Wiesenberg: MCU Dictionary of Poker | Letter L




Poker1.com default content graphic



(n) Limit lowball, when part of a designation like C.H.O.R.S.E.L. or H.O.R.S.E.L.


(n) Shorthand, particularly in e-mail and Internet postings, for loose-aggressive.

Ladies International Poker Series

(n phrase) A series of national and international tournaments for women only. Often known as the LIPS Tour.


(n) Queen (the card).


(n) Shorthand, particularly in e-mail and Internet postings, for loose-aggressive. Also, LA.


(n; acronym) Loose AGgressive reTARD. A term mostly seen in online postings, an overly loose-aggressive player.

La Hire

(n phrase) The jack of hearts. May have come from a knight of the court of King Charles VII of France, Étienne “La Hire” de Vignolles (1390-1443), companion of arms to Joan of Arc. See Charles.


(n) Alternative spelling of lollapalooza.


(n) Alternative spelling of lollapalooza.


(n) Alternative spelling of lollapalooza.


(n) A sucker or mark; a poor player easily relieved of his money.

Lamebrain Pete

(n phrase) A form of widow game, a variant of Cincinnati, found only in home games, in which each player is dealt five downcards, as in draw, followed by a betting round, and then five cards are turned face up one at a time, with each followed by another betting round, the difference from Cincinnati being that the lowest card in the widow and any others of the same rank are wild. Each player makes the best hand possible by using any combination from his five and the five in the middle.


(n phraseCincinnati, that is, the game described under Lamebrain Pete, but with no wild cards, and often played high-low.


(n1. A special chip given to the winner of a satellite tournament, to be used as a complete or partial entry or buy-in to a larger tournament. The chip can be used only to buy in to a tournament, but can be sold to another player for this purpose. For example, a supersatellite at the World Series of Poker might award three lammers each worth $500. The winner might use those three lammers to buy in to a $1,500 tournament, or collect two more and use them for a $2,500 tournament. The term originally came from the chip-shaped markers used in other table games, such as craps, where they might indicate, for example, “on” or “off.” The name probably came from these chips being made of laminated plastic. 2. The marker chip that a chip runner (or other floorperson) leaves in the tray of a house dealer at a poker table when taking cash out of the dealer’s tray, for which the runner will return with a corresponding amount of chips.


(n) The jack of clubs. Comes from the famed knight of King Arthur’s Round Table.


(n, initialismLatin America Poker Tour.

la pumpa

(n phrase) See pumpa.


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

large bet

(n phraseBig bet (definition 1).

large field

(n phraseBig field.

large stack

(n phraseTall stack.

last bet

(n phrase1. A betting scheme, used only in home games, in which the betting on one round begins with the player who initiated the betting on the previous round (if there was no raise), or with the player who put in the last raise that was called around. In stud games, the actual boards of the players have no relevance. If there was no betting on the previous round, then it goes back to the last bet of the round before. For example, in a stud game, after the first upcard, John, under the gun, makes the forced high-card bet, showing an ace. Two players call, and Andy raises, showing a queen. One player calls behind, as do John and the other two players. On the next card, John has A-K and Andy has Q-J. Andy, having put in the last raise, bets first. All call. Andy is again first on the next round. 2. In a hand featuring betting with multiple raises, the last raise on a particular round. “The live one put in the last bet every round and caught runner-runner spades.” This means that the player in question raised every round, perhaps putting in the third or fourth bet.

last card

(n phrase) The bottom card in a shuffled deck, which would be the final card to be dealt if all the cards were dealt out. In some draw games, the last card remaining in the stub cannot be dealt on the draw. The penultimate card is dealt, and then all discards and the last card are shuffled and the remaining draw cards dealt from those cards. (Sometimes the cards of the person about to receive cards are not shuffled in so that the player cannot receive his own discards on the draw.)

last-card Louie

(n phrase) A player who stays in a pot in a stud or hold’em game, usually with inferior cards, to the bitter end, hoping to win by catching the winning card on the end. Also, river rat.

last position

(n phrase1. Last to act in a particular round. 2. The card farthest from the door (front position) when the cards are held squeezed together. “How come the free peek is always in last position?”

last raise

(n phrase1. See last bet2. Cap (definition 3).

last to act

(n phrase) The player who acts last in a particular round. In a button game, this might be the dealer position or, on the first round, the holder of the big blind. In a seven-card stud game, this is the player to the right of the high hand.

Las Vegas riffle

(n phrase) An appearance of shuffling the cards by a cheat, done by partial or complete concealment of the deck, but without actually changing their order (from a presumably set-up arrangement), by pulling one half of the pack through the other half, and then replacing the deck to its original position. Ironically, a concealed shuffle is not permitted anywhere in Nevada. Also called false shufflefast shuffle, or Las Vegas shuffle.

Las Vegas shuffle

(n phraseLas Vegas riffle.

late position

(n phrase) In a poker game, positions to the right of the dealer, that is, those that make their decisions after the first few players have acted. Late position is advantageous, because players get to see what the other players have done before they have to act, thus they have more information than those who act before they do. Some claim late position, in a game with eight or more players, is the last three positions. Compare with early position. Sometimes called back seat.

late steal position

(n phrase) In a button game, the position one or two to the right of the dealer, and in a stud game, one or two to the right of the last to act, this player being in a good situation to bet or raise and force opponents to fold, and thereby steal the blinds or steal the antes.

