Wiesenberg: MCU Dictionary of Poker | Letter M




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(n) The ratio of a player’s stack size to the current total of blinds and antes. (The term was originated by backgammon and poker expert Paul Magriel.) See M-ratio.

machine man

(n phrase) A thief who uses a mechanical device for his cheating (for example, a holdout machine).


(adv1. Describing a hand that has been completed or filled (see make, definition 1). “He was dealt a made hand.” 2. Caught cheating or recognized to be a cheater, as described under make (definition 2). “He was made the minute he walked in.”

made hand

(n phraseComplete hand.

made it jam up

(n phrase) See jam up.

Mad Genius of Poker

(n phrase) The sobriquet of renowned poker authority Mike Caro, so named because he used to adopt a wild and crazy image while playing, which he claimed his research had shown garnered the most calls from opponents. Lately Caro has expanded his purview to cover all of gambling, and is thus also known as “Gambling’s Mad Genius.


(n) See read [someone’s] mail.

main event

(n phrase) The championship event of a tournament series, frequently the largest-buy-in no-limit hold’em event and often the last event of the series.

main game

(n phrase1. In a cardroom, the game with the highest stakes, or (sometimes) with the most action. Sometimes when a regular player first sits down to play, he may ask, “Is this the main game?” He means that he hopes the players are gambling or otherwise giving action. Sometimes the question is asked facetiously, when the player sits down in what is obviously a dead spread, that is, a game full of mostly house players or what seems to be a game with little action. See high stakes2. The game to which players must move from a forced-move game as seats open. Also see balanced games3. The more desirable of two (or more) games of the same form of poker at the same stakes.

main pot

(n phrase) When there is a side pot, that part of the pot all of the players have action in.


(n) Major tournament, such as the World Series of Poker or the World Poker Finals. “He played in all the majors this year.”

major hand

(n phrase) In high poker, (generally) a straight or better.

major league game

(n phrase1. A high-stakes game. 2. The largest game in a cardroom.


(v1. Catch the specific hand one is trying to end up with; often followed by a (or thehand. In draw poker, if you start with 5-6-7-8-K of mixed suits, you discard the king, and on the draw receive either a 4 or 9, you have made a straight. You have also made the hand or made a hand. The phrases “I made” and “Did you make?” are elliptical, that is, “I made my hand” and “Did you make the hand (or your hand)?,” respectively, are understood. In lowball, to catch on the draw any card below one’s top card that does not give one a pair is to make the hand. Similarly, though used less often, in a stud or hold’em game, to turn a drawing hand into a complete hand (definition 2) is to make the hand. Also, completefill2. Detect cheating or recognize someone as a cheater. “Did the floorman make you?” means “Did the floorman notice that you were cheating?” 3. Shuffle the cards prior to the next deal; same as make the pack4.Earn or win. “How much did you make today?”

make a cow

(v phraseCow (definition 1).

make a hand

(v phrase) See make (definition 1).

make a lot of hands

(v phrase) Receive many good hands at opportune moments; connect on many draws within a short period of time. “I made a lot of hands at the right time and quickly went from one of the short stacks to tournament leader.”

make a move

(v phrase1. Move (definition 1). 2. Bet strongly. “He’s pretty low on chips. I think he’s getting ready to make a move.” Also, make a play.

make a/one’s move at/on the pot

(v phrase) Same as make a play (definition 2), often implying betting or raising strong when the other players seem weak, and often when the player making the move is himself none too strong. Also, move on the pot.

make a pass

(v phraseHop the cut.

make a play

(v phrase1. Bluff. 2. Bet strongly. He made a play for the pot implies that he bet big to try to win it. Also make a/one’s move at/on the pot.

make a score

(v phrase) Win big.

make a stand

(n phrase1. Fight back, usually after having been pushed around (see push around) for a while, by picking a given hand with which to not back down. Also, take a stand2. Pick some point in a tournament, usually when one is short-stacked (one is in survival mode), at which to put in all one’s chips.

make a stab at the pot

(n phraseTake a stab at the pot.

make a/the bet good

(v phraseMake good (definition 2).

