brick and mortar cardroom

(n phraseBrick and mortar club.

brick and mortar club

(n phrase) A cardroom having a real physical location, with live players, as opposed to an online cardroom. Also called traditional cardroom.

brick and mortar tournament

(n phrase) A tournament played in a brick and mortar club.

brick out

(v phrase) See brick (definition 4).


(n) A crimp, particularly one readily visible.

bridge order

(n phrase) Suit order according to the game of bridge, that is, spades, hearts, diamonds, clubs. Bridge order comes into play when breaking a tie for high card in determining which hand gets the odd chip, who has the high-card forced bet in seven-card stud (as played in home games), or who starts the deal on the first hand at a particular table (see draw for seats). For example, if the A♣ and A♥ both came out, the holder of the A♥ would get to deal. Compare with reverse bridge order.


(n) A tiny “ledge” shuffled into a deck by a cheater so that his accomplice can cut it at the prearranged location; a card offset by a barely perceptible fraction of an inch but able to be found by touch when cut. A brief can be felt but not easily seen; a good cutter can feel a 1/32-inch brief. Sometimes called jog,needle, or step.

bring in

(v phrase) Open (a pot). “Who brought it in?” means “Who opened?” In a no-limit game, followed by for and an amount means open for that amount, as, “I’ll bring it in for $40” means “I’ll open for $40,” and implies that the bet is more than the minimum.


(n1. The amount required to open a pot. “What’s the bring-in” is asked by a player who wants to know how much is the minimum he can bet, or how much is the required amount to open the pot. 2. The player who opened the betting. “Who was the bring-in?” 3. The minimum forced bet (definition 1) in a stud game.

bring-in bet

(n phraseBring-in. Also called opening bet.

bring in a deck

(v phrase) Bring a cold deck into a game; substitute a prearranged deck for the one that is supposed to be dealt. Also, switch.

bring in for

(v phrase) See bring in.

“Bring it.”

(expression1. If said at the showdown, means “I win.” (That is, push the pot my way.) 2. If said when time to draw cards, means “Give me one card.”

bring it in

(v phraseBring in.

bring it in for

(v phrase) See bring in.

Brit Brag

(n phraseCasino brag.


(n) Ace-high straight; usually heard only in stud and community-card games. Usually rendered without an article. “I have Broadway” is more common than “I have a Broadway.” Sometimes Broadway straight.

Broadway card

(n phrase) Any ace, king, queen, jack, or 10, that is, any card that could be part of Broadway.

Broadway straight

(n phraseBroadway.”I have a Broadway straight.”

Broderick Crawford

(n phrase1. In ace-to-five lowball, a 10-4 low. 2. In hold’em, starting cards of 10-4. The term came from the ’50s television show “Highway Patrol,” starring Broderick Crawford, who always said “10-4” into his police radio; 10-4 is part of the police “10-code,” and signifies affirmation or confirmation. Also,CB handconvoytrucker.

broken game

(n phrase) A game that just broke up, as, for example, when only a few players remain — not enough for a full game — after other players have quit. Some cardrooms allow a player entering another game after having last played in a broken game to be dealt in without having to postkillwait for the blind, or otherwise put up money to receive a hand.


(n) Someone with no money of his own who hangs around a cardroom waiting for a sucker to put him into a game — by staking him or lending money that likely will not be returned — or hoping for one of his few friends to make a score and give him part of it; a deadbeat, or a cardroom bum.


(n) In hold’em, J-J as starting cards.


(n) See Doyle Brunson.


(n1. Brush person. — (v2. Recruit players into a game., that is, function in the role of a brush person.

brush man

(n phrase) A brush person of the male persuasion. (Why isn’t there a brush woman? Who knows?)

brush off

(v) Give a thief a secret sign to leave; usually brush someone off. This is usually done by a houseman who privately (in such a way as not to embarrass the thief and not to alert the unknowing customers that some of the patrons may not be strictly on the up-and-up) requests a player to leave. The request is often in the form of a finger run unobtrusively up the offender’s spine. It can be a literal brushing motion (hence the name) of one hand down the other arm, starting below the elbow, across the other hand, which is palm down, to the fingertips. It can also be a brushing motion of one hand across the upper lip.


