Wiesenberg: MCU Dictionary of Poker | Letter C




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(nClubs (the suit), in written text. Kc, for example, is the king of clubs (K♣).


(n1. Charlie2. Crazy pineapple, when part of a designation like C.H.O.R.S.E.




(n1. A room or an area, often behind a glass or behind bars (hence the name), within which the cageperson buys and sells chips. Also, cashierwindow2. Cageperson.


(n) A cageperson of the female persuasion.


(n) A cageperson of the male persuasion. (If the corresponding term is cagegirl, why isn’t this cageboy? Who knows?)


(n) Cashier, specifically, the person who dispenses chips to the floor personnel, cashes players in when they leave, cashes checks for players, sometimes sells chips to players, keeps track of players’ banks (see player’s bank), records the progress of stake players (if any), keeps track of time collections, etc.

Calamity Jane

(n phrase1. The queen of spades. Named for the markswoman of the Old West (Martha Jane Canary, who was buried in Deadwood, SD, in 1903, next to Wild Bill Hickok), whose name some say was associated with prophecies of doom. 2. In hold’em, Q-Q as starting cards.

Cal games

(n phraseCalifornia games.



California Aces

(n) See California games.

California bible

(n phrase) Deck of cards. Also called California prayer bookrailroad bible.

California blind

(nBet-or-folddouble limit draw poker (high), open on anything, with three traveling blinds (see traveling blind).

California draw

(n1. High draw poker as most often played in limit games in cardrooms: pass-and-back-in before the draw, jacks or better to open, each player antes, and there are no blinds. 2. As played in no-limit games, bet-or-fold (before the draw) draw poker, open on anything, usually played winner blind or with one or more traveling blinds (see traveling blind), and sometimes also with antes from each player. For both definitions, often called just draw or high. The name comes from the games that used to be common in California cardrooms.

California game

(n phrase) Any of the games played in the California games section of a cardroom or casino.

California games

(n phrase) A set of cardroom games, formerly called Asian games, some of which resemble poker, but are not strictly poker, in which players place bets before receiving the hands on which they wager; others resemble blackjack or baccarat. In these games, to get around the legal restriction against banking games, the only interest the house has is to take a portion of every bet; one player (or a consortium often known as a corporation) acts as banker (usually called the player banker), playing one hand against each player in turn. These games include pai gow (played with tiles, and not a card game at all), pai gow poker, super nine (also called super pan nine), California blackjack (also called X blackjack, where X is the name of the club or company that invented the game variant), California Aces (a variant of blackjack in which the object is to get closest to 22, with two aces being the best hand; similarly often called Xaces), 13-card (not played with a banker), and others. Sometimes shortened to Cal games.

California games floor

(n phraseCalifornia games section.

California games section

(n phrase) The part of a casino or cardroom devoted to California games, as opposed to the poker section. Also called California games floor, California side.

California lowball

(n) Five card ace-to-five low draw poker with the joker, bet-or-fold before the draw, sevens rule after the draw.

California no fold’em hold’em

(n phrase) See no fold’em hold’em.

California prayer book

(n phraseCalifornia bible.

California side

(n phrase) California games section.


(v1. Match a bet. “I call.” — (n2. A calling bet. “Is that a call?”

call a bluff

(v phrase) Call the bet of an opponent suspected of betting or raising with inferior cards. Also, catch a bluff, although the latter implies doing so successfully while calling a bluff is not always successful. The expression has moved from the world of poker to general usage in the English language to describe someone’s exaggeration or lie being successfly challenged.

call all in

(v phrase) Call a bet such that one is all in.

call a raise cold

(v phrase) See coldcome in cold.

call cold

(v phrase) See coldcome in cold.

called hand

(n phrase) A hand that someone bet and someone else called, as opposed to a hand that was bet and no one called. The term often comes up when a bet is made, called, and lost, and the bettor who lost the hand now wants to throw the cards away unshown (perhaps from embarrassment at being caught bluffing). Someone, often someone not involved in the hand, wants to see the losing cards, and cites the (often unwritten but nonetheless usually enforced) rule, “A called hand must be shown upon request.” (Some players, particularly those most used to private games, are under the mistaken impression that only the winner of a pot has the right to ask for a called hand to be shown.) The situation can also arise when someone bets, someone calls, and the bettor mucks his cards as acknowledgment that he was bluffing, and the caller undoubtedly had him beat. The winner of the hand often shows his cards, but not always, particularly in a fast-moving game. The hand that won the pot is still, however, a called hand, and must be shown if anyone asks. Both situations come up more in draw games than other forms of poker, but the term still applies to all games. When a side pot is involved, usually all active hands at the showdown are called hands.


(n) Someone who calls a bet or raise. “I bet $100 and got five callers.”

calling all bets

(v phrase) Playing behind. See play behind.

calling hand

(n phrase1. A hand with which a player feels he must call a (often any) bet. “I knew you made it, but I had a calling hand.” 2. A hand good enough to call with, but not raise.

calling range

(n phrase) The range of hands a player needs to call a bet (or sometimes raise). Compare with opening requirements (definition 2).

calling station

(n phrase) A weak player who rarely raises, but calls almost every bet, even with substandard hands (and hence should not be bluffed).

call [someone] down

(v phrase) Check each round, and call each bet made by an opponent (who presumably bets each round).

call [someone’s] bluff

(v phrase) See call a bluff.

call on air

(v phrasePush air.

call the clock

(v phrase) Request the management (as usually represented by a floorperson but sometimes the house dealer) to start a stopwatch on someone who is taking too long on his turn to make a decision, at which point the deliberating player has one minute (or some other preestablished time limit) to act, and, at the expiration of the time, if he has not put any money in the pot, is considered to have passed or folded. This situation applies mainly to tournaments and high-stakes no-limit or pot-limit games. Also call the clock on and call the clock on someone. Also see two-minute rule.

call the clock on

(v phrase) See call the clock.

call the clock on [someone]

(v phrase) See call the clock.

call time

(v phrase) See “Time!”


(n phrase) See Cambodia slick.

(n phrase) In hold’em, 7-4 as starting cards. Possibly a play on big slick, from a probably apocryphal story told in a New York City cardroom. If a distinction is made, Cambodia is not suited and Cambodia slick is.


(n) In Spanish-speaking countries, rebuy. The word literally means shirt, and comes from what one generally does after losing one’s shirt.


(n) What someone in a Spanish-speaking country calls when rebuying.


(nDrop box.

Canadian Poker Tour

(n phrase) A series of poker tournaments in (comparatively) small Canadian casinos, with buy-ins in the hundreds of dollars, not thousands as events in larger and more well known series such as the World Poker Tour. Events are televised. Sometimes rendered CPT.


(n) A poor player from Canada. Many snobbish American players consider all Canadian players to be donkeys (see donkey). Like most stereotypes, this is not true.


(n) In hold’em, K-9 as starting cards. Also, mongrelmuttpedigreeRin Tin Tin.

can’t beat the board

(v phrase1. In a stud game, have an entire seven-card hand that cannot beat the four exposed cards of another player. 2. In hold’em, have a hand that cannot beat the board; this implies that the player is playing the board. (See play the board.)

can’t beat the game straight up

(v phrase) See straight up.

can’t buy a hand

(v phrase) Unable to buy a pot (bluff), probably because one’s bluff bets usually get called. Also, can’t buy a pot.

can’t buy a pot

(v phraseCan’t buy a hand.

can’t get away from a hand

(adv phrase) In the situation of being committed to and playing a strong hand to the end, even in a situation in which the hand appears to be a loser, perhaps due to money odds or because the hand is “too strong to fold.” Compare with “Too much hand.”

can’t stand a raise

(v phrase) See I can’t stand a raise.


(v1. Put in the maximum number of raises permitted in a round of betting; usually followed by the betthe bets, or the betting. Make the final raise permitted in the current round. “I’ll cap it” means that someone has put in the, say, third raise. 2. After dealing the first round in a draw game, put a chip on top of the undealt cards for protection; usually followed by the deck. — (n3. The point at which the rules dictate that the maximum bets have been made. “The cap is lifted heads up.” 4. The maximum amount that can be bet during the course of any one hand in a cap game5. Capper.


(adj) Having the ability to cheat. “Is he capable?” means “Is he a thief or mechanic?”

cap game

(n phrase) A big bet game in which a limit is placed on how much can be bet in a single hand. The cap for the game might be, for example, 50 or 100 times the size of the big blind. Once the cap is reached, all active players are considered to be all in and nothing further may be bet on that hand. For example, in a game with blinds of $2 and $4, the cap might be $400. Once the betting reaches $400 (not pot size, but the total amount that any one player puts in), the betting is effectively over.

“Cap it.”

(v) “The betting is capped”; “I’m capping the betting.” See cap (definition 1).


(v) A supposedly cute saying, often uttered by California dealers, that means “The betting is capped.” Named for the city near Santa Cruz. See cap (definition 1).


(adv) Describing the situation in which the maximum number of raises in a round of betting have been made. See cap (definition 1).


(n1. The chip used to cap (definition 2) the deck. 2. Card protector.


(expression) A supposedly cute saying, often uttered by dealers, that means “The betting is capped.” See cap (definition 1).


(n1. One of 52 (or 53) flat, rectangular objects, made usually of paper or plastic, with a uniform design on one side (the backs) and a representation of value (rank and suit) on the other; each card is either the joker, or one of the four suits (spades, hearts, diamonds, clubs) and 13 ranks (A, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, T, J, Q, K). A complete set of cards is called a deck. Paper cards are sometimes called pasteboards. Collectively, cards are sometimes called the Devil’s playthings. 2. A player’s bank3. Check cashing card.

card capper

(n phraseCard protector.

card cheat

(n phraseCardsharp.

card club

(n phraseCardroom.

card dauber

(n phrase) Someone who marks cards. See cosmeticsdaubmark.

card dead

(adj phrase) Not catching any cards, generally with the implication of not being dealt good starting hands, although sometimes referring to not making draws.

card down

(adv phrase) The situation in which a card has been dealt off the table or otherwise dropped to the floor, and a floorperson must be called to pick up the card, because, in many casinos and cardrooms, the house dealer is not permitted to retrieve the card, nor is a player. If a card falls on the floor, the dealer may announce, “Card down,” and a floorperson comes over to pick it up. Whether the card or cards that fell to the floor are still live or dead is subject to individual cardroom interpretation.


(n) One who plays cards, particularly a professional.


(n) A player who seems to get more good hands than random chance would dictate.

card-holding contest

(n1. A tournament with a fast structure, such that the outcome is much more determined by luck and much less by skill than other tournaments. Also, crapshoot2. A game full of calling stations (see calling station) such that almost every pot is won by the best hand out; that is, a game in which bluffing plays little or no part. 3. Showdown poker.


(n) Card thief.


(n1. Playing at cards. 2. Noting exposed cards (particularly at seven-card stud), and using that information in the play of a hand.

card magnet

(n phrase1. A figurative device for attracting cards. “He’s got a card mechanic today” means he’s getting lots of good hands or he’s making all the hands he draws to. Also, drawers2. Someone who receives lots of good hands or makes all the hands he draws to. “Andy’s a regular card magnet today.”

card mechanic

(n phrase) See mechanic.

card mob

(n phrases) Two or more cheaters working together in a card game.

card money

(n phrase) Money allocated by a gambler for playing at cards; bankroll (definition 1).

card mucker

(n phraseHand mucker.

card odds

(n phrase) The probability that a particular card or hand will be dealt. See odds.

card play

(n phrase) Playing at cards. Also, carding.

card player

(n phrase) Anyone who plays cards; a carder. Also see player.

Card Player

(n phrase) A magazine devoted to poker.

card playing

(n phrase) Playing at cards. Also, cardingcard play.

card rack

(n phrase) Someone who gets a lot of good hands; usually used facetiously or humorously. Sometimes called human card rack.

card protector

(n phrase) A token or other small object that a player brings to (usually) a hold’em-type game, to place on top of his cards to protect them from being inadvertently fouled or accidentally scooped up by the dealer while still in play. A spinner is a common form of card protector.

card room

(n phrase) An alternative spelling of cardroom, considered incorrect, found in some dictionaries and newspapers.