Latin America Poker Tour

(n phrase) A series of tournaments that take place in countries of Central and South America. Sometimes rendered as the initialism LAPT.

laws of poker

(n phraseRules of poker.

lay a bad beat [on [someone]]

(v phrase) Be on the winning side of a bad beat.


(n1. The act of folding; often implies folding a good hand for a bet because the holder of the hand thinks it cannot win in the circumstances. “Good laydown” is a phrase often offered as a compliment to a player who correctly folded in a situation in which most players would have called. 2. Showdown (definition 1). He was out before the laydown.

lay down

(v phrase1. Fold. “If you bet, I’m gonna lay down.” Often accompanied by the designation of a hand. “If you bet, I’m gonna lay this down.” Sometimes called soup, when part of the expression soup a hand. Also, lay down a hand2. Show down (one’s cards). 3. Buy in (to a game).

lay down a hand

(v phrase) See release.

lay it down

(v phraseLay down (one’s cards). “He bet so much I had to lay it down.”

lay paint

(v phrase) Put markings on cards with paint, ink, or some other fluid. Also see cosmeticsdaub.

lay the odds

(v phrase) To wager more money on a proposition or situation than you can win. This does not necessarily mean you have the worst of it; it just means you’re putting up more than the other wagerer. For example, if the odds are 4-to-1 against a particular event, and you lay the odds of 3-to-1 against someone, you have the best of it.

lay your cards on the table

(v phraseShow down. This expression has moved from the world of poker to general usage in the English language with the wider meaning of reveal one’s position, come clean, etc.

lazy pineapple

(n phraseTahoe pineapple.


(v1. Bet first, usually deliberately in a situation in which a player has the option of checking. Also, lead at the pot. — (n2. A hand that is better than others at any point up to the showdown. “Willie’s two pair was in the lead right up to the river.” 3. In a tournament, the situation of having more chips than other opponents or the player with those chips. “McEvoy has the lead at the break.” Also, chip leadchip leadertournament leader4. The situation of betting first in a particular round of betting. In some games, particularly home games, the person who initiated the betting or made the last raise in one round is said tohave the lead in the next round. In most cardrooms, the betting in rounds after the first begins with the first active player to the left of the button (in draw and flop games) or with the high board in stud games. See last bet.

lead at the pot

(v phraseLead (definition 1).


(n1. The player to bet first, as described under lead2. Tournament leader.

leader board

(n phrase) A list of players who have accumulated the most chips in a particular event or the most best all-around player points.


(n) Describing, with more cards still to come, a hand or player that is in the lead (definition 2). Also, ahead.


(n1. Flaw (in one’s play). “I can’t win; there must be a leak in my play.” Also, hole2. The tendency of an otherwise winning player to lose his money at other forms of betting, such as the craps table or sports betting. — (v3. Flash part of a hand. To leak your hand is to unknowingly expose one or more cards.

leak a hand

(v phrase) See leak (definition 3).

leak air

(v phrasePut air into.

leaky peeker

(n phrase) A poor hand. The term comes from the game of panguingue.

leather ass

(n phrase1. Patience, that is, what you need while you wait for the good cards to come. 2. A player who possesses said quality, generally a tight player.

leave it

(v, adv phrase) Same as winner blind; often preceded by winner, as winner leave it. That is, the winner of a pot blinds the next pot. “We’re playing leave it” might be said to a player just sitting down at a table, to inform that player that the rest of them are playing higher than the nominal size of the game.

leave money on the table

(v phrase) Not get the maximum in a given situation, either by not betting enough on a winning hand or by leaving a game without having extracted from it as much as was possible. Often used in the negative. “He’s not going to leave any money on the table. He’s going after every chip that isn’t nailed down.”


(nBrief. To cut on (or tothe ledge is to hit the brief.


(adj1. When pertaining to a hand, not foul2. Part of the phrase legal bet.

legal bet

(n phrase1. With respect to an initial bet in a limit game, an amount that constitutes a full bet, having various interpretations, depending on the club. See discussion under legal raise2. More generally, any bet that is within the rules and is acceptable, as opposed to an illegal bet.

legal hand

(n phrase) A hand that is not foul.

legal raise

(n phrase) An amount that constitutes a raise of a full bet, having various interpretations, depending on the club. In a limit game, in some cardrooms, a legal raise must equal the limit (for example, a $10 bet must be raised $10; $9 does not constitute a legal raise); in others, half a bet constitutes a legal raise. The rules are even muddier in no-limit games. Also see full bethalf a bet.

Legends of Poker

(n phrase) An tournament series, consisting of many events, staged by the Southern California’s Bicycle Casino. Sometimes rendered as the initialism LOP.


(adj) Not foul.

legitimate bet

(n phraseLegal bet.

legitimate hand

(n phrase1. A hand that contains good cards, as opposed to a bluffing hand. 2. A hand that is not foul.

legitimate raise

(n phraseLegal raise.

leg up

(n phrase) In a kill game, describing the situation in which a player has won the previous pot, and is thus liable to have to kill the following pot if he wins the current pot. Often part of the phrase have or having a leg up.


(nChat term for “later,” as in “cya l8r.”

lemon juice

(n phrase) Anything picked up in a pot without trying, usually the blinds, often as the result of a walk, or, sometimes, more specifically, by none of the blinds calling when someone opens.

