Wiesenberg: MCU Dictionary of Poker | Letter P




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(n) See entry feeR (definition 2).


(n) The speed of a game, with respect to its action (definition 1). Fast pace describes a game with a lot of betting and raising, performed by most of the players; slow pace describes a game without much betting and raising.


(n1. Deck (definition 1). “Whack the pack, Jack” means “Please cut the cards.” (vt2. Stack (definition 4); usually followed by a or the deck.

packed house

(n phraseFull house.


(n) Any portion of a deck of cards.

pack of cards

(n phraseDeck (definition 1).


(n) In a cardroom or casino game, the spatula-shaped tool with which the house dealer drops the chips collected from each pot for the rake, or each designated time period as the time collection, into the drop box.







pai gow poker

(n phrase) A banking game based on the Asian tile game pai gow (also known as pai gow tiles). In the tiles version, players arrange groups of four tiles into two hands of two tiles each, which then compete one at a time against the two hands played by the banker. In the card version, each player makes a wager, and then receives seven cards, which he arranges into two hands, one consisting of five cards and one of two, with the stipulation that the five-card hand must rank higher than the two-card hand. These hands, after being set (arranged), are placed in front of the player, and then compete, one at a time, as in a blackjack game, against the banker hand (which can be held by a player — called the player dealer or player banker — or the house). If both player hands beat the dealer hand, the player wins; if both banker hands beat the player hand, the dealer wins; otherwise it is a push. If either hand is exactly the same (copies), that counts as a win for the banker, which gives the banker hand a slight edge. The banker hand settles wagers against player hands in an order determined by the shaking of a number of dice; the first hand to settle is designated with an action button. (This shaking of the dice gives the game its alternative name of shake-shake.) This order is important, because if the banker loses his stake prematurely, not all player hands may get to compete. The house makes its money by always extracting a certain fee from every player bet, prior to the actual playing of the hands (and often takes that fee whether or not the hand is even played). Apart from the rankings of the hands being the same as in poker, pai gow poker is not really poker. Also called double hand or double-hand poker.


(n1. Face card2. Daub. — (v3. In lowball, catch a face card (on the draw). “Paired and painted and nearly fainted” means, drawing two (or more cards), a player paired one of his original cards and also caught a face card, and now he’s complaining about his luck; such a catch in lowball is the ultimate insult (and should teach the player not to draw more than one card).


(v) In lowball, having caught a face card (on the draw). “I painted.”


(n) A thief who uses daub.


(nFace card.


(n1. Two cards of the same rank in the same poker hand (or part of the community cards in hold’em-type games). “I have a pair of kings.” 2. One pair(v3. In various forms of draw poker, to catch a pair, when drawing to some other hand. In high draw, you can draw to a straight or flush and pair, which means you missed the hand. In lowball, you can draw to any hand and pair (which also means you missed). “I was drawing to a bicycle, but I paired.” Also, pair up.


(v, adv1. In lowball, having caught a pair (on the draw). “I paired.” “I’m paired.” 2. In seven-card stud, having received a card that matches another card of the same rank. “He was paired on fourth street.”

paired board

(n phrase) Describing the situation in which a board contains a pair. In a flop game, this would be a flop like J-6-6 (or a board of four or five cards, among which two cards are of the same rank). In seven-card stud, it would describe the board of any player.

pair of shorts

(n phraseShort pair.

pair on the board

(n phrase) The situation in which a board contains a pair.

pair up

(v phrase) In lowball, to draw to a hand and pair one of your original cards.

pair the board

(v phrase) In hold’em, the situation in which a card on the turn or river is of the same rank as a card already on the board.

“Pair the board.”

(expression) A request by a player for the next card to pair the board. This is usually said in a situation in which a player needs — or wishes to project the impression that he needs — the board to pair to win the hand. For example, he might think his opponent already has a straight or flush and he holds a set.


(n) The queen of spades. Possibly named after the Greek goddess Athena, also known as Pallas Athene, the virgin patron of Athens.


(v) Perform the cheating maneuver of removing one or more cards from the table (for the purpose of introducing them later) or chips surreptitiously from a pot (that is, steal the chips) by the expedient of covering and concealing them with the hand. Also see check cophold out.

palmed card

(n phrase) A card that was removed from the table, or introduced into the game later, by a thief, by the expedient of covering and concealing it with his hand.

palm stock

(n phrase) Two or more cards, arranged in a specific order, held out (that is, palmed; see palm) by a thief for later introduction into the game.


(n) Poor player. In general (nonpoker) usage, this term has a wider but similar application, referring to an athlete (often a boxer) of limited capabilities, or, even more generally, any inept person.


(n1. Panguingue2. Three 3s, 5s, or 7s, or, sometimes, J-Q-K of spades. This usage usually comes up in a lowball game, when one player shows another his unplayable hand, says, “Pan,” and then pulls out his three 5s, or other paying panguingue combination. See tops for another poker term to come out of this game.


(n) A game resembling gin rummy played with eight decks of cards, some of the melds of which are worth payments from active players; pronounced pan-GHEE-nee, and usually shortened to pan. The game was formerly played in many California cardrooms and a few Nevada casinos and in home games. It’s dying out in public games.


(n1. Cards. “Nice paper” (used only as a spoken expression, often sarcastic) means “Good hand.” (Even though most cardrooms use plastic decks, players rarely say “Nice plastic.”) Compare with tickets2. Marked cards3. Bad checks. Passing paper means writing bad checks.

paper cards

(n phrase) See cardcardsdeck.

paper deck

(n phrase) See cardcardsdeck.

paper hanger

(n phrase) One who deliberately writes and passes bad checks.


(n) See spotted papers.

paper work

(n phraseMarked cards.

paper worker

(n phrase) A cheat who uses marked cards.


(n; imitative) A hand consisting of two or more deuces, such as, in hold’em, 2-2 as starting cards. (Pair of ducks; see duck.)

partially wild

(adj phraseWild only in certain combinations, as the bug (definition 1).


(n1. The confederate of a thief. 2. A player who shares a bankroll with another.


(n1. Two or more thieves playing together. 2. Two or more players using the same bankroll (honestly).




(n) See throw a party.


(expression; imitative) “I pass.” Commonly heard in California; comes from the Southern California city. The imitation is just a stretching out of the word pass.


(v1. Decline to bet. This is not exactly the same as check (definition 1), because in a blind game or bet-or-fold game, if you pass on the first round of betting, you must throw your cards away. 2. Decline to call a bet, at which point, you must throw your cards away and you have no further interest in the pot. If someone bets, and you say, “I pass,” you are out of the pot. 3. Loosely, check (definition 1). 4. Perform a pull-through. — (n5. Declining to bet. “There were three passes on the river so I made a stab at the pot.”


(n, adj phrase) A form of draw poker in which, before the draw, if the pot has not yet been opened, a player can, in turn, either open the pot, or pass, that is, hold his cards for a possible call (or raise) later if someone opens behind him. Compare with bet-or-fold.


(n, adj phraseBet-or-fold.


(v) See casino stud poker.

passed out

(adj phrase) Pertaining to a passed pot.

passed pot

(n phrase1. In a double-limit pass-and-back-in draw (high) game, a pot that no one opened, and is consequently being redealt. The first passed pot usually has an extra ante by each player. The second passed pot usually has an extra ante and is played at a higher limit. The third and all subsequent passed pots usually stay at the same limit as the second, with no further antes. 2. In any draw game with minimum opening requirements (such as jacks or better), a pot that was not opened either because no one had openers or no one chose to open. (Sometimes pots don’t get opened even when players have openers, because some players like to pass good hands in early position, hoping that someone else will open so that they can raise.)

pass for a prop

(v phrase) In a no-limit lowball game, when a player is faced with a raise, and wants to gamble alone with the raiser, usually involving a proposition like two-for-one, but there are other players to act after the player, in some clubs the player is permitted to pass for a prop, and then, if the other players do not call the bet, can negotiate a proposition with the raiser. If any other player calls the bet, usually the player who so passed is required to drop; furthermore, if the raiser does not wish to accept the proposition, the passer must also drop. For example, in a $4-to-go no-limit ace-to-five lowball game, Harry opens with A-joker-2-K-K. Kate and Bob call. Walt raises $35. Harry does not fold, nor does he call the raise. Instead he says, “Pass for a prop.” Kate and Bob now both fold, and Harry tosses the two kings, saying, “Two-for-one?” Walt throws a card among the discards, and says, “You’re on.” (Walt can, of course, also offer a counter proposition. He may say, “For all of them,” and stick his whole stack in, which means, essentially, “I’ll break this hand, but only if we both put all our chips in the pot.” At this point, either Harry agrees, or dumps his hand.) If Walt does not agree to the proposition, preferring instead to take the (small) pot as is, he declines and, in most clubs, Harry must fold.

passing paper

(n phrase) Guilty of the action described under pass paper.


(adj1. Describing a player who rarely raises or the play of such a player. 2. Describing a game that has little or no raising, and thus smaller pots than an action game.

passive game

(n phrase) See passive (definition 2).

passive player

(n phrase) See passive (definition 1).

pass out

(v phrase) Fold rather than call a bet.


(n; adjBet-or-fold.

pass paper

(n phrase) Deliberately write and pass bad checks (which are called paper).

pass the buck

(v phrasePass the deal. See buck.

pass the deal

(verb phrase) In a game in which the players deal for themselves (as opposed to one dealt by a house dealer), decline to deal when it is one’s turn to deal, passing the deck instead to the next player to the left. In some home games, rather than each player anteing, the dealer antes for all; in such a game, a player is not permitted to pass the deal, nor can he do so in a game with traveling blinds (see traveling blind). In such case, another player would deal for the player who does not wish or is unable to deal.

pass the trash

(n phrase1. Anaconda. This is the most common usage of the term pass the trash2. Less commonly, keep it or shove it.


(n1. Paper cards. 2. By extension, any cards.


(adj1. In draw poker, describing a hand that needs to draw no cards, or one to which a player declines to draw. (A hand can be played pat despite needing to draw cards to improve. That is, a player may play a pat hand bluff with less than a complete hand.) 2. Drawing no cards.” How many cards do you want?” “I’m pat.” — (vt3. Draw no cards; often followed by up. In lowball, a player might say, “You took three cards? That patted me.” (Or, “That patted me up.”)

pat hand

(n phrase1. In draw poker, a hand that needs no cards for completion. In high draw, this is generally a straight or better. In lowball, a pat hand is any hand (presumably one with no pair) to which a player elects to draw no cards. 2. In draw poker or lowball, a hand to which a player draws no cards. This likely is a hand that fits into the categories described in definition 1, but could also be a pat hand bluff.

pat hand bluff

(n phrase) In high draw poker, standing pat (on the draw, take no cards, that is, stand pat) on a hand that is not complete, with the intention of representing a good hand, thereby driving all active players out of the pot with a bet, and winning whatever is in the pot at that point. In lowball, standing pat on any five cards that do not constitute an otherwise playable lowball hand, with the same intention.

patience poker

(n phrasePoker solitaire.


