Wiesenberg: MCU Dictionary of Poker | Letter O




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(n) Shorthand, particularly in e-mail and Internet postings, for offsuit. For example, specifying a hold’em hand as KQo means king-queen offsuit, or, frequently, king-queen off. Also a chat term.


(nOmaha/8 when part of a designation like H.O.R.S.E. or H.O.S.E.

Oasis Poker

(n phraseGolden Oasis Poker.

Oasis Poker (Five-Card)

(n phraseFive-card Oasis Poker.

Oasis Poker (Six-Card)

(n phraseSix-card Oasis Poker.


(n phraseOpen blind.


(n1. Open blind, raise blind (definition 1). — (v phrase2. Open blind, raise blind (definition 2). One player asking another, “OBRB?” is saying, if you open the pot blind, I will raise you blind.


(n phrase1. Open blind, raise blind, reraise blind (definition 1). — (v phrase2. Open blind, raise blind, reraise blind (definition 2). One player asking another, “OBRBRB?” is saying, “I will open the pot blind and reraise you back blind if you promise to raise blind.”


(n1. In an online cardroom, someone watching a game but not participating. Such a player has a window open on the particular game but is not seated. Anything an observer types into the chat box appears in a different color and is known as observer chat2. In a brick and mortar cardroom, someone watching a game, often at a tournament; kibitzerrailbirdsweater.

observer chat

(n phrase) What an observer types into the chat box.

obvious play

(n phrase) A play that seems to be the only reasonable action for the situation. “He fooled them all by making the obvious play.”


(n) 8; generally used to refer to the card, or, in lowball, to the rank of the hand (when it contains no pair), as determined by its largest card.

odd chip

(n phrase) When splitting a pot, either among tied hands or between the high half and the low half in split-pot games (see split-pot game), sometimes a chip is left over, usually of the smallest denomination for the game. That chip is called the odd chip, and various rules come into play to determine which player gets the chip. Players in friendly games often give the odd chip to the dealer.


(n1. The likelihood or unlikelihood of a particular event, usually expressed in the form of one number to a number. Odds of 2-to-1 against an event mean, that in three trials, the outcome is favorable once and unfavorable twice. Compare with chance (or chances). The term odds is incorrectly used by some when they mean chances. 2. Part of the term pot odds.

odds against

(n phrase) Describing a situation with unfavorable odds, or something unlikely to occur, as drawing to an unmade hand. Unfavorable odds are usually expressed as the odds against [something occurring]. “The odds against making a straight are about 4:1.”

odds for

(n phrase) Describing a situation with favorable odds, or something likely to occur, as winning with a set against a flush draw. Favorable odds are usually expressed as the odds for (or in favor of) [something occurring]. “The odds in favor of [or for] my winning the pot were about 4:1.”

odds in favor [of]

(n phraseOdds for.




(n) Shorthand, particularly in e-mail and Internet postings, for Omaha/8. Also O8. Also a chat term.


(adjOffsuit. “He had A-Q off against my jacks.” In written text sometimes shortened to o.

off a hand

(adv phrase) The situation in which betting has caused a player to fold. See get [someone] off a hand


(v1. To give someone a signal; usually implies a secret signal between thieves or scammers, sometimes letting a partner know the holdings of another player (in which case the signal is also known as a sign), other times as a warning. — (n2. Such a signal; usually preceded by the. “When he saw the floorman coming, he gave his partner the office.”

office hours

(n phrase1. In hold’em, 9-5 as starting cards. 2. In high poker, two pair, 9s and 5s or 8s and 4s. 3. In lowball, a 9-5 hand. 4. In any high poker game, a full house involving 9s and 5s or 8s and 4s. 5. A straight, 5 to 9. 6. A straight, 4 to 8 or 5 to 9. 7. The hours a poker player is at the table pursuing his vocation. For definitions 1-6, comes from the time a white collar worker is often found in the office.

Official Dictionary of Poker, The

(n phrase) The definitive reference to the language and terminology of poker. Known acronymically as TODOP.


(adj1. In hold’em or seven-card stud, descriptive of the first two cards being of different suits, as opposed to suited. Sometimes shortened to just off and, in written text, to o. “He had A-Q offsuit against my jacks.” “He had an offsuit A-Q against my jacks.” “He had A-Q off against my jacks.” Also, unsuited.2. Descriptive of a card of a different suit than a potential flush draw. “An offsuit queen came on the river.”


(adjOffsuit. “He had an offsuited A-Q against my jacks.”

off the street

(adv phrase) Pertaining to winning a hand very early in a playing session, often by having been dealt very good cards. If you sit down at a newly-vacated seat, and, within a few minutes raise with a good hand, get a lot of action, and win a big pot, someone is sure to say, “Right off the street.”


(n) The jack of clubs. Possibly comes from Ogier the Dane (known in French as Ogier de Danemarche and Danish as Holger Danske), a legendary character who first appears in an Old French chanson de geste, in the 11th century cycle of poems Geste de Doon de Mayence.


(n phraseOmaha 8-or-better.

Oh shit! hand

(n phrase) A hand on which a player has wagered his last chips and over which the player exclaims, “Oh shit!,” ostensibly because he has missed his draw, but usually because he is trying to lure unwary flies into his web. Oh shit! hands are usually beat only by going home hands. See going home hand.