(n1. An establishment, usually open to the public, in which cards, usually poker, are played. 2. The section of a casino in which poker is played. 3. A room in a club devoted to card playing. For all meanings, sometimes referred to informally as just room.

cardroom license

(n phrase) A specific gambling license issued by any combination of municipality, county, state, or country, to a cardroom, usually specifying the types of games permitted, the stakes, hours of operation, and other restrictions.

cardroom lobby

(n phraseLobby (definition 2).

cardroom poker

(n phrase) Poker as played in a cardroom, and as specifically distinct from any of the house-banked casino variations like Caribbean Draw PokerCaribbean Stud Pokercasino stud pokerpai gow poker, and so on, and sometimes as distinct from home poker.

card rush

(n phraseRush. (definition 2)


(n1. The playing of a card game, often poker. “I’m going out to play some cards tonight.” 2.deck. “Give me the cards; it’s my deal.” 3. Any portion of a deck. “You’re not supposed to pick up the cards for the next deal until the previous hand is completely over.” 4. Specifically, good cards. “He’s been getting cards all night.” “I haven’t seen any cards in the last hour.”

cards break even

(n phrase) The notion arising out of the theory that states that in the long run, since everyone gets the same cards, if the cards are running bad for a while for a particular player, they will eventually fall back into a normal pattern. “I’ll get even if the cards ever start breaking even.”

card sense

(n) In a poker game, an acute awareness of the totality of what is going on, not narrowing your focus to just what’s happening in your own hand. Card sense implies the ability to act on your observations, and to think on your feet. You must have imagination in playing your own hand, almost x-ray vision in being able to reconstruct opponents’ hands. It is card sense that causes a player to play the same cards differently in different situations. A player without card sense usually plays the same cards the same in all situations.


(nCard shark.

card shark

(n phrase1. Cardsharp. Sometimes spelled cardshark2. An expert card player, usually a professional gambler. The term is not necessarily synonymous with cheater.


(n) A cheater, implying one who manipulates the cards; a mechanic. Sometimes spelled card sharp. Also, cardsharper.

card sharp







(n) Cheating at cards.



“Cards in the air.”

(expression1. An announcement by a tournament director to start the tournament. 2. Part of the promotional or advertising announcement as to when a tournament is scheduled to start. “Cards will be in the air at 1 p.m.”


(n) A card player, especially of poker, particularly one who plays for a living.

cards on the table

(v phrase) See lay your cards on the table.

cards speak

(v phrase1. The rule followed in many cardrooms that what a player says about his hand has no relevance: only the cards shown are of importance, and those cards, when placed face up on the table, are to be “read” by the house dealer, or any player at the table. The rule is invoked in two situations. In the first, a player can say what he likes about his hand, but it is what he actually shows down that determines the winner of the pot. (The opposite situation is also common, particularly in California, where some clubs hold that if a player miscalls his hand as being better than it is, he may lose claim to the pot; that is, the verbal announcement takes precedence over the actual cards.) The second situation is for high-low split games. In home games, high-low split is often played with a verbal or chip declaration, with half the pot going to the person who declares high and has the best high hand, and half to the person who declares low and has the best low hand. In cardrooms, though, the situation is usually cards speak: at the showdown, all active players lay their hands face up on the table, and the pot is split between the actual highest and lowest hands (or all of it given to the one hand that combines both, if such exists, or the hand that wins the high half when no hand qualifies — see qualify — for low); the house dealer, if there is one, reads all the hands at the showdown and determines which wins the high half and which the low. (If there are qualifiers for both high and low, the situation is still cards speak: the pot is split between the highest and lowest hands that meet the conditions of the qualifiers. If no hand qualifies for low, the highest hand wins the whole pot; if there is a qualifier for high and no hand qualifies for high, the lowest hand wins the whole pot; if no hand qualifies for either, the pot is sometimes split among all participants. Local rules may differ.) Sometimes part of the expression cards speak for themselves. Also see 8-or-better2. A name for high-low split with no declaration.

cards speak for themselves

(v phrase) See cards speak.

cards stacked

(v phrase) See stacked cards. “The cards were stacked against him.” The expression has moved from the world of poker to general usage in the English language to describe a situation in which circumstances made it unlikely for an individual to succeed.

cards [that] work together

(v phrase) See work together.

card table

(n phrase1. Poker table2. Any table designed specially for playing cards. Different styles of tables are used for bridge, blackjack, baccarat, and poker, which itself has several types, depending on the specific game.

card wrench

(n) A device to pry apart cards so that the card you caught will fit the hand; used humorously. If, in high draw poker, a player draws to 4-5-6-7 and catches a 9, he might say, “I need a card wrench to fix this hand.”

Caribbean Draw Poker

(n phrase) A house-banked casino game played at a blackjack-type table. The game is related to poker in the way hands are formed, but is not really a poker game. Players first ante and then players and dealer all receive five cards face down. Players can also make an additional optional jackpot wager, in which certain hands at the end will be eligible for payouts. Players elect in turn either to fold, and lose the ante, or play, in which case they put up an amount double the ante wager (the back bet). A player who plays can then replace up to two cards. After each player makes a decision, the dealer reveals his whole hand. A dealer’s hand must qualify (be a pair of eights or better). If it does not, the player receives even money on the ante and the back bet is a standoff. If the dealer’s hand does qualify, and his hand is higher than the player’s hand, that player loses both the ante and back bet. If the player’s hand is higher, the player wins even money (1:1) on the ante wager and a bonus amount based on the back bet wager, up to some maximum payout (often $5,000), from a payout table that starts with even money for one pair and ranges up to 100:1 for a royal flush. The jackpot wager is then paid separately, whether or not the player’s hand has beaten the dealer’s. These payments come from a separate payout table, with hands ranging from a flush to four of a kind receiving fixed payouts, a straight flush 10 percent of a progressive jackpot, and a royal flush 100 percent of the jackpot. In a variant known as VIP-poker, a player pays one ante to draw one card and two antes to draw two. In another variant, a player pays one ante to add (rather than replace) a sixth card to his hand, and then play the best five of these cards.

Caribbean Stud

(n phraseCaribbean Stud Poker.

Caribbean Stud Poker

(n phrase) A house-banked casino game played at a blackjack-type table. The game is related to poker in the way hands are formed, but is not really a poker game. Players first ante and then receive five cards face down, while the dealer receives four face down and one face up. Players can also make an additional optional jackpot wager, in which certain hands at the end will be eligible for payouts. Players elect in turn either to fold, and lose the ante, or play, in which case they put up an amount double the ante wager (the back bet). After each player makes a decision, the dealer reveals his whole hand. A dealer’s hand must qualify (be ace-king or better). If it does not, the player receives even money on the ante and the back bet is a standoff. If the dealer’s hand does qualify, and his hand is higher than the player’s hand, that player loses both the ante and back bet. If the player’s hand is higher, the player wins even money (1:1) on the ante wager and a bonus amount based on the back bet wager, up to some maximum payout (often $5,000), from a payout table that starts with even money for one pair and ranges up to 100:1 for a royal flush. The jackpot wager is then paid separately, whether or not the player’s hand has beaten the dealer’s. These payments come from a separate payout table, with hands ranging from a flush to four of a kind receiving fixed payouts, a straight flush 10 percent of a progressive jackpot, and a royal flush 100 percent of the jackpot. Often known simply as Caribbean Stud. A variant of Caribbean Stud exists in which a player may replace one card, at the expense of invalidating the bonus bet.

carpet joint

(n phrase) A well-appointed casino or cardroom, as opposed to a sawdust joint. Also called rug joint.

carry a slug

(v) Shuffle a slug into prearranged position. For example, in draw, a cheat might carry a slug full of spades so that it ends up in a position one beyond the cards required to deal the hand. When he or his partner draws, he can draw two or three cards and make a spade flush.

carry over

(v phrase) Credit a stake player or a cow with his chips from one shift to the next. A stake player is usually liable for the amount of his last press. For example, if Smiley was staked $20, lost it, given a $10 press, and then carried over, only $10 would go on the sheet of the next shift. In such case, a stake could lose for the house and still make money for himself. (If he was picked up or otherwise ended the next shift with $20, he would be given $5 when he was split out, because on that shift he showed a $10 profit. But the house would have lost $15, representing the initial $20 minus half the $10 profit on the second shift.) If the stake were given $20, and then a $10 press, and went broke while still in the same shift, he would have no carry-over and could not make money on that shift. That is why some stakes try to get staked near the end of a shift, and then, if they are short near the end of the shift, contrive to lose the last chips so they can get pressed just before the next shift starts. That way they can start the next shift with just $10 on the sheet, and, if they lose that, get still another press.


(n) Chips or cash being carried over. See carry over.


(adj1. Describing the only remaining card of a rank or suit. “I caught the case ace” means there was only one left to hit (in a stud or flop game) or draw (in a draw game) and the player got it. 2. All; said of money. “He bought in for his case money” means that all he had in his pocket went to buy chips; if he loses these, he can’t buy anymore. — (n3. Case card. “I caught the case.” — (vt4. Look over; usually said of a cardroom, referring to checking out the action. “He only comes in to case the joint, and never lights.” See bird dog (definition 1).

case bet

(n phrase) A gambler’s last bet, which, if he loses, he has lost his entire bankroll or stake.

case card

(n phrase) The only remaining card (in the deck) of a rank or suit. See case. The term comes from the game of faro, in which cards are kept track of with an abacus-like device called a case rack.

case chips

(n phrase) The last of a gambler’s bankroll or stake.

case money

(n phrase) The last of a gambler’s bankroll or stake.


(n1. “Real” money, as opposed to chips. 2. Making the money in a tournament. “He’s had three cashes in this series so far.” — (v3. Make the money in a tournament. “How’d you do in today’s event?” “I cashed.”

cash game

(n phrase1. A game played for real money2. A game played using actual currency or coins, as opposed to one played using chips. This would only be a private or home game. 3. A nontournament game. “At the end of the tournament, the players all jumped into cash games.” Also see side action.


(n1. Cage2. A casino or cardroom employee who works in the cage. “Ask the cashier for a check-cashing application.” Sometimes called cageperson3. In a private or home game, someone who fulfills the analogous function, that is, sells chips to players at the start of a session and cashes them in at the end. 4.In an online cardroom, the facility for moving cash into and out of the cardroom and to and from tables, that is, the digital analog of a cardroom or casino cage.

cashier’s cage

(n phraseCage.

cash in

(v phrase) Take your chips to the cage (or, in a private game, turn them over to the banker) to exchange them for cash, thereby finishing your playing session. The expression has moved from the world of poker to general usage in the English language meaning to die, usually as part of the phrase he cashed in his chips. That probably came from the figurative meaning of ending the game. Also, cash out.


(n) act of cashing in or the player who does so. “When the cardroom closes at 2, there’s a huge line at the cage of cashouts.”

cash out

(v phraseCash in. The expression has moved from the world of poker to general usage in the English language meaning to die.

cashout curse

(n phraseCash in. The superstition among some online poker players (usually losers) that the sites use rigged software that cheats players who have made a large withdrawal by dealing those players weak hands until they lose back their winnings, presumably to discourage future withdrawals.

cash plays

(v phrase) An indication (or rule) that betting cash is permissible in a game. You may see a sign in a poker room stating, “Cash plays ($100 bills only).” This is of relevance because in many cardrooms cash may not be used; players must buy chips and any cash sitting on the table specifically does not play. In the given situation, the only cash on the table that could be wagered is $100 bills. If a player had a number of chips, three $100 bills, and 10 $20 bills, he could bet all the chips plus another $300, but the remaining $200 could not go into a pot. If a player has requested but not yet received chips, the house dealer or a floorperson may say “Cash plays,” thus permitting a temporary exception to the rule. Also money plays.

Cash plays.”

(expression) Per the explanation under cash plays, if a player has requested but not yet received chips, the house dealer or a floorperson may say “Cash plays,” thus permitting a temporary exception to the rule. The player may put the cash into a pot, but only until his chips arrive. Also “money plays.”