(nPat hand. “I’ve got a patsy.”


(n1. Misleading or distracting conversation by one player, often an experienced player, meant to precipitate a desired action in another player, such as folding or calling. 2. Conversation used by a player to cover up his own reactions to his cards (or his possible tells; see tell).


(n) See betting pattern.




(n) A poker win, often specifically a tournament cash (definition 2). “I had exactly one payday last month.

payday game

(n phrase) A game with higher stakes than usual, often conducted on whichever day of the month the live ones (see live one) get their paychecks.

pay off

(v phrase) See pay [someone] off.

payoff table

(n phrase) The schedule by which a special bet is paid off in house-banked games for certain holdings.


(n phrase1. Payout schedule2. Individual tournament prize. “His fourth-place finish was worth a payout of $100,000.”

payout ladder

(n phrasePayout schedule, often describing making or trying to make it higher. “With the double elimination, Paul rises higher on the payout ladder.”

payout schedule

(n phrase) In a tournament, the schedule of prize payouts, generally starting at first place and continuing through the last payment to a player who makes the money (see make the money). Also, payoutpayout structure.

payout structure

(n phrasePayout schedule.

pay [someone] off

(v phrase) Call a bet or raise on the end knowing you are likely to lose but feel obligated to call because of favorable pot odds or the relatively large amount of money at stake. “I know you’ve got it, but I’ll pay you off.” Similar to keep [someone] honest.

pay the freight

(v phrase1. Win a small pot, enough, generally, to make it through the next round of blinds. 2. Break even on the blinds, that is, have the same amount in your stack after going through the blinds.

pay the overhead

(v phrase) Win enough to overcome the rake.

pay station

(n phraseCalling station.


(nPokerStars Caribbean Adventure.


(n) In lowball, a good hand, that is, one without a pair; used humorously. “I’ve got a pair.” “Yeah? Well, I’ve got a peach!”

peddle the nuts

(v phraseSell an unbeatable hand. Also, sell the nuts.


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


(n) 5 (the card); so called because 5s are important in the game of pedro.

pee away

(v phrase) Throw away one’s chips, generally a bit at a time, rather than all at once. Often followed by chips or the equivalent. “He was up over a thousand but peed it all away over the next few hours.” Also pee backpee offpiss awaypiss off.

pee back

(v phrasePee away, implying chips one has won and consequently gives back. “He peed back his winnings over the next few hours.”


(n1. A look at one or more cards in a hand, often those drawn. See free look2. A surreptitious look at cards drawn to a hand, usually in such a way as to imply that the peeker actually has not seen any of the drawn cards, prior to this person claiming (or implying to claim) that he is now making a blind bet, that is, one based on really not having seen the cards. Also, fast peek. 3. A surreptitious look by a thief at the undealt top or bottom card of the deck. 4. An unintentional or surreptitious look by a player at an opponent’s hidden cards. (v5. Look at drawn cards, often done by squeezing the cards, that is, slowly separating them, as if the viewer wishes to surprise himself with the cards; this is often done agonizingly slowly, frequently when it is the peeker’s turn to act, as if the player deliberately wants to annoy the others, while he pretends to be innocent of any knowledge of what effect his slowness is having. 6. Make the cheating maneuver of looking at the undealt top card of the deck (prior to possibly dealing a second) or the bottom card (prior to dealing a bottom). 7. Unintentionally or surreptitiously look at an opponent’s hidden cards.


(n) A cheater (such as a bottom dealer or seconds dealer) who peeks at the undealt top card of the deck (prior to possibly dealing a second) or the bottom card (prior to dealing a bottom), or who exposes such card to a confederate.

peek poker

(n phraseSeven-card stud.

peek store

(n phrase) A crooked gaming establishment. This term is used more often for a dishonest carnival games midway than a cardroom or casino.


(vSee another card.

“Peel me off a …”

(v phrase) “Please deal a [specified card].” Usually said to the dealer.

peel off

(v phrase) Come off the deck; be dealt. “Another club peeled off.”

peel one off

(v phraseSee another card.

pee off

(v phrasePee away.


(nMexican stud.


(n) Small cards (in rank).


(v) Mark the fronts of cards with a pin, thumbtack, ring, etc., in such a way that the thief making such marks can later tell by feel the ranks of the cards. Such marks are applied to the surface of cards and do not tear the cards, merely add indentations that can be felt from the back, as opposed to nailing (see nail), which puts marks in the edges of cards. Also called punch or blister. This is the opposite of prick, in which the thief marks the backs of cards.

peg work

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




(n) A time-out or other injunction against a tournament player for an infraction of the rules (such as a ban on swearing).

penny ante

(n phrasePenny-ante game. “We’re playing penny ante.”


(adj) Describing a small game, often referring to a small limit game (as opposed to a high-stakes game); usually part of the phrase penny-ante game. The expression has moved from the world of poker to general usage in the English language meaning petty or small-time.

penny-ante game

(n phrase) A small home poker game, in which the stakes often are literally pennies. Sometimes shortened to simply penny ante. Compare with quarter game.

penny poker

(n phrasePenny ante.


(nPenultimate card.

penultimate card

(n phrase) The next-to-last card in the deck, and sometimes the last card that can be dealt on the draw in draw games. For how this is handled, see last card.


(n1. The edge or money odds a player has or thinks he has in making a particular call. Frequently a player who calls a bet to take a longshot draw or extra card announces, “Percentage”; he is often taking much the worst of it. For example, in hold’em the big blind may play any two cards in a raised pot because there are four other players in the pot, and he is getting a better than 9-to-1 return on his investment. 2. The house cut, or rake, sometimes also called drop.

percentage bet

(n phrase) A bet (often a blind bet) made in a situation in which you have the best of it. This kind of bet is often made in lowball, when both players are drawing cards, and the first player is drawing no more cards than the second. The first player now either openly bets blind (see bet blind), or pretends to look at his draw card, but doesn’t actually see it, and in reality bets blind. Since the opponent makes a 9 or better (the worst hand with which many players call) less than 43 percent of the time even with a one-card draw, the first player has the best of it, and his bet is termed a percentage bet.

percentage call

(n phrase) A call made by a player in a situation in which he is not a favorite to win, because he is getting better (usually substantially better) than a 1-to-1 return on his investment. For example, in hold’em a player may call a small bet when holding only a high card when it is very likely that the bettor has at least a pair, but makes the call because that bet represents only a small fraction of the amount of money currently in the pot.

percentage game

(n phrase) A house-banked nonpoker casino game with a fixed edge, such as craps or 21.

percentage play

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

percentage player

(n phrase1. Someone who plays — that is, calls bets or raises, or makes them — only when she thinks she has the best of it on that wager. 2. Shill (definition 1).


(n1. Perfect low. “I have a perfect.” — (adj2. In lowball, pertaining to the lowest hand of the rank of the highest card, that is, containing, in ace-to-five, 4-3-2-A plus one other card 7 or higher. For example, a perfect 7 is 7-4-3-2-A, and a perfect 8 is 8-4-3-2-A. Also see -nothing.

perfect catch

(n phrase) Receiving precisely the card you need to make your hand. In hold’em or a stud game, this means catching the one card that makes your hand as good as possible. In lowball, this means drawing the lowest card that doesn’t pair one of your own, as, for example, catching an ace, in ace-to-five, to 2-3-4-5. In draw high, this means making the best possible straight or flush, or even straight flush, you can make in a one-card draw. Also see catch perfect.

perfect low

(n phrase) In a high-low split game, the lowest possible hand, often A-2-3-4-5; in ace-to-five lowball, the same hand, where it is often called a wheel or bicycle, or, in deuce-to-seven lowball, 7-5-4-3-2.

perfect pack

(n phrase) A good, honest deck, that is, one consisting of either 52 or 53 cards, with no marks, intentional or otherwise.


(n phraseRunner-runner.

perimeter of the pot

(n phrase) An undefined line toward the center of the table surface when determining whether or not a player must be forced to complete a bet. If there is a line, the perimeter of the pot coincides with the line. Also, pot perimeter.

personal ATM

(n) See ATM.


(n) A chat term for preflop.


(n) A chat term for pat hand.


(v; imitative) “I have a full house.” This imitates filled.

Philadelphia bankroll

(n phraseMichigan bankroll.

Phil-em Up

(n phrase) A house-banked game dealt from one deck, to which a joker, good for aces, straights, and flushes, has been added, in which players do not compete 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 receives two cards and three community cards are dealt face down, which will combine with the player’s hole cards to form the player’s five-card hand. After each player sees his two cards, he has the option to double his bet, at which point the dealer reveals the three community cards. Payouts: five aces, 1,000:1; royal flush, 250:1; royal flush with joker, 100:1; straight flush, 50:1; straight flush with joker, 25:1; four of a kind, 20:1; full house, 15:1; flush, 9:1; straight, 7:1; three of a kind, 3:1; two pair, 2:1; pair of 10s or better, 1:1.

Phil Hellmuth

(n phrase) In hold’em, 9♣ 9♠ as starting cards, so named because Phil Hellmuth won the World Series of Poker main event in 1989 with those two hole cards. More generally, any instance of 9-9.


(n) In English slang, a thief or cheat at cards.

piano keys

(n phrase) In hold’em, 8-8 as starting cards. Comes from the number of keys on the instrument.


(n) A diamond or spade pip.

pick a dealer up

(v phrase) Relieve a dealer at the end of the dealer’s down (definition 6). “Pick Kate up. She’s been down for nearly an hour.”

pickle man

(n phrase) In hold’em, 5-7 as starting cards; so called because of the Heinz slogan, “57 varieties.”

pick [someone] off

(v phrase) Catch someone bluffing. “She picked me off twice.” “I couldn’t pick off a single bluff.”

pick [someone] up

(v phrase) Remove a player from a game, usually by the management. If a player leaves a full table for whatever reason (such as to have a meal, try to get more playing capital, go outside for a smoke) and does not return within a specified amount of time (such as, depending on the cardroom, 20 minutes, half an hour, 45 minutes), the floorman might elect to pick him up. “You’ve been gone for nearly an hour, and the other players were complaining, so we had to pick you up. Your chips are in the cage.” A player can also get picked up for cheating. Also see third person walking rule.

pick up

(v phrase) Leave a game.


(n) Retrieving cash by the house from a dealer after a player buys chips. A house dealer usually keeps only chips in the box (definition 3).

pick up a hand

(v phrase1. In someone’s absence, play his cards for him; usually followed by for. “I gotta go to the can; can you pick up a hand for me?” “Can you pick up a few hands while I’m gone?” 2. Be dealt strong starting cards. “I could never pick up a hand when I needed to.”

pick up a pot

(v phrase) Win a hand, particularly when opponents fold rather than have to show the best at the showdown.

pick up on

(v phrase) Catch on to, generally implying noticing someone cheating. “Yeah, I came off the bottom, but I don’t think anyone picked up on it.”

pick up [someone’s] chips

(v phrase) Same as pick [someone] up.

pick up the pot

(v phrase) Make a bet that wins the pot right there, that is, without getting called. “I bet my stack and picked up the pot.”


