Wiesenberg: MCU Dictionary of Poker | Letter T




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(nChat term for “thanks.” Sometimes typed in response to nh.


(n) Abbreviation for a 10, usually found only in written text about cards. T♣, for example, is the 10 of clubs.


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


(nTab card.

tab card

(n phrase) A credit account available in some casinos or cardrooms to favored customers (generally those on whom a credit check has been run), to which a player can charge chips to play on. This is a convenient means for a player to get around the difficulty of carrying large amounts of cash on his person. The tab card is usually kept track of on a ledger card with transactions initialed by the player or a house official or both. The cashier is usually responsible for keeping the records straight (often on the sheet). In most clubs, a player is supposed to leave a check for the amount charged at the end of a playing session if he does not cash in as much as he charged. Frequently a player with charging privileges does so against a blank, signed check. If he loses, he fills out the check for the proper amount; if he wins, the blank check remains attached to his tab card, to be used the next time. When such a player calls for chips at the table, he usually fills out a charge slip, called a ticket (definition 2), for the amount requested. Sometimes shortened to just tab. Also see player’s bank.


(n1. A poker table. 2. Any surface on which players play poker (such as a kitchen table). 3. A complete poker game, players and all. “Seat open on table four.” 4. Figuratively, the players in a particular game. “The table took a break.” “Half the table was in every pot.” 5. The figurative representation of one’s participation in a game, as in a phrase like, “How many chips does he have on the table?” 6. The board, that is, the upcards of all players. (v7. See table cards (definition 2).

table a/one’s/the hand

(v phrase) See table cards (definition 2).

table captain

(n phrase1. A humorous name for the player who takes it upon himself to arbitrate in all matters requiring decisions, settle all disputes, and interpret all rules. Such a role is generally only required in a private game, because most cardroom games are dealt by house dealers; even where they are not, usually a floorperson is available to make decisions. Nonetheless, someone often takes it upon himself to arbitrate every decision even in a cardroom, and the other players call him the table captain2. The player with the most chips at the table, particularly in a tournament.

table cards

(n phrase1. community cards(v phrase2. Spread one’s cards on the table (as opposed to discarding them or holding them in one’s hand off the table) at showdown time for all to see; usually rendered table one’s [your, my, etc.] cards. Some clubs require the winning hand to be tabled. Some sometimes rule that if a hand is tabled and then thrown away and the pot inadvertently awarded to a lesser hand, and it is discovered later that the best hand was actually tabled (as confirmed by the dealer or other players having seen that the discarded hand was the best, or by pulling the tape; see pull the tape), that the pot should be awarded to that hand even if it is no longer technically live (definition 7).

table change

(n phrase) 1. A request by a player to move to another table. “Table change, floorman, please.” 2. The act of so moving. “Floorman, may I have a table change?” (There is a difference, but it’s mostly grammatical, as determined by usage.)

table charge

(n phrase1. A portion of each pot taken by the house (definition 2), for the purpose of paying expenses and making a profit. Also, rake2. Time.

table cop

(n phrase1. Calling station2. Table captain.

table etiquette

(n phrase) Proper or accepted demeanor at the table; poker etiquette.

table fee

(n phraseTime.

table games

(n phrase) Casino games at which players sit at tables and (usually) play against the house, as opposed to slot machines and sometimes games like keno and bingo. Table games are house-banked and include blackjack, Caribbean Stud, roulette, and many others. Poker, while played at tables, is generally considered to be in a separate category.

table holdout

(n phrase) A holdout machine, a spring or clip attached to the underside of a table to hold one or more cards until the thief who put them there can retrieve them for reintroduction into the game for cheating purposes. See spring table.

table image

(n phrase) One’s image at the table, that is, in a poker game.

table one’s/the cards

(v phrase) See table cards (definition 2).

table presence

(n phrase) One’s image at the table, that is, in a poker game.

table stake

(n phraseTable stakes.

table stakes

(n phrase) The requirement that players can wager in any one hand only the money in front of them at the start of the hand, and can put more money on the table or buy more chips only between hands and cannot remove money or chips from the table unless leaving the game. This is the usual situation in all public cardrooms, and many private and home games. Sometimes called stakes play. Compare with pot-limit dig. Originally called table stakes limit.

table stakes game

(n phrase) Any game played at table stakes.

table stakes limit

(n phrase) The original term for what is now usually called table stakes.

table talk

(n phrase1. Patter accompanying the play of a hand, usually for the purpose of getting a call, sometimes to get others to fold. Compare with coffeehousingHollywood, and moves2. General conversation at a poker table, often gossip.


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


(nSeven-card stud 8-or-better. Comes from Lake Tahoe, in the casinos on the Nevada side of which the game was popular.

Tahoe high-low

(n phraseTahoe pineapple, played high-low split.

Tahoe pineapple

(n phrase) A variant of pineapple in which players do not discard any of their three downcards. At the showdown, players can use none, one, or two of their downcards (but not three) to form their best five-card hand in combination with the five community cards. When played high-low split (and then sometimes called Tahoe high-low), a different set of cards can be used for each direction, but no more than two for either direction. Comes