(n) The act of giving a thief a secret sign to leave. “I gave him the brush-off and he left right away.” See brush off.

brush person

(n phrase) A casino employee who works in the cardroom, usually just outside it, whose job is somewhat akin to that of a sideshow barker or a nightclub greeter, in that this person tries to attract prospective players into the cardroom. The brush person talks to casino patrons who may be lingering on the edge of the cardroom area, perhaps wondering what is going on and maybe needing only a bit of explanation or other coercion to actually sit down in a game. “Are you a poker player? Oh, just home games? Well, feel free to watch our games, and ask me if you have any questions.” “Oh, you do play? But you haven’t played here? What do you usually play? Oh, seven stud? We have several seven stud games, with limits from 2/4 all the way up to 300/600. What size game were you interested in?” The name brush comes from the employee’s job, when no prospective players are in sight, of brushing off a table that has just become empty, that is, cleaning the table up for the next game.


(nChat term for “by the way.”


(n1. The position just out of the money in a tournament; often part of the phrase on the bubble. For example, if a tournament pays 18 places, the player unfortunate enough to bust out in the 19th position is said to have been on the bubble. Sometimes called money bubble. Also see TV bubble. — (vi2. Bust out on the bubble. “That’s the third event in a row that I bubbled.”

bubble boy/girl

(v phrase) Someone who busts out on the bubble.


(n1. A marker used in games with a house dealer to indicate the deal position. Once upon a time, an actual buck knife (one with a buckhorn handle) was used as the marker, hence the name. Usually found now as part of the phrase pass the buck, that is, refuse to deal when it is one’s turn to deal, passing the deck instead to the next player to the left. The expression has moved from the world of poker to general usage in the English language meaning shift responsibility to someone else, and has found a place in most collections of famous quotations and sayings with Harry Truman’s well-known slogan, “The buck stops here.” 2. $1 or a $1 chip. “Cost ya a buck.”  (vt3. Go up against [(usually) a better hand], in the sense of an inferior hand trying to beat an obviously better hand. For example, a player who has, in seven-card stud, only a pair of jacks, playing against someone with an exposed pair of aces, is said to be in the process of bucking the aces. The term is also found as part of the phrase buck the odds. See also chaseworst of it.

buck the odds

(v phrase) See buck (definition 3).


(n1. The joker when used as a “partially wild card” in high draw poker and ace-to-five lowball. In high, it is good for aces, straights, and flushes. It makes a third (or fourth) ace, but does not improve any other pair. In a deck with the bug, a rank of hand exists higher than any straight flush: five aces. Examples: Two aces, two 3s, and the bug make a full house, aces full of 3s. Two kings, two 3s, and the bug make two pair, kings and 3s, with an ace kicker. 3♣ 4♠ 6♦ 7♦ plus the bug makes a 7-high straight, with the bug representing a 5. 4♣ 5♠ 6♦ 7♦ plus the bug makes an 8-high straight, with the bug representing an 8. With four to a flush plus the bug, the bug always makes the flush as good as it could be. In 5♦ 7♦ J♦ Q♦ plus the bug, the bug is the A♦, and makes an ace-queen flush, even if someone else has the “real” ace of diamonds. (In fact, it is possible for two players both to have ace-high flushes in the same suit, something not possible in a deck with no wild cards.) If the flush already has an ace, the bug becomes the next lowest card. In A♥ 9♥ 7♥ 2♥ plus the bug, the bug is the K♥. In A♠ K♠ Q♠ 2♠ plus the bug, the bug is the J♠. In 9♦ T♦ J♦ Q♦ plus the bug, the bug is the K♦, and makes a king-high straight flush. Inace-to-five lowball, the bug is the lowest unmatched card in a hand, as shown by these two examples: In 6♠ 5♥ 3♦ 2♦ plus the bug, the bug is an ace. In 4♥ 3♥ 2♦ A♣ plus the bug, the bug is a 5. Also see double-ace flush. In the high use, sometimes called snoozer2.cheating device to hold a card to the underside of a table. Compare with clip.


(n) In lowball, a straight 8 (definition 2). Buick used to build a straight 8 engine.

build a game around

(v phrase) Put a game together to accommodate a particular player, often a live one or producer. “When Arco Al came in, they built a game around him.”


(n) Ace; also bullet.


(n1. Ace; also bull2. Continuation bet, usually preceded by fire. “Not many players are capable of firing that third bullet.”


(n1. Chips. Also called ammunition2. A pair of aces, particularly with respect to hole cards. “He had bullets against my cowboys.” 3. Three or more aces.

bull the game

(v phrase1. Bluff a lot. 2. Bet aggressively, regardless of one’s cards; run over the game.


(v1. Run over the game. — (n2. An aggressive player.

Bully Johnson

(n phrase) In hold’em, a 3 and a 5 as one’s starting cards. May come from a story in Super/System.