(nFace card.

picture card

(n phraseFace card.


Any playing cards.


(n) A portion of one’s action given away in exchange for help on the buy-in; often done in tournaments by players who don’t think they have a great chance of winning, or traded by participants to increase their chances of making money. “If Doyle, Kathy, or Phil finishes in the money, I’ll make out okay; I’ve got a piece of each of them.” The term point is similar.

piece of cheese

(n phrase) A terrible hand, usually said disparagingly by the actual or apparent winner of a pot about the hand that might call him, or just has. “Throw that piece of cheese in the muck” is sometimes said by someone who has made a bet, usually large, to the person contemplating calling that bet, implying that the caller cannot win with his (supposedly) inferior hand. Sometimes shortened to cheese.

piece of [someone’s] action

(n phrase) See pieceaction (definition 4).

piece of the flop

(n phrase) See catch a piece of the flop.


(n1. Live one2. Fish, particularly in France. 3. A card that makes a hand, often received as the last card in a stud game.

pig in the poke

(v phraseWild widow.

pig’s eye

(v phrase) The ace of diamonds, so called because the single diamond pip resembles the rhomboid iris of a pig’s eye.


(n) A player’s stack of chips, or money.


(n) A form of hold’em in which each player starts with three downcards, followed by a round of betting, after which each player discards one of the downcards, and then the first three community cards are flopped, at which point the game proceeds as in ordinary hold’em. Compare with crazy pineapple.


(adj, adv) Part of the phrase all pink.

pink eye

(n phrase) Infrared (pink- or red-tinted) contact lenses worn by a thief to see the markings on luminous readers, cards marked with special luminous ink that can be seen only in infrared light. Sometimes called readers.


(n) In hold’em, J♦ Q♠ as starting cards. Comes from the game of pinochle, from which also came marriage.

pin work

(n phrase) Cards marked (by a cheater) with scratches on their backs, such that their ranks can be determined by feel. See prick.


(n) One of the suit symbols (spade ♠, heart ♥, diamond ♦, club ♣) on the face of a card. Each face card in the English deck has four pips: one at each end, outside the border, under the K, Q, or J representing the card’s rank and one more at each end, within the border, next to each head. Each ace has three pips, one in the center and one under the A at each end. Each card, 2-10, has two more pips than the number that represents its rank, the rank total in the central area, plus one more pip under the number at each end. (Some say that the smaller symbol beneath the number or letter designating the rank of the card is not apip, but is part of the index, which is that number or letter plus the smaller suit symbol beneath it. In that reckoning, each face card has two pips, each ace has one, and each card, 2-10, has as many pips as the number that represents its rank.) Also called spot.

pipe salesman

(n phrase) An honest player in a public cardroom game, usually someone knowledgeable, whose presence deters thieves from plying their pernicious trades.


(n) A cheating method in which a player on the rail (that is, in proximity to a game) signals a thief in the game the holdings of a player whose cards the one doing the piping can see. See sign off.

piss away

(v phrasePee away.

piss off

(v phrasePee away.

“Piss or get off the pot!”

(expression) “Come on, it’s your turn to act. Do something!”

pistol Pete

(n phraseHole card stud.

pistol stud

(n phraseHole card stud.


(n) The part of a casino where games of chance are played that are not poker, like blackjack or craps; usually preceded by the. “You can deal past Matt; he’s out in the pit.” Often further qualified by the type of game played, as the blackjack pit or the craps pit. (The term poker pit is sometimes heard for the poker room of a casino.)


(n1. Twist(v2. To make such a substitution. 3. Deal cards, sometimes with the implication of doing so in a cheating manner.


(n) A professional card dealer.


(n; abbr) Package, in online cardroom announcements, usually referring to a satellite prize. For example, if a satellite awarded a buy-in to a $10,000 tournament, plus airfare and expense, the package might be worth $15,000. The announcement might appear in the chat box, where space is limited, as Pkg Gtd.Gtd here would mean guaranteed.


(n) Shorthand, particularly in e-mail and Internet postings, for pot-limit. You might see a posting on rec.gambling.poker that starts, “I was playing p/l h/e at the Pasatiempo last night, and this hand came up …” Also a chat term. Also, plPL.




(n) Position among the winners in a tournament. “The top four places will all win over a million dollars.” “Third place paid $250,000.”

place tickets

(n phrase1. The second-best hand in a showdown. Comes from the horse racing term place, plus tickets, a slangy name for the cards that make up a hand. Compare with show tickets2. A form of draw poker, found only in home games, in which the second-best hand wins.


(adj) Describing cards with numbers, that is, all but the face cards (see face card).

plastic cards

(n phrase) See cardcardsdeck.

plastic deck

(n phrase) See cardcardsdeck.


(n) A device for marking cards by trimming their edges. (This produces strippers of various sorts.)


(n1. A bluff. “He got caught making a play. 2. Playing a hand in a nonstandard manner, not necessarily a bluff. 3. An attempt, often spectacular or by a large or desperation bet, to win a pot. “When everyone passed, he made a play for the pot.” 4. A playing session. 5. Description of action (definition 1). “The game had plenty of play.” 6. Description of the ability to maneuver in a tournament or a blind structure that allows skill to have greater sway than luck. “The main event has plenty of play. Players start with $10,000 in chips, the blinds in the first round are $25-$25, and the rounds are 90 minutes.” — (v7.Participate in a poker game. “Deal me in; I’ll play.” 8. Participate in a pot. “How much does it cost? I’ll play.”


(adj) Describing a hand that has enough merit to warrant betting or calling. “I didn’t get anything playable at the final table.”

play a rush

(v phrasePlay the rush.

play back

(v phraseReraise the player who made a raise (done by the original bettor); often followed by at. “He raised me and I played back at him.”

play backwards

(v phrase) Be a backward player.

play behind

(v phrase1. The situation in which a player has called for chips, say from a chip person, and has not yet received those chips, but can have action on that amount of money in case he gets involved in a pot. A player might say before receiving his cards, “Dealer, I’m playing $100 behind.” 2. Agree to call any bet, as if the player had an unlimited stack. If the bet is more than his chips, he buys more as needed. This is not normally permitted in a table stakes game, but is sometimes found in private games. For this definition the term untappable is sometimes heard.

play bet

(n phrase) See play four poker.

play behind a log

(v phrase) See behind a log.

play blind

(v phrase) Bet or raise without looking at one’s cards.

play by the book

(adv phrase) See book (definition 1).

play catchup

(v phraseChase (definition 2).

played with

(adv phrase) See get played with.


(n1. Any participant in a poker game. “There are eight players at each table.” 2. Any participant in a particular pot. “Even after the raise, there were still five players in the pot.” 3. Someone who knows what’s going on in the cardroom milieu, and usually implying someone making his living playing cards. “Who’s that guy putting all the chips in the pot? Some live one?” “Nah, he’s a player.” Also, for this definition, rounder4. Someone who is not a nit or a rock. “Maybe we’ll get a player when he leaves.”


(adj) Pertaining to a game financed by the participants, like poker and some variants of pai gow poker and baccarat. If played in a cardroom or casino, the only interest the house has in the game is collecting the rake or time (definition 1). Compare with house-banked. Also see California gamesnonpoker games.

player banker

(n phrase) The player who puts up the bank for one of the California gamesbanker (definition 2). Also, player-bankerplayer dealer.


(n) Alternative spelling of player banker.

player dealer

(n phrase1. Player banker2. A player who distributes the cards in a deal-yourself game, as opposed to a house dealer.

player of the series

(n phrase) Similar to player of the year, the player who, at the end of a series, has accumulated the most points. At the end of the series, cash or merchandise is awarded to the winner, sometimes proportionate prizes to top finishers, and sometimes with a special playoff event determining those prizes.

player of the year

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

player of the year list

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

player of the year points

(n phrase) Points awarded to players by a ranking organization, such as a poker magazine or a poker portal. 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.

player’s bank

(n phrase) A fund on deposit by a player with the management of a cardroom, from which he can withdraw cash to play on, or to which he can add his winnings, and which he can, of course, clear out at any time. This is a convenient means for a player to get around the difficulty of carrying large amounts of cash on his person. The player’s bank is usually kept track of on a ledger card with transactions initialled by the player or a house official or both or sometimes with official receipts. The cashier (definition 2) is usually responsible for keeping the records straight. Sometimes shortened to simply bank. See sheet.

play fast

(v phrase1. Play recklessly; gamble excessively; speed (definition 1); make large bets. 2. Play aggressively, betting and raising as often as possible, and, in a no-limit game, as much as permitted. Opposite of play slowly3. Play a particular hand aggressively, usually in the hope of making it unprofitable for opponents to call or to extract maximum value from the hand. “I didn’t want a lot of callers, so I played bottom set fast.”

play for

(v phrase1. Play another player’s money or chips or be staked (see stake, definition 6). “Paul’s playing for me.” 2. See plays for.

play four poker

(n phrase) A house-banked game dealt from one deck, similar to three-card poker (definition 2). Each player and the dealer receives five cards from which to make four-card poker hands (with four-card straights and four-card flushes as ranking hands, and hands ranked thus: royal flush, four of a kind, straight flush, three of a kind, flush, straight, two pair, pair); only the best four cards in each hand are used to determine winners. Two bets can be made, and they are played and paid separately. An optional jacks or better bet pays even money on two jacks or better, 2:1 on two pair, 3:1 on three of a kind, 4:1 on either a four-card straight or flush, 25:1 on a straight flush, 75:1 on four of a kind and 200:1 on a four-card royal flush (ace through jack of the same suit). Anything less loses the bet. For the original bet (the ante), a player is paid, if he stays, on certain holdings according to a pay table: 3:1 for a straight flush, 8:1 for four of a kind, and 20:1 for a royal flush. After seeing his hand, a player can either fold or stay in the game by making a second bet equal to the ante (the play bet), and then his hand competes against the dealer’s. If the player does not make the play bet, he loses the original bet. If the dealer does not have a qualifying hand of king-queen or better, the player is paid even money on the ante and nothing on play. If the dealer does qualify, then hands are compared. If the dealer wins, the player loses both ante and play. If the player wins, the ante and play are both paid at even money. Regardless of whether the dealer qualifies or whether the player beats the dealer, the bonuses listed earlier are paid for a straight flush or better. Also see crazy four poker.

playing behind a log

(v phrase) See behind a log.

playing card

(n phrase) Any one card in a deck (definition 1).

playing cards

(n phrase) Cards, that is, a deck of cards (deck, definition 1), collectively, or any subset thereof.

playing for [someone]

(v phrase) See play for (definition 1).

playing results

(v phrase) See play results.

playing S & M

(v phrase) See S & M.

playing with a full deck

(v phrase) See full deck.

play like Shirley

(v phrase) See Shirley.

play money

(n phrase) In an online cardroomvirtual money, as opposed to real money (definition 2). Play money has no value. Play money games are games in which players can practice their online skills before moving to real money games.

play money game

(n phrase) See play money.

play money site

(n phrase) An online cardroom with games played for play money, as opposed to a real money site. Also see .net.