make good

(v phrase1. Pay money owed to the pot, usually by matching one’s lights, which are (usually only in a home game) chips removed from the pot by a player who has run out of chips but has agreed to stand good on any bets, chips equal in amount to the betting from the point at which the player ran out of chips. If the player loses the pot, he must make good on the money owed. For example, if he had gone light by $10, he must return those $10 in chips to the pot, plus another $10 in cash (or purchase more chips and add another $10 to the pot). See lights2. Put enough chips into the pot to call a bet or raise. Also, make [a/the] the bet good.

make perfect

(v phrase) In draw poker, catch one or more cards that give the maximum improvement to the cards kept. This phrase is most common in lowball. For example, in ace-to-five, you draw one card to 7-5-2-A, and catch a 3, thus making the hand perfect. (This is actually grammatically incorrect; it should be make perfectly, but card players aren’t big on grammar.)

make the blind good

(v phrase) The situation in which a player has one of the various traveling blinds, dealer blindmiddle blind or small blind, or big blind, someone has opened the pot, and the holder of the blind calls the opening bet, usually with a marginal hand, and with the intention of “protecting” his investment (operating under the fallacious theory that the chip or chips he has put into the pot prior to the deal in the form of the blind still belong to him).

make the deck

(v phraseMake the pack.

make the money

(v phrase) Last long enough in a tournament to be among the paying positions. For example, many tournaments pay graduated prizes to the top 10 percent of finishers, usually with the most money going to the top three or so, and graduated to where those who just barely make the money might only get back their buy-ins. In the main event of the 2006 World Series of Poker, of the 8,773 entrants, 876 made the money. Payouts ranged from $12 million for first place to $10,616 for places 866 through 876.

make the pack

(v phrase) After the play of a hand, gather the cards and shuffle them for the deal of the next hand.

make up

(v phraseMake the pack, shortened from make up the pack.

make up the blind

(v phraseTake the middle blindpost, or otherwise arrange to receive a hand after having missed the blind (see miss the blind).

make up the blinds

(v phrase1. Make up the blind2. When someone leaves who would next be in a blind position or on the button, players in blind positions put in enough chips such that their total for the round is the same as if the player had not left. Also see dead button rule.

make up the pack

(v phraseMake the pack; sometimes shortened to make up.

making a lot of hands

(v phrase) See make a lot of hands. “How’s he doing?” “Making a lot of hands and got most of the chips.”

making the pass

(v phrase) Hopping the cut. See hop the cut. Also make a pass.

Mambo stud

(n phrase) A combination between stud and a widow game, in which players use three cards in their hands plus one community card, played high-low. Each player is dealt one downcard and one upcard, followed by a round of betting, one more upcard, one more round of betting, and then a community card, with a final round of betting. Players use any combination of three of their four cards for high hand and any three for low. Hand rankings differ from “ordinary poker.” The best ranking low hand, A-2-3, is called a Low Mambo, and the highest ranking high hand, Q-K-A suited, is called a High Mambo. The remaining high hands rank this way: straight flush, three of a kind, straight, flush, one pair, highest card rank. There is a qualifier for low: to win the low half, a hand must be 6-high or better. One worse than a Low Mambo is A-2-4, and so on. If there is no low, the entire pot goes to the high hand.


(v1. Practice money management2. Run a cardroom. 3. Own a cardroom.


(n1. The owners of a cardroom. 2. Those running or managing a cardroom.

management tips

(n phrase) An amount sometimes taken out from the prize pool of a tournament and allocated as tips for the management, including dealers and floor personnel. Tournament winners usually tip on top of this.


(n1. Someone good at money management2. One who runs a cardroom. 3. One who owns a cardroom.


(v) Successfully applying the principles of money management.


(v) And thieving move (definition 2).


(n) A player who bets, raises, and reraises without regard to the quality of his hand; someone to whom getting in the last bet is a matter of pride. Such a player is most often found in flop games (see flop game).


(n) A variant of hold’em, popular in Australian casinos, played with a stripper deck from which all cards 2-6 have been removed (leaving 32 cards). Each player is dealt two hole cards. The dealer places five community cards one at a time face up in the center of the table, each followed by a round of betting. At the showdown, unlike hold’em, each player forms his best poker hand using both hole cards with exactly three of the five community cards. Because of the stripped deck, a flush beats a full house (because a flush occurs less often), but other hand rankings are the same as conventional poker. Also, an ace cannot form the low end of a straight (thus, the hand A-7-8-9-10 is not a straight in Manila). This form of the game is also known as two-card Manila and seven-up poker. In three-card Manila, players are dealt three cards, and the rest of the game remains the same. At the showdown, similar to Omaha, each player forms his best poker hand using a combination of any two of his three hole cards with exactly three of the five community cards. The three-card variant is sometimes played with the 6s restored to the deck (making 36 cards).

man without a mustache

(n phraseKing without a mustache.

man with the axe

(n phraseKing of diamonds.

man with the star

(n phraseJoker.