(n1. A building or establishment devoted to gambling games of all kinds. 2. A large, usually opulent, cardroom. 3. A card-accumulating game of Italian origin whose only interest to poker players is the names given to two of its cards, big casino and little casino. For definition 3, also spelled cassino.

casino brag

(n phrase) A variant of three-card poker (definition 2) in which the dealer needs ace-queen to qualify. Also known as Brit Brag.

casino cage

(n phraseCage.

casino Chowaha

(n phrase) See Chowaha

casino game

(n phrase1. With respect to poker, any game played in a casino, as described under casino games2. Any game of chance played in a casino that is not poker, like blackjack or craps.

casino games

(n phrase1. With respect to poker, the games played in a casino (as opposed to some of the wild variations played in a private game). You might hear someone in a private game say, “We’re playing casino games.” That is, specifically not games like Anaconda and keep it or shove it2. Those games of chance played in a casino that are not poker, like blackjack or craps. Where they’re played is often called the pit.

Casino Hold’em Poker

(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. In addition, each player can make an optional AA bet, a side bet based on the value of the player’s two cards and the first three flop cards, with a flush or higher paying 25:1 and a pair of aces to a straight 7:1. Each player and the dealer receives two cards face down and three community cards are dealt face up, which will combine with the player’s and dealer’s hole cards to form a five-card hand for each. At this point, each player must either make a call bet, which is double the ante bet, or fold, in which case he loses the ante and the AA bet. The dealer then puts out two more community cards and reveals his two downcards. The dealer must have a pair of 4s or better to qualify. If the dealer does not qualify, then the player wins the ante and pushes on the call. If the dealer qualifies and beats the player, the player loses both ante and call. If the dealer qualifies and the player beats the dealer, then the player wins both ante and call. Regardless of whether the dealer qualifies, if the player beats the dealer, the ante pays a bonus, usually per the following: any straight flush, 20:1; four of a kind, 10:1; full house, 3:1; flush, 2:1; straight, 1:1.

casino poker

(n phrase1. Any of several house-dealt games in which players compete against the house to either beat the dealer’s hand or just try to make certain hands, which pay off according to pay tables. These games are not like “traditional” poker in which players compete against each other, and are “poker” only insofar as poker comes into play for the purpose of ranking hands. These games have a fixed house edge and involve little, if any, skill, since players make their bets before receiving their cards. Although in some of the games players can make further wagers after seeing their cards, they are not playing against each other, and the betting to build pots or to bluff others out are not part of the games. Examples include Caribbean Stud and Let It Ride Bonus2. Poker played in a casino (as opposed to a private game); public game3. Poker as played in a casino, that is, the style or rules used in such games. There is a distinction, which you might hear when someone in a private game says, “We’re playing casino poker.”

Casinos Poland Mini Poker

(n phrase) The Polish version of three-card poker.

Casinos Poland Poker

(n phrase) The Polish version of Caribbean Stud Poker, a name perhaps used to get around paying royalties to the original inventors of the game.

casino stud poker

(n phrase) A house-banked casino game popular in European casinos played at a blackjack-type table with seven players, dealt from a single standard deck of cards. Each player first antes, by putting a wager (within the range of table limits) into the ante box before him, and then players and dealer all receive five cards face down, with the exception of the dealer’s last card, which is turned face up. Each player in turn decides whether his hand can beat the dealer’s. To do so, the hand must qualify. To qualify, a hand must contain at least an ace and a king. Hands rank exactly as in poker (but there the similarity to poker essentially ends), ranging all the way from no pair to a royal flush. The player has two choices. He can surrender the hand, by announcing “Passe,” and give up the ante bet. He can elect to have his hand challenge the dealer’s, by announcing “Relance” (continue), and place double the ante bet into the relance box. After all players have indicated their intentions, the dealer reveals his hand and compares it with each of the remaining player hands. Two possibilities exist. The dealer’s hand does not qualify, in which case the dealer pays even money on each ante bet and the relance bet is a push (it neither wins nor loses). The dealer’s hand does qualify, in which case the dealer compares his hand with each player’s hand. If the player’s hand beats the dealer, the dealer pays the player even money (1:1) on the ante wager and a bonus amount on the relance bet, ranging from even money for one pair through 100 times the relance bet for a royal flush. Unlike poker, if the player and the dealer have the same rank of hand, it is a push. For example, if player and dealer each has a flush, it is a push, no matter the values of the individual cards. However, the better three of a kind, full house, or four of a kind wins. Thus, for example, the hand K♠ K♦ K♥ A♣ 9♥ beats the hand J♠ J♦ J♥ A♥ Q♣, but the hand A♠ K♠ T♠ 9♠ 4♠ is a push against the hand 8♥ 6♥ 4♥ 3♥ 2♥. One additional option exists, one that is somewhat analogous to the bluff in cardroom poker. A player can win without his hand beating that of the dealer, but to do so must make an extra wager. That is, if the player’s hand does not qualify initially, the player can still elect to put out the relance bet, gambling that the dealer’s hand will not qualify. At the time of hand comparison, if the dealer’s hand does not qualify, the player wins the ante bet (as before), and the relance bet is a push. If the dealer’s hand does qualify, the player loses both the ante and the relance bet. An optional bet is available in some casinos, in which the player wins for a flush or better, with payouts ranging from 50:1 for a flush to 5,000:1 for a royal flush. A variant of casino stud (sometimes called “Extra Plus’) exists in which a player can replace one card, at the expense of invalidating the bonus bet. Known in German-speaking countries as Bärenpoker.

casino token

(n phraseChip.


(n phrase) An alternative spelling of casino (definition 3).


(n) Any one of big tigerlittle tigerbig catlittle cat.

catbird seat

(n phrase) The position immediately to the right of the dealer. The poker term is a restricted usage of the more general term, which means advantageous situation or position.


(v1. Receive a card. 2. Receive a card that makes a hand (that is, in a stud game, be dealt or in a flop game, have appear on the board the card one needs, or, in draw poker, draw a card that fills the hand or makes specifically what one was trying to make). “As soon as he started to bet, I knew he caught.” — (n3. The card or cards a player drew. If someone hits a gut shot in hold’em or draws three cards in lowball and makes a wheel, someone else might say, “Nice catch.” 4. The particular card that makes a hand.

catch a bluff

(v phraseCall a bluff. Usually implies successfully, that is, winning the pot because the opponent really is bluffing and does not accidentally have a better hand than that of the caller.

catch a piece of the flop

(n phrase) In a flop game, be in the situation that some portion of the flop combines with one’s hole cards so as to improve the hand. Usually implies only moderate or slight improvement, as make middle or bottom pair or provide a draw.

catch bad

(v phrase) Get a card that hurts a hand, or at least does not help it.

catch good

(v phrase) Get a card that helps a hand, as opposed to catch bad.

catch inside

(v phrase1. In lowball or razz, make the particular hand you’re drawing to. If you have 7-4-3-2 in ace-to-five lowball, and catch a 6, 5, or ace, you catch inside2. In any high game, make an inside straight.

catch in the gut

(v phrase) Make an inside straight.

catch lightning in a bottle

(v phrase) Make or try to make a miracle draw.

catch outside

(v phrase1. In lowball or razz, catch a card above the particular hand you’re drawing to. If you have 7-4-3-2, and catch an 8 or higher, you catch outside2. In any high game, miss a straight.

catch perfect

(v phrase) Make precisely the hand you’re drawing to. The term is heard in hold’em, in a situation in which only one or two cards remain that will turn a losing hand into a winner. In ace-to-five lowball, if you’re drawing to 8-4-3-2, and catch a 7, 6, 5, or ace you make your hand; if you catch precisely the ace, youcatch perfect. In high draw, if you start with 4♦ 5♦ 6♦ 7♦, and catch any diamond, you make a flush; if you catch any 3 or 8, you make a straight. If you catch either the 3♦ or 8♦, you make a straight flush, and you can say you have caught perfect.

catch rough

(v phrase) In lowball, draw a card that makes the hand rough. For example, if you draw to 7-3-2-A in ace-to-five lowball and catch a 6, you catch rough. Contrast with catch smooth. Also see catch insidecatch outside.

catch smooth

(v phrase) In lowball, draw a card that makes the hand smooth. For example, if you draw to 7-3-2-A in ace-to-five lowball and catch a 4 or 5, you catch smooth. Compare with catch perfect. Contrast with catch rough. Also see catch insidecatch outside.

catch [someone] speeding

(v phrase) See speeding.

catch up

(v phrase1. Improve a hand that likely was far behind another such that it becomes either closer in rank to the other or at least has a much better chance of winning. This meaning applies when cards still remain to be dealt, as, for example, on the turn in hold’em or one of the middle streets in seven-card stud. 2.Improve a hand that was behind another such that it now beats the other. This meaning applies when all the cards have been dealt and the worse hand receives one of the few remaining cards that would make it a winner.

cat flush

(n phrase) A nonstandard hand sometimes given value in a private or home game, a big tiger or little tiger, all in the same suit, ranking above a straight flush (since a tiger beats a straight).


(n) In draw poker, a draw of two (sometimes more) cards to a straight or flush, or, sometimes, to a pair with (usually) an ace kicker. The term has two implications. One is just the attempt to make such a draw. “He draws to every cathop that comes along” implies the player draws two cards every time he starts with three cards to a straight or flush. The other is actually making it. “Wouldn’t you know I’d get beat by a cathop when I finally made a straight?” implies that the kvetcher drew one, made a straight, and somebody else drew two and made a flush (possibly a higher straight, or possibly two to something like a pair of 2s with an ace kicker and ending up with a full house).

cats and dogs

(n phrase) Draw poker in which certain nonstandard hands (the big and little cat or tiger and big and little dog; see nonstandard hand) have value. See catdog (definition 3).

caught in the middle

(adv phrase) Being whipsawed. “I had a straight flush draw on the turn. Two opponents both had sets, and kept raising, and I was caught in the middle.”

caught speeding

(v phrase) See speeding.


(nContinuation bet.

CB hand

(n phrase) In hold’em, starting cards of 10-4. See Broderick Crawford. Also, convoy, good buddy, over and outover and out good buddyRoger thattruckertrucker’s hand


(nBasement; often preceded by from the.

cellar dealer

(n phraseBottom dealer.

center dealer

(nHouse dealer.

center pot

(nMain pot.


(n1. A $100 bill. 2. $100.

century note

(n phrase) A $100 bill. Also, C-note.


(n) The king of diamonds in the French deck. Also, Caesar.

Cesar Poker

(n phrasePineapple.


(n) The third-highest game in a given establishment. Compare with A-gameB-game.


(n“Ding.” From the sound of a cash register.


(nChances. “He had a 1 in 3 chance of making the hand.” “What’s the chance of that happening?” When chance is used with numbers, it usually follows the figures; when chances is used, it usually precedes the figures.


(n) The likelihood of a particular event, usually expressed in the form of some kind of fraction (as chances of one third, or, more often a decimal, as chances of 0.33, or percentage, as chances of 33%) or in the form of one number out of or in another (as chances of 1 out of 3, or 1 in 3). Compare with odds, in which the outcome is expressed as one number to another number.


1. (vt) In draw poker, draw cards. — 2. (n) Fractional monetary units, often heard as part of the expression and change. For example, “It’s going to cost him $1100 and change” means the bet or raise is something between $1100 and $1200, and probably closer to the former.

change cards

(v phrase) In draw poker, draw cards.

change color

(v phrase) See color change.

change decks

(v phrase) Put a fresh deck of cards into play.

“Change decks.”

(expression) Request by a player to change decks.

change gears

(v phrase) Alter the pace of one’s playing, usually as a deceptive move against the other players, as, for example, change from fast, aggressive play to a more conservative style. Also, shift gearsswitch gears.



change list

(v phrase) A list, usually maintained by a floorman or the house dealer, of those who want to change seats within a particular game or move to another game of the same size.

change of color

(n phraseColor change.


(expression) Request by a player to a dealer in the form of a chip to break that chip into smaller denominations so the player can leave the dealer a toke. Similar to “Chop-chop!” (definition 2).

“Change the deck.”

(expression) Request by a player to change decks.