Okie bankroll

(nMichigan bankroll.

Okie buster

(n) The joker.

Oklahoma bankroll

(nMichigan bankroll.


(n1. In lowball, a 9-8 hand. 2. In high poker, two pair, 9s and 8s. 3. In hold’em, 9-8 (sometimes, rarely, 8-8, which is more commonly called little Oldsmobile) as starting cards. 4. In lowball, a pair of 8s (that is, an 88; this use is rare). The 98 and 88 were Oldsmobile models. (Little Richard’s “Rip It Up,” covered by Elvis Presley, had a line “Picked her up in my 88.”)


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


(n1. A variant of hold’em, in which players must use exactly two of their downcards in combination with three of the community cards. (This differs from Texas hold’em, in which both, one, and sometimes even none (when the board plays), of a player’s downcards can be used.) Players usually start with four downcards, but Omaha games are sometimes played with five or even six downcards for each player. The game can be played high or high-low split. The latter is usually specifically called Omaha 8-or-better. Sometimes called tight hold’em2. Specifically, the high-only version of the game, and which is sometimes called Omaha high.


(nOmaha 8-or-better.

Omaha 8-or-better

(n phraseOmaha played high-low split, with an 8-or-better qualifier for low.

Omaha high

(n phraseOmaha (definition 2).

Omaha high-low 8-or-better

(n phraseOmaha 8-or-better.

Omaha scoop

(n phrase) See scoop (definition 5).

Omaha split

(n phraseOmaha 8-or-better.


(n) Someone who loves to play Omaha.


(n) A chat term meaning “Oh my God!” This is usually a nonparticipant’s reaction to a big pot (particularly when a long call or substandard hands are involved), or big hand. Sometimes rendered omg.


(adv1. Up to; that is, referring to the person on whom the action has stalled. “Who’s it on?” means “Whose turn is it?” 2. In agreement; usually about a bet, a proposition, or a drink pot. “Are we on?” might mean, “In reference to my suggestion that we both put all our chips in the pot and draw four cards, will you go along with me in this sporting endeavor?”

on a draw

(n) Having only a straight or flush to go for, as opposed to already having a pair or better. “I checked my set because I knew he was on a draw and might bluff if he missed.”

on a run

(n) In the middle of a rush.

on a rush

(n) In the middle of a rush.

on a streak

(n) In the middle of a streak.

on bet

(n phrase) The first wager made in any betting round. This usage is obsolete.

on board

(adv phrase1. In hold’em, describing the community cards (board, definition 1). “There were four spades on board and I didn’t have a spade so I folded for a small bet.” 2. In stud games, describing a player’s upcards (board, definition 2). “He had three aces on board.”

on deck

(adv phraseOn board.


(n1.one-card draw, usually preceded by the. “Check to the one.” 2. An ace. “I have three ones.”

1-and-2 blind structure

(n phrase1-2 blind structure.

one-card draw

(n phrase1. A hand that needs one card. Examples are, in high draw poker, two pair, a four-flush, or a four-straight, and, in lowball, four low cards plus a pair or face card. 2. The person so drawing. 3. The action of so drawing. “Check to the one-card draw” could be used in definitions 2 and 3.

one-chip rule

(n phraseSingle-chip rule.

one direction

(n phrase) In a high-low split game, what a player is contesting when holding a hand that has strength only for high or low.

one-ended straight

(n phraseOne-end straight.


(nOne-end straight.

one-end straight

(n phrase) A particular inside straight, four cards to a straight open at one end only, either A-2-3-4, which becomes a straight by the addition of any 5, or J-Q-K-A, which becomes a straight by the addition of any 10. This usage is more restricted than one-way straight, which refers to an inside straight.

one-eyed jacks

(n phrase) The jack of spades and the jack of hearts. Often used when designating wild cards.

one-eyed king

(n phrase) The king of diamonds.

one-eyed man in the game

(n phrase) A code expression, usually used among thieves or those “in the know,” that there is a cheater in the game.

one-eyed royals

(n phraseJack of spadesjack of hearts, and king of diamonds.


(n) Face cards with the figure shown in profile, which, in a standard deck, are the jack of spadesjack of hearts, and king of diamonds. Also called profiles.


(n, adj1. Describing hold’em starting cards in which the two cards are separated by one card in rank, as, K♥ J♥ or 6♣ 4♥. 2. Inside straight.


(n1. One-gap2. Inside straight.

one-handed deal

(n phrase) A method of dealing cards, using only one hand, performed generally only by a one-armed player, by flipping the cards one-handed from the top of the deck.

one-minute rule

(n phrase) Similar to the two-minute rule.

one move

(n phrase) Descriptive of the play of someone with a limited repertoire of moves (see move, definition 4) or strategy. “He’s got one move: all in.”


(n phrase1.three-blind traveling blind game, in which the dealer puts up $1, the player to his left (called the middle blind) $1, and the next player (called the big blind) $2, with the minimum bet (or bring-in) usually being $4. 2. Any three-blind traveling blind game in which the blinds are in multiples of 1-1-2. For example, a $10-$20 double-limit or a $20 single-limit ace-to-five lowball game is played with three blinds of $5, $5, and $10, using $5 chips in a 1-1-2 ratio and distributed as described in definition 1. This was a common blind structure for California draw games, high draw and lowball.