Let It Ride!

(n) The former name of Let It Ride Bonus.

Let It Ride Bonus

(n phrase) A nonpoker game, banked by the house, that resembles poker only in the ranking of the hands. The game looks like a combination of five-card stud and hold’em. The game is played on a seven-seat table, similar to a blackjack table. The object of the game is to make a poker hand containing a pair of 10s or better using the player’s three cards dealt and two community cards turned up by the dealer. Each player places three equal bets in circles marked 1, 2, and $. Three cards are dealt to each player. If the player likes his cards, he “lets it ride.” If he doesn’t like them, he requests the first bet back. Whatever the player’s decision, then the dealer turns over one of the two community cards. If the player still likes his cards, he can again “let it ride” or request back his second bet. Finally, the dealer turns over the second community card and pays all winners according to a pay table, ranging from even money on a pair of 10s or better to 1,000:1 for a royal flush. A player can also make an extra side bet, with certain bonus hands paying large payouts, sometimes including part or all of a progressive jackpot. The game was invented by Shuffle Master, a company that makes automatic card-shuffling machines for casinos and cardrooms and devises new casino games. The game was formerly known as Let It Ride! (including the exclamation point); some casinos still use that name.

let the chips fall where they may

(v phrase) An expression that has moved from the world of poker to general usage in the English language to mean a disregarding of consequences.


(n phrase) In a tournament, a betting level, that is, the betting limits (in a limit tournament) or the sizes of the blinds (in a pot- or no-limit tournament). For example, in a limit tournament, the $25-$50 level; in a no-limit tournament, the level with small blind of $100 and big blind of $100. Also referred to by its position in a series of levels. “Rebuys will be permitted during the first three levels.” Also called round or tournament level.

liar’s dice

(n phraseLiar’s poker played with dice.

liar’s poker

(n phrase) A gambling game that uses cards (usually) and poker rankings but is not considered a form of poker. Players ante some agreed-upon amount, receive (usually) five cards, and in turn announce their holdings, challenge the previous call, or fold (forfeiting whatever they have put in the pot), with the proviso that each successive claim must be higher than the preceding one. If a player challenges and the previous player cannot produce what he called, the challengee must pay some penalty to the pot. If the challengee can show what he called, the challenger must pay the penalty. The game might stop at that point, or continue. The game is sometimes played with poker dice or ordinary dice, where it is more commonly called liar’s dice. It is also played with currency, where it is more commonly called dollar bill poker.


(n1. One card, usually used at the draw in draw poker. “Gimme the lid” means “give me one card.” 2. The top card of the deck.




(adv1. Short of the complete bet. “He’s light by $20.” Also, shortshy. Also see lights2. Not having anted. “Who’s light?” means “Who forgot to ante?” — (v3. Sit down. “Light and fight.” “Are you going to light in this game, or just sweat it all night?”

lightning in a bottle

(n phrase) See catch lightning in a bottle.


(n) In a home game, a situation that comes up when a player is light (definition 1). In some home games, not played for table stakes, when a player does not have enough chips to continue betting in a pot, that player withdraws chips from the pot equal to the amount of the betting beyond his chips, (usually) stacking them neatly in front of him. These are called lights. (To withdraw chips in this manner is called go light.) At the end of the hand, if the player does not win the pot, he buys enough chips to cover his lights. He then matches his lights, that is, puts the lights into the pot plus an equivalent amount of chips from the ones he has just bought. For example, in a stud game, Jill starts with $16. After the sixth card, she has $2 left. The high hand bets $4. She puts her last $2 in the pot, and pulls $2 from the pot, and stacks it in front of her. At this point, she might say, “I’m light,” or, “I’m going light.” On the last round, someone bets $4 and someone calls. She pulls another $4 from the pot, adding it to her pile of lights. On the showdown, she finds that her three 7s are beat by a small straight. She buys another $50 worth of chips from the banker, adds $6 to her lights, and puts the $12 in the pot. At this point, the winner takes the whole pot. In a split (two-way) pot, if either the winner of the high half or the winner of the low half has lights, or both do, they exchange lights and then split the pot. This is equivalent to each first matching lights, and then splitting the pot, and saves time.

light work

(n phrase) Markings put on a deck with very fine lines. See marked cards.


(n1. The size of the betting increments in a limit game. This will seem obvious to most, but the limit in a $2-limit game is $2, while the limit in a $2-$4 game is first $2 and then $4. Also called betting limit2. Limit poker. “I prefer limit to no-limit.” 3. “The limit” is an expression used by draw poker players at the time of the draw referring to how many cards they wish. In high, the expression “Give me the limit” means “Give me three cards”; in lowball, “Give me one card.” So called, because “the book” supposedly says that good draw poker players take no more than three cards and good lowball players take no more than one.

limit game

(n phraseLimit poker, or, more specifically, an instance of a game played with limit stakes.

limit poker

(n phrase) A form of poker in which all bets are in increments of the betting limit, which is usually at one level in early rounds of betting and twice that level in the remaining rounds. For example, in a $2-$4 game, players can bet or raise only $2 at a time on the first rounds, and, similarly, only $4 at a time on later rounds. Limit poker is often called structured limit, and the most common variety is double limit, in which the betting increments double after the draw. In single limit (also known as straight limit), all bets are in multiples of the limit. In double limit, the size of the game is usually expressed as two numbers, as, variously, 3/6, 3-6, $3/$6, $3-$6, 5/10, and so on, while in single-limit, one number, as $2-limit (which game is also called the two-limit, the two, or the deuce) or $80-limit.

limit raise

(n phrase) In a big bet game, raising an amount equivalent to the preceding bet or raise. This has significance because usually a reraise is larger. For example, if Emilie opens for $10, John raises $40, and Chloe reraises $40 (assuming that both she and John have plenty more chips), Chloe’s raises would be called alimit raise (or possibly limit reraise).

limit reraise

(n phrase) See limit raise.

limit stakes

(n phraseLimit poker.