(adj) In lowball, when referring to the rank of a hand, not good; usually followed by a rank. In ace-to-five lowball, “I have a bum 8” means a rough 8, presumably 8-7-6.


(n) A chip with yellow and black markings.

bum hunter

(n phrase) Professional online poker player who plays heads-up games and only against very weak opponents, avoiding games with other regular players.


(v, nRaise. This term is used only by those who have played a lot in home games and not much in cardrooms.

bump heads

(v phrase1. Two players fight it out for a pot, and both get all their chips in the pot. 2. The situation in which two players seem to going up against each other a lot. After John has just played his third hand against Sue with no other participants in the pot, he might say to her, “Are we bumping heads?”


(n1. Large bet. “When I checked, he bet a bundle, and I couldn’t call.” 2. Large bankroll (definition 1).


(adj1. Losing heavily. “How ya doin’?” “I’m buried.” 2. In stud games, describing a downcard or downcards. “He had buried aces.”

buried card

(n phraseDowncard.

buried pair

(n phraseConcealed pair.


(v1. Take the top card out of play, usually by placing it face down among the discards, or else protecting it (see protect) it by a capper. In versions of stud and hold’em, a card is usually burned before each round of cards is dealt; in draw poker, a card is usually burned before the draw cards are distributed. (This differs from blackjack, in which the card is placed face up on the bottom of the deck.) The procedure is meant to be a precaution against accidental exposure or cheating. — (n2. The card that is burned. Also called burn card.

burn and turn

(v phrase) Function as a poker dealer, from the practice of burning a card before dealing either a round of face-up cards (in stud) or the flop (in hold’em). See burn.

burn card

(nBurn (definition 2).

Burns-Landrum estimate

n phrase) A means of chopping (see chop, definition 3) among finalists in a tournament. The method is not strictly accurate, allotting more to small stacks and less to large stacks than perhaps is warranted, but fits into a convenient formula. Here is an example: Assume that your stack size relative to the total chips in play represents your chance of taking first. If you don’t take first, assign equal probabilities to finishing in all other places. The second part is a simplification that’s known to be inaccurate, but since most tournament payout structures are very top-heavy, it’s not a horrible approximation. Here’s the math: Let n be the number of players remaining (including you). Let C be the total chips in play. Let S be your stack size. Let P1 be the payout for first place, P2 the payout for second, etc. Let Pr be the sum of (P2P3, …Pn) (in other words, the remaining prize pool excluding first place). Then your estimated equity in the tournament is:

((S/C)*P1) + (((C-S)/C)* (Pr/(n-1)))

Using the figures shown in the example under by the chips method, the division with Burns-Landrum would be: A, $67.5, B, $57.5, C, $50. This method assumes equal skill among players. This assumption is obviously false in real tournament situations, but the estimation of your equity is useful to know for starting negotiation. Compare with by the chips method.

burn up [someone]’s money

(v phrase) Bet in such a way that one likely loses one’s money, but also takes other players along for the ride. “I hate being in a game with Matt. He always burns up my money.”


(v, nBurn. Sometimes a distinction is made between bury and burn. If the distinction is made, in a bury the card is placed in the middle of the undealt portion of the deck.


(n) Part of the phrase waiting in the bushesIn the bushes and lying in the bushes mean the same thing. See weeds.


(n) Cheating with another player. Often part of the phrase do or doing business with.


(n1. A hand drawn to and missed. 2. Any worthless hand. — (vt3. Win all of someone’s chips. Usually you bust someone. — (vi4. Bust out (definition 1).


(adv1. Having no money or chips. “Joe’s always busted.” — (adj2. Describing a missed hand, when part of phrases like busted flush or busted straight.

busted hand

(n phraseBust (definition 1).

busted flush

(n phrase) A missed flush. See bust (definition 1).

busted out

(adv phrase) Describing what happens after one busts out (see bust out). “Are you still in the tournament?” “Nah, I busted out.”

busted straight

(n phrase) A missed straight. See bust (definition 1).


(n1. A card that fails to make a straight or flush. “I caught a buster.” 2. Bust (definition 1). “I had a big draw all the way but I ended up with a buster.”

bust hand

(n phraseBust (definition 1).

bust out

(v phrase1. Miss the hand one is drawing to, usually in lowball. 2. Lose one’s stake and be forced to leave a game. 3. Lose one’s chips and be forced to leave a tournament.



bust-out bounty

(n phrase) A gift or prize a player gives to the player who busts him out. Sometimes shortened to bounty.

bust-out joint

(n phrase) A crooked gaming establishment. See joint. Also flat shop.

bust [someone]

(v phrase) See bust (definition 3).