(adv phrase) Describing a situation in which (only) two players are in contention for a pot; head-to-head.


(n) In hold’em, a hand that is behind on the turn and can win on the river only with one card. For example, your hold’em cards are J♥ J♣, and your opponent has 9♠ 9♦. On the turn, the board is J♠ 9♥ 8♣ 8♦, giving you a full house. Your opponent (who has a smaller full house) can win only with the 9♣; his four 9s would then beat your hand.

one pair

(n phrase1. In high, a hand containing two cards of the same rank, plus three other unmatched cards. In high poker, this is the second-lowest rank of hand, ranking above no pair and below two pair. For example, 9♥ 9♣ A♥ 7♣ 4♦ 2. In lowball, a hand that paired (see pair, definition 3).

one player to a hand

(n phrase) The cardroom rule, sometimes unwritten, that states that during the play of a hand no one may advise another on how to play the hand. This is so that no one thinks that a player got an unfair advantage in making a decision. The rule is often ignored or flouted in smaller home games.

one-table satellite

(n phrase) A special satellite tournament, consisting of one table of players, whose prize is usually a buy-in to a larger tournament. Such a tournament is often conducted just before a major tournament, often at the site of that tournament. One-table satellites usually have just one winner; sometimes second place is awarded cash or a free entry to another tournament.

1-3 blind structure

(n phrase1.two-blind traveling blind game in which the player to the left of the dealer puts up $1 (called the small blind) and the next player (called the big blind) $3. 3. Any two-blind traveling blind game in which the blinds are in multiples of 1 and 3. For example, a $10-$30 limit lowball game is played with two blinds of $10 and $30, using $5 chips in a 1-3 ratio and distributed as described in definition 1.

1-3 chip blind structure

(n phrase1-3 blind structure.

“One time.”

(expression) An expression heard, usually in tournaments, that essentially means “Give me the card I need.” The expression is generally uttered at the time of a crucial pot, usually a big one, often all in, and is considered by many players to be uncool.

1-to-5 game

(n phrase) A spread-limit game, in which the minimum bet on any round is $1 and the maximum $5, with similar restrictions as in the 1-to-3 game.

1-to-4 game

(n phrase) A spread-limit game, in which the minimum bet on any round is $1 and the maximum $4, with similar restrictions as in the 1-to-3 game.

1-to-3 game

(n phrase) A spread-limit game, in which the bet on any round can be $1, $2, or $3, with raises in like increments, the only proviso being that a raise may never be less than the previous bet or raise (with exceptions sometimes for all-in bets (see all-in bet), that is, bets in which a player does not have enough chips to make or call a full bet or raise).

1-2 blind structure

(n phrase1.two-blind traveling blind game in which the player to the left of the dealer puts up $1 (called the small blind) and the next player (called the big blind) $2. 2. Any two-blind traveling blind game in which the blinds are in multiples of 1 and 2. For example, a $10-$20 limit hold’em game is played with two blinds of $5 and $10, using $5 chips in a 1-2 ratio and distributed as described in definition 1. This is a common blind structure for most modern flop-type (see flop game) and draw poker games.

1-2 chip blind structure

(n phrase1-2 blind structure.


(v phrase) A form of cheating in which two thieves work as a team against one player.


(adv, adj1. Playing predictably, or “by the book.” He plays 1-2-3,” or, “He’s a 1-2-3 player.” Also, A-B-C. — (n phrase2.three-blind traveling blind game, in which the dealer puts up $1, the player to his left (called the middle blind) $2, and the next player (called the big blind) $3, with the minimum bet (orbring-in) usually being $6. 3. Any three-blind traveling blind game in which the blinds are in multiples of 1-2-3. A $30-limit (or $15-$30) ace-to-five lowball game is played with three blinds of $5, $10, and $15, using $5 chips in a 1-2-3 ratio. This was a common blind structure for California draw games, high draw and lowball.

one-way action

(n phrase1. Marked cards whose backs have asymmetric designs or patterns, such that their rank or suit can be determined by which way they are placed within the deck. Also see belly strippersend strippersglazed cardhigh belly strippershumpslow belly strippersrakesstripperswedges2. One-on-one.

one-way cards

(n phrase) Cards with asymmetric pictures or designs on their backs, so that each back has a clear “up” and “down.”

one-way straight

(n phraseInside straight.

on his own

(adv phraseOn the nose.