(n) In some tournaments, the final portion, in which the winners of previous levels compete. For example, a tournament may be held weekly for a number of months. At the end of that time, the winners of each weekly tournament compete in the playoff. In a shootout tournament, a number of single-table contests are played, with one winner in each. After these end, the winners compete in the playoff.



play off the blind

(v phrase1. In a winner blind game, a player wanting to leave just after winning a pot usually gets dealt one more hand so that he can exercise the option to have last action on the hand. That is, the winner of the previous pot is supposed to be dealt a hand. To play this one more hand is to play off the blind2.Similarly, in a traveling blind game, a player wanting to leave the table (for a break, for example) might wait until she has taken both (or all three, in a three-blind traveling blind game) blinds before leaving. To do this is also to play off the blind.

play off the blinds

(v phrasePlay off the blind.

play over

(v phrase) Play in a player’s seat while that player is absent from the table for an extended period of time. A player playing over someone plays his own chips (and that he’s playing over is indicated by a playover box), as opposed to one picking up a hand (see pick up a hand) for someone. When someone plays over someone else, he must get up when the owner of the seat returns. He also moves immediately into the next available open seat at that table if one opens up while he’s still playing over.

playover box

(n phrase) A plastic box set over the chips of a player on break while another player plays over (see play over) the absent player. The purpose of a playover box is to make sure the chips of the two players don’t accidentally get mixed together.

play pat

(v phrase) In a draw game, decline to draw cards when it is time to draw, that is, indicate a pat hand.

play results

(v phrase) Make a comment about the efficacy of a particular play based on its outcome. This is a fallacy, because a play is either good or bad, or has positive or negative expectation, and whether the play succeeded does not necessarily mean the play was good or bad. For example, if someone raised in a no-limit hold’em game so much before the flop that he drove out a competitor that would have flopped a set, thereby saving himself money on that one play, the play may have been wrong (that is, in the long run had less expected value) if in the long run he would have made more by keeping the player in with a smaller raise. “I raised so much with my pocket aces that only the big blind played with his pocket kings. The button folded pocket nines. A nine came on the flop and he would have beat me.” That’s playing results.

play S & M

(v phrase) See S & M.

plays for

(v phrase) Describing money or chips that must be put by a player into a pot (as a blind) or given to the house for collection purposes (as a button charge) and are considered part of a player’s bet. For example, a live button charge plays for the button.

play slowly

(v phrase) Bet small; slow-play; not show aggression. Opposite of play fast.

play some poker

(v phrase) 1. Participate in a pokergame or tournament. A man in a Las Vegas hotel room might say to his wife, “I’m going downstairs to play some poker.” 2. Get serious about or devote one’s full attention to playing. “I had three-fourths of the chips when he went all in. I had pocked deuces and I knew there was a good chance he just had overcards, so I was willing to gamble on a coin flip. If I lost, well, I knew we’d have close to even stacks and I’d have to play some poker. The term is similar to what sports announcers are fond of saying, for example, “These boys came out so play some football today.”

play the board

(v phrase) In hold’em, use all of the board (community) cards to determine one’s best hand. When this happens, if no active player can use one or both of his dealt cards to form a better hand than that of the five board cards, the pot is split among all active players. Also see beat the boardcan’t beat the board.

play the nuts

(v phrase) Play only hands that are almost guaranteed to win.

play the percentages

(v phrase) Make plays and decisions that, mathematically, are the most likely to show a long-term profit; be a percentage player.

play the player

(v phrase) Make strategic decisions based on the strengths or weaknesses of an opponent as opposed to the actual cards or the situation. This could involve, for example, folding a marginal hand against a nuts player or raising with the same hand against a weak player.

play the rush

(v phrase) Play more hands during a winning streak in the belief that winning engenders winning.

“Play the rush.”

(v phrase) “I’ll play this hand because I won the last hand.” Often said by a player as he calls a bet with what will be revealed later to be inferior cards (a fact of which the other players are usually aware at the time of the call).

play through the blind

(v phrasePlay off the blind (definition 2).

play through the blinds

(v phrasePlay off the blind (definition 2).

play tight

(v phrase) See tight.

play twice

(v phraseDeal twice.

play up

(v phrase) Play in liberal fashion. The opposite is to play tight.

play with [someone]

(v phrase) Call someone’s bets or raises, thereby remaining active in a pot. When calling a bet, someone might say, “I’ll play with you.” Also, give [someone] action.


(n) Shorthand, particularly in e-mail and Internet postings, for pot-limit hold’em. Also a chat term.


(n) Shorthand, particularly in e-mail and Internet postings, for pot-limit hold’em. Also a chat term.


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


(n) Shorthand, particularly in e-mail and Internet postings, for pot-limit Omaha high-low 8-or-better. Also a chat term.


(n1. A chip, a stack of chips, or a token of some sort (sometimes labeled “hold”) set down by the house at any empty position to indicate that no one may sit there. The house may place a plug because a player has asked to hold his seat while he goes to get more cash, or because it wants to keep the seating arrangements balanced (see balanced games). For example, two nine-seat hold’em tables have eight players each. The house may place a plug at the empty position at each table so no one can move to the other game and leave one table with only seven seats while the other is full. The floorman who puts a chip plug at an empty spot may not tell the players at the table that those chips do not represent a real player, leading some to erroneously think that the seat has been sold and someone will soon come to play those chips. (v2. To place a plug; often followed by the seat designation. A floorman may say to the house dealer, “Plug the No. 2 seat, dealer.”

plunge around

(v phraseSplash around.


(n) See entry fee.






(n) An early German card game having some of the features of poker. (Pochen means to boast of, which could be construed as to bluff.) Also, pochpoche.


(n) The BARGE and RGP spelling of poker.


(n1. The first two cards in hold’em, that is a player’s private cards (as opposed to the community cards or flop). “I had a king in the pocket.” 2. The downcard or downcards in a stud game. 3. Figurative representative of one’s bankroll, in, for example, go to one’s pocket. — (adj4. Pertaining to the first two cards in hold’em or seven-card stud, usually a pair, as, for example, a pocket pair or pocket rockets.

pocket cam

(n phrasePocket camera.

pocket camera

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

pocket cards

(n phrase) Hole cards (see hole card).

pocket pair

(n phrase) A pair as starting cards in hold’em (and sometimes seven-card stud).

pocket rockets

(n phrase) A pair of aces as starting cards in hold’em.


(n1. A percentage of one’s action given away in exchange for help on the buy-in; often done in tournaments by players who don’t think they have a great chance of winning, or traded by participants to increase their chances of making money. Similar to piece2. The face value of a card, using blackjack values (as described under points, definition 2). You might hear a lowball player complain about having 50 points. This would be a combination of face cards and 10s that add up to 50.


(n1. A multiple of a 1 percent point investment. You might hear one player say to another before a tournament, “Shall we trade 10 points?” That means each has a 10 percent investment in the outcome of the other. 2. A side bet, made in a draw game, between two or more players, in which the player holding more than 40 points receives a prearranged payment (say one chip) for each point he holds over 40. Aces count 11 (sometimes only 1), face cards 10, and the others have face value. Such an arrangement would likely be made in a lowball game, so that players might feel that they can win something on otherwise unplayable hands. Often played in conjunction with colors.


(n1. A bankroll. 2. The place where one keeps that bankroll, as a wallet or purse.


(n) A commercial board game that combines some of the elements of poker with those of other games.


(n1. A card game based on the language of deception, a language expressed in words represented by bets; a card game among two or (usually) more players, in which each player makes one or more wagers that his five-card (sometimes fewer) hand ranks higher (or lower in low poker) than those of all the others, or that he can convince the others to retire from contention because they believe his hand ranks the highest. Poker is usually played for stakes of some value, usually monetary, and hence involves a real risk element. 2. High draw poker. “What games do you have open?” “I have a seat in a 3-blind lowball, and 15-30 poker.” 3. In some non-English-speaking cardrooms and casinos, the name for the poker hand four of a kind4. Sometimes an all-inclusive term for various house-banked games (nonpoker games) that are based on poker hand rankings, but are not otherwise “real” poker, including games such asCaribbean Stud and three-card poker (definition 2). — (vi5. Play poker. — (vt6. Beat (someone) at poker. These last two usages are rare.

poker bot

(n phrase) An artificial intelligence computer program that plays poker at an online cardroom, appearing to those who run the poker site and other players to be just another human player. Presumably such a program wins money for the person who sets it in motion on his personal computer. All poker sites ban the use of bots and actively seek to discover players using them, banning or freezing the accounts of those they find. Often shortened to bot.

poker chip

(n phraseChip (definition 1).

poker clack

(n phrase) An apparently sad, nonverbal sound (a sort of tsk-like click) made by a player who in reality has a good hand. The term was invented by Mike Caro, and described in his books, columns, and videos about tells. (See tell.)

poker clergy

(n phrase) Poker players. This old term is rarely used anymore. Also, poker school.

poker clock

(n phrase) A countdown timer, used in tournaments, to let players know how much time remains in the tournament, or how much until the next break. Often comes in the form of computer software, in which case it often also keeps track of blinds, antes, limits, time to the next limit change, remaining players, prizes, etc. Also, countdown clockpoker timer.

poker club

(n phrase1. An establishment, usually open to the public, in which players gather to play poker. This definition is somewhat more restricted than a cardroom, in which any form of cards may be played (bridge, gin rummy, California games, for example). 2. A group of players who meet regularly to play poker, usually in the home of one player or alternating among the homes of various players, or at a private club. Also, poker game.

poker dice

(n phrase1. Dice that have card symbols, usually ranking from 9 through ace, one of each, on each die, three, four, or five of which are shaken in a cup and then thrown out. When several players compete, the player throwing the best poker hand combination wins. Sometimes players are allowed to “draw” to a hand, by leaving some of the dice on the table or counter top and shaking and tossing the remainder. 2. A set of five ordinary dice, thrown similarly for poker hands. Flushes are not possible, but pairs, aces through 6s, two pair, and so on, and two straights (1-2-3-4-5 and 2-3-4-5-6) are possible. 3. The game played with either of the two preceding dice sets. Also see liar’s poker.

Poker Digest

(n phrase) A magazine, now defunct, devoted to poker playing.

poker etiquette

(n phrase) Established and accepted rules of behavior in a poker game. Also, table etiquette.

poker face

(n phrase1. A poker player’s supposed lack of facial expression, such that others cannot tell when she is bluffing. In reality, few poker players remain expressionless doing play. The term has moved from the world of poker to general usage in the English language to describe someone who shows no emotions or reveals nothing by expression or body language. 2. A poker player who maintains such an expression. This second usage is rare.