(n) The king of hearts.


(n) The king of hearts. May come from Charlemagne, or King Charles VII of France.


(n) The third position to the left of the dealer. Sometimes called just C.


(v1. Make the blind good. That is, if you have the blind, the pot is opened, and you elect to put in the extra chip or chips to play when likely behind or try a longshot, you might say, “I’ll chase.” 2. When losing, bet recklessly, often desperately, in the hope of getting of even. “How’s he doing?” “Stuck, and chasing.” Also, play catchup3. Try to catch a better hand with a worse holding, usually in a stud game. If you have a pair of kings in the hole, another pairs his exposed ace, and you continue in the hopes of catching another king, you are said to be chasing. Also see go uphill.

chasing the luck with your ass

(verb phrase) Attempting to improve one’s luck by frequently changing seats (as opposed to changing seats for strategic — positional — reasons).


(n1. The informal language that online cardroom players type in the chat box2. Chat privilege. “They took his chat away.” — (v3. Enter comments into the chat box.

chat bot

(n phrase) A bot that enters text into a chat box to provide the illusion of a player actually participating in an online game, as opposed to either multitabling (see multitable) and being too busy to chat or being a poker bot.

chat box

(n phrase) Part of the playing area at a table in an online cardroom, a text field into which dealer text and player comments go. Announcements of upcoming tournaments also appear in the chat box.

chat privilege

(n phrase) Being allowed to use the chat box. Usually associated with the ability being taken away, as, for example, “They took Mike’s chat privilege away for too much profanity directed at the other players.” Sometimes shortened to chat.

chat talk

(n phrase) The comments entered into the chat box.

chat term

(n phrase) See chat terms.

chat terms

(n phrase) Specialized shorthand that players use when they type comments into the chat box. These are often congratulatory or offer comments about play. The table lists many of the terms.

ai all in
a/i all in
atc any two cards
bb be back; big blind
bbl be back later
brb be right back
btn button
btw by the way
cya see ya
ds double-suited
fpp frequent player points
FT final table
fu fuck you
g1 good one
gb good bet
gc good call; good cards
gg good game
gl good luck
gla good luck all
gn good night
h/e hold’em
hl high-limit
h/l high-low
h/u heads up
hu heads up
IGHN “I go home now.”
itb in the blind
ith in the hole
Itm In the money
l8r later
ll low-limit
lmao laughing my ass off
lol laughing out loud
lp late position
ltr later
lv leave; live
mp middle position
mtt multitable tournament
n nice; no
nb nice bet; nice bluff
n1 nice one
nc nice call; nice card; nice cards; nice catch
nf nice fold
nh nice hand
nhs nice hands; “Nice hand, sir,”
nhswp “Nice hand, sir, well played.”
nhwps “Nice hand, well played, sir.”
n/l no-limit
nl no-limit
nld nice laydown
nlhe no-limit hold’em
n/l h/e no-limit hold’em
nt nice try
o offsuit, as in AQo
o8 Omaha/8
omg “Oh my God!”
otb on the button
pp pocket pair
pf preflop
ph pat hand
p/l pot-limit
pl pot-limit
plhe pot-limit hold’em
plo pot-limit Omaha
plo8 pot-limit Omaha/8
prng pseudo-random number generator
rotfl rolling on the floor laughing
rotflmao rolling on the floor laughing my ass off
rng random number generator
s suited, as in K9s
s&g sit and go
sb small blind
sd single-draw
7CS seven-card stud
7/8 seven-card stud 8-or-better
sng sit and go
SOS sit-out sign
STFU “Shut the fuck up!”
stt single-table tournament
t thanks
TC tournament chips
td triple-draw
thx thanks
TLB tournament leader board
tmw tomorrow
tnx thanks
tp top pair
tptk top pair, top kicker
tu thank you
2 to or too
tx thanks
tmi “Too much information”
ty thank you
tyvm thank you very much
u you
ur your
utg under the gun
vn very nice
vn1 very nice one
vnh very nice hand
vvn very very nice
vvnh very very nice hand
wb welcome back
wcp world-class player
wp well-played
wtf “What the fuck?” (“What happened?”)
y yes
YGHN “You go home now.”
yhs your hand sucks
yur your or you’re
yw you’re welcome
zzz “Hurry up!”


(adv) Able to continue playing for no bets or just a small bet. “He came in cheaply and was able to make a runner-runner straight flush.”


(v1. Use any of a number of crooked devices, card manipulation, deceptive tactics, and so on, to gain an unfair advantage over opponents or otherwise win dishonestly. See marked cardsmechanicscamseconds dealer, etc. — (n2. One who employs these techniques; thief.


(nCheat (definition 2).


(nMarked deck.

cheating device

(n phrase) A mechanical device for cheating, such as a holdout machine. Also called tool.


(v1. Make no bet, but still hold your cards. You can check, and then call a later bet, fold when the action gets back to you, or raise. (Checking is possible only when no bet has yet been made in a round.) Technically, to check is to make a bet of nothing. Compare with pass. — (n2. Making no bet. “A check from the first player.” 3. A cardroom chip (definition 1); often plural. When a player cries out “Checks!,” he is signaling to a floorperson his intention to buy more chips. The term check is generally limited to cardrooms and casinos, while chip is more heard in home games, though common in both.

check and raise

(v phrase1. Check-raise. (n phrase2. — (adv phrase) Permitting players to pass and still retain their cards. “This game is check and raise before the draw.”


(adj phrase) Permitting players to pass and still retain their cards. “This is a check-and-raise game before the draw.”

check around

(v phrase) See check it around.

check blind

(v phrase) In draw, without looking at the cards you have been dealt, or (more often), the card or cards you have drawn, or in hold’em or seven-card stud, before the arrival of the next card, make no bet; usually accompanied by a verbal announcement of this fact. Also check dark. Compare with bet blind.


(v phrase) Check and then call if an opponent bets, as opposed to check-raise or fold.

check cashing card

(n phrase) A sheet on which the cashier keeps track of a player’s transactions against a blank, signed check.

check cashing privileges

(n phrase) Having the ability, usually after having had a credit check run, to cash checks in a particular establishment. This ability is sometimes categorized as credit.


(v phrase) The situation in which, on a given round, the only two players who remain in a pot both decline to bet. “It went check-check and the river was dealt.”

check cop

(n phrase1. A thief whose specialty is stealing chips from pots or other players, usually by palming them. 2. A sticky substance a thief rubs on his palm to permit chips to stick to the palm without having to close his fingers around the chips. Also, glue.

check copper

(n phraseCheck cop (definition 1).

check dark

(v phraseCheck blind.

checked all the way around

(adv phraseChecked around.

checked around

(v/adv phrase) With no one having bet in a particular around. “It was checked around and we’re going to see another card.” Also, checked all the way around.

checked down

(v phrase) Describing either of the two situations under check it down. “It was checked down.”


(nCheck (definition 3); often plural.


(v phrase) Check and then fold if an opponent bets, as opposed to check-call or check-raise.

check in the dark

(v phraseCheck blind.

check it around

(v phrase) Have no one bet in a particular around. “They checked it around, so everyone gets a free card.” Also, check around.

check it down

(v phrase1. Check on the last round of betting; often referring to the lack of a bet made by the last player able to do so. 2. In a tournament, what two players implicitly agree to do when another player is all in before the final card, that is, not make any further bets, realizing the all-in player is more likely to bust out against two players than one who might be driven out by further betting, and thus increasing the chances for both of them to advance in the payout schedule.

check out

(v phrase) Fold in turn even though there has been no bet. A (usually unkowledgeable) player does this when holding a hand that he thinks cannot possibly win. Such action is against the rules in some cardrooms, and considered improper behavior and poor poker etiquette in all, because folding when not faced with a bet can affect the outcome of the pot. For example, a player might be inspired to bluff against only one remaining player whereas he might not have done so against two, or a player might have what he considers to be a second-best hand that he is afraid to bet suspecting that the particular player was on a draw, but with that player now out of the hand, he can bet with impunity, thus putting an unfair burden on the other remaining player.

check rack

(n phraseChip rack. Also called rack.




(v phrase1. Check, often (but not necessarily) with a good hand, and then, when someone bets and it returns to you, raise. Compare with sandbag. — (n2. The act of so doing.


(n) Chips. (See chip, definition 1.)


(nPiece of cheese. “Throw that cheese in the muck.”


(n) In hold’em, 6-6 as starting cards. Sixes sort of look like cherries with stems.


(n1. A form of poker found only in home games, usually played with seven cards, and ending up as a mixture of draw and stud. 2. High spade in the hole.

Chicago bankroll

(n phrase) A bankroll consisting of a large number of singles rolled over with one 20, which one might chuck in one direction when about to be mugged, while simultaneously running in the other direction.


(n) Chips (in a pot). Often part of the phrase a lot of his children out there.


(nChinese poker. “They’re playing Chinese.”

Chinese poker

(n phrase13-card. Sometimes shortened to Chinese.


(n) The nuts; usually preceded by the.


(n1. Disk-shaped marker, usually about the size of a silver dollar and made of clay, paper composite, or plastic, and sometimes metal, and of various colors, used to represent various monetary betting units; such as a 50-cent chip, or a $5 chip. Chips are the score-keeping units of poker. Also called check,counterpoker chiptoken. — (v2. Bet, often as part of the phrase chip in.

chip along

(v phrase) Call, but never raise, all bets; in a no-limit, pot-limit, or spread-limit game, make the smallest bet allowed.

chip and a chair

(n phrase) The minimum requirements for winning in poker, as part of the phrase “All he needs is a chip and a chair.”

chip attendant

(n phraseChip runner.

chip away

(v phrase1. Bet small amounts with a superior hand, hoping to get called, that is, not betting so much that an opponent will fold. 2. Steadily reduce an opponent’s stack. “He’s been chipping away at me all evening.”

chip burner

(n phrase1. A hand likely to lose large amounts of chips (or money) if played. 2. A player who plays recklessly, frequently costing himself large amounts of chips. 3. A player who plays recklessly, thus causing other players, who are more likely to get involved with the loose player, to lose large amounts of chips. See burn up [someone]’s money.

chip chatter

(n phraseTable talk (definition 2).

chip chop figures

(n phraseBy the chips method.

chip copper

(n phraseCheck copper.

chip count

(n phrase1. The number of chips in play in a tournament. 2. The amount of chips in a player’s stack. This comes into play when one player asks how many chips an opponent has, presumably to use such knowledge in deciding whether to call an all-in bet or how much to bet in turn. Often shortened to simplycount3. The act of counting those chips.

“Chip count.”

(expression) “I’d like a chip count, please.”

chip declaration

(v phrase) In a high-low split game, using chips to indicate whether you’re going for high, low, or both. This is done in two ways, either the color of the chips indicates the players’ intentions (as red for high, white for low, blue for both ways), or the number of chips (as none for low, one for high, two for both ways). See consecutive declarationdeclarationsequential declaration.

chip declare

(n phraseChip declaration.

chip dumping

(n phrase) Throwing off one’s chips, often during a tournament, to another player, presumably someone with whom one is in collusion, to build up the partner’s stack. This of course comes at the expense of the others, and is illegal. It can happen online or in brick-and-mortar cardrooms, and is not limited to tournaments.

chip girl

(n phraseChip runner of the female persuasion. Curiously, the term chip boy does not exist.

chip in

(v phrase) Ante, or call a small bet. The expression has moved from the world of poker to general usage in the English language meaning contribute to a collection, usually of cash.

chip lead

(n phrase1. The situation or condition of having the most chips in a tournament or at a particular table. “He’s in the chip lead.” 2. Chip leader. “McEvoy is the chip lead.”

chip leader

(n phrase) The player who has the most chips in a tournament. “McEvoy is the chip leader.” Sometimes shortened to chip lead.


(n) Chips. (See chip, definition 1.)