(adv) In or pertaining to an online cardroom. “I play online mostly.”

online cardroom

(n phrase) A cardroom that exists only on the Internet, as opposed to a brick and mortar cardroom. Sometimes called poker room.

online casino

(n phrase) A casino that exists only on the Internet, one that offers standard casino games, particularly video poker, but often also offers poker.

online game

(n phrase) A poker game played in an online cardroom. Also Internet game.

online player

(n phrase) Someone who plays mainly or exclusively in an online cardroom. Also Internet player.

online player of the year

(n phrase) The player who, at the end of a calendar year, has accumulated the most online player of the year points. Sometimes rendered OPOY.

online player of the year list

(n phrase) An ordered list maintained of the contendors for online player of the year points.

online player of the year points

(n phrase) Points awarded to online poker players by a ranking organization, such as an online poker site or a poker magazine. Points are awarded based on the number of entrants and the size of the buy-in (and perhaps other factors), with usually more points as both factors increase. At the end of a year, the list is published and publicized, with sometimes proportionate cash or merchandise being awarded to the top finishers.

online poker

(n phrase) Poker played in an online cardroom. Also, Internet poker. Sometimes rendered as the initialism OLP.

online poker site

(n phraseOnline cardroom.

online satellite

(n phrase) A satellite tournament played in an online cardroom. Often refers to a satellite that awards entries to a major brick and mortar tournament.

on one’s belly

(adv phrase) Honestly, in the sense of not cheating. Compare with belly up.

on the board

(adv phrase1. Having one’s name listed for a particular game. “Are you on the board for the 20?” means “Are you on the list for the $20-limit game?” See board (definition 4). 2. Pertaining to a or one’s board (definitions 1-3). “He had king-queen-jack-10 rainbow on the board.”

on the bubble

(adv phraseSee bubble.

on the button

(adv phrase) In the button position. “I was on the button, so I figured I could open light.”

on the come

(adv phrase) Describing a bet made on or the situation of an unmade hand before all the cards have been dealt, or in the anticipation of making a hand. In high (draw, stud, or hold’em), this is usually four cards to a straight, flush, or straight flush; in lowball, it is usually whatever you’re drawing to, that is, implying a draw as opposed to a complete hand. To raise on the come means to start with four cards to a good hand that is not yet made, and raise the pot before the turn (or the draw) to build a larger pot, with the hope of making the hand and having a larger pot to bet into on the turn or river (or after the draw). To bet on the come usually means to bet as just described; sometimes to make a blind bet after the draw after having drawn one card to a come hand. (A come hand is a hand that needs one card on the come.) In hold’em, a player with two spades in the hole and two on the flop who bets or raises is doing so on the come. Similarly, a player who starts with A-2-3-4-K in ace-to-five lowball and raises is raising on the come. Also see semibluff.

on the cuff

(adv phrase) Pertaining to unsecured cardroom credit. “Can I have some chips on the cuff?” means the asker will pay back the money if he wins, or, if he loses, at some future unspecified time. Also on the fingeron the sleeve.

on the end

(adv phrase) See end, definitions 1 and 2.

on the finger

(adv phraseOn the cuff.

on the flop

(adv phrase) Pertaining to the flop in hold’em. “I hit a set on the flop.”

on the line

(adv phrase) See tournament life on the line.

on the nose

(adv phrase) Playing one’s own money, as opposed to playing house chips (playing as a stake player or (rarely) shill). Sometimes used by the management to describe a player who went broke while playing a stake or cow and is now playing on his own money. (At this point, the remark may be heard, “On the nose he never blows.”) When the new shift comes in, you may hear the shift manager of the departing shift tell the new shift manager, “Smiley’s on the nose.” This presumably refers to a player who ordinarily plays only stake. Also, on his own.

“On the nose he never blows.”

(adv phrase) Sardonically referring to the fact that stake players are usually more careful with their own money than the house’s. See on the nose.

on the outside

(adv phrase) See outside (definition 1).

on the rail

(adv phrase) Busted, that is, out of action, in the sense of being forced to watch the games from the rail. The expression is often used figuratively to describe someone’s fate when he busts out of a tournament or regular game. “I put all my chips in on pocket queens. John called with ace-queen. He spiked an ace on the turn and I was on the rail.”

on the river

(adv phrase) See river.

on the road

(adv phrase) See fade the white line.

on the sheet

(adv phrase) Playing stake or cow. See sheet.

on the shelf

(adv phrase) Not currently down, that is, in a game; said of a stake player. Comes from the shelf, where a stake player’s chips are kept when he is between playing sessions.

on the side

(adv phrase1. Referring to money that goes into or belongs in a side pot. “Paul’s out of chips, so Andy’s last bet goes on the side.” 2. Referring to a side bet (definition 1). “When all the money got in between Paul and Matt, Kate and Michael bet on the side who would win.”

on the sleeve

(adv phraseOn the cuff.

on the square

(adv phrase1. Describing a deck all four of whose edges are smooth, that is, having no trimmed cards to be identified by feel by a thief (such as belly strippers or end strippers or any other form of strippers). 2. By extension, describing an honest game or someone playing honestly. “He’s playing on the square” means he’s not cheating (and is likely being said of someone who normally does cheat). The expression has moved from the world of poker to general usage in the English language to mean in an honest fashion or to describe any honest situation.

on the turn

(adv phrase) Pertaining to the fourth upcard (the turn card) in hold’em.

on the up-and-up

(adv phrase) Pertaining to an honest game or situation. See on the square.

on tilt

(adv phrase) Playing poorly and irrationally due to emotional upset, often caused by the player in question having had a good hand beat by a freak draw or vastly inferior starting cards from another player (often in complete disregard of the odds and good play) or the player having lost a pot because of his own bad play. The term comes from pinball, in which a machine, if shaken too violently by a player to influence the path of the silver ball, stops functioning and its front panel displays the word tilt. Also called steaming, having one’s nose openopened upunglued and being wide open.

on top

(adv phrase) Out of a hand, usually said by a player as he chooses not to participate in a pot, as, “I’m on top.” The expression comes from panguingue, in which it means the player’s cards join the tops, the portion of the pot that goes to the house. (Every player puts up one or two chips before the start of each hand, and the house dealer places those chips on top of the block, a wedge of wood or plastic against which lean the eight decks of cards from which hands are dealt.)