(n) A BARGE-like convention, Mississippi Annual rec.gambling Excursion.


(adj) Of a marginal hand or situation in which one might be played, sometimes interpreted as being questionable. “I made a marginal call.”

marginal hand

(n phrase) A hand that is borderline profitable, one whose long-term expectation is approximately break-even when played, making it about equally correct either to play or fold.


(n phraseBlack Maria


(v1. Put scratches, bends, paint, etc., on cards (thus making a marked deck) such that they can be identified visually from the back, or by feel from front or back. — (n2. Scratch, bend, paint, etc., on cards; often plural. 3. A thief’s victim.

marked cards

(n phrase) Cards with identifying marks placed on them by a cheater.

marked deck

(n phrase) A deck with marked cards. Also called cheaters.


(n1. A promissory note, credit slip, or IOU, usually held by a casino or cardroom, representing money owed by a player, against which the player plays. 2. Button (definition 1).


(nSee mark (definition 2).


(n) In hold’em, suited K-Q as starting cards. Comes from the game of pinochle. (If the hand loses, it is sometimes called divorce.)

master card

(n phrase) The highest card in play in a particular suit.

matchbook shiner

(n phrase) A cheating device, a small mirror attached to the inside of a matchbook cover or small matchbox that has been placed apparently innocently on the table, used to read the faces of the cards while they are being dealt face down over the device. See gapershiner.

matching card

(n phrase) A card of the same rank or suit as another card, either in the same hand, or potentially part of the same hand, as when one of the communal cards in a hold’em-type game. Also, mate.

match lights

(v phrase) See lights.

match one’s lights

(v phrase) See lights.

match the pot

(v phrase1. In home games, have to honor a penalty that arises in certain situations, usually in wild-card stud-type games, when a player receives a card of a certain rank. For example, in the seven-card stud variant called baseball, 3s and 9s are wild. A player dealt a 3 face up must either match the pot, that is, add to the pot as much as it already contains, or fold. In some games, the player is not even offered the opportunity of folding; he must match the pot. Sometimes called buy the pot2. Bet the pot.


(nMatching card.


(n) In hold’ em, Q-J as starting cards. Comes from the Maverick TV show’s theme song, “Livin’ on jacks and queens/Maverick is a legend of the west.”


(n1. Maximum bet, that is, betting as much as permitted. — (v2. Make a maximum bet.

maximum buy-in

(n phraseBuy-in of the maximum permitted for the game or table.

maximum value

(n phrase) See value.


(n1. Maximum raise, that is, raising as much as permitted. — (v2. Make a maximum raise.

Maxwell Smart

(n phrase) In hold’em, 8-6 as starting cards. Comes from the title character of the TV show Get Smart, who was agent 86.


(nMike Caro University.


(n) Shorthand, particularly in e-mail and Internet postings, for main event, usually specifically the championship event of the World Series of Poker.


(n) One who unfairly manipulates the cards, such as a cheat who deals cards from the bottom instead of from the top of the deck (where they should come from), or from the middle, or deals the second card from the top, or who falsely shuffles the cards so as to arrange them in a manner he has predetermined, or who palms cards, or uses any other of scores of cheating methods involving card manipulation or sleight of hand. Sometimes called artist, particularly when applied to someone who marks cards.

mechanic’s grip

(n phrase) A way of holding the cards popular with mechanics (see mechanic), because it’s easiest to deal seconds, bottoms, or middles when holding the deck this way. A right-handed dealer holds the deck in his left hand, with the thumb along the left edge, the forefinger at the front, and the other three fingers curled around the right edge. (A left-handed dealer does the same with his right hand.) Since many noncheating players also hold the deck this way, the grip alone is not evidence enough to accuse a player of cheating.

medium card

(n1. In high poker, usually a 10, 9, 8, and sometimes, a 7 or 6. 2. In ace-to-five lowball, usually an 8 or 9. 2. In deuce-to-seven lowball, usually a 9 or 10. 3. In low poker games without a qualifier, cards that are neither high nor low. Compare to little cardbig card.

medium limit

(n phrase) A game played for moderate stakes; neither low limit nor high limit. Also, mid limit.