(v1. Open for the limit in a structured limit game, as opposed to coming in for a raise. If someone in a 20-40 hold’em game says, “I’ll limp,” it means he opens for $20. 2. Come in for the minimum, that is, the size of the big blind, in a no-limit game, as opposed to coming in for a raise. 3. Just call the minimum bet. “Three players limped.” — (n4. The act of limping. “There were three limps to me.”

limp along

(v phraseLimp in (definition 2).


(v) One who has opened for the limit in a structured limit game, as opposed to coming in for a raise, or just called such a bet. “There were three limpers when it got to me, so naturally I raised with my suited ace-king.”

limp in

(v phrase1. Limp2. In a no-limit game, just barely call, that is, not raise when one could, and even seem to call reluctantly; sometimes done with a good hand for the purpose of deception. However, when a player says, “I’ll limp in,” he often does have a weak hand. In this sense, also limp along.

limp reraise

(n phrase1. Backraise (definition 2). — (v phrase2. Backraise (definition 4). For both definitions, also limp raise.

limp raise

(n, v phraseLimp reraise.


(n) A circle (or an oval on some tables) inside of which is considered to be the domain of the pot, with respect to determining whether or not a player must be forced to complete the bet. The line is either real, in which case it is actually drawn on the table (usually in white or black paint or ink) or imaginary; even if imaginary, it exists, and its existence is sometimes strictly enforced in games. The line defines the perimeter of the pot. Same as circle. “That bet has to stay; it was over the line.”

line artist

(n phrase) A cheater who uses line work.


(n) A face card, so called because when face down and its lower right corner is lifted, you see a line. Compare with spotter.


(n) The players in a particular game. Also called crew.

line work

(n phrase) Spots, lines, curlicues, put on a deck by a cheater so that the cards can be read from the back. See marked cards.

line worker

(n phrase) A cheater who uses line work.

linked jackpot

(n phrase) See progressive jackpot.

lipstick cam

(n phraseLipstick camera.

lipstick camera

(n phrase) A tiny hole card camera. Also, lipstick cam.


(n phraseLadies International Poker Series.



little blind

(n phraseSmall blind.

little bobtail

(n phrase) A nonstandard hand sometimes given value in a private or home game, five cards containing a three-card straight flush, for example, Q♦ 9♥ 5♣ 4♣ 3♣. Often ranks between two pair and three of a kind.

little card

(n1. In low poker, usually a 6 or smaller, and sometimes a 7. 2. In low or high-low poker, usually an 8 or lower, cards that can be part of a low hand in 8-or-better games. 3. In low poker games without a qualifier, cards that are relatively low. Also, small card. Compare to big cardmedium card.

little casino

(n phrase) The 2 of spades, from the game of casino (definition 3). The other card that got its name from the same game is big casino. Also, little cassino.

little cassino

(n phraseLittle casino.

little cat

(n phrase) A nonstandard hand sometimes given value in a private or home game, five cards 3 to 9 with no pair (in some circles, 3 to 8 with no pair), that ranks above a big dog, and below a big tiger. Also called little tiger.

little dog

(n phrase) A nonstandard hand sometimes given value in a private or home game, five cards 2 to 7 with no pair, that ranks below a big dog and above a straight.

little Minnie

(n phraseLittle wheel.

little Oldsmobile

(n phrase) In hold’em, 8-8 as starting cards. The 88 was an Oldsmobile model, the “little brother” of the 98.

little Pete

(n phrase) In hold’em, 2-3 as starting cards.

little slick

(n phrase) In hold’em, A-2 or A-Q as starting cards. Compare with big slick.

little squeeze

(n phrase) A form of five-card stud, found only in home games, a high-low game in which, after each player has been dealt one downcard and four upcards, each player has the option of replacing one of those cards. (The act of replacing a card is sometimes called the twist, so this game’s alternative name is also its description: five-card high-low stud with a twist.) An upcard is replaced with an upcard, and a downcard with a downcard, followed by one more round of betting. Also called five-card option.

little tiger

(n phraseLittle cat.

little Virginia

(n phrase) A form of six-card stud, found only in home games, low hole card wild.

little wheel

(n phrase) Another name (rarely used) for a wheel in ace-to-five. Sometimes called little Minnie.