(v1. Be the first to bet on the first round. Sometimes redundantly rendered as open the betting or open the pot. — (n2. Being in the position of having to either bet or throw your cards away. “Whose open is it?” — (adv3. Part of the phrase wide open4. Pertaining to cards that are dealt face up in any game.5. Part of the phrase open at both ends6. In three-card Manila, describing a player who has looked at his cards.

open at both ends

(adv phrase) Pertaining to an open-ended straight.

open blind

(n phrase1. Game in which the player to the dealer’s left blinds the pot, that is, puts in a bet equal to the limit of the game before receiving his cards. — (v phrase2. Open the pot without first having looked at one’s cards.

open blind and straddle

(n phrase) Game in which the player to the dealer’s left blinds the pot, that is, puts in a bet equal to the limit of the game before receiving his cards, and the player to his left raises that bet, also before receiving his cards. This older form of poker has evolved into today’s two-blind traveling blind game.

open blind, raise blind

(n phrase1. The term usually applies to a draw game, generally lowball, and is often shortened to OBRB. A game in which the first player to the dealer’s left blinds the pot and the next player raises before getting his cards. Often called just raise blind. This is very similar to a two-blind traveling blind game(v phrase2. This is usually part of a proposition. That is, one player asks another, “Open blind, raise blind?” This means, “If you open the pot blind, I will raise you blind.”

open blind, raise blind, reraise blind

(n phrase) 1. The term usually applies to a draw game, generally lowball, and is often shortened to OBRBRB. A game in which the first player to the dealer’s left blinds the pot, the next player raises blind before getting his cards, and the next player raises before getting his cards. Since this puts six bets into the pot before the cards are dealt, the effect is to increase the action of the game. Often shortened to reraise, and sometimes called reraise blind(v phrase2. This is usually part of a proposition. A player who asks another, “open blind, raise blind, reraise blind?” is saying, “I will open the pot blind and reraise you back blind if you promise to raise blind.”

open card

(n phrase) See open cards.

open cards

(n phrase1. Face-up cards in a stud game; upcards (see upcard). 2. The community cards in hold’em and similar games.


(n phrase) Pertaining to an open-ended straight. “I called because I was open-ended” means the player had a draw to something like 4-5-6-7.

open-ended straight

(n phrase) Four cards to a straight with no “holes” and with “room” at both ends, such that it can be made by, in the 52-card deck, eight cards, or, in the 53-card deck, nine cards, as 2-3-4-5 or 7-8-9-10 of mixed suits; the first can be made, in the 52-card deck, by any ace or 6, or, in the 53-card deck, by any ace, 6, or the joker. Also called double-ended straighteight-way straightnine-way straight, or outside straight.

open-ended straight draw

(n phrase) A hand that contains an open-ended straight.


(nOpen-ended straight.

open-end straight

(n phraseOpen-ended straight.


(n) The one who opens or opened a pot. “It’s on the opener” means, in a draw game, before the draw, the person who first bet has to call a raise, or, after the draw, the person who first bet now has to make a bet or pass.


(n1. Minimum opening requirements in a particular game. In California draw (limit) or jacks or better, for example, a pair of jacks is openers. “Who’s got openers?” means “Can anyone open the pot?,” that is, does anyone have a pair of jacks or better? 2. Precisely the minimum opening requirement. “What’d you have last hand?” “I had openers” means “I had exactly a pair of jacks” (and no more). 3. The specific cards with which a player opened a pot in a game that has minimum opening requirements. For example, if a player started with K-K-J-9-7, the pair of kings would be his openers. When requested to show openers, he would show the pair of kings and no more of his hand. Also, in this context, if a player says, “I had openers,” he means he had at least the minimum (but could have had anything better). 4. In a draw game with no minimum opening requirements, often a pair of jacks (because some players think they shouldn’t open with less than a pair of jacks). (The quote for definition 2 is applicable here, too.)

open game

(n phrase) A game that anyone can join, if a seat becomes available; sometimes refers to games played in private clubs or otherwise privately, as home games; more commonly refers to games in public cardrooms. The opposite of a closed game.


(adj phrase) Describing open poker.

opening bet

(n phrase1. Bring-in. Also called bring-in bet2. Early bet3. The bet made by the player to open. “The opening bet was $2,000.”

opening range

(n phraseOpening requirements (definition 2). See range.

opening requirements

(n phrase1. What you need to open in a game that has openers. (definition 1). For example, in California draw, a pair of jacks or better are the opening requirements2. A given player’s guidelines for when he will initiate betting, that is, the minimum holding he needs to enter a pot, and sometimes taking position into account. “John’s opening requirements under the gun are a pair of tens or higher, any ace-king, or ace-queen suited.” Someone might describe a very loose player thus: “His opening requirements are two cards.”