(adj) Pertaining to a game played at medium limit. “He’s mainly a medium-limit player.” Also, mid-limit.


(vt) Call; usually followed by a or the bet. Usually implies just call, that is, not raise. This is an old term that is now infrequently heard.


(n) The gestalt of poker, that is, playing far more than the cards one holds; playing, instead, the players and the whole history of the interactions in the game.

Mexican bankroll

(n phraseMichigan bankroll.

Mexican poker

(n phraseMexican stud.

Mexican standoff

(n phrase) A tied pot; a hand in which two (or more) players have equivalent hands and split the pot.

Mexican stud

(n phrase1. In cardrooms, a variant of five-card stud, played with a stripped deck of 41 cards, including the joker, from which the 8s, 9s, and 10s have been removed. Each player receives a total of five cards, of which one must always be face down. After the first two cards are dealt (one up and one down), a betting round begins with the high card. After the betting round is complete, players can expose their downcards if they wish. The next card is dealt up or down depending on whether the prior downcard was exposed. After all five cards have been dealt to active players in the same manner and all betting completed, the highest ranking hand wins the pot. There is one hand ranking difference from standard forms of poker. In Mexican stud, a flush beats a full house. Also called Mexican poker2. In home games, a form of five-card stud in which each player first receives two cards face down, and then rolls (turns face up) one card, followed by a betting round. Thereafter, each active player receives another face-down card on each round, from which he chooses one to roll, again followed by a betting round. Sometimes called flip or peep-and-turn. Also see Shifting Sands.

Michigan bankroll

(n phrase) A wad of bills, usually folded over, with a bill of large denomination on the outside, to give the appearance of a large bankroll. Also called Mexican bankrollMichigan rollOklahoma bankroll, or Philadelphia bankroll.

Michigan roll

(n phraseMichigan bankroll.


(adj) Of micro-limits, as a micro-limit game.


(n) Very small stakes, generally used only with reference to online poker. Many sites can profitably offer games at lower stakes than brick and mortar cardrooms (see brick and mortar cardroom) are able to. You can find games with stakes as low as 1¢-2¢.


(n1. The main pot when there is a side pot. “That dollar shouldn’t go on the side; it goes in the middle.” 2. A card dealt from the middle of the deck. 3. Part of the phrase take it in the middle4. A card needed to make an inside straight.

middle blind

(n phrase1. In a three-blind traveling blind game, the blind put up by the player to the dealer’s left. 2. The player who is in the middle blind position. 3. The actual middle blind position itself. (There is a distinction.) Also see blindbig blindsmall blinddealer blind.

middle card

(n phrase1. Medium card2. A card that makes an inside straight.

middle dealer

(n phrase) A mechanic who can deal from the middle of the deck. This is extremely difficult compared to dealing bottoms or seconds.

middle man

(n phrase1. The holder of the middle blind2. Sometimes (rarely) the player who is in the situation of being between two players who keep raising and reraising each other. The name for this action is whipsaw.

middle pair

(n phrase) The situation in hold’em in which a player pairs one of his hole cards with one of the middle-ranking cards on the board. For example, if you have A♥ T♥, and the flop is Q♣ T♦ 7♣, you have flopped middle pair. Also, second pair.

middle position

(n phrase) In a poker game, somewhere between early position and late position, generally considered to be those players who would, on the first round of betting, act fourth, fifth, or sixth.


(n) Cards dealt from the middle of the deck (by a middle dealer).

middles dealer

(n phraseMiddle dealer.

middle set

(n phrase) In hold’em, forming a set with one of the middle-ranking cards on the board. Compare with top setbottom set.

middle straight

(n phraseInside straight.

midlife crisis

(n phrase) In hold’em, 4-4 as starting cards.

mid limit

(n phraseMedium limit.



midnight shift

(n phraseGraveyard shift.

Mighty Wurlitzer

(n phrase1. In lowball, a pair of 8s (that is, 88; comes from the number of keys on the instrument). 2. In hold’em, 8-8 as starting cards.