(adj1. Not playing house chips. “All the players in the game are live.” 2. Full of action. “This is a pretty live game.” — (adj, adv3. Full of gamble (with the implication of foolishly so). “He’s playing too live.” 4. Pertaining to a hand that has not yet been folded. 5. Pertaining to cards that are part of an activeplayer’s hand, or part of those being dealt to him as his draw. 6. Pertaining to cards that are available to be drawn, that is cards that have not yet been dealt, or at least not seen. In stud, this might be cards that have not been exposed that a player needs to make a hand; in draw, this might be cards a player needs and he knows his opponent or opponents do not have in their hands. “I had four spades on fifth street, and spades were live” means that on this seven-card stud hand none (or few) spades were among the visible upcards. See live hand (definition 3). 7. Pertaining to a legitimate (as opposed to foul) hand. 8. Part of the phrase draw live; sometimes followed by to when referring to the other hand. 9. Pertaining to a game played in a brick and mortar cardroom as opposed to online.

live action

(n phrase) See live game (definition 4). “There’s usually plenty of live action around the World Series of Poker.”

live action game

(n phraseRing game (definition 2).

live bet

(n phrase) A bet posted by a player under conditions that give the player the option of raising even if no other player raises first; typically because it was posted as a blind (see live blind), as a straddle, to enter a new game (see post), or as a reentry blind).

live blind

(n phrase1. In a structured-limit game, including almost any flop game and some lowball games, a blind that can be raised even when the opening bet is not a raise. For example, in a $3-$6 hold’em game, the player to the dealer’s left puts $3 in the pot before receiving his cards and the player to his left puts in $6. The first player to open often opens for $12, that is, by raising, but not always. In a live blind game, if the pot is opened for $6 (see limp) and no one raises, when the action returns to the big blind, he has the option of raising, or just calling and closing the action (see close the action). 2. A blind a player gets to keep when he wins a pot, because the next pot will be blinded by someone other than the winner of the present pot. Examples of live blinds are those in a traveling blind game, or those in a game in which each player must blind the pot at least once within a specified period of time. Compare with dead blind.

live button charge

(n phrase) A button charge that counts toward a player’s bet. For example, in a $6-$12 game, the house may collect $3 each hand; that $3 is put up by the button. When the action gets to the button, he can get in the pot for $3 less, because he already is considered to have contributed $3 to the pot, and the $3plays for the button.

live cards

(n phrase) See live (definition 6).

live chips

(n phrase1. Chips belonging to an active player, that is, not being played for the establishment (which includes those belonging to a dealer while he is working, to a shill, a stake, or even proposition player), as opposed to house chips. Also, live money2. Chips that represent actual cash and can be cashed in, as opposed to tournament chips.

live game

(n phrase1. One with no house players, as opposed to a dead game2.ring game, as opposed to a tournament game, because the game is played with chips having actual cash value, instead of tournament chips. “There are always plenty of live games around the World Series of Poker.” Also called live action3. A game played in a brick and mortar cardroom, as opposed to one played in an online cardroom4. A game with a lot of action (definition 1), generally one including unskilled players, especially loose-aggressive players (particularly maniacs; see maniac).

live hand

(n phrase1. A hand that is still eligible to win the pot (that is, one that is not dead, definition 3). 2. A hand that has not yet been folded and thus is or could be still in contention for the pot. “Wait a minute, dealer; don’t put out a flop. John still has a live hand and he hasn’t acted yet.” 3. In seven-card stud, a hand for which many of the cards that would improve it are still available, that is, not visible on the board and likely not among the downcards. See live (definition 6).

live in a tree

(n phrase) Keep dodging and escaping dangerous situations or drawing out when in those situations. For example, if the live one seems to have absolutely nothing and thus folds when you hold a big hand, or regularly draws out on you when way behind, you might say, “He lives in a tree.”

live one

(n phrase1. A very loose player, usually implying one who loses; a rich sucker. When a player gets up, before the remaining players find out whom the house is sending to replace him, the table clown may say, “Send us a live one.” Also fishpigeon, sometimes sucker2. Live player.

live money

(n phraseLive chips.

live player

(n phrase) One playing his own money, as opposed to that of the house. See live chips.

live straddle

(n phrase) See straddle (definition 3 or 4).


(n) Shorthand, particularly in e-mail and Internet postings, for low limit. From an RGP posting: “The Pastime Club has mostly LL HE.” Also, a chat term.


(nChat term for “laugh(ing) my ass off.” Usually meant sardonically, often in terms of “Ha, ha; you just got what you deserved,” typed when someone who put a bad beat on the person making the comment himself gets beat, or perhaps just makes a dumb play.


(n) Decent winnings for a session. “He’s back for another load.”

loaded for bear

(adv phrase) Having a great hand, usually one that has been passed; often said of a sandbagger.

loan shark

(n phrase) One who lends money, particularly to gamblers, at rates of interest far in excess of those charged by any bank or even any credit card, with 30 percent per week and more not being uncommon. Such a person often enforces repayment with threats of physical punishment — and sometimes follows through on the threat, as warning to other malingerers, when payment is late. Also called shylock.


(n1. Loan shark. — (v2. Act as a loan shark.


(n) Lending of money, particularly to gamblers, at excessive rates of interest.


(n) A variant spelling, usually considered improper, for lowball. Also, just as improperly, lo-ball and lo ball.


(v1. Sit out several hands, usually away from the table, or leave the table frequently. Comes from where someone might go when leaving the table, that is, the cardroom lobby.— (n2. In an online cardroom, the (usually) first screen a player sees, the one from which he can click for a list of available games and limits, evoke the cashier, etc.

lobby charge

(n phrase) A fee charged by a cardroom to a player who sits out (see sit out) for more than a few hands (say more than one or two rounds, sometimes just not playing the blinds in a round).

lobby fee

(n phraseLobby charge.

lobbying chips

(n phrase) Winnings. “He’s got lobbying chips” means, simply, “He’s winning.” So called because generally winners lobby, not losers. The losers have to concentrate on playing to get even; the winners can afford to relax and sit out a few hands. Also called talking chips.