“Open it up.”

(v phrase) Same as “Open up.”

open it up again

(v phraseReopen the betting.

open light

(v phrase1. Open, that is, initiate the betting, with a substandard hand, usually with respect to position. For example, in a hold’em game, you can open light on the button, that is, with much looser requirements than you would have in any earlier position.

open limp

(v phrase) 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. Also see gypsying in.

open on anything

(n phrase) A form of high draw poker with no minimum opening requirements, usually played bet-or-fold. This is opposed to jacks or better, a game in which a player must have at least a pair of jacks to open. Also called anything opens or guts.

open on both ends

(adv phrase) Pertaining to an open-ended straight.

open on guts

(adv phraseOpen on anything.

open pair

(n phrase1. The situation in stud games in which a pair exists among the upcards of at least one player. In some games, when an open pair appears, the betting limit increases (or can increase). 2. The pair in question.

open poker

(n phraseStud poker.


(v) In a big bet game, go all in as one’s opening bet. Also, open-shove.

open seat

(n phrase1. A vacant position at a poker table. 2. An available position or chair for another player.

“Open seat.”

(n phrase“Seat open.”

open shove

(n phrase) In a big bet game, the act of going all in as one’s opening bet.


(v) In a big-bet game, go all in as one’s opening bet.Also, open-push.

open the betting

(v phrase) A redundant way of saying open. “He opened the betting for $2,000.”

open the door

(v phraseReopen the betting. “He could have just called the raise on the big blind, but he opened the door.” That means that the big blind could have closed the betting (see close the action) but chose to raise instead and allow every player in the pot another chance at further raising (or just calling).

open the pot

(v phrase) A redundant way of saying open. “He opened the pot for $2,000.”

open up

(v phrase1. Play liberally or loosely, after having played conservatively for a while. Also, open up one’s game2. Go on tilt.

Open up.”

(v phrase) An exhortation to play liberally or loosely, often said by an action player to a conservative player. “You’ve been playing nothing but the nuts. Open up a little.”

open up one’s game

(v phraseOpen up (definition 1).


(n, initialismOnline player of the year.

optimal bluffing frequency

(n phrase) Bluffing in such a way that observant opponents cannot gain an advantage from their calling frequency. “Mathematically, the optimal bluffing strategy is to bluff in such a way that the chances against your bluffing are identical to the pot odds your opponent is getting.” (David Sklansky, The Theory of Poker.) The mathematically optimal bluffing strategy isn’t necessarily the best strategy; much better is the ability to judge when to try a bluff and when not to to show a larger overall profit. That is, bluff more often against timid players and less often against calling stations and those who think you bluff too much. Optimal bluffing frequency works best (most optimally) against players whose calling frequencies you do not know. See discussion at game theory.


(n1. The situation that occurs when the action is on the player who put in a live blind, and the pot has been opened for the minimum (that is, there has been no raise), and that player may, if she wishes, raise. A house dealer may say “Your option,” as a reminder (or just, “Option”). Also see discussion undergypsying in2. The provision to play a different variant of a game if the conditions of the original game are not or cannot be met by any player. For example, the game of jacks back is high draw with an option for low.

optional card

(n phraseTwist.

option card

(n phraseTwist.


(n) Mike Caro’s pioneering poker-playing Apple computer. The computer, and its program, made poker and computer history by being a participant in a special event at the 1983 World Series of Poker, a $500,000 freeze-out hold’em challenge against a casino owner (each participant put up $250,000, a lot for the time), an event that was featured on the television show Ripley’s Believe It Or Not!

oral bet

(n phrase) A wager made by announcing the size of the bet but without actually putting any chips or money in the pot. In some (not all) establishments, verbal declarations made in turn are binding (see out of turn); nonetheless, cautious players wait till the chips are actually in the pot before either calling the bet or showing their hands. Also called mouth betverbal bet.

oral declaration

(n phrase1. A statement made by a player on his turn (definition 2) of his intentions: pass, fold, bet, or raise (and, in a no-limit game, how much). See discussion under oral bet. Also called verbal declaration2. Verbal declaration (definition 2).

or better

(n phrase) The minimum requirement to win, when part of expressions like 8-or-betterjacks or better.


(nRound (definition 1).

original hand

(n phrase1. In draw poker, a player’s first five cards, that is, the cards dealt before the draw. 2. In stud games with a discard (twist), the cards dealt before the discard.


(n) In hold’em, 8-4 as starting cards. George Orwell wrote 1984.


(n) A chat term meaning on the button.


(adv1. Not participating in a hand. “Deal me out.” 2. Not calling a bet. “Five bets to me? I’m out.” (n3. See outs.


(vDraw out. “I had him before the draw, but he outdrew me.”


(n) Describing a hand having a specified number of outs, as, for example, a one-outer or two-outer.


(v) Make a better hand on the flop than an opponent.