(n1. The disk or other marker that indicates the dealer position in a game dealt by a house dealer. 2. The actual dealer position (or, usually, the player in that position) in a game dealt by a house dealer. “I opened the pot, and the button raised.” 3. Disk with a similar function, as a kill button.

button charge

(n phrase) A house drop, paid each hand by whoever happens to be on the button, as opposed to taking it out of the pot.

button drop

(n phraseButton charge.

button game

(n phrase) A game, such as a flop game and most forms of draw poker, that uses a button, and in which the dealer position rotates one position clockwise each hand, as opposed to a game like seven-card stud in which the betting sequence is determined by the constitution of the players’ boards.


(v1. Bluff. “Did you buy that pot?” 2. Purchase chips. 3. In draw poker, receive one or more cards. “What did you buy on the draw?” means “What card or cards did you receive?” — (n4. In draw poker, the card or cards one draws. “What was your buy on the draw?” “Nine of diamonds, jack of clubs.” 5.The act of drawing cards. “What did you catch on the buy?”

buy a pot

(v phrase) Get away with a bluff. “I couldn’t buy a pot all day.”

buy in

(v phrase1. Get into a poker game or start a playing session by the act of buying chips. “How much did you buy in for?” means “How many chips did you purchase when you sat down to play?” 2. Purchase chips with which to play a tournament. “I’m going to buy in to every event this year.”

buy in to

(v phrase) Participate in [a poker game or tournament]; buy in. Sometimes ungrammatically rendered buy into. (To buy into [something] is a nonpoker term that means go along with or participate in.)


(n1. The minimum amount required to get into a game. “The buy-in for limit games is 10 times the lower limit; for example, in a $2-$4 game, the buy-in is $20.” Sometimes called change-in2. The amount of chips with which one started a poker playing session. “He won $500 on a $10 buy-in.” 3. Purchase or repurchase of chips. “He’s already made five buy-ins.” 4. Purchase of chips with which to play a tournament. “The buy-in to the final event is $10,000.”

buy-in overlay

(v phrase) The tournament situation in which the total amount of the buy-ins is less than the guaranteed prize pool. See discussion under guaranteed tournament.

buy short

(v phrase) Buy less than the minimum required for the game. See shortshort buy.

buy the button

(v phrase1. Act upon the rule, observed mainly in Northern California cardrooms in games played with blinds, in which a new player sitting down with the button (definition 1) to his right (who would normally be required to sit out one hand and let the button pass him, then post to receive a hand) may choose to pay the amount of both blinds for this one hand (the amount of the big blind playing as a live blind, and the amount of the small blind as a dead blind), play the current hand, and then receive the button on the next hand as if he had been playing all along. When a player buys the button, the two players to his left do not post blinds for that hand. On his deal, they post their blinds exactly as they would have had he been there for the previous hand. 2. Make a raise from the cutoff seat to try to force the button to fold, thus giving the raiser last position in subsequent betting rounds.

buy the pot

(v phrase1. Bluff. “Are you trying to buy the pot?” 2. Bet enough to force the other players to fold, possibly with a weak hand though not necessarily a bluff. 3. Match the pot.

By me.”

(expression) “I check” or “I pass.”

by the book

(adv phrase) See book.

by the chips method

(n phrase) A means of chopping (see , definition 3) among finalists in a tournament. Also known as “chip chop figures.” Here is an example. All players involved in the deal are initially assigned a payout equal to that of the smallest regular payout yet to be awarded. The remaining prize money is then distributed in direct proportion to the players’ fraction of chips in the tournament. So, if three players remained in a tournament with scheduled prizes of:

1st $100
2nd $50
3rd $25

And the players had these chip stacks:

A 1200
B 800
C 500

Each player would receive $25 (third place), leaving $100 in the prize pool, so the chip chop figures would be:

A $25 + (1200/2500) x $100 = $73
B $25 + (800/2500) x $100 = $57
C $25 + (500/2500) x $100 = $45

In addition to this, in any deal it is also possible to set any amount aside for the eventual winner. This amount is then deducted from the prize pool before any calculations are made. For example, if $25 were left on the table, the division would be: A, $61, B, $49, C, $40. In such a deal, C could potentially make more than B by going on, after the deal was made, to win the tournament. This is the method many floorpeople will suggest when you ask them what a fair deal would be. Compare with Burns-Landrum estimate.




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.


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