(adj) Having a poker face.

poker flat

(n phrase) A poker room.

poker floor

(n phrasePoker section.

poker forum

(n phrase) An online discussion group devoted to poker.

poker game

(n phrase1. Any of the forms of poker, such as hold’em, Omaha, draw, etc. 2. An instance of the playing of poker, that is, a table of players participating in an ongoing series of hands of poker. 3. Poker club (definition 2). “I play in a poker game every Thursday night.”

poker god

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

Poker Hall of Fame

(n phrase) A list of poker greats, maintained and added to most years by the managers of the World Series of Poker. All but two, Edmond Hoyle and “Wild Bill” Hickok, are 20th century players, including the likes of Johnny Moss, Doyle Brunson, and Mike Sexton. To be nominated, a player must meet certain criteria, including having played poker against acknowledged top competition, played for high stakes, played consistently well, gained the respect of peers, and stood the test of time.

poker hand

(n phrase1. The five cards (usually) that constitute what a poker player uses in his contention for a pot. Some of the possible five-card combinations from the poker deck have higher (or lower, in low games) ranking than others, and this is how the winner of a particular contest is determined. 2. Any instance from the rank of hands. For example, a full house is a poker hand. 3. Hand (definition 1 or 2).


(n) Poker played for very low stakes, often found in retirement homes, convalescent hospitals, and the like. Compare with penny ante.


(n) A poker player. This usage is rare.

poker joint

(n phrasePoker room.

poker-like games

(n phrase) See California games and nonpoker games.

poker machine

(n phraseVideo poker machine.

poker patience

(n phrasePoker solitaire.

poker pit

(n phrase) The poker section of a casino.

poker player

(n phrase1. Someone who plays poker. 2. Sometimes, more specifically, someone who plays poker well. You might hear a commentator at a televised poker contest say, “Antonio bet with nothing, and Mike raised him with bottom pair. Let’s see if Antonio is a poker player and raises back.”

Poker Player

(n phrase) A magazine devoted to poker playing.

Poker Players Alliance

(n phrase) An American political lobbying group that is trying to have restrictive laws against poker, particularly the online variety, made fairer. Often rendered as the initialism PPA.

poker-playing capital of America

(n phraseGardena, once.

Poker Plus

(n) The Polish equivalent of casino war, a house-banked game like the children’s card game war.

poker portal

(n) An online site that contains information about and applications that simulate the play of poker, often with blogs, columns, an extensive hierarchy of linked pages, and other writing; often associated with a poker magazine or a cardroom, whether online or brick and mortar.

poker pro

(n phrasePoker professional.

poker professional

(n phrase) One who plays poker for a living.

Poker Pundit, the

(n phrase) Epithet for the late tournament and general poker writer Andy Glazer.

poker room

(n phrase1. A place where poker players play; cardroom2. Sometimes, specifically, an online cardroom.

poker rules

(n phraseHouse rules.

poker run

(n phrase) A race with points along the route at which racers receive one or more playing cards, which are then collected to make the best poker hand at the end. A poker run can involve actual running, or more often, motorcycles or other vehicles. Card distribution and eventual scoring vary, and skill may or may not play a part. Such skill most often involves arriving first at each card distribution stop.

poker school

(n phrase) People assembled to play poker. Sometimes called simply school. This old term is rarely used anymore. Also, poker clergy.

poker section

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

poker session

(n phrase) See session.

poker sharp

(n phrase) An expert poker player, often implying one who wins by cheating, usually by manipulating the cards; a mechanic. Also known as a cardsharpsharp, or sharper.

poker side

(n phrase) Poker section.

póker sin descartes

(n phrase) Spanish name for Caribbean Stud.

póker sintetico

(n phrase) A Spanish variant of hold’em, in which each player starts with two downcards, followed by a round of betting, and five cards are dealt to the center of the table, one at a time, each followed by a round of betting. At the end, both hole cards must be used in combination with three of the community cards to form the best five-card hand.

poker site

(nOnline cardroom.

poker solitaire

(n phrase) A form of solitaire in which the player tries to arrange 25 cards in a 5-by-5 grid such that all (or most of) the horizontals and verticals (and sometimes the diagonals) form the highest possible poker hands. Also called patience pokerpoker patience.

PokerStars Caribbean Adventure

(n phrase) A series of tournaments that take place in Nassau, as a stop on the European Poker Tour. Often rendered PCA.

poker’s Triple Crown

(n phrase) See Triple Crown.

poker table

(n phrase1. A table used in cardrooms especially for the play of poker. Most poker tables have a felt cover. Poker tables for draw or stud games generally accommodate eight players, with an extra place for the house dealer, if there is one. Poker tables for hold’em games can accommodate as many as 12 or 13 players, although nine or 10 is more common. 2. Any table on which to play poker. In home games, this can be the kitchen table, or a fancy table with seven or eight places having recessed chip racks and drink holders at each position. 3. A table in a casino devoted to poker (as opposed to, say, a blackjack table).4. Poker game (definition 2).

poker timer

(n phrasePoker clock.

poker variants

(n phrase) Poker games found rarely in public cardrooms, games such as AnacondaBlack Mariano peeky, and the like. Also called nonstandard games.

poker with the joker

(n phrase1. Any poker game in which a joker is used. Also called joker poker2. High draw poker played with a 53-card deck (that is, one containing a joker).

poker writer

(n phrase) Someone who writes about poker, as for a poker magazine, the author of books, or at a poker portal.


(n) An early alternative spelling of poque, or possibly a variant or separate version in its own right of the game. (As other speculations on the origins of poker, this term’s etymology is lost in the mistiness of imprecise historicity or lack of note-taking.)


(n) The player sitting to the dealer’s immediate right. This is an old term now rarely used.

pony up

(v phraseAnte up.

“Pony up.”

(v phrase“Ante up.”


(n) In English poker games, the pot.

poor percentage play

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


(vRaise (definition 1).


(n) In hold’em, 9-9 as starting cards, so named because they resemble the appearance of the cartoon character’s arm muscles.

pop it

(v phraseRaise (definition 1).

“Pop it!”

(expression) “I raise!”

pop it up

(v phraseRaise (definition 1).


(n) An early French card game, with five-card hands dealt from a deck of 20 or 25 to four or five players, with no drawing, in which only pairs, three of a kind, full houses, and four of a kind ranked, with one round of betting that could involve bluffing, and from which some say the word poker came. The French pronunciation of the word is like poker without the r sound. The name might sometimes have been spelled pokuh, or that spelling may have been what a similar but distinct game was called.


(n) Spanish word for Caribbean Stud.


(n1. Where a player sits in relation to the others at the table. 2. Where a player sits in relation to the dealer (button), or, sometimes, in relation to the blinds. Position 1 is generally the position to the left of the current dealer, although, in a two-blind traveling blind game or three-blind traveling blind gameposition 1 could be the position to the left of the big blind, that is, position 1 is three positions to the left of the dealer. Mike Caro reckons position as the number of players remaining to act. Thus, in an eight-player game, the position to the left of the dealer is position 7, while the dealer position is position 0. The compiler of this dictionary has extended this in his writings to blind games, wherein the position immediately to the left of the big blind (in an eight-handed game) is position 7, the dealer is position 2, the small blind or middle blind is position 1, and the big blind is position 0 (because no players act after him). Also see early positionlate position3. Where a player sits in relation to a particular player. Sitting to someone’s left is generally termed good position, and to his right bad position4. Good position with respect to the other players at the table. “You can open with a worse hand when you’ve got position.” 5. Sitting in good position with respect to a particular player, usually sitting one or two seats to the player’s left; often followed by on. “I had position on the live one all night, but I never held any hands.”

positional awareness

(n phrase) Being aware of the importance of position play, one of the weapons in a poker player’s arsenal.

positional bet

(n phrasePosition bet.

positional bluff

(n phrasePosition bluff.

positional edge

(n phrase) Edge gained from favorable position (definition 4); dealer advantage. Also, position edge.

positional play

(n phrasePosition play.

position bet

(n phrase) A bet made more on the strength of one’s position than one’s hand. For example, a player opening for a raise on the button (possibly with relatively weak cards) is said to be making a position bet. Also, positional bet.

position bluff

(n phrase) A position bet made purely as a bluff. Also, positional bluff.

position edge

(n phrasePositional edge.

position on

(adv phrase) See position (definition 5).

position play

(n phrase1. In general, taking advantage of one’s position, that is, playing more or less liberally with one’s opening requirements and more or less aggressively in the play of one’s hands, dependent on one’s position with respect to the other players, or one vulnerable player in particular. 2. Specifically, a play made based on one’s position. Raising on the button is a position play. Also, for both meanings, positional playseat shot.

position player

(n phrase) Someone who plays position, that is, who is more or less liberal with his opening requirements and more or less aggressive in the play of his hands, dependent on his position with respect to the other players, or one vulnerable player in particular.

positive expectation

(n phrase) The situation in which a particular bet, in the long run, has an overall average profit. A wager can lose more times than it wins and still have a positive expectation; this is because in the long run the amount of money won on the times it wins is greater than the amount lost on the times it loses. Also calledpositive return. See discussion at expectation.

positive return

(nPositive expectation.


(n1. In high poker, a hand that needs one card to be completed, as four cards to a flush or straight. For example, in seven-card stud, after the last card is dealt, you have on your board three spades in sequence, possibly even four. Together with your three downcards, there exists a great possibility that you have a straight or better. A player may have board cards that rank higher than yours, such as a pair, but that player is afraid of your possibilities. When it is his turn to initiate the betting, he might say, “Check to the possible.” (adj2. In stud games, the description, often by the dealer of the hand, of a hand that could, based on its exposed cards, be part of a complete hand, such as a flush or straight. For example, in a five-card stud game, one player has four spades showing; another has K-Q-10-9, so that a jack in the hole would give him a straight. As the dealer distributes the last round of cards, he might say, “Possible flush, possible straight, pair of aces. Pair of aces is high.”

possible outs

(nOuts that improve a drawing hand but might not necessarily win because they might make a better hand for an opponent. For example, a player holds A♠ J♠ and the board is 5♦ K♠ 6♠ 10♦. Ten cards are guaranteed outs (also clean outs). The Q♠, 9♠, 8♠, 7♠, 6♠, 4♠, 3♠, and 2♠ make the nut flush. The Q♥ and Q♣ make the nut straight. The 5♠ and 10♠ are possible outs, because, while they make the player an ace-high flush, those cards could also make a full house for an opponent. Similarly, the Q♦ makes the player an ace-high straight, but it would also make a flush for an opponent who holds two diamonds. In addition, any ace or jack is a possible out against an opponent who figures to have either a small pair in the hole or has only a 5, 6, or 10; an ace would also be good against an opponent who has only a king. Also, potential outs.