(v) Have the same pair (or pairs or set) as an opponent, but with a better kicker. Also see kicker trouble.

out of action

(adv phrase1. Pertaining to a player who is on the rail, that is, busted. 2. Pertaining to a damaged deck, often one that has just had one or more cards torn by an irate player. Right after a player loses a big pot on a bad beat, and angrily crumples the cards, the dealer might yell to the floorman, “Bring a new setup; this one’s out of action.”

out of line

(adv, adj phrase1. Pertaining to a bet or raise made to represent a hand better than one holds, that is, describing a bluff. “His bet looked so out of line I just had to call.” 2. Describing objectionable behavior in a cardroom patron. “They barred Slim for being out of line again.”

out-of-line play

(n phrase) A bluff.

out of position

(adv phrase1. Being in the disadvantageous position of acting before opponents or one specific opponent. 2. Being in early position, with one or more active players who act later.

out-of-position play

(adv phrase) A play made out of position. This often implies acting contrary to what would be expected with the specific cards in that position. Raising early as a bluff is an out-of-position play.

out-of-position raise

(adv phrase) A raise made out of position. Raising from one of the blinds is an out-of-position raise.

out of the money

(n phrase) Having busted out of a tournament before making it to a money position.

out of turn

(adv phrase) Pertaining to a bet or raise made by a player before the action (definition 2) has come to him. For example, the player two positions to your right bets. While the player one position to your right contemplates what to do, you say, “I raise.” You are acting out of turn and, in most clubs, your action is not binding; that is, when the action comes to you, you are not obligated to raise, or even bet. Acting out of turn is sometimes part of an angle shooter’s repertoire.

out on a limb

(adv phrase) Describing a risky bet situation, usually a bluff. “I knew he was out on a limb, but I couldn’t call with just ace high when there were two more players behind me.”


(n) Play at a superior skill level than one or more opponents in a specific hand, or overall. “He outplayed me all night long.”




(n) Cards that improve a hand, usually used with reference to a hand that is not currently the best hand. The term is most often used for hold’em, but can be used for stud or Omaha, and sometimes even draw games. For example, in hold’em you have A♠ 8♠, an opponent has 2♥ 2♣, and the board shows 2♦ J♠ Q♠ 9♦. Any 10 gives you a straight, and any spade gives you a flush. Four 10s remain, and nine spades. One of those spades, 10♠, was already accounted for among the 10s. Two of the spades that make you a flush also improve the three 2s to four of a kind (2♠) or a full house (9♠); thus, you have 10 outs. Compare with drawing dead. Sometimes called escape cards. Also see -outer and see discussion at clean outs and possible outs.


(adv1. Not an employee of a cardroom, that is, a live player; usually preceded by on the. “Doesn’t Hector work here?” “Nah, he’s on the outside.” 2. In lowball, pertaining to a card drawn to (usually) a good hand, but either somewhat above the card that would make that the best hand possible (as when drawing in ace-to-five to A-2-3-4, and catching a 6 or higher), or when drawing to a hand with “room” inside (that is, with space below its highest card), pertaining to a card drawn above the hand (as when drawing to 4-5-6-7 in ace-to-five, and catching an 8 or higher). If a player shows down an 8-4 and says, “I caught outside,” you know he caught the 8. A player might make this remark after losing to a rough 7, and bemoaning his luck that he didn’t make a wheel.

outside draw

(n phraseOpen-ended straight.

outside straight

(n phraseOpen-ended straight.

outside straight draw

(n phraseOpen-ended straight draw.

outside wrap

In Omaha, a situation in which your four downcards consist of three cards that combine with the highest two cards of the flop, so that many cards on the turn or river give you a straight. For example, your downcards are Q-J-8-2, and the flop is 10-9-2. You can make a straight with any of 17 cards, any queen, jack, or 8, three each of which remain, or any king or 7, of which four of each remain. Compare with inside wrap.

out with

(adv phrase) Having palmed or otherwise removed cards for later introduction as needed by a thief. “He was out with an ace.”


(adv1. In front of, in terms of position. “He’s sitting over me” means he bets after I do. 2. In high poker, two pair; always preceded by the rank of the high pair, and sometimes followed by the rank of the low pair. Aces over is two pair, with aces as the high pair and any other pair as the low pair. Kings over 7sis two pair, kings and 7s. Also called up, when referring only to the higher pair, as kings up3. In high poker, describing a full house, as, “I got a full house, nines over.”

Over and out

(n phrase) Shortened form of Over and out, good buddy.

Over and out, good buddy

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


(v1. In a no-limit game, make a bet greatly out of proportion to the size of the pot. — (n2. A bet greatly out of proportion to the size of the pot. 3. In pot-limit games, a bet made that is larger than the size of the pot (and which must be counted down by the dealer, so that it can be cut off at the rounded-up size of the pot). For example, if a pot contains $500 at a particular stage, no more than $500 can be bet at that point; any bet greater than that amount is an overbet. For definitions 2 and 3, also oversize bet.

overbet the pot

(v phrase1. In a pot-limit game, (illegally) bet more than the size of the pot. See overbet (definition 3). 2. Overbet (definition 1).


(v1. Put in a blind when one is already present. In a traveling blind game, this could mean someone putting in an optional blind in addition to the mandatory blinds. In a game without mandatory blinds, this would be blinding a pot (putting in a blind) after someone else has killed it. (To put in an overblind is sometimes called to kill.) Sometimes called go the overs. — (n2. The blind put in by the person who overblinds. In a 1-1-2 traveling blind draw game (Northern California-style, with limit bets of $4 or $4 minimum bet no-limit), John might put in $4 before getting his cards. He has doubled the limit (or the minimum bet) to $4, and he gets last action before the draw. Someone might say, “John acts last; he has the overblind.” Also sometimes straddle, for both meanings.