(nBlind stud.

Mike Caro University

(n phrase) Mike Caro University of Poker, Gaming, and Life Strategy. Founded in 1998 and located in the Ozarks and online, MCU trains novices and professionals in the science of poker.


(n) In high poker, part of a phrase describing three of a kind (or, rarely, four of a kind), using total point value; usually preceded by a number divisible by three. That is, 30 miles means three 10s, and nine miles means three 3s.

miles of bad road

(n phrase) Same as miles, that is, three of a kind, preceded by a number divisible by three, as, for example, 30 miles of bad road, which means three 10s.


(v1. Shuffle the deck by repeatedly pulling out top and bottom cards simultaneously, and forming a pile with these cards as they are drawn, for the purpose of thoroughly mixing the cards prior to shuffling. 2. Perform a cheating maneuver in which the cards are mixed by an overhand shuffle, or something that looks like a casual sifting through of the discards, in such a way as to set up two or more hands to be later dealt to predesignated positions. This is a cheating maneuver usually done by a mechanic prior to some other move, such as hopping the cut and then dealing bottoms. 3. In draw poker, shuffle through one’s five cards repeatedly by holding them face down and sliding one card at a time from top to bottom. Also called milk the cardsfuzz4. Get the most benefit on a hand (often a hand of relatively low value) from the holder of another, inferior, hand; usually followed by that hand or the name of the player who was so cajoled into calling the maximum. “You certainly milked me that time.” “He milked that hand for the most he could get, considering who he was up against.” 5. Withdraw money from a game, generally by tight, conservative play; usually followed by a or the game.

milk a game

(n phrase) See milk (definition 5).


(n) A tight or conservative player. Probably comes from the description of someone who has to milk (definition 4) every hand he plays, because he would not ordinarily get much action.

milk the cards

(v phraseMilk (definition 3.)

milk the deck

(v phraseMilk (definition 1, 2.)

milk up

(v phraseMilk (definition 1, 2.)

milk up the deck

(v phraseMilk (definition 1, 2.)


(n1. Minimum bet, that is, betting the least permitted. — (v2. Make a minimum bet.

minimum buy-in

(n phraseBuy-in of the minimum permitted for the game or table.

Minnesota hold’em

(n phrase) A house-banked game, played in Minnesota casinos, 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 initial wager called the blind. Each player and the dealer receives two hole cards. Each player then has three choices: place a wager equal to the blind in the call spot, place a wager twice the size of the blind in the raise spot, or fold, forfeiting the blind. The dealer then deals five community cards to the board. At least one card from the player’s hand must be used to make the best 5-card poker hand. Only the dealer may play the board (use all five community cards). The dealer must have a pair or better to qualify (definition 2). If the dealer does not qualify, the call or raise is a push and the player is paid even money on the blind. If the dealer does qualify, both bets are in play. If the player loses, he loses both bets. A tie is a push. If the player wins with a call, he receives even money for blind and call. If the player wins with a raise, he receives even money for blind and raise unless he has a flush or better, which wins a bonus as follows: flush, 2-1; full house 5-1; four of a kind 10-1; straight flush 30-1; royal flush 100-1.


(n) In ace-to-five lowball, the best hand, a wheel or bicycle, A-2-3-4-5 of various suits (including all the same suit). In some games, this could also be the lowest possible hand. For example, with straights and flushes not counted as low hands, 6-4-3-2-A would be a minnie. With aces high plus the preceding strictures, 7-5-4-3-2 would be a minnie.


(n) Someone who plays over his head, that is, enters with insufficient funds a game larger than he is accustomed to.

minor hand

(n phrase) In high poker, (generally) three aces or worse.

minor league game

(n phrase1. A low-stakes game. 2. The smallest game in a cardroom. Compare with major league game.


(n1. Minimum raise, that is, raising an amount equal to the previous bet or raise. — (v2. Make a minimum raise.


(nMiracle draw.

miracle draw

(n phrase) The making of a winning hand by defying considerable odds, as, for example, in hold’em catch a one-outer, or, in draw poker, draw three cards and make a full house or better. Sometimes shortened to miracle.


(v1. Verbally declare your hand as being other than it is, usually better. If, at the showdown, you say “I have a straight,” and you actually have worse, you have miscalled your hand. In some clubs, there is no penalty for doing this (because cards speak), but, if deliberate, it is at best unethical, and considered anangle. — (n2. The act of so doing.