(v1. In a game with blinds, to get dealt in immediately when you first sit down and you are not in the big blind position, put in a blind the same size as the big blind. This way you can be dealt in without waiting for the blind. (See wait for the blind.) (Some cardrooms allow a player who just came into a game to be dealt in without posting.) 2. Put up a missed blind. If you miss playing one or more blinds in a particular round, probably because you were away from the table, the house dealer may ask if you want to post, that is, put in as many chips as are in the blind or blinds you missed. For example, in a $2-$4 limit hold’em game (where the blinds are $1 and $2), if you miss the blinds and do not wait for the big blind to get to you to get back into play, you would put $3 into the pot, of which $2 would be considered part of your bet when it is your turn to act on the first round, and $1 would belong to the pot — to be won by the eventual winner of the pot. (The amount equal to the size of the small blind is called dead money. If you miss only the small blind, the chips placed in the pot are also dead money.) When the action gets to you, you have already called one bet, and, if the pot has not been raised, you do not have to put any more chips in the pot. (You can, of course, raise in turn.) This is not the same as an overblind or kill, in which the action temporarily skips the player who has put the blind chips in the pot, and which causes the limit to increase. 3. Put in one of the blinds, often as part of the expression post a/the blind. — (n4. The chips representing such a bet. “You can’t deal Emilie out; she’s got a post in.”


(adv) After the flop, usually specifically right at the point at which there are exactly three cards on the board. “everybody checked postflop.”

post mortem

(n phrase1. An exhaustive discussion after a hand is over about the play of the hand, with so-called experts giving their opinions (with the loser usually providing the most strident) on how the hand should have been played. — (v phrase2. Engage in or conduct such a discussion; usually followed by a or the hand.

post now

(n phrase) In online poker, an option to post immediately upon sitting down in or returning to a game, as opposed to waiting for the blind (see wait for the blind).

post oak bluff

(n phrase) In a no-limit game, a minimal bet made into a large pot by the holder of a marginal hand in the hopes that the bet won’t be raised and the bettor will either win the pot because no better hand is out, or that he will get to see the best hand “for free” because the holder of a slightly better hand is afraid to raise. Also, protection bet.

post the blind

(v phrase) See post.

post the blinds

(v phrasePost both small and large blinds.


(n1. The chips in play on a particular hand. “They both had full houses and the pot was over $1,000.” 2. The portion of the table in which the chips in play on a particular hand go. “Is that money in the pot?” might be what the house dealer asks a player who is toying with a stack of chips very near to the perimeter of the pot3. The interval of time from the deal of cards until the showdown. (Also see hand, definition 2.) — (v4. Make an arrangement to pay for drinks, sandwiches, etc., out of the next pot over a certain amount (usually twice the cost of whatever they’re potting for); often followed by for. An example is adrink pot. “Let’s order a round. Who wants to pot?” “Who wants to pot for sandwiches?” Sometimes pot out or pot out for.

“Pot A!”

(expression) A player who announces this has just won his first pot of the session.


(adj) Being in a situation in which a player is very likely to see the pot through to the end, no matter the cost, generally because the amount of chips he has left is relatively small compared to how much he has already committed to a pot or compared to the current size of the pot. For example, in no-limit hold’em, particularly in a tournament, the phrase often is heard to describe someone who has already called or bet half or more of his stack.

pot control

(n phrase) In a big bet game, betting in such a way as to limit the size of the pot. This is done to protect a vulnerable hand, keep from losing too much on a marginal hand, or win the maximum on a good hand. Also see bet sizing.


(v) Practice pot control.

pot equity

(n phrase) Your expected value in a pot.


(n) A 9 (the card). A pothook is an S-shaped hook for hanging pots and kettles over an open fire; if you twist the top, a 9 sort of resembles that.


(n) In hold’em, 9-9 as starting cards.

“Pot is right.”

(expression“The pot is right.”

pot limit

(n phrase) A game whose betting limit is always equal to the current size of the pot. A raise can include the size of the pot after the call is accounted for. For example, each player in an eight-player game antes $1. The maximum the first player can open for is $8. If he does, a player can raise that bet by $24 ($8 in antes plus the $8 bet plus the $8 it takes to call that bet). At this point it takes $32 to call (the original $8 bet and the $24 raise), which brings the pot to $80. That bet could now be raised by a maximum of $80, and so on, till everyone is all in. (In a game with two blinds in multiples of 1 and 2 — as blinds of $1 and $2 or $25 and $50 — the maximum opening bet, or bring-in, that can be made from any position except the small blind is 7 times the size of the small blind.) (In some games, the bet or raise can be rounded up, so if the bring-in in a game with blinds of $1 and $2 is $5, the next raise could be $15.) Compare withno limit.


(adj) Describing a game played for pot limit, in such phrases as pot-limit gamepot-limit pokerpot-limit Omaha, and so on.

pot-limit dig

(n phrase) A pot-limit game not played for table stakes, that is, one in which players can take money out of their pockets if they run out of chips in the middle of a hand. This is permitted only in private games, never in public cardrooms and casinos.

pot-limit hold’em

(n phrase) Hold’em played for pot-limit stakes.

pot-limit Omaha

(n phrase) Omaha played for pot-limit stakes. Sometimes abbreviated to PLO.

pot-limit Omaha/8

(n phraseOmaha high-low 8-or-better played for pot-limit stakes. Sometimes abbreviated to PLO/8.

pot-limit stakes

(n phrasePot limit.

pot odds

(n phrase) The ratio of the size of the pot compared to the size of the bet a player must call to continue in the hand. For example, the pot contains $20, and you must call a $4 bet; this gives you pot odds of 5-to-1. Compare with implied odds. Also, bet oddsinvestment odds.

pot out

(v phrase) Take money out of a pot to buy food, cigarettes, or drinks, or to make bets. Usually followed by for and the designation of what the money is allocated for. “We’re potting out for drinks. Want in?” Also see pot (definition 4).

pot perimeter

(n phrasePerimeter of the pot.


(adv) Having invested so much in a pot that it wouldn’t be good poker to fold; pot-committed.

potting out

(n, v phrase) Taking money out of a pot as described under pot out.


(adv) Originally a term for a poor chess player, also now extended to an inept poker player. Probably from German Patzer, bungler, which in turn comes from patzen, to blunder. Also spelled patzer.


(v1. Bet and raise aggressively, often followed by the designation of a player. “He’s been pounding me all night.” 2. Beat, often followed by the designation of a game. “She’s pounding the 40-80 lately.”

poverty poker

(n phrase) A form of poker, usually found only in home or private games, in which a player is given a free buy-in, after going broke, on which to continue playing. Usually that buy-in must be returned to the source if the player wins, and the player must quit if he loses the free buy-in. The source for such funds either comes from a direct contribution at the time by the other players, or, more frequently, by cutting money from each pot, which money goes toward a special fund to be used for this particular purpose.


(n1. In stud poker, the hand containing the strongest upcards, or, sometimes, the hand with the most potential (as four cards to a straight flush). 2. The holder of the hand who has been betting the most aggressively. For example, in no-limit lowball, you made a large raise before the draw, I called to draw a card, and you stood pat (definition 2); if I miss the hand I was drawing to, but made (or want to imply that I made) a hand with which I might call, I might say, “Check to the power.”


(n) An exceptionally strong hand, often one that cannot lose in a given situation.

power play

(n phrase) In a big bet game, a disproportionately large bet, often a raise or reraise and often all in.

power poker

(n phrase) Aggressive play, particularly in a big bet game.


(n, initialismPlayer of the year.


(n) A chat term meaning “pocket pair.”


(n, initialismPoker Players Alliance.


(n, initialismProfessional Poker Tour.

preferred player card

(n phraseReward card.


(adv, adj) Pertaining to the bet or situation before the flop.


(n) A bonus or royalty paid by all players to the holder of a particular hand, or a very high hand. For example, in some private games, anyone holding aces full or better receives one or more chips at the showdown from all the players, in addition to winning the pot. Also called royalty or bonus.

premium hand

(n phrase1. A hand that entitles the holder of the hand to a premium. Also called special hand2. One in a group of the best starting hands in a poker game. “He plays only premium hands from early position.”

preselect button

(n phraseEarly action button.


(v1. Bet more aggressively than is prudent. “He was stuck all night, and he kept pressing, which only made things worse.” 2. Give a stake player more chips to play on, after he loses his first stack; usually equal to half of what he started with. For example, the shift manager used Smiley to help get a game started, by staking Smiley, for which he gave Smiley $40 in house chips with which to play. Smiley lost the $40, and the game is in danger of breaking up, so the shift manager goes to the cage, and says to the cashier, “Press Smiley,” for which the cashier gives him $20, and writes the $20 on the sheet. — (n3. The chips given as described in definition 2. The cashier might later say to the manager, “I’m $20 short in my count. Did you give Smiley a press?”


(n) In hold’em, a pair of 5s as starting cards. “Three limpers in the pot and I raised with presto.”


(expression) In hold’em, what one says when revealing a pair of 5s as one’s hole cards. The term was coined at BARGE. Evolved from what a blackjack player says when turning over a blackjack. (The origin of that particular expression is lost in antiquity. Perhaps the effect is thought to be similar to a magician pulling a rabbit out of a hat.)


(expression) Among BARGERs (see BARGEr), the question asked to identify another as a BARGEr. The proper response is “Irwin?”


(n1. Chips of (relatively) large denomination. A stack of pretties is 20 $20 chips, $100 chips, etc. Also, society chipshigh society chips2. Any particularly good hand.


(n) The pot odds currently offered for a call, usually in a drawing situation. “The pot was giving such a good price, I stayed for the inside straight draw.” (Presumably the player was getting more than 11-to-1 for the call in hold’em with one card to come or on the draw in a draw game.)

price of poker

(n phrase) The size of the current bet, often part of the saying “The price of poker has just gone up,” which is most commonly heard when someone makes a large raise, or sometimes when the blinds and antes increase in a tournament.

price [someone] in

(v phrase) In a no-limit game, make a bet of such a size that an opponent — who presumably holds a worse hand than that of the bettor — is getting good enough pot (if all in) or implied (if not) odds to warrant the call. See implied oddspot odds.

price [someone] out

(v phrase) In a no-limit game, make a large enough bet against an opponent such that the opponent — who presumably holds a worse hand than that of the bettor — is not getting good enough pot (if all in) or implied (if not) odds to warrant the call. See implied oddspot odds.


(v) Mark the backs of cards with a pin, thumbtack, or other sharp instrument, in such a way that the thief making such marks can later tell by feel the rank of the card. This is the opposite of peg, in which the thief marks the fronts of cards. Such markings are sometimes called pin work.

primary cards

(n phrase) The cards a player holds that give him the best chance on the pot, in addition to which he also has secondary cards. For example, in Omaha 8-or-better, a player holds A♠ K♠ Q♥ 8♥ on a flop of K♦ 6♠ 3♣. His primary cards are A♠ K♠, which give him a nut flush draw and top pair, while his secondary cards are A♠ 8♥, which could make an emergency low, which, while not very good, might win half the pot.