(v1. Call a bet after one or more others have already called. For example, Paul bets, and Sue calls. If you also call, you are overcalling2. At the showdown, declare a hand as being better than it is, for which some cardrooms impose a penalty, sometimes that the player may lose claim to the pot; that is, the verbal announcement takes precedence over the actual cards. The reason for the rule is that one of the tactics of an angle shooter is to miscall a hand hoping that the other player will inadvertently throw away the winning hand. If the loser then sees that the hand did not really have, for example, a flush, but only four hearts and a diamond, the angler then says, “Oh, sorry; I overlooked my hand. Thought I had a flush.” — (n3. The act of so (definition 1) calling. “Wouldn’t you know that when I was bluffing, not only did Curly call me, but I got two overcalls!”


(n) One instance of overcards. You might hear in seven-card stud: “Kate had a pair on the board, but I had a flush draw as well as an overcard in the hole.” You might hear in hold’em: “Andy was betting like he had paired on the flop, but I had an overcard.”


(n1. In hold’em, cards in a player’s hand that are of higher rank than the exposed cards among the community cards. Sometimes shortened to overs2. In hold’em, cards among the community cards higher than a player’s pair. 3. In stud, cards in a player’s hand that are of higher rank than the exposed cards, particularly an exposed pair, among another player’s upcards.

overcome the rake

(v phrase) Win more than the amount you pay toward the rake. If your play is just break-even, you don’t win enough to overcome the rake. Also see nut (definition 1).

overhand cut

(n phrase) A thieving maneuver in which the cards are cut in such a way as to restore their original order.


(n) In a flop game, a full house in which the three of a kind portion combines with board cards to form a higher-ranking full house than one that combines with other board cards. For example, in hold’em, if the board is Q-8-3-J-Q, a player holding Q-J has an overfull compared to someone holding 8-8, which is called an underfull.

overhand shuffle

(n phrase) A form of shuffling performed by holding the cards above the table (as opposed to the “standard” method of shuffling in which the cards remain on the table) and sliding, dropping, or tossing cards from the top of the deck held in one hand into the other hand, until all the cards are transferred to the other hand. This form of shuffling is not permitted in cardrooms, but is sometimes seen in private or home games, particularly by beginners.

overhand stack

(n phrase) Shuffling the deck with an overhand shuffle in such a way as to stack the deck, that is, restore it to its original (prearranged) order while appearing to mix the cards.


(n1. What a player has to pay to play, as the time collection or the drop or rake2. For a cardroom, the overhead is expenses, beyond which comes the profit.


(n, v1. Overblind(n2. Having more hand than necessary. A player calls with two pair when you have four aces; that’s overkill on your part.


(n) See buy-in overlay.


(n) In hold’em, a player’s pair higher than any pair among the community cards; in stud poker, a player’s pair higher than any face-up pair.


(v) Call one or (usually) more limps (see limp).


(v) Misread, not see; often followed by the hand, or the name of the misread card or cards. In hold’em, someone might say, “I thought I had a straight, but I overlooked my hand,” or, “I overlooked the pair.”


(n) In hold’em, a player’s pair higher than any card among the community cards. For example, you start with J-J, and the flop is 9-5-2.


(v) Cheat while dealing, particularly involving a dealer’s long reach.


(n1. Overblind (definition 2); usually preceded by the. “Who’s got the overs?” means “Who put in the overblind?” (and usually implies that the person who is supposed to put it in didn’t, as a remark directed to the dealer of the current hand in a round from home). Also see going the overs2. In a two-pair hand, the higher pair; often in the situation in which two players both have the same lower pair. For example, Emilie has 9s over 8s and Chloe has 10s over 8s. Emilie says, “Your overs got me.” 3. The play described under overs button4. Overcards. “John had flopped a set and Susie just had overs.”

overs button

(n phrase) A button designating a player who will play at a higher limit when only those who have such an arrangement remain in a pot. Two or more players in a $20-$40 game, for example, might agree that when either only they are in a pot or when others fold causing only them to remain, they will play $100-$200. Each player so agreeing gets an overs button.

overs game

(n phrase) A game in which two or more players are playing as described under overs button.


(n) A higher set than another player. If you have pocket kings and an opponent has pocket queens, and the board is A-K-Q-7-2, you have an overset. This situation is often called set over set (definition 1). The reverse of this situation is called underset.

oversize bet

(n phraseOverbet (definitions 2 and 3).

over-size chip rule

(n phraseSingle-chip rule.

over-sized chip rule

(n phraseSingle-chip rule.

over the top

(adv phrase) Describing a raise, generally one made on top of another raise, and, in a no-limit game, often large compared to the preceding wagering; usually preceded by come. “I bet, Paul raised, and Grady came over the top for all his chips.”


(adv phrase) A comment that someone else is holding over (see hold over) the speaker.

own [someone]

(v phraseHold over. “I just can’t beat him today; he owns me.”




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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