(n) A sucker or mark, particularly when that person is a victim of cheaters; a poor player easily relieved of his money.


(n) Someone who lives in the vicinity of a cardroom or casino and is a regular player (and “lives” in the poker games). The term is often used in Las Vegas, and as such, contrasted to a tourist.

local option hands

(n phrase) Nonstandard hands (see nonstandard hand) sometimes given value in a private or home game, such as big catlittle catkilterskip straight, and so on.


(n1. In any form of poker, a hand that cannot lose in a given situation. Also called immortalcinch handcinch, or mortal cinch2. Reservation of a seat as described under locked up (definition 4). “Put a lock on that seat for Jimmy.” Sometimes takes the form of a button with the word “reserved” on it, and called a reserved button3. Lock up. “Lock that seat for Jimmy.”

locked down

(adv phraseLocked up (definition 1).

locked on

(adv phrase) Unable to throw a hand away. “Too much money in the pot; you got me locked on.” Also, tied on.

locked up

(adv phrase1. Pertaining to chips residing in the stack of a very tight player, and thus difficult for any other player to win. “You’re not going to win any of those chips back; he’s got them locked up.” Also, locked down2. Having a win in a particular playing session. “I better quit. I’ve got a thousand locked up.”3. Having a lock (definition 1). “I had that pot locked up on the turn.” 4. Reserved, with respect to a seat at a table. For example, a new player (new to the game) starts to sit down at what appears to be the only empty seat at the table. Emilie, at another table, says, “You can’t have that seat; I’ve got it locked up. I just have to play off the blind and I’ll move.”

lock it up

(v phrase) Reserve, with respect to a seat at a table. For example, Andy is playing $3-$6 hold’em when his name gets called for the $5-$10. “Lock it up for me,” he tells the floorman.

lock player

(n phrase) A locksmith.


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

lock up

(v phrase1. Reserve or save (a seat). “Lock up a seat in the 6-12 for me.” Sometimes shortened to lock. Also see lock it up2. Set aside or ensure, as winnings. “I locked up a grand in that game.”

lock up a seat

(v phrase) See lock up (definition 1).

lock up a win

(v phrase) Quit while ahead. The phrase implies that one doesn’t want to stay and lose back one’s winnings.


(nChat term for “laugh(ing) out loud.”


(n1. A freak hand, often five specific, but random, cards, allowed to win once a night; generally the punch line in an elaborate shaggy dog poker story. Spelled variantly lalapaloozalalapalooze, and lallapalooza, and sometimes called looloo2. The nuts.

London lowball

(n phrase) A form of lowball stud poker, played in England, in which the ace is low, but straights and flushes count against the player as in deuce-to-seven lowball, so the best hand is 6-4-3-2-A of mixed suits. (This ranking is sometimes called ace-to-six.)

London lowball draw

(n phrase) A form of lowball draw, played in England, in which the ace is low, but straights and flushes count against the player as in deuce-to-seven lowball, so the best hand is 6-4-3-2-A of mixed suits. (This ranking is sometimes called ace-to-six.) The game is sometimes played with two draws (instead of the one in conventional lowball).

long call

(n phrase) Calling with mediocre cards, usually in an attempt to catch someone bluffing. “He thought the guy was bluffing and so he made a long call with just an ace.”

long odds

(n phrase) Prohibitive odds; describing a situation unlikely to occur (such as needing runner-runner to win). The opposite is short odds.

long run

(n) What poker authorities use as the parameter for the evening out of the luck factor. “In the long run, everyone gets the same number of straights, flushes, and so on.” What they rarely do is define just how long the long run is. Usually expressed as in or over the long run.


(n1. A hand that has only a poor chance of winning; one that has to defy the odds to win. 2. A bet that has only a poor chance of winning.

long studs

(n) Stud poker involving more than five cards; a term used primarily in England.


(v1. Call, especially the final bet or raise before the showdown; often followed by at. If someone bets at you and you say, “I’ll look,” that means, “I’ll call you.” “I’ll look at you” means the same. In most cardrooms, saying “I’ll look” is not equivalent to saying “I call.” The latter is usually binding, that is, if you say “I call” when it is your turn to act, you must put chips in the pot, even if the other player shows his cards before you have a chance to physically get them in. (It’s usually a good idea, however, unless you know the other player very well, to wait until the chips are actually in the pot before showing your cards, even in establishments in which verbal declarations are binding. Saves arguments later.) “I’ll look” is generally a phrase said accompanying the actual act of placing the calling chips in the pot, and is generally not binding (although it could be interpreted that way: another reason to be careful of what you say in turn). In this sense, see [the or your bet] is also frequently used. — (n2. Part of the phrase free look3. Part of the phrase look [someone] up.

look at

(v phrase) See look.

look at one

(v phrase) In lowball, a proposition sometimes offered when one player draws one card and the other two. The player drawing the two cards will look at one of his cards (only) and bet if the other player will raise blind, or sometimes even if the other player doesn’t offer to do anything at all beyond look at his own cards.