(n) An early Spanish card game having some of the features of poker.

private cards

(n phrase) Downcards (see downcard).

private game

(n phrase) A poker game played elsewhere than in a public cardroom. Also called home game. Sometimes private game has a wider application, because a private game could be played in other than someone’s home (for example, in a hotel room). Compare with public game.

prize pool

(n phrase) The total amount of money to be distributed among the winners of a tournament. This amount usually does not include entry fees (see entry fee). It sometimes is less than the totality of the buy-ins because some percentage might be taken out for expenses, management and dealer tips, and so on.

Procter and Gamble

(n phrase) A widow game, found exclusively in home games, in which each player receives four cards face down, and three community cards are dealt face down, and these cards are turned up one at a time, each followed by a betting round, with the last card, and all cards of the same rank, wild. At the showdown, each player uses the best five cards from among the seven.


(nPseudo-random number generator.


(n phraseProfessional poker player.

probe bet

(n phraseFeeler.

probing bet

(n phraseFeeler.


(n1. Someone who brings lots of money to a game and keeps that money in circulation. The term is usually used by the management to describe someone around whom a game can be built (because others like to play with him), or by professionals to describe a live one. Also, provider2. A player whose main source of income does not derive from gambling.


(n) Cheating at cards, cardsharping, illegal gambling; always preceded by the. This is an old term, now mostly obsolete.


(nProfessional poker player.

professional gambler

(n phrase) A player whose main source of income derives from gambling. Compare with producer (definition 2).

professional player

(n phraseProfessional poker player.

professional poker player

(n phrase) Someone who makes his living playing poker. Might not consider himself to be a professional gambler. (This exchange might be between someone who thinks poker is gambling and a professional poker player: “Are you a gambler?” “No, I only bet on sure things.”)

Professional Poker Tour

(n phrase) A former invitation-only series of tournaments put on by producers of the World Poker Tour in which only professional players who had met certain criteria could play. The individual events were shown later on television. Sometimes rendered as the initialism PPT.


(n) A gambler who has the ability to calculate the odds, particularly in card games. Also, dean.

Professor, the

(n phrase) Poker celebrity Howard Lederer.


(n) The picture cards whose faces are shown in profile, that is, K♦, J♠, and J♥; the one-eyes.


(adj1. Describing the high draw games as used to be played in Southern California (which is not the same interpretation as in home games). They are jacks or better progressive. The California cardroom interpretation of progressive was a further ante after each passed pot (up to triple ante) plus a doubling of the stakes (usually once only). 2. Describing games with increasing opening requirements, such as progressive jackpots3. Describing a progressive jackpot.

progressive jackpot

(n phrase) A jackpot that increases the longer it goes without being hit. When casinos (perhaps cardrooms located at different properties owned by one concern) pool their jackpots, those jackpots can quickly get very large; those jackpots are correspondingly hard to hit, usually because the requirements are more stringent. These latter are called linked jackpots.

progressive jackpots

(n phrase) A form of draw poker found mainly in home games in which the opener must have at least a pair of jacks to open, and be prepared to show openers before the pot is out of play; if no one opens, players ante again, sometimes the next dealer deals, and the minimum opening requirements increase to queens, and so on if no one again opens. Sometimes the opening requirements after passed pots stop at aces (acepots); sometimes they continue to increase (to two pair, and so on). Pots can grow quite large from just the antes. See jackpots.

progressive poker

(n phraseProgressive jackpots.

progressive progressive

(n phraseProgressive jackpots with the ante increased (in size) each hand that is not opened. Sometimes called rangdoodles.


(n1. Proposition player2.proposition(v3. To function as a prop. “How ya keepin’ in chips?” “I’m propping at the Pasatiempo Club.”

prop bet

(n phraseProposition bet.

prop bets

(n phraseProposition bets.

pro player

(n phraseProfessional poker player.

pro poker player

(n phraseProfessional poker player.


(n1. An offer by one player to another to play under certain circumstances, usually more favorable to the other player, in exchange for calling a bet. Propositions are found mainly in no-limit lowball games. For example, one player raises. The player who opened the pot asks, “Two-for-one?” He is offering aproposition, which is, in effect, saying, “I need to draw two cards to this hand. I would not normally call your raise, but you look like a sporting fellow, so I will call and draw two cards if you agree that you will take one card. If you have to break a pat hand to comply, then so be it; I will not play otherwise.” Gentlemen do not offer a proposition and then renege. In other words, if you offer, for example, two-for-one, it’s not considered sporting to then draw only one or stand pat after the other has thrown his card, nor is it sporting on his part to accept and then stand pat. (Of course, he could accept and draw two, because that is more of a gamble than the offerer of the proposition was requesting or expecting.) If someone offers you a proposition, naturally you can decline. Again, the sporting thing to do in this example is not to say, “Oh, I’m probably drawing anyway,” and then stand pat. If you don’t want to give away anything about your intentions, you can say, “Just call the bet, or throw away your hand,” or say nothing. Just don’t out-and-out lie. While permitted, it’s not sporting, and it will lose you respect and action later. A counter proposition (described under pass for a prop) is also a possibility. 2. An agreement between two or more players to always take part in a certain gamble when circumstances warrant, such as open blind, raise blind (definition 2) or two-three3. A side bet on something not directly related to the play of a hand, as offered by a proposition hustler.

proposition bet

(n phrase1. The bet that arises out of a proposition2. The bet offered by a proposition hustler3. One among a series of proposition bets.

proposition bets

(n phrase) Side bets made (usually in flop games; see flop game) by players that certain cards will appear on the board (for example, three suited cards on the flop). Generally a winning proposition bet must be announced to be eligible for payment; not to do so is to sleep a prop. Sometimes shortened to props.

proposition betting

(n phrase) The making of proposition bets.

proposition hustler

(n phrase) Someone, usually a player, who offers other players bets on certain occurrences, paying off at less than true odds. For example, in a hold’em game, a proposition hustler might say to another player, “I’ll bet the board won’t beat a pair of sevens next hand.” The actual odds against such an occurrence are worse than 1.5-to-1, so, at even money, the proposition hustler has the best of it.

proposition player

(n phrase) One who receives a salary from the management of a cardroom for playing in short games (those with empty seats), starting new games, filling in where needed, etc. While a proposition player works for the house, he does not play house money (thus differing from a stake player), nor does the house care how he plays; he plays his own money, and is welcome to continue propping as long as his money holds out (although it is generally understood that a proposition player will treat the other patrons and the dealers kindly and with respect). Frequently shortened to prop. Also called public relations player in politically correct cardrooms.

prop player

(n phraseProposition player.


(nProposition bets.

prop sheet

(n phrase) The paper on which players keep track of the standings on their proposition bets, that is, who owes whom what.


(v1. Hold onto your cards, as opposed to leaving them sit on the table, such that the dealer cannot accidentally scoop up your hand, and such that it cannot be otherwise fouled. 2. Place a chip (or other object: see card protector) atop your cards so that no cards falling on them can foul the hand; usually followed by your hand or the hand3. Do the same with the deck (by the player dealer or the house dealer) after dealing the first round of cards, so that discards cannot accidentally get mixed in with the deck; usually followed by the deck. “Hey, dealer, protect the deck,” means the cards are just sitting on the table, and a player wants the dealer to put a chip on top of the deck. 4. Bet in such a way as to increase the chances of an all-in player winning a pot, that is, ensure a showdown between only the bettor and the all-in player. For example, in a no-limit hold’em game with blinds of $5 and $10, Chris has $200, while Matt, Katie, and Paul all have over $2,000. Chris opens for $10, and Matt, Katie, and Paul all call. On the flop, everyone checks. On the turn, Chris bets $40, and Matt raises to $100. Katie calls, and Paul raises another $400. Chris calls all of his remaining chips. Matt and Katie call the reraise, creating a $900 side pot. Being all in, Chris cannot bet on the river. Matt and Katie both pass. Now Paul says, “I’ll protect your hand, Chris,” and bets $1,500. If Matt and Katie now both fold, Chris has a better chance of winning the main pot (and Paul can make money even if he was bluffing, by winning the now-uncontested side pot). Compare with dry pot5. When you have a blind in a blind game, invest more money so money you’ve already put in the pot isn’t “wasted.” “Paul always protects his blind, no matter what his cards are or how many bets it costs.” See make the blind good6. See protect the other players7. Bet in such a way as to make other players pay for the privilege of trying to beat your hand, a hand that is currently the leader, but could easily be outdrawn on the next card in a stud or flop game or on the draw in a draw game. “I went all in to protect my two pair.” 8. What a cardroom does to see that thieves do not prey on its customers. (See protection, definition 1.)

protect a hand

(n phrase) See protect.


(n) See protected hand.

protected bet

(n phrase) A bet made in a situation such that it is likely to win or lose a pot based on the comparative value of a hand, without having to introduce the complication of bluffing. For example, in a limit hold’em game, Norman, an aggressive player, has been betting the flop and the turn with two spades on the board. You flopped middle pair, and intend to call all the way. Behind you sits Matt, a player capable of raising with less than the best hand, even a bluff; he will, of course, also raise with the best hand. Another spade comes on the river. Norman bets and you call. Normally you would be worried about Matt, because when you just call, if he raises and reopens the betting, you’ll have trouble calling if Norman reraises. But Matt has exactly one big bet left. Because he cannot raise, your call was a protected bet. If you have the best hand, you win, and you don’t have to worry about being bluffed. Also see protected hand

protected call

(n phrase) See protected bet.

protected hand

(n phrase) A hand in a situation such that it is likely to win or lose a pot based on the comparative merits of its value, without having to introduce the complication of bluffing, because of the dynamics of the participant situation. For example, in a limit hold’em game, a solid player raised from a middle position. A very live (definition 3) player called from the small blind. This player could have any two cards. You called in the big blind with J-10 suited. It’s now the river, and the board shows A-2-10-7. The small blind and you checked the flop and turn and the raiser bet and both of you called. A jack comes on the turn and the small blind bets. If it were just you and the small blind, you would raise. You do not want to raise here, though, because the opener would put in another bet if he has a hand better than yours and if he reraises, you will have wasted an extra bet (because you’ll likely fold for the reraise). If he has just a lone ace, he will just call. Just calling the bet offers potential odds of better than 9-to-1. Neglecting bluffing from the opener, you should win the pot in this situation more than one-tenth of the time, giving you positive expectation. At least a tenth of the time, neither player will beat your top pair. And you can neglect bluffing. That is, the opener has to play his hand “properly.” If he has worse than your hand, he must either call or fold; if he raises, he really has a better hand than yours. Had it been just you and the opener in this spot, you probably would not even have played the hand. But when the other player is added into the mix, if the opener raises, you know he really has a better hand and do not have to consider calling an extra bet. The opener would be very unlikely to raise on a bluff, not because of your hand, but because the small blind is a calling station. Since the opener is unlikely to bluff in this situation, your hand is a protected hand.