(n1. A deal with an impropriety such that the cards must be redealt. For example, dealing without the cards having been cut or dealing some of the cards out of order in most cardrooms constitutes a misdeal. — (v2. To so deal.


(n) Another name for lowball, primarily in England.

misère pots

(n phrase) Another name for lowball, primarily in England.


(v1. Erroneously read a hand, for example, think 3-4-5-6-8 is a straight when it is just an 8-high hand. Also, incorrectly see the cards of a hold’em flop or a seven-card stud board. 2. Think an opponent has a hand quite different, either stronger, weaker, or of a different type, from what he actually holds. “I completely misread that one. I thought he was betting a flush draw, when he had top pair all along.”

misread the board

(n phrase1. In a flop game or seven-card stud, wrongly reckon your holding in relation to the board. For example, in Omaha, in which misreading the board is common, if your hole cards are 2-7-K-K and the board is 3-4-5-6-Q, you may mistakenly think you have a straight, but since you must play two of your hole cards, you actually have only a pair of kings. 2. Erroneously read the cards of a hold’em flop or a seven-card stud board, and thus think you have a different hand from what you actually have. For example, if you have two hearts in the hole, and three red cards come on the flop, you may think they are three hearts and mistakenly think you have a flush.


(v) Not draw a card that helps one’s hand; not make (definition 1) the specific hand one is trying for. Opposite of fill and improve.

miss a draw

(v phrase) Not make the hand one was drawing to.

missed blind button

(n phrase) A button placed at the position of a player who has missed one or more blinds (see miss the blind).

Mississippi straddle

(n phrase) Similar to a live straddle, but rather than being made by the player to the left of the big blind, it can be made by any player, depending on house rules. Mississippi straddles are common in the southern United States, hence the name. Like a live straddle, a Mississippi straddle must at least equal the bring-in bet plus a minimum raise. Action begins with the player to the left of the straddle. In some games, such a straddle is normally made by either the button or the cutoff. If, for example, in a game with $10 and $25 blinds, the button puts into the pot a live $50 Mississippi straddle, the first player to act would be the small blind, followed by the big blind, and so on. If action gets back to the straddle with no raise, the straddle has the option of raising. (See live blind.)

Mississippi stud

(n phrase) A form of seven-card stud, often played pot limit, with fourth and fifth street cards dealt without a betting round between them, and seventh street dealt face up.

miss the blind

(v phrase) Be absent from the table when the blind positions arrive at one’s table position. In most clubs, if a player misses the blind, he must either wait for the blind or post. In a tournament, the house dealer or floorman puts in the player’s blind and the player forfeits those chips (because a player can’t skip the blinds in a tournament).

miss the blinds

(v phrase) Miss both the big and small blinds. Generally this expression is synonymous with miss the blind.

miss the draw

(v phrase) Not make the hand one was drawing to.

miss the flop

(v phrase) In hold’em, the situation in which the flop bears little relation to a player’s downcards.




(n1. High poker (usually draw) with the joker wild. 2. The joker, when it can represent any card. The name comes from French, and is perhaps 100 years old. It originally meant the jack of spades, especially when accompanied by two cards of the same color in the old games of bouillotte and brelan, both similar to modern poker, and later was used for the blank card that came with a deck of cards, and then for the game played with that card. That blank card later evolved into the joker. Also spelled mistigri.

mites and lice

(n phraseNits and lice.

mits and mice

(n phraseNits and lice.


(n) A poker hand, that is, a fistful of cards.

mitt joint

(n phrase) A crooked gambling establishment that relies on marked cards.

mixed game

(n phrase) A game or tournament format in which several different games are played in rotation, usually either half an hour of each or one round of each. Examples include H.O.R.S.E. and H.O.S.E. Also called combination game, rotation game.

mixed marriage

(n phrase) In hold’em, unsuited K-Q as starting cards. Compare with marriage.

M number


modified limit

(v phraseSpread limit.

Molly Hogan

(n phrase) The queen of spades.


(n) A king (the card).