look at three

(n phrase) Describing a lowball game in which players are allowed to overblind after seeing their first three cards. “We’re playing look at three.” “This game is look at three.”

look at two

(v phrase1. In lowball, look at two cards (usually the first two dealt), with the implication of then killing (overblinding) the pot, “I’ll look at two” often means “I’ll look at my first two cards and if I like them I’ll kill the pot.” — (n phrase2. Describing a lowball game in which players are allowed to overblind after seeing their first two cards. “We’re playing look at two.” “This game is look at two.”

looking down [someone’s] throat

(v phrase) Being in a situation in which you know you have a hand your opponent cannot possibly beat. This implies that the other player has good cards showing on the board (in seven-card stud), at which you are presumably looking, and still you know you will win.

looking out the window

(v phrase) Describing one or more players who are not paying attention to the game or the action, often used in a situation in which you would very much appreciate if players would take a great interest in the current hand. “Wouldn’t ya know it? I get dealt pocket aces and everybody’s looking out the window.”

look [someone] up

(v phrase) Call a bet, usually with a hand that can beat only a bluff; call [someone] down.




(adj, adv1. Playing liberally; not tight. In hold’em, playing almost any two-card starting combination, and playing through to the river on almost anything that has a prayer of winning. In seven-card stud, the same with almost any three-card starting combination, and staying in until the situation is hopeless. In high draw, usually implies drawing to all the little pairs, all the four-straights and four-flushes, and many of the two-card draws to other than three of a kind, and often calling many bets and raises to do so. In lowball, implies taking all the one-card draws to rough hands (that is hands that frequently lose even when they are made perfectly), and most of the two-card draws. You often hear the rhyming phrase loose as a goose or loosey-goosey2. More generally, playing liberally, though not necessarily as liberally as in the preceding.


(adj) Descriptive of play that is both loose and aggressive, that is, the play of those who not only play many hands but play them with frequent bets and raises, or, in a big bet game, with large bets. Compare with loose-passive.

loose as a goose

(adv, adj phrase) See loose.

loose call

(n phrase) A call of a bet or raise on a substandard or marginal hand.

loose cannon

(n phrase) A wild, unpredictable player, particularly in a tournament.

loose juice

(n, rhyming) Booze.

loosen it up

(v phrase) Start playing more loosely (see loose).

loosen up

(v phrase) Start playing more loosely (see loose).


(adj) Descriptive of play that is both loose and passive, that is, the play of those who play many hands but generally just call with them. Compare with loose-aggressive.

loose player

(n phrase) One who plays loose.


(n) A loose player.


(n1.loose player. — (adv2. Playing in a loose fashion.


(nLegends of Poker.


(v) Come out behind, whether in one hand, in a session, in a tournament, or over some given period of time.

lose one’s shirt

(n phrase) Lose heavily; go broke. So called because when one is broke one can’t afford even clothes, or one has resorted to selling the shirt off one’s back to buy chips and then lost even those.


(n1.losing player2. A player losing. (There is a distinction. Definition 2 may be just a temporary situation, while 1 implies permanency.) “I’m loser today.” (The implication here is that, yes, today I’m losing, but that will change.) 3. A losing session. “I booked a loser my last three plays.” 4. A hand that cannot (or probably cannot) win in a particular situation. “I can’t call; I know this straight is a loser.”

losing player

(n phrase) A player who, in the long run, shows an overall loss. This is usually attributable to lack of skill (even if that lack is only poor choice of games, rather than poor playing ability). Also, loser.

losing session

(n phrase) A session in which one loses.

losing streak

(n phrase) A series of plays or sessions that end unfavorably. Also, bad run, cooler. Opposite of winning streak.


(n1. Losing session. “I booked four losses last week.” 2. The losing of one hand.

lot of hands

(n phrase) Being dealt or making many good hands in a short period of time. Often part of the expression he’s holding a lot of hands.


(n1. In a high-low split game, the low hand; usually preceded by the. “Who’s got the low?” means “Which player has the winning low hand?” — (adv, adj2. Describing lowball. “They’re playing low.” 3. In a high-low split game, holding the hand that wins the low half of the pot; descriptive of the low hand; sometimes preceded by go or going4. In a stud game, having the lowest card or combination of cards showing on the board; of importance because often on the first round the holder of the low card must initiate the betting.”Who’s got the low?” here means “Which player has the lowest board card?” 5. Holding the worst hand at the showdown in a high game. 6. Holding the best hand at the showdown in a low game.


(adv, adj, n) In lowball, pertaining to the top card in a no-pair hand. In ace-to-five, 8-7-5-2-A is an 8-low.


(n1. A form of five-card draw poker in which the lowest hand wins. The two most popular forms of the game are ace-to-five and deuce-to-seven2. wheel; usually preceded by a. “I’ve got a lowball.”

lowball draw

(n phraseLowball.

low end

(n phraseLow half.

lowball god

(n phrase) A mythical deity to whom lowball players supposedly pray for good hands, and who presumably protects those in his (her?) good graces; used humorously. Compare with poker god. Also, god of lowball.

lowball player

(n phrase) Someone who plays lowball (usually exclusively, or in preference to other forms of poker).

lowball stud

(n phraseRazz.

low belly strippers

(n phrase) A deck marked by shaving the sides of some cards (making the middles narrower than the ends) so that a thief can tell by feel the values of certain cards, usually certain high or low cards, such as the aces. Also see belly strippershigh belly strippersend strippersglazed cardhumpsstrippers.

low club

(n, v phrase) Same as low spade, substituting club.

low diamond

(n, v phrase) Same as low spade, substituting diamond.

lower limit

(n phrase) One of the early rounds of betting in structured limit.