The protected hand situation is even better illustrated by draw poker situations. For example, in a straight limit ace-to-five lowball game, a solid player opens the pot in a middle position. A very live player calls on the small blind. This player is likely drawing to a rough hand or drawing two cards. You have the big blind; your hand is a rough 10, say 10-9-8-7-6. If it were just you and the small blind, you would raise. You do not want to raise, though, because the opener is either drawing to a very good hand or already has a pat hand better than yours, and if he reraises, you will have wasted an extra bet (because you’ll likely fold for the reraise). Just calling the half a bet offers odds of better than 5-to-1. Neglecting bluffing, you should win the pot in this situation more than one-sixth of the time, giving you positive expectation. At least a sixth of the time, both players will be drawing and will both miss. And you can neglect bluffing, because, if the small blind passes after the draw, you will pass also to see what the opener does. Now, whether the small blind draws one or two cards, the opener has to play his hand properly. That is, if he has a one-card draw, he must draw one card; if he stands pat, he really has a pat hand better than yours. Had it been just you and the opener, you probably would not stand pat without raising and then check after the draw. If you stand pat, the opener likely would stand pat with a better 10 and might stand pat with worse, reasoning that you would be hard put to call a bet. But when the other player is added into the mix, if the opener stands pat, you know he really has a pat hand and do not have to consider calling a bet. Also, if he draws and bets, again you don’t have to call a bet. The opener would be very unlikely to bluff, not because of your hand, but because the small blind is a calling station. The small blind could very well be drawing to an 8 or 9, which he would pass if he made but then call either your or the opener’s bet. Since the opener is unlikely to bluff in this situation, your hand is a protected hand.


(n1. How a cardroom protects players against being cheated, including such measures as having a house dealer, using plastic cards, having floor personnel who know what to look out for, etc. 2.protection bet.

protection bet

(n phrase1. In a big bet game, a bet, usually relatively small, made in a vulnerable position in a stud or hold’em game or after the draw in a draw game, to avoid having to call a larger bet from a potentially better hand or from a possible bluff. For example, in pot-limit hold’em, on the river a scare card comes. You have a vulnerable hand you do not want to lay down, say two pair against an aggressive player; neither do you want to call a big bet if you’re beat. The pot contains $100. You do not want to check, because the aggressive player might bet the pot on anything from a bluff to one pair to a good hand that beats yours. So you now bet $20. That is a protection bet, because the other player will likely not raise with a medium hand (like just one pair or two pair that could be smaller than yours if the river card hit you). Of course, aggressive players often take advantage of weak-appearing bets by raising large in such situations. Alsounderbet2. A bet made to protect a player who is all in for the main pot, as described under protect (definition 4). 3. A bet made to protect a vulnerable hand, as described under protect (definition 7).

protect the other players

(v phrase) Act in such a way as to not jeopardize any other player’s action. Acting in turn is a way of protecting the others.


(nProducer (definition 1).

pseudo-random number generator

(n phrase) The actual implementation of a random number generator. Software applications do not generally generate real random numbers. They generate numbers that appear to the observer to be random, and pass certain tests for randomness. As far as distribution of cards and other constructs that are supposed to be generated randomly goes, the effect is undetectable from actual randomness so that an observer cannot predict, for example, which card will appear next in a poker deal or which slot symbol will appear on the center line in a slot machine (or slot machine simulation). Sometimes rendered as the initialism PRNG.

public game

(n phrase) A game played in a poker room, one that is open to anyone who wishes to play. Compare with private game. Also see club poker.

public poker

(n phrase) A game played in a poker room, with usually a fee charged (or taken from each pot) by the establishment for the use of the premises. Compare with private game.

public relations player

(n phraseProposition player.




(v1. Draw a card from the deck, particularly for the purpose of starting a game, with the player pulling either the highest or the lowest card becoming the first dealer. “Let’s pull for deal.” Also called draw for deal, pull for primepull prime(n2. The drawing of such a card. 3. Juice (definition 3).

pull for prime

(v phrasePull.

pull in

(v phrase) When there is a raise, pull all players’ bets into the pot so that the raise is conspicuous and the extra chips can clearly be identified as the bet that opponents must match to stay active in a pot. This action is usually performed by the house dealer (or any player in a deal-yourself game). Also, bring in, pull it/them in.

pull it/them in

(v phrasePull in.

pull prime

(v phrasePull.

pull the film

(v phrasePull the tape.

pull the tape

(v phrase) Remove and view the tape from the surveillance camera above a table for the purpose of determining whether an alleged rules infraction took place or resolving a dispute. Pulling the tape is usually done only in extreme situations, and usually requires official action on the part of a representative of the management, say a shift manager.

pull the trigger

(v phrase) In a big bet game, make a significant wager, usually in a pot that already has considerable investment from the parties involved; put to the test. “Andy checked and I think Patrick is going to pull the trigger.”

pull through

(v phrase) Perform a pull-through.


(n) A form of false shuffling, in which the cheating dealer performs a maneuver that makes it look like he is riffling the cards, but all he does is pull half the deck through the other half, and then cuts the cards without changing their order. Also called pass.


(21. Raise (definition 1). (v2. Raise (definition 2, 3). 3. Infuse into, in the sense of lose money into the poker economy; usually followed by into. “He sat down, played for half an hour, pumped $1,000 into the game, and left.”


(n, Spanish; rhymes with oompahraise; usually preceded by la. When a player says, “La pumpa,” he means “I raise.”

pump a/the pot

(n phrase) Build up a pot by betting and raising aggressively.

pumped up

(adv phrase) Having lots of playing capital, presumably as a result of a winning streak.




(n1. Marking cards as described under peg2. The markings put on the cards.


(n) British term for a bettor or gambler. This would include a poker player.

puppy feet

(n phrase) A cutesy name for clubs (the suit), so called because they (sort of) look like dogs’ footprints.

puppy foot

(n phrase1. The ace of clubs. 2. Less commonly, any club. (Also see puppy feet.)

pure nuts

(n) The nuts; that is, an unbeatable hand; usually preceded by the.


(adj, adv) Part of the phrase all purple, that is, having a spade or club flush.


(v1. In certain forms of stud played in private games, such as keep it or shove it, pass an offered card to the left. 2. Bet too often or too much; play too aggressively. “The time to get Fat Freddy is when he’s pushing.” 3. Split a pot. 4. Make an all-in bet. “I was down to nine big blinds so it was time to push.” 5.Relieve a dealer who is about to go on a break or otherwise leave. A floorman might say to a dealer just coming off break, “Go push table 5.” 6. Have no chips or money change hands in a California game, usually when two hands tie, or when, as in pai gow poker, one hand wins for player and banker and one hand loses for each. — (n7. A split pot. If two (lowball) players have wheels, that constitutes a push8. A form of stud, such as keep it or shove it, played in private games in which players can pass offered cards to the left. 9. The next house dealer to come to a table, or the present dealer’s relief. “Where’s your push, dealer? I never win when you’re behind the box.” 10. The result of the action described in definition 6.

push a hand through

(v phrase) Keep betting every round on either a substandard holding or a bluff.

push air

(v phrase) Call a bet on one round while holding otherwise unplayable cards (for example, in hold’em, having nothing that goes with the board and probably not even high cards) with the intention of taking the pot away from the bettor on a succeeding round. Also, call on air.

push all in

(v phrase) Go all in.

push around

(v phrase) Play aggressively against; bully with aggressive betting and raising to force conservative players out of the pot or into big confrontations they prefer to avoid. “He was pushing me around all night and I finally had to make a stand.”

push bets

(v phraseSave bets.

push-fold strategy

(n phrase) The play in which one either goes all in or folds, with nothing in between. This strategy generally is applied only by the holder of a relatively small stack, and frequently refers to tournament play.

“Push the pot.”

(v phrase) “I win.”

“Push the pot, losers.”

(v phrase) An uncouth way of saying “I win.”

push through

(v phrase) Change dealers, in a certain order. A tournament director might say to his crew, “We will push through, table by table, after the break.”


(v) Divine (or attempt to) someone’s holdings; often part of the phrase put someone on a hand. For example, in hold’em, “The way he bet, I never put him on a set” might mean “Judging by his bets, I had no idea he flopped three of a kind.” You might also hear someone say, “I put him on a medium pair.”


(n, Spanish; pronounced POO-tah) Queen (the card; it means whore).

put a bad beat on [someone]

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

put air into

(v phrase) Hold your cards in such a way that others can see them. Also, leak air. Also see air (definition 2).

put all in

(v phrasePut [someone] all in.

put a play on

(v phrase) Outmaneuver or outplay someone by the timing or size (or both) of a bet.

put down

(v phraseFold, usually followed by a hand or the designation of a hand. “When the ace fell and he bet out, I put down my kings.”

put me here

(v phrase) In online poker, a button or function that allows you to change your relative position within the layout. This merely rotates the view of the table representation, and does not actually change your seat position with respect to the other players. For example, if you see your seat representation at the top of the layout and you would prefer to be at the bottom, you click on the put me here choice and the table rotates to accommodate your request. (Strictly speaking, the view rotates.)

put on

(v phrase) See put [someone] on a hand.

put on a sizz

(v phrase) See sizz.

put [someone] all in

(v phrase) Bet or raise such that an opponent has to call all in. Also, put [someone] in.

put [someone] in

(v phrasePut [someone] all in.

put [someone] in a game

(v phraseStake (definition 5 or 6) someone.

put [someone] on a hand

(v phrase1. See put2. Assume that a player has a good hand. “When Helen kept raising, I put her on a hand and folded.” In this sense, also give credit.

put [someone] on his own

(v phrase) After the house has gone cow with or staked someone, the house may split him out (see split [someone] out) and put him on his own, that is, playing his own chips.

put [someone] to the test

(v phrase) In a no-limit game, make a large bet against an opponent that risks a major portion — if not all — of the opponent’s stack. This phrase usually describes a situation in which the opponent has a marginal hand, or at least one that is not a sure winner given the current circumstances, and often when the opponent already has made a significant investment in the pot. This is one of Mike Sexton’s favorite phrases in his role as co-announcer of the World Poker Tour. Also, put to the test.

put the bite on

(v phrase) Attempt to borrow money from. “Can you believe it? Smiley put the bite on me for $100.”

put the brakes on

(v phrase) Discontinue aggressive betting and raising and play passively. Also see change gears.

put the clock on [someone]

(v phraseCall the clock.

putting on a sizz

(v phrase) See sizz.

put to the test

(v phrase) See put [someone] to the test.

put up

(v phrase) Put the proper amount of money (or money as represented by chips) into a pot.

put up a deck

(v phraseStack a deck.


(vOwn [someone]. The term comes from interactive Internet gaming (games like World of Warcraft), and is usually pronounced pone. Often part of the phrase get pwned.


(v) Owned. See pwn.




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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