(n) See in the money and make the money.

money finish

(n phrase) Finishing a tournament in the money. “Jeff had three money finishes last week.”

money-added tournament

(n phrase) A tournament in which the casino or cardroom adds cash, such that the prize pool is larger than the combined buy-ins. For example, a casino might advertise a particular tournament as a $1,000-added tournament. If the buy-in were $100 and 100 players participated, then the prize pool would be $11,000.

money bubble

(n phrase) See bubble.

money management

(n phrase) Playing in such a way as to minimize your losses and maximize your wins. Many players win a little and quit, no matter how good the game, but when they get stuck, they often lose far more than they win in any winning session in a desperate attempt to get even. This is poor money management. For some, money management means quitting when ahead, and not losing back all of their winnings. For others, it means not putting all their bankroll on the table for any one session. For still others, it means putting aside a portion of their winnings into other money-making investments. Some poker writers claim that money management is not a viable concept.

money odds

(n phrase) The best of it in a particular situation, with respect to the size of a bet that must be called compared to either what is currently in the pot or what is likely to be. In a no-limit hold’em game, you might hear, “I knew I hadda beat a set. I’m already getting 3-to-2 in the pot, plus I get all his chips if I make the hand. I was getting money odds.” The term usually does not apply to a situation in which a player is getting better than 1-to-1 on his investment, but is taking the worst of it when comparing the odds against his making a winning hand with how much he can win for his investment. (That is, if a player stands to win $100 for a $50 investment, or 2-to-1, but the odds against him are 3-to-1, he is not getting money odds.) Also see implied odds.

money player

(n phrase1. Any gambler, particularly a high roller2. One who plays mostly cash games as opposed to tournaments.

“Money plays.”

(expression) An announcement, usually by a dealer, of acknowledgment that a player has ordered chips from a chip runner and can bet up to as much as the amount of cash he has on the table until his chips arrive. See Cash plays.

money position

(n phrase) Any position in a tournament that wins money. If, for example, the final 18 players receive payouts, any of those 18 places is a money position.


(n) In hold’em, K-9 as starting cards. Comes from canine.


(n) A sucker, particularly one who is the victim of cheating.

monkey flush

(n phrase) A nonstandard hand, three cards of the same suit, not in sequence. Compare to bobtail flush.


(n1. The nuts; usually preceded by a2. A big hand for a situation, not necessarily the nuts or even a particularly great hand. Flopping two pair in hold’em against one opponent would be termed a monster by many players. 3. A large pot. — (adj4. Describing one of the preceding, as a monster hand or pot.

Montana banana

(n phrase) In hold’em, 9-2 as starting cards. Some say that the 92 refers to the number of the proposition that legalized poker in Montana. This is likely apocryphal, however, because poker was legalized by the Card Games Act, 23-5-311, not a proposition. Others have conjectured that it is called that because bananas will grow in Montana before that hand makes money, or, perhaps, if you play the hand you’re likely to slip up. Sometimes simply banana.


(nThree-card monte.


(vCow (definition 1). When the player quits, he splits with the person with whom he mooed.


(v1. Shoot the moon2. Win all of a high-low split pot by having both the best high and low hands.

moon hand

(n phrase) In a high-low split declare game, a hand that declares for and wins both ways.

mop squeezer

(n phrase) Queen.

mortal cinch

(n phrase1. The nuts; usually preceded by a2. Lock.

mortal lock

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

mortal nuts

(n phrase) The nuts; usually preceded by the. Some consider the mortal nuts to be better than “ordinary” nuts.


(n) The nuts; usually preceded by the. Also called immortals (see immortal).

Moss, Johnny

(n phrase) See Johnny Moss.


(n) The act of betting. If someone says, “Motion’s good,” he probably means, “If that act of reaching for your chips that you are performing is to be interpreted as an actual intention on your part of betting, you can take the pot, because I shall not be calling.” Some clubs have a rule motion is binding, which means that if you have chips in your hand and make a motion toward the pot with the hand that holds those chips (also known as a forward motion), you must complete the bet.


(n) In hold’em, J-5 as starting cards. From the Motown singing group the Jackson Five.

mouth bet

(n phraseOral bet.