(adj) Pertaining to a game played at smaller stakes (than the one under discussion). “This game is too big; I’m going to a lower-limit table.”

low half

(n phrase) In high-low split, the part of the pot that goes to the best low hand. “I took the low half with an 8-7 against two players who both had four low cards showing.” Also, high end.

low hand

(n phrase1. In high-low split, the best low hand at any point, particularly at the showdown. “I had the low hand with my 8-7.” 2. In high-low split, the hand held by a player going for low or the player holding those cards. “The low hand kept raising.”

low hand rankings

(n phrase) In low games (lowballrazz, and others) and high-low split, hands are usually ranked by one of three methods, ace-to-fivedeuce-to-seven, and ace-to-six.

low heart

(n, v phrase) Same as low spade, substituting heart.

low hole card wild

(n phrase) A form of seven-card stud, found only in home games, in which the lowest card each player has in the hole (that is, face down) and all others of the same rank in that player’s hand are wild.

low limit

(n phrase) A small or one of the smallest games played in a particular establishment or area. “He plays only low limit.” Also called small limit.


(adj) Pertaining to a game played at low limit. “He’s strictly a low-limit player.” Also called small-limit.

Low Mambo

(n phrase) See Mambo stud.

low man

(n phrase1. In a stud game, the player whose board currently has the highest card combination. 2. In high-low split, the holder of the hand that wins low.

low-only game

(adv phrase) A game played for low (and specifically neither for high nor high-low split); lowball.

low on the board

(adv phrase) In a stud game, describing a board that currently has the lowest card combination. See low.

low poker

(n phrase1. Lowball2. Razz.

low roller

(n phrase) One who plays for small stakes. Compare with high roller.

low spade

(n phrase1.side bet in which two or more players (usually in a draw or lowball game) agree that whoever has the lowest card in the spade suit on the next hand (or, if no one has a spade that hand, on the following hand or hands) wins something, usually a prearranged bet, or a free drink bought by the loser or losers. — (v phrase2. To play for the low spade. “I’ll low spade you for the drinks” means that if, for example, I get the seven of spades on the next hand and you get no spades or a spade higher than the seven, you’re supposed to buy me a drink, if you agree to the proposition. Sometimes called just spade. For both meanings, compare with high spadeLow heartlow spade, and low club also exist.

low spade in the hole

(n phrase) A poker game played only in private or home games, a form of seven-card stud in which the pot is split between the holder of the highest hand and the holder of the lowest spade in the hole. (We haven’t been able to find evidence of low clubdiamond, or heart in the hole.)

low stakes

(n phrase1. Low-stakes game2. The play in such a game or for such stakes.


(adj) Pertaining to a game played for smaller amounts than the other games in a particular establishment or to a private game played for relatively small amounts. Also, low-limit.

low-stakes game

(n phrase1. A game played for small stakes. Compare with high-stakes game2. The play in such a game or for such stakes.

low variance

(n phrase) See discussion at variance.

low-variance play

(n phrase) See discussion at variance.

loyalty program

(n phrase) A promotion put on by a casino to reward players for play in such a way as to keep them playing in the establishment. A loyalty program might include points awarded for hours of play, which points would be redeemable in the form of a buy-in to a tournament or for cash or merchandise, or comps (seecomp). Online casinos sometimes offer rakeback to frequent players as a loyalty program. Also see reward card.


(n) Shorthand, particularly in e-mail and Internet postings, for late position. Sometimes lp. Also a chat term.


(nChat term for “later,” as in “cya ltr.”


(n1. An illusory factor that losers think is the only reason for winning, and that winners know is the main determinant for winning only in the short run. 2. Absence of skill, particularly in others, in the eyes of those who aren’t experiencing it. “It’s just luck that lets him win.”


(n) An extremely lucky player, often applied derisively to an otherwise poor or losing player who is in the midst of making a lot of hands when it counts.

luck factor

(n phrase) What balances skill in making poker an interesting game. That is, in the short run, anyone can win, but in the long run the cards are supposed to break even (see cards break even), thus ensuring that good players win and poor players lose.

luck out

(v phrase) Outdraw a good hand; win in a situation in which losing is the likely outcome.


(adj) Possessing luck. “I’d rather be lucky than good any day.”

lucky draw

(n phrase) Catching one or more cards that complete a hand against the odds.

lucky hit

(n phraseLucky draw.




(n; imitative) In hold’em, J-3 as starting cards (a tree and a jack).

lumberman’s hand

(n phrase) In hold’em, 2-4 as starting cards. Comes from two-by-four, a kind of board.

luminous readers

(n phraseReaders.


(nChat term for “leave” or “live.”


(adv phrase) Bluffing. See bluff. “I think you’re lying; I’m gonna call you.”

lying in the bushes

(adv phrase) See weeds.

lying in the weeds

(adv phrase) See weeds.




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.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Let's make sure it's really you and not a bot. Please type digits (without spaces) that best match what you see. (Example: 71353)