(n) Chips. (See chip, definition 1.)

chipping away

(v phrase) See chip away.

chip person

(n phraseChip runner.

chip pusher

(n phrase) Obviously enough, someone who pushes chips into a pot, often referring to betting all of one’s chips.

chip race

(n phraseRace.

chip rack

(n phrase1. A box, or tray, that has indentations to neatly hold chips in (often five) stacks, and usually in groups of 20. Also, chip tray. Often shortened to rack2. On a poker table, the slotted or grooved tray that holds large numbers of chips, which the house dealer usually keeps separated by denomination and contains a large enough supply to enable the dealer to sell chips to players without having to interrupt play to call for a chip runner.


(vt) Request a player to leave; usually followed by the designation of a player. Comes from what a player usually does before cashing in: fill a chip rack with his chips, and head for the cage. “When the floorman saw Danny come from the cellar, he chip-racked him” means “When the floorman saw Danny deal a card from the bottom of the deck, he asked Danny to cash in (and leave the premises).”

chip runner

(n phrase) A person wearing an apron with pockets full of chips, whose job it is to sell chips to the players, and sometimes to perform other duties, such as collect time, sell drinks, etc. Also chip attendantchipster.

chips are down

(v phrase1. Originally, bets have been made and the players are committed to win or lose based on the cards they hold. This would likely happen when one or more of the players are all in, and bluffing is not a factor. The expression has moved from the world of poker to general usage in the English language meaning a situation is urgent or must be dealt with. 2. A player has bought into a game, a phrase used by floor personnel to indicate that the seat at which those chips have been placed is now locked up (definition 4), even though an actual player may not currently be seated in the chair.

chips declare

(v, n phraseChip declaration.

chip shuffling

(n phrase) The act of shuffling chips (see shuffle chips).


(nChip runner.

chip structure

(n phrase) Betting structure.

chip the pot

(v phraseCut the pot.

chip tray

(n phraseChip rack (definition 1).

chip trick

(n phrase) Sleight-of-hand or other tricky maneuver with one or more chips, such as shuffling them, “walking” a chip over the backs of one’s knuckles, and so on. Chip tricks are often done by players between hands to stave off the boredom of not currently being involved, to show off, or as a tension reliever when trying to make a key decision.

chip up

(v phrase1. Color up2. Exchange odd chips for higher denomination chips when the betting level goes up in a tournament. 3. Increase one’s stack (by winning). “I never had any giant pots till the final table, but I managed to slowly keep chipping up.”


(v) Talk excessively, often caused by being ahead.

chirping chips

(n phraseTalking chips.


(v1. Play briefly in each of several games, usually with the intention of having a short winning session in each. Compare with hit and run2. Chop the blinds3. Split a prize in a tournament. “We were about even in chips, so we chopped first and second.” “It was getting late and we were close in chips, so we chopped.” 4. See “Chop it up.” — (n5. The splitting of a prize in a tournament. “The site allows tournament chops.”

chop a game

(v phrase) Play for a short time in a game, win a lot of chips, and cash out.

chop a pot

(v phrase) Split a pot, usually as a result of one player holding a high and the other a low in a split-pot game, sometimes when holding identical hands.


(v1. Split a pot in a high-low game. 2. Make an agreement among two players (sometimes, rarely, more) to split a pot without having a showdown. 3. Chop the blinds.


(expression1. “Let’s chop the blinds.” 2. An announcement by one player to another that they are splitting the pot (that is, each has the same hand). 3. Put a chip up for the dealer (as a toke), and instruct the dealer to take half. For example, a player wins a pot, throws the dealer a dollar chip, and says, “Chop-chop”; he wants the dealer to take 50 cents and give him back 50 cents.

Chop it up.”

(expression1. An announcement by a player or dealer that the result of the current showdown is a split pot. 2. A recognition by a player of another’s request to split the pot without showing any cards. Also see chop-chop (definition 2). 3. A verbal announcement by one player to another that in the current situation they will chop the blinds4. A request by a player to break the chip the player has just thrown the dealer as a toke, with the understanding that if it is a chip that splits in half (like a $2 chip), the dealer will throw back just $1 and keep $1, or, for any other chip, the dealer will return change, some of which the player will toss back to the dealer as a toke. Also see “Chop-chop!” (definition 3).

chopped pot

(n phrase) A split pot, usually as a result of one player holding a high and the other a low in a split-pot game, sometimes when holding identical hands.


(n) One who chops. See chop (definition 1), hit-and-run artist.


(n) Playing briefly in each of several games, usually successfully in each.

chop the blinds

(v phrase) In a two-blind traveling blind game, when everyone has folded except the two blinds, make an arrangement between those two players not to play out the hand, but instead take back their posted blinds. In a three-blind traveling blind game, when only the middle blind and the big blind remain, similarly agree to just split the chips represented by the three blinds. This is sometimes done to avoid being subjected to the rake, because some establishments do not rake a pot if there is no action. (Cardrooms sometimes use the phrase “No flop, no drop.”) Compare with chop-chop (definition 2). Also, split the blinds.


(n) A game or tournament format in which six forms of poker are played in rotation, usually either half an hour of each or one round of each. The games are crazy pineapple, limit hold’emOmaha/8, razz, seven-card stud (high), and seven-card stud high-low (the e standing for 8-or-better). Can be pronouncedchorse (chawrss, phonetically) or C-HORSE (like seahorse). Also see C.H.O.R.S.E.L.half-and-half gameH.O.E.H.O.R.S.E.H.O.R.S.E.L.H.O.S.E.R.O.E. This form of poker is often called a mixed game.


(n) A game or tournament format in which seven forms of poker are played in rotation, usually either half an hour of each or one round of each. The games are crazy pineapple, limit hold’emOmaha/8, razz, seven-card stud (high), seven-card stud high-low (the e standing for 8-or-better), and ace-to-five lowball. Also see C.H.O.R.S.E.half-and-half gameH.O.E.H.O.R.S.E.H.O.R.S.E.L.H.O.S.E.R.O.E. This form of poker is often called a mixed game.


(n) A hold’em variant invented in a private game by RGPer Mike Chow, and popularized at BARGE, in which each player gets two downcards, the dealer flops nine cards, arranged in three rows of three, then turns two cards vertically at the ends of the “corridors” between the preceding rows, and rivers one card in the middle and to the right of the two, the whole arrangement forming a large arrow-like structure. Players form their best five-card hand using their two downcards plus any three cards from the four possible five-card board combinations: top row of three plus top card of two plus river card, bottom row of three plus bottom card of two plus river card, middle row of three plus either one of the two turn cards plus river card. The game is usually played high-low, with an 8 qualifier for low; a player need not use the same board for both high and low. Variants include playing the game high only, and each player starting with four cards (in which case, as in Omaha, exactly two must be used to form the five card hand). The high only version played with only two downcards, which is how the game is played in cardrooms, is known as casino Chowaha, as opposed to home Chowaha.


(v) The British term for draw (definition 7).


(n) Inexperienced poker player; sucker.

chump change

(n phrase) A comparatively small amount of money, particularly an amount that means little to the player in question. “He plays in the big game every day. The most he can lose here is $10,000. That’s chump change to him.”


(n) The slot on a poker table above (or to the side of) the drop box where the dealer places bills that have been exchanged for chips.

chute number 1

(n phrase) First position to the left of the dealer (or the big blind in a blind game), usually describing someone opening the betting from that position. “Here comes an opener from chute number 1.”

cigaret pot

(n phrase) An arrangement between two or more players to pay for their cigarets in the same manner as a drink pot.



cinch hand

(n phraseLock. Often just cinch.

cinch player

(n) One who plays only the nuts (usually used in a derisive sense).


(n) A form of poker found only in home games, a widow game in which each player receives five cards face down, as does a central area of the table, followed by a round of betting, and then the dealer turns up each central card, one at a time, each followed by another round of betting. At the showdown, each player uses the best five cards among his five and those of the widow. The game is often played high-low split. Also called Utah, Lamebrains, or California. Southern Cross is a variant of Cincinnati.


(n) Pot boundary. An arbitrary demarcation within which bets are “legal” and outside of which they are not. In some clubs, an actual circle is drawn on the table. In some clubs, a bet, or a motion to make a bet, is not considered binding unless the chips physically enter the circle; in others, the concept of the circledoes not exist. Same as line.


(n) In ace-to-five lowball, a 6-high hand. When a player shows down a 6-high, he sometimes announces his holding by spelling out, “c-i-x.” (This is meant to be humorous, implying that the player can’t spell, but who needs to, when he holds hands like that?)


(nRank of hands.

classic coin flip

(n phrase) The particular coin flip of underpair vs. overcards. (The underpair is usually, but not always, the favorite, as, for example, 5♥ 5♦ vs. T♦ 9♦, a matchup in which the overcards are favored approximately 52:48.)

classic race

(n phrase) See race situation.

classic race situation

(n phrase) See race situation.

Class I gaming

(n phrase) As defined in the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act of 1988, social games, that is, games that can be played for small stakes or minimal prizes among friends.

Class II casino

(n phrase) A casino in which Class II gaming is permitted.

Class II gaming

(n phrase) As defined in the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act of 1988, traditional bingo, or bingo played electronically, that is, on a video gaming device; pull tabs, punchboards, and other games similar to bingo, when played on the same premises as bingo; or nonbanked card games played among players, that is, specifically not against the house or a player acting as a bank, such as poker or any other nonbanked form of card game when played among players, such as pai gow poker or pan.

Class II gaming device

(n phrase) An electronic version of a Class II game, such as bingo or similar games. Some Class II casinos have electronic machines that look like slot machines but are based on bingo, and cannot pay out the huge jackpots permitted in Class III casinos.

Class III casino

(n phrase) A casino in which Class III gaming is permitted.

Class III gaming

(n phrase) As defined in the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act of 1988, gambling games that do not fall into the categories of Class I or II, that is, “full-blown” casino-type gaming. Slot machines, roulette, blackjack, craps, and most other casino games fall into this category. Native American tribes negotiate pacts with states to be permitted to conduct Class III gaming, and are sometimes restricted to Class II.

Class III gaming device

(n phrase) Any gaming device that involves a Class III game, such as reel slot machines, video reel slot machines, video poker, video keno, and so on.


(adj1. Honest. “He runs a clean joint.” 2. All in. “That’s all he can call. He’s clean.” (v3. Win all the money from one or more opponents, or from a game. Also, clean out.

clean dealer

(n phrase) Smooth and efficient dealer, usually said of a professional dealer.

clean move

(n phrase) A hard-to-detect cheating manipulation, whether by sleight-of-hand or with a cheating device; cleverly concealed misdeal. See move (definition 2).

clean out

(v phraseClean (definition 3).

clean outs

(n phraseOuts that are guaranteed or probable winners, as opposed to outs that might make your hand but at the same time might make an opponent a better hand. For example, if you are drawing to a flush with one card to come, you would generally have nine outs. However, if one (or more) of your flush cards also pairs the board, it could make an opponent a full house, so you would not count it among your clean outs. The opposite is dirty outs, cards that cannot be counted as clean outs because they might also improve an opponent.

clean up

(v phrase1. Get rid of the evidence after making a cheating maneuver. A thief may deal himself six cards, and play the best five. When he conceals the extra card among the discards, he is cleaning up. Also called skin the hand2. Do well in a game. See clean (definition 3).


(nClean dealer.


(n) See software.

client software

(n phrase) See software.


(n) A cheating device to hold a card up a sleeve or under a table.

clip joint

(n phrase) An illegal cardroom or casino whose denizens include thieves, usually with the consent of the house. In more general usage (outside cardrooms), a place of entertainment where high prices are charged for poor entertainment or the public is defrauded by overcharging. Also see sawdust joint.


(n) See call the clock.


(expression) A call by a player to have a floorperson call the clock on a slow player.


(adj, adv) Conservative(ly).


(adj, adv) Of the situation described under close the action. The action can also be closed because the last raise was insufficient to be classified as a legitimate raise, as, for example, when a player went all in, exceeding the previous bet, but not having enough to equal it. Different cardrooms have different criteria for what constitutes a legal bet or raise, and this can affect when action is considered closed.

closed card

(n phraseDowncard.

closed game

(n phrase) A game in which no other participants than those currently seated are permitted. In poker, the term usually applies only to private games. In casinos, the term is used for a game, usually blackjack, in which one player is making very large bets, does not want other players interfering with his play, requests to play alone, and the house, wanting his action, accedes.

closed hand

(n phrase) A hand consisting of all cards face down. Usually the term refers to a draw poker hand, sometimes, rarely, to no peeky.

closed poker

(n phraseDraw poker. Compare with open poker.

close the action

(v phrase) Be the last to call a raise (so that no one can reraise). For example, in a no-limit game, with the blinds at $10 and $25, Michael comes in under the gun for a raise to $75. Lili raises to $250. John and Emilie call the bet. The other players fold to the big blind, who puts in $225 to make the call. The bet now returns to Michael. If he calls the $150 raise — that is, does not reraise — that closes the action. The action can also be closed when the holder of the big blind in a live blind game elects not to exercise the option. Also, close the bettingfinish the actionstop the action.

close the betting

(n phraseClose the action.

close to the chest

(adv phraseClose to the vest.

close to the felt

(adv phrase) Nearly all in.

close to the vest

(adv phrase) Tight. “He plays them close to the vest.” Comes from the way players held their cards to avoid their being seen by others. The expression has moved from the world of poker to general usage in the English language meaning secretive or keeping one’s own counsel.


(n1. Any card in the clubs suit. “A club came on the turn.” 2. Public cardroom.

club flush

(n phrase) A flush in the clubs suit.

club poker

(n) Poker played in a public cardroom (as opposed to a private game), usually with posted rules and sometimes limited to certain games, such as lowball and draw, according to licensing restrictions. Also, casino poker.


(n1. One of the four suits in a deck of cards, whose symbol is shaped like a shamrock (♣). Originally, clubs may have represented the warrior class, the club being an early weapon. In the traditional deck, clubs are black. In the four-color deck, they are often green. 2. A club flush, that is, five cards of the same suit, all clubs. The following exchange likely comes from a draw game. “I’ve got a straight; whadda you got?” “Clubs.”

club stakes

(n) Posted rules regarding wagering, usually found in licensed cardrooms.


(nCentury note.

coat card

(n) An old term for face card. Comes from coated, from the garments worn by the figures. The term was in use until the late seventeenth century, at which point the pronunciation was probably corrupted into court card.


(n) In a no-limit game, a small raise of an opponent’s raise, the object of which is to coax a reraise from the original raiser, so that the maker of the coaxer can now make his move in the form of a very large raise. See move (definition 3), trap (definitions 2-4).


(v) Play a hand accompanied by a performance, usually to try to get a call. This is considered poor poker etiquette and often against the rules in UK casinos, but part of the game in the US. Tournaments have strict rules on what can and cannot be said about hands during play. Compare with Hollywood and moves.


(n) The actions of one who uses the coffeehouse technique.

coffee pot

(n) An arrangement between two or more players to pay for their coffee in the same manner as a drink pot. Also see pot (definition 4).

coin flip

(n phrase) Any confrontation of two closely matched hands, such as two overcards against a pair in hold’em before the flop. This term refers only to the comparison of chances, but does not imply that the holder of either hand is all in, as is usually the case in a race situation. Also, coin toss.

coin-flip situation

(n phraseCoin flip.

coin toss

(n phraseCoin flip.

coin-toss situation

(n phraseCoin flip.


(n1. The nuts, usually preceded by los. (Pronounced co-HO-nayss, it’s Spanish for “balls.”) 2. What a fearless player is said to possess.


(adj1. Serial, or in a row. “I caught three cold aces” means the player, in a draw game, drew three cards and (likely) ended up with aces full. 2. Not doing well. 3. Having no action. “No hands coming out: the game’s cold.” 4. Producing no action; said of a deck. “No hands coming out: the deck’s cold.” — (adv)5. As part of the phrase call coldcold call, or come in cold, call a bet and one or more raises without yet having any money in the pot.

cold bluff

(n phrase) A large bluff made on a weak hand.

cold call

(v, n phrase) See cold (definition 5), come in cold.

cold deck

(n1. A deck, presumably with preset hands in it (sometimes just two but often several good hands, the best of which will go to the dealer or his confederate), surreptitiously substituted by a cheat for the deck he is supposed to be dealing. So called because, after cards are dealt for a while, they warm a bit to the touch, while a cold deck actually feels cool. To bring in a cold deck, the thief must perform a switch. A cold deck is also known as a cooler. See bring in a deckstacked deck2. Getting cards such that it looks like they were set up as a cold deck. 3. Describing a deck from which few good hands seem to be coming out. See cold (definition 4).


(vt1. To deal a cold deck; usually to someone. “Those bastards cold-decked me.” 2. Suffer a bad beat, specifically in such a way that it looks like the cards were set up as a cold deck. “I got cold-decked at the final table. First a set of kings got beat and then my flopped full house got rivered.” The term is sometimes misused to refer to a run of bad cards.


(vi) See cold-deck (definition 2). Also, coolered.


(nThief, generally one who prepares or introduces into a game a cold deck.

cold game

(n phrase1. Dishonest card game. 2. A game in which few good hands are coming out, and thus offering little action.



collection drop

(n phraseDrop.


(nTime collector.


(n) A form of cheating in which two or more players signal their holdings or otherwise form a cheating partnership to the detriment of the other players. Includes raising for each other, playing best-hand, soft-playing.


(v) Have a color change. “Do you want to color those chips?” Often part of the phrase color up.

color change

(n phrase) Replacing chips of one color with those of another. Usually implies getting rid of many smaller denomination chips for fewer of a higher denomination.


(n) In a draw game, a side bet arrangement between two (or more) players. If one is dealt before the draw five cards of the same color (that is, all red, or all black), the other pays him a certain amount. Usually played in conjunction with points, and is more common in lowball than high. This sort of bet arrangement is particularly frowned on by the house, because it involves exposing too many cards, and also slows the game down while comparisons and verifications are made.

color up

(v phrase) Replace many chips of small denomination for fewer of a higher denomination. See color change.


(n) The replacement of many chips of small denomination for fewer of a higher denomination. “There will be a break and a color-up after the first four rounds.” See color change.

Colt 45

(n phrase) In hold’em, a 4 and a 5 as starting cards. Named after the gun (not the malt liquor).

Columbia River

(n phrase) In hold’ em, K-7 as downcards. Comes from “king salmon” (imitating the pronunciation of 7), which the river is famous for.


(n) An online poker site with games played for “real” money. See the discussion at .net. Usually spelled dot-com in print.

combination draw

(n phrase) In a flop game, having more than one draw (definition 4). For example, your hole cards are 8♠ 9♠. The flop is 7♠ T♦ 3♠. You now have both a straight and a flush to go for. Also, combo drawmultiple draw.

combination game

(n phraseMixed game.

combo draw

(n phraseCombination draw.

combo game

(n phraseCombination game.


(n) The anticipation of making a hand. In lowball, this is usually whatever you’re drawing to; in high (draw, stud, or hold’em), it is usually four cards to a straight, flush, or straight flush; usually preceded by on the. To raise on the come means to start with four cards to a good hand that is not yet made, and raise before the draw or before the arrival of the next card to build a larger pot, with the hope of making the hand and having a larger pot to bet into after the draw or in a succeeding round, or as a semibluff. A player who starts with A-2-3-4-K in ace-to-five lowball and raises is raising on the come (because, if called, he will discard the king and draw one card to an excellent hand). In hold’em, a player with two of a suit as his downcards and two more of that suit in the flop who bets (or raises) is also doing so on the come. To bet on the come in draw poker usually means to make a blind bet after the draw after having drawn one card to a come hand.

come back

(v phrase) Raise. “I bet $10 and he came back at me.”

come back at

(v phraseReraise; always followed by the designation of a player. “He bet $10, I raised him $40, and he came back at me.”

come back on

(v phrase1. In draw games, break one hand, and make (usually) a better hand; with reference to the hand made. In lowball: “I broke the 8 and came back on a slick 7.” In draw: “I started with a pat straight, and four to a straight flush. When Kate stood pat ahead of me, I knew she had the straight beat, so I drew one and came back on a flush; sure enough, she had an ace-high straight, and I won.” 2. In lowball, break a hand, and make the same hand again. “I broke the 8 and came right back on it.”

come bet

(n) A bet made on the come.

come down

(v phrase1. Show down. “I had a full house, and he came down with four of a kind.” 2. Happen. “This is how it came down.”

come from behind

(v phrase1. Improve one’s position considerably in a tournament, often from being one of the short stacks (see short stack, definition 1 or 2) to being one of the chip leaders (see chip leader). 2. Improve one’s position considerably in a game, likely from being considerably stuck to even or winning. 3. Improve a hand that currently had the worst of it, usually implying a hand that was far behind (definition 3).

come hand

(n phrase) A hand that needs one card on the come; an unmade low hand to which a player is drawing in lowball, or in high (draw, stud, or hold’em), where it is usually four cards to a straight, flush, or straight flush.

come in

(v phraseCall, usually referring to any betting round but the last.

come in cold

(v phrase) Call a bet and one or more raises without yet having any money in the pot; often followed by for. “He came in cold for three bets with 9-2 off, and beat my pocket aces,” is a sad story often heard in a hold’em game. Also call cold.

come in for

(v phrase) Enter a pot as the first bettor; followed by an amount or equivalent, as, for example, come in for $100 or come in for a raise. Also, bring [it] in for.

come in for a raise

(v phrase) Open for more than the minimum. In a limit game, this means open for two bets. In a no-limit game, this means open for at least twice the size of the big blind. Also see discussion at gypsying in.

come in in the middle

(v phrase) See in the middle.

come in light

(v phrase) Get into a pot with a poor hand.

come in on the blind

(v phrase) Sit down (or start or resume play) at the precise moment it is your turn to put in the big blind. Some clubs do not let a new player (new to the particular game) be dealt in until it is his turn to put in the blind, supposedly to prevent his getting any “free” hands. (Also, if a seated player has missed the blind in a particular round, he can receive his next hand only in the blind position.) In such a case, a player must come in on the blind, or, if not in the big blind position, overblind or post any missed blinds to receive a hand. Also see blind.

come off

(v phrase1. Break the top one or more cards of an otherwise pat lowball hand. “When he stood pat, I knew my hand was no good, so I came off both the 9 and the 8” means that a player has something like 9-8-4-2-A (in ace-to-five lowball), threw the 9 and the 8, and drew cards to the 4-2-A. 2. Split openers, in high draw, in an attempt to make a better hand, usually by drawing one card to a straight or flush. 3. Be dealt, as a card. “A king came off on the turn.”

come out swinging

(v phrase) Lead off a particular round with a bet, often a large bet. “Everyone checked on the flop, and the little blind came out swinging on the turn.”

come over the top

(v phrase1. Raise a raise. “I bet $2, Matt raised it $10, and Curly came over the top for all his checks.” 2. More generally, in a big bet game, make any large raise or reraise.

come through

(v phraseBet through.

come unglued

(v phrase) See unglued.

coming in

(adv phrase) Being the first to act in turn. “She raised coming in on the flop.”


(v1. Call a bet for the purpose of seeing another card (see see another card). (This is not the same as being pot-committed.) 2. Put chips into a pot, usually used in the past tense, or adjectivally. “I committed $100 to the pot and then gave up.” “I had $100 committed.” 3. Be pot-committed. “Looks like he’s committed, Vince.”


(v1. See commit (definition 2). 2. Pot-committed. “He’s got over half his stack in this pot. Looks like he’s committed.”

common card

(n phrase1. In a widow game, particularly spit in the ocean, one card dealt to the center of the table and considered part of each active player’s hand. 2. Any community card.

community card

(n phrase1. In a flop game, one of the cards of the board (definition 1). 2. Common card3. Any one card in a multicard widow.

community card game

(n phrase) A game played with community cards.

community cards

(n phrase1. In a flop game, the upcards dealt to the center of the table that are part of each player’s hand. Also called the board2. All of the cards that constitute the widow.

community pot

(n phraseFamily pot.


(v) In lowball, to pair. This comes from panguingue, in which you can draw a card of the same rank as one in your hand and not be able to use the drawn card. Sometimes spelled komoke.


(n) In lowball, a card that pairs one in your hand. “I drew to a bicycle and caught a comoquer.” Comes from panguingue. See comoque. Sometimes spelled komoker. Compare with noncomoquer.

como se llamos

(n phrase) The nuts; usually preceded by the. “When I called him, he showed me the como se llamos.” Means “whatchmacallits” in Spanish.


(n1. Casino “freebie,” such as a free room, show ticket, or meal, offered by casinos to preferred customers, often those who play at certain limits or for a prescribed minimum of time. The term is a shortening of complimentary. — (v2. To give such a gift to a player. Heard in such phrases as “they comped my meals” or “they comped two nights” (that is, gave the person free accommodations).


(v1. Make (definition 1). 2. Complete the bet (definition 2). — (adj3. Describing a complete hand. “He was already complete.”

complete air

(n phrase) Absolutely nothing (said of a hand). “Did you think I was betting on complete air?” Often shortened to simply air.

complete a bet

(v phraseComplete the bet.

complete bet

(n phraseFull bet.

complete bluff

(n phrase) A bluff made with a hand that has no potential in succeeding rounds, and cannot possibly win if called; cold bluff. Compare with semibluff.


(adj1. Describing a hand that has been made (see make, definition 1). 2. Describing a bet that has been completed as described under complete the bet.

completed hand

(n phraseComplete hand.

complete hand

(n phrase1. In stud or hold’em, five cards that constitute a straight or better as opposed to a drawing hand2. In high poker, usually draw, five cards that constitute a straight or better. 3. In lowball, a hand to which one does not need to draw, usually implying a good hand, probably, ace-to-five a pat 8 or better and in deuce-to-seven a pat 10 or better. For both usages, also made hand.

complete the bet

(v phrase1. When an all-in player initiates the betting with a bet that is less than the current limit, the next player can complete the bet by bringing it up to the limit. For example, in a $20-$40 hold’em game, on the last round a player has only $35 remaining, which he bets. If the next player puts in $40, he has completed the bet. Clubs have various rulings on whether a player with less than a full bet may even initiate the betting (or call, for that matter) and also on whether succeeding players may just call that amount, must complete the bet, or are permitted to raise. Also see full bet2. In stud, bring a forced bet (definition 1) to the size of a full bet. Also, complete a bet.


(n1. The making of the hand one is drawing to. See make (definition 1). 2. The completing of a bet, as described under complete the bet.

compulsive gambler

(n phrase) Someone addicted to gambling, who perhaps obsessively gambles away money to the point that it harms his personal or professional life. Although poker is a game of skill, it often has a large element of luck, and many approach it in the same way they approach casino games and other forms of gambling, that is, unskillfully and without restraint. Thus, compulsive gamblers are found in cardrooms, although not in as high a percentage as in other gambling venues.

computer hand

(n phrase) In hold’em, Q-7 as starting cards. Comes from an apocryphal story that “someone” did an extensive computer simulation of hold’em hands in which those two cards appeared most frequently in the flop, or, in some stories, among the downcards. The simulation was atypical, however, because the chances are the same for any two cards of different ranks.


(nConcave card.

concave card

(n) A card trimmed such that its middles are narrower than its ends, for identification by a cheat. Opposite of convex card. Also see glazed cardhumpssandshearsstrippers. Sometimes shortened to concave.


(adj1. Pertaining to cards in the hole that complete a hidden, winning hand. In seven-card stud, concealed trips would be three hole cards of the same rank, a hand that other players might not suspect. Often part of the phrase concealed hand2. Describing, in general, cards that are held by a player and seen only by him, as hole cards (see hole card) and all the cards in all forms of draw poker.

concealed cards

(n phrase) Cards that are concealed; hole cards (see hole card).

concealed hand

(n phrase1. In seven-card stud, a hand whose existence is a surprise based on the player’s board. For example, a player with a board of four apparently unrelated — that is unpaired and not likely to be part of a straight or flush — cards can have a concealed full house or four of a kind. 2. A hand played in such a way that you would not suspect it of being very good, but that turns out to be so. For example, if, in lowball, two players kept raising each other back and forth, and a third just kept calling all the bets, you might suspect that he was drawing one to a good hand. If he turned out to have a pat wheel, that would be aconcealed hand. In any poker game, if one player lets the others do all the betting for him, usually because the situation allows him to just keep calling without ever having to make a raise or leading bet of his own, and that player actually holds a hand that cannot lose, he is said to have a concealed hand. Also called hidden hand.

concealed pair

(n) In stud, a pair, both cards of which are among a player’s first two downcards (see downcard).


(n) An accomplice or partner of a thief.

connecting cards

(n phrase1. Cards in consecutive or near-consecutive order, such that a straight can be formed, as, for example, 6-7-8 or 6-7-9. The term usually refers to a board (definition 1, 2). 2. Connectors.


(n) In hold’em, two cards in sequence, usually with reference to hole cards, as, for example, 8♠ 9♦.

consecutive declaration

(n phrase) In a high-low split game, a method of indicating, prior to the showdown, whether you’re going for high, low, or both. In home and private games, such declaration is usually done simultaneously, by everyone, for example, opening his hand at once to reveal none, one, or two chips, representing, respectively, low, high, or both ways (sometimes called scoop or hog). In some games, however, at the time for the declaration, players declare one at a time verbally starting to the left of the dealer; this is called simultaneous declaration. This, of course, gives the dealer a tremendous advantage. (Sometimes consecutive declaration starts with the last player to bet or raise, or, if no one did so on the last round, with the highest board.) Declaration, whether simultaneous or sequential (consecutive), is not common in public cardrooms, where high-low split games are usually played in what is called cards speak. Also calledsequential declaration. Also see simultaneous declaration.


(adj) Describing a player, or the play of one, who does not bet unless it is very likely that he has the best hand; describing the play of a rocktight.

continuation bet

(n phrase) In hold’em, the act of following a preflop raise with a bet on the flop, or, sometimes, a flop bet with a bet on the turn. Sometimes called follow-through bet. Sometimes shortened to c-bet.


(nConvex card.

convex card

(n phrase) A card trimmed such that its ends are narrower than its middles, for identification by a cheat. Opposite of concave card. Also see glazed cardhumpssandshearsstrippers. Sometimes shortened to convex.


(n) In hold’em, starting cards of 10-4. The term comes from CB slang, which truckers use. See Broderick Crawford. Also, CB handgood buddyover and outover and out good buddyRoger thattruckertrucker’s hand.


(n1. Cold deck (definition 1 or 2). 2. Losing streak.


(viCold-decked. “That was the second time I got coolered at that table.”


(n) Fit or work together, as described under coordinated cards.


(n) Fitting or working together, as a coordinated board. See coordinated cards.

coordinated board

(n phrase) A board with flush or straight draws.

coordinated cards

(n phrase) Cards that work well together and can form many combinations, a term often used in Omaha or seven-card stud referring to a player’s starting cards.

coordinated flop

(n phrase) In a flop game, a flop that produces a coordinated board.

cop checks

(v phrase) Steal chips out of pots, usually done by a check cop.


(v) In California games (such as pai gow poker), have a player’s hand and a player dealer’s hand be exactly the same.

corner bend

(n phrase) A crimp on the corner of a card, for identification by a cheat.

corner seat

(n phrase) In a game dealt by a house dealer, either one of the two seats next to the dealer.


(n) See California games.


(n) A group of poker pros who pooled their bankrolls and played Texas financier Andy Beal in heads-up limit poker matches for millions of dollars. Usually preceded by the.

correct odds

(n phrase1. The precise mathematical odds against an event occurring. For example, the correct odds against making an open-ended straight in hold’em with just the river card to come are 19-to-4 against. Also called true odds2. Favorable pot odds. For example, if, in the preceding, the pot offers 5-to-1, you are getting correct odds to play.

correct play

(n phrase) Either the mathematically best play or the best play given the circumstances. The correct play may not necessarily be one in which the pot offers the correct odds, but may still be best taking other factors into account, such as tells or knowledge of an opponent’s tendencies.


(n) Markings put on the backs of cards with wax, paint, ink, or some other fluid, even smudges, so that a thief can read the ranks (and sometimes suits) of the cards from the backs; alterations made to the natural design on the backs of the cards. See shade workshading. Compare with border workdaubedge work, and paint.

cost per round

(v phrase) How much you have to pay in one round, usually including just blinds and antes. Sometimes rendered as the initialism CPR.


(n1. A determination of the size of a bet that is too big to ascertain just by looking at it, usually performed at the request of a player. When faced with a large bet, a player may say to the house dealer, “I’d like a count, please.” 2.countdown. In a tournament a player may request a count, as described underchip count3. Arising from the preceding, the size of a player’s stack.


(n1. Counting down someone’s chips. (See count down.) Sometimes shortened to count2. The action described under count the deck down (definition 2). 3. In hold’em, T-9 as starting cards, from 10…9…8…7…, the countdown before launch of a rocket.

count down

(v phrase) Count someone’s chips (usually in a no-limit game), often when all have been bet, to determine how much is required to make a call. When one player appears to be contemplating a call, a house dealer may say, “He’s bet all his chips; do you want me to count them down?”

“Count down.”

(v phrase) A request to a player or house dealer to count down a bet.

countdown hand

(v phrase) In lowball, a hand tied in its top three or four cards. For example, Chloe has 9-7-6-4-3 and Emilie has 9-7-6-4-2. The winning hand is determined at the fifth card, since their hands are otherwise the same. Emilie wins because her 2 is lower than Chloe’s 3. Either of the two hands is called a countdown hand; the term is also applied to the situation.

count down the deck

(v phraseCount the deck down (definition 2).

count down the stub

(v phrase) In a draw poker or lowball game, after dealing all the cards, including those drawn by participants, count the remainder of the deck (the stub) to ensure that the deck contains the correct number of cards. This is done as a protection against someone possibly holding out (see hold out).

countdown timer

(n phrasePoker clock.

“Count ’em down.”

(expression) A request to a player or house dealer to count down a bet.


(n) An old term for a chip.


(v) Have a hand counterfeited.


(adv1. In a high-low split community card game, having one of your low cards duplicated on the board, thus considerably weakening your hand, because it is now much easier for another player to tie or beat the hand. For example, in Omaha, you hold A-2-7-9, and the board is 3-4-8. At this point you have thenut low (8-4-3-2-A). The turn produces a 2. You now hold a 7 low (7-4-3-2-A), but you have potentially been counterfeited because someone holding A-5-X-X has a wheel. 2. In high (either straight high or the high half of high-low), having a probable winner turned into a probable loser by the appearance of another card on the board. For example, you have two low spades in hold’em, and three medium spades appear on the flop. Your hand is very likely the best. If another spade appears on the turn or river, anyone holding one spade higher than your two will beat you. Or, you hold 4♠ 5♠, and the flop is 6♥ 7♦ 8♣. You have a good hand at this point, because, while possible, it is not likely that another player holds 9-10. If a 5 or 10 falls, anyone with a 9 beats you. If a 9, anyone with a 10 beats you. In all of these cases, you have been counterfeited. For both meanings, also called duplicated.

counter proposition

(n phrase1. See propositionpass for a prop. — (v phrase2. Make such an offer.

“Count it down.”

(v phrase) See count down.

country straight

(n phrase) In high draw poker with the joker, an open-ended straight draw, that is, one that can be improved by only nine cards, as 4-5-6-7 of mixed suits, which becomes a straight with any 3, 8, or the joker, or a straight draw that can be improved by only eight cards, as 4-5-joker-8, which is helped by any 6 or 7. In high draw poker without the joker or seven-card stud, an open-ended straight draw, that is, one that can be improved by only eight cards, as 4-5-6-7 of mixed suits, which becomes a straight with any 3 or 8.

count [someone] down

(v phrase) Determine the total value of a player’s chips. When, in a no-limit or pot-limit game, someone bets an amount equal to another player’s stack, that player may say, “Did you count me down?”

count the deck

(v phraseCount the deck down.

count the deck down

(v phrase1. Count down the stub2. Count the entire deck prior to dealing, to ensure 52 (or 53) cards are present.

count them down

(v phrase) See count down.

“Count them down.”

(expression) A request to a player or house dealer to count down a bet.


(n) A form of Omaha popular in Europe, particularly France, and private games, in which players start with either four or five downcards and the first flop card is exposed before the first round of betting. The name of the game comes from that of a posh ski resort in the French Alps.

court card

(n phraseFace card. May be a corruption of coat card, rather than an allusion to where kings and queens (and knaves?) are found. The term has been in use since the late seventeenth century.

courtesy bet

(n phrase) A bet made in a situation in which a bet is not mandated, and sometimes implying a bet that should not be sensibly made. In a no-limit hold’em game, Curly has bet every round and Matt called. On the river, Matt, who had a good draw but just made something like middle pair, says, “I’ll give you a courtesy bet.” The bet is small, and the implication is that Curly will now raise. A courtesy bet often occurs in the same situation in which a protection bet is made.

courtesy play

(n1. Giving someone action where it is not necessarily warranted. For example, in a hold’em game, you have beaten someone in several large pots. Now you have the blind. He opens for a raise from the small blind. You have garbage cards, something like 7-2 offsuit. Normally you would not call the bet, and would just throw the hand away. Instead you take decidedly the worst of it in order to appear to “give” him back a few of the many dollars you won from him. This is a courtesy play2. Playing in a particular cardroom as a favor to the owner or management. “First cardroom I ever played in was the Pastime Club. Biggest game they have is $5-$10. Every time I come into town, I give them a courtesy play before I go over to the Fantasy for the $200-$400 game.”


(adj1. Having more than enough chips to meet the current bet; usually heard in a no-limit game. For example, in an all-in situation, if the winner of the pot has $1,000 and the loser less than $1,000, the winner is said to have the loser covered2. By extension, “I’ve got you covered” means “I call your bet.”


(v1. Go half and half with a player on his buy-in to a game; usually preceded by go; sometimes followed by up. When the player quits, he splits with the person with whom he went cow. Sometimes the house goes cow with a player to enable him to get into a larger game than he could otherwise afford, generally with the nonaltruistic purpose of filling what would otherwise be a shaky game. At some point when the player (the house hopes) gets far enough ahead of the game, the house may split him out (see split out), that is, remove half of his chips and put him on his own (see put [someone] on his own). In some games, the players object to chips leaving the table (in fact, there is often a house rule against that), so the player has to cash out to split out. “Will you cow up with me, so I can get into the $20 game?” — (n2. The half-and-half proposition just described; often part of the phrase make a cow with. Also vaca3.Someone playing cow. “There are four stakes, two cows, and one live one in the game.”


(n) King (the card).


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


(n) Queen (the card).


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

cow up

(v) Go cow with.




(nCost per round.


(nCanadian Poker Tour.


(n) Three (the card); so called because a 3 looks like it has pincers.


(n) In hold’em, 3-3 as starting cards. See crab.


(v) Beat; usually followed by a or the hand. In hold’em you might hear, “Did you just crack another set for me? That’s the fourth time in an hour.”


(adv) Beat, referring to a particular hand. “I flopped three sets, and every one of them got cracked.”


(v) Start a game; usually followed by up. You might hear a cardroom manager say, “We’re ready to crank one up; who wants to play?”

crank it up

(v phrase1. Play fast, that is, lively or loosely. 2. Crank. “Let’s crank it up,” said by a floorman means, “It’s time to get a game started.”

crank one up

(v phrase) Start a new game. See crank. “Let’s crank one up,” said by a floorman means, “Let’s start a new game.”


(n) A game, usually a tournament, in which skill plays relatively little part, perhaps due to some combination of quickly escalating blinds, short rounds, or low ratio of chip stack to blind size. Also, card-holding contest.

crazy four poker

(n phrase) A nonpoker game, banked by the house, that resembles poker only in the ranking of the hands, dealt from one deck, similar to three-card poker (definition 2). Each player and the dealer receives five cards from which to make four-card poker hands (with four-card straights and four-card flushes as ranking hands, and hands ranked thus: four of a kind, straight flush, three of a kind, flush, straight, two pair, pair, high card; ace is high except in A-2-3-4); only the best four cards in each hand are used to determine winners. Two equal bets must be made, ante and super bonus. The super bonus bet pays off for a straight or better per a posted payoff table. An optional queens up bet pays for two queens or better per a posted payoff table. Anything less loses the bet. After seeing his hand, a player can either fold or stay in the game by making a second bet equal to the ante (the play bet) — or up to triple the ante if the player has a pair of aces or better — and then his hand competes against the dealer’s. If the player does not make the play bet, he loses the original bet. If the dealer does not have a qualifying hand of king or better, the player is paid even money on the ante and nothing on play. If the dealer does qualify, then hands are compared. If the dealer wins, the player loses both ante and play. If the player wins, the ante and play are both paid at even money. Regardless of whether the dealer qualifies or whether the player beats the dealer, super bonus and queens up bonus hands are paid according to the payoff tables. The super bonus bet pushes when the player has less than a straight but beats or ties the dealer’s hand. Also see play four poker.

crazy pineapple

(n phrase) A variant of pineapple in which players do not discard one of their downcards until after the flop, at which point the game proceeds as in ordinary hold’em.


(n) Having money in a player’s bankcheck cashing privileges, the ability to get chips with which to play solely on one’s word or good name, and the like, usually with reference to a specific establishment. “I have credit at the Pastime Club.”


(n) One who complains a lot while playing, usually about his bad luck.


(v1. Bend one or more cards in such a way as to force the deck to be cut to the spot desired by a cheat. 2. Bend individual cards for later identification by a cheat. — (n3. The bend put into one or more cards by crimping. “Don’t worry, you’ll get the full house, just as long as you cut to the crimp.” Compare with brief. Also see corner bendwaving.

crimp artist

(n phrase) A cheat who crimps cards. See crimp.


(nCrimp artist.


(v1. In hold’em, have most of the cards that would make someone else a hand based on the current board, such that you are not likely to get action; usually followed by the deck. For example, you start with pocket aces, and two aces come in the flop. You have crippled the deck, because everyone else is worried about someone having an ace. Similarly, in seven-stud, a deck is crippled for a player holding two aces when he sees two other aces in other players’ boards. 2. In a tournament, administer such a beating to an opponent that his stack is severely depleted, thus greatly limiting his succeeding strategy options. “She crippled me when she beat that flush and I had to go all in on the blind the next hand.”

crippled deck

(n phrase) See cripple (definition 1).

cripple the deck

(n phrase) See cripple (definition 1).


(nX marks the spot.


(v, nWhipsaw.


(n1. Thief, particularly one who moves from club to club looking for ways to cheat. 2. Rounder.

crowded cabin

(n phraseFull house.


(v) Complain a lot while playing.

crying call

(n phrase1. A reluctant call made on the end, often accompanied by complaints about how the caller is sure he will be beat, has no sense in doing so, and in fact is only making the call because of his innate charity. 2. A reluctant call made before the last round with a weak or speculative hand, hoping that the bet doesn’t get raised, so that another card can be seen without added cost.

Crying Jake

(n phrase) The archetypal crier.

crying winner

(n phrase) One who complains a lot while playing, even, and particularly, while winning, probably to convince others that he’s losing when he is in fact doing the opposite. Someone with a reputation as a crying winner usually fools no one, and usually alienates most players, who mightn’t particularly mind his winning if he would only shut up.


(nChat term for “see you.”


(n) See on the cuff.


(v) Perform the cheating move of arranging cards prior to shuffling, in such a way that their order can be set, so that by various methods of sleight-of-hand the cheat can give himself or his partner winning cards, and, perhaps, slightly worse cards to a mark (definition 3).

current nuts

(n phrase) The best hand at the moment, usually in a flop game and usually with more cards to come. Implied is that the hand might be beaten with the arrival of subsequent cards.

Curse of Mexico

(n phrase) The 2♠. The origin of this term is unknown.

Curse of Scotland

(n phraseScourge of Scotland.


(n) In a tournament, the average stack size. For example, with 100 players and $100,000 in play, the curve is $1,000 and players with more chips would be above the curve, and those with fewer chips would be below the curve.


(n) Someone calling a bet in a situation likely favorable for the bettor. “Good, I have a customer.”


(n) Potential participants in a pot, often as part of the expression “Don’t scare off the customers.” That means, “Don’t bet or raise so much that no one else comes into the pot.”


(v1. Separate the deck into two packets (see packet), after the cards have been shuffled, usually by the player to the right of the dealer, in player-dealt games, or by the house dealer in games dealt by a house dealer, after which the former bottom half is placed atop the former top half, and then the cards are dealt.2. Rake (definition 1). 3. See cut out chips. — (n4. The act of cutting the cards. “Whose cut is it?” means “Whose turn is it to cut the cards?” 5. Rake (definition 3). 6. A percentage of the profits taken by a sponsor (definition 2) or partner.

cut a stack

(v phrase) See cut out chips.

cut card

(n phrase) A blank card, usually of a different color than the current deck in play and usually the same solid color on both sides, placed at the bottom of the deck in a dealer-dealt game to prevent the bottom card from being flashed. Sometimes a player cuts the deck after the dealer has shuffled, and this can be done by sliding the cut card into the deck at the point at which the player wishes the cards to be cut. This method is more prevalent in blackjack games than poker.

cut cards

(v phrase) Participate in a quick method of determining the player to first deal when a game starts, apportion odd chips at the end of a private game, or engage in a contest against another player, often an attempt for one or the other to recover from a large loss. Each player takes a portion of the deck, similar to the way a cutter cuts the deck, and then turns up his section so that its bottom card is exposed; the player who cuts either the highest or, by agreement, the lowest, card wins. Sometimes each player takes a portion of the deck and then turns over the next card in the deck. When the highest card wins, sometimes calledhigh-card.

cut checks

(v phrase) Divide stacks of chips into equal amounts, often smaller stacks of five (sometimes four, when each pile represents a bet). This is the method pit dealers and cage persons count chips for the purpose of paying off a winning bet or changing the chips to cash, or poker dealers use to count a bet or change chips from a small to a larger denomination.

cut chips

(v phrase1. Cut checks2. Cut out chips.

cut for deal

(v phraseCut for the deal.

cut for high card

(v phraseCut cards.

cut for the deal

(v phraseCut cards to see which player will have the button or deal the first hand.


(n; imitative) In hold’em, Q-T as starting cards.


(n) The position to the right of the button. “I opened from the cutoff.” Sometimes rendered cutoff seat.

cutoff seat

(n phraseCutoff. “I opened from the cutoff seat.”

cut one’s stack

(v phrase) See cut out chips.


(n) A card marked by scraping its back or otherwise removing some of the ink. Also see cosmetics.

cut out

(v phrase1. split out2. Terminate a partnership.

cut out chips

(v phrase) Prepare to make a bet. So called because a player cuts his stack, that is, separates betting chips from the rest of his stack. Also, cut a/one’s/the stack.

cutout work

(n phrase) Markings placed on cards by scraping off part of the design on their backs. Compare with blockout work. Also see cosmetics.

cut someone out

(v phraseSplit out.

cut someone up

(v phrase1. Participate, by two partners, in a situation. 2. Cheat a player, usually by two or more thieves.


(n) The person who cuts the deck. See cut.

cut the cards

(v phrase) See cut (definition 1).

cut the deck

(v phrase) See cut (definition 1).

cut the game

(v phraseCut the pot.

cut the game down

(v phrase) Reduce the stakes, usually at the request of the players. For example, the players of a short-handed 60-120 hold’em game may be told by the management that the game would fill up if they played 40-80, so the players may agree to cut the game down.

cut the pot

(v phrase) Take a portion of the pot to cover expenses. Usually the term is used in private or home games; in cardrooms and casinos, and are more common.

cut the stack

(v phrase) See cut out chips.

cutthroat game

(n phraseBlood game.

cutthroat poker

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


(n) Performing a cut (of the deck, prior to dealing).

cutting cards

(n or v phrase) See cut cards.

cutting for the deal

(v phrase) See cut for the deal.

cutting the cards

(n phrase) See cut.

cut up

(v phrase) See cut someone up.


(nChat term for “see ya.”




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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