(v1. Perform a cheating manipulation of the deck. To deal seconds or hop the cut are to move. — (n2. The performing of such a manipulation; often preceded by make a. The word generally applies to each occurrence, as, for example, dealing bottoms is a move3. Any tricky or fancy play. 4. In general, any play at all. 5. Betting all of one’s chips, in the expression “He’s making his move.”

move all in

(v phrase) Bet (usually) or call (less often) all one’s chips in one hand. “Kate bet $20 and Paul moved all in” means Paul raised all his chips (or hers, if she had fewer than he). Also, go all in.

move at the pot

(v phraseMake a/one’s move at/on the pot.

move in

(v phrase) Bet or call all one’s chips in one hand; sometimes followed by on. “Kate bet $20 and Paul moved in” (or “Paul moved in on her”) means Paul raised all his chips (or hers, if she had fewer than he). Also, go in.


(n) The act of moving in, that is, putting all one’s chips in the pot.

move in on

(v phrase) See move in.

move it in

(v phraseMove in. “If Huck passes, I think Doyle will move it in.”

move on the pot

(v phraseMake a/one’s move at/on the pot.


(n) A card thief, that is, someone who moves (see move, definition 1).


(n) Fancy plays, often accompanied by theatrics; sometimes just the theatrics. “He’s got a lot of moves.” Compare with coffeehouse and Hollywood.

move [someone] off a/the hand

(v phraseMove [someone] off a/the pot.

move [someone] off a/the pot

(v phrase) Bet in such a way (usually by a large bet or raise) as to cause a player to fold. Also, move someone off a hand.


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


(n phrase) In no-limit or pot-limit poker, a measure of the viability of a player’s stack as a function of the cost to play each round. Simply stated, someone can sit in a game, making only compulsory bets (that is, blinds and antes), for M rounds before running out of chips. A high M means a player can afford to wait several rounds before participating in a pot other than when in one of the blinds. This concept applies primarily to tournament poker, because in a cash game a player can effectively modify his M at will, merely by buying more chips. A player with a low M must act soon or be weakened by losing fold equity. The concept was invented by backgammon and poker expert Paul Magriel, for whom the M stands. Here is the formula: M= S/(SB+BB+A), where S is stack size, SB is small blind, BB is big blind, and A is antes. For example, in a 10-handed game with blinds of $25 and $50 and an ante of $5, a player whose stack is $1,200 has an M-ratio of 750/(25+50+(5×10)), or 10. Also called M number or simply M.


(n) Shorthand, particularly in e-mail and Internet postings, for multitable tournament. Sometimes mtt.


(n1. The discards. The term is borrowed from panguingue. “Throw that piece of cheese in the muck.” Also called the garbage piletrash. — (v2. Fold; often followed by the hand. “As soon as he bet, I mucked the hand.” 3. Palm a card for later use in a game.


(n phraseHand mucker.


(nMultitable tournament.


(v) Have or play under more than one account in an online cardroom, a practice outlawed on most sites, and suspicious on all.

multiple draw

(n phraseCombination draw.

multiple-table tournament

(n phraseMultitable tournament.


(v1. Play more than one table (simultaneously) at an online cardroom. — (adj2. Of a game, usually a tournament, involving more than one table of participants. Could also refer to a cardroom, so as to distinguish it from a cardroom so small that it has only one table. “The Logan Casino just opened a new multitable poker room.”

multitable tournament

(n phrase) A tournament involving more than one table of participants, as opposed to a single-table tournament. Sometimes shortened to multi.


(adj) Involving more than two players.

multiway draw

(n phrase) A drawing hand (definition 1) that has both straight and flush possibilities; combination draw.

multiway pot

(n phrase) A pot with more than two players. Compare with family pot.


(n1. A term of opprobrium peculiar to cardrooms. “Ya mustache” means “You no-good person, you.” 2. What the king of hearts lacks.


(nForced-move game. “Table 10 is a must-move.”

must-move game

(n phraseForced-move game. Sometimes shortened to must-move.

must-push player

(n phrase) A player who tends to go all in frequently.

must-push situation

(n phrase) A situation in which the best play is to go all in.


(n) In hold’em, K-9 as starting cards. Comes from canine.




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


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

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    1. Hi, Sheryl —

      Thank Michael Wiesenberg. In this case, I’m just the publisher.

      Hope you’ll also like the other new stuff coming soon to Poker1.

      Straight Flushes,
      Mike Caro

      1. Well, will you please thank him on my behalf? :-) I’m sure I’ll like whatever is yet to come to Poker1. I could spend months at this website!

        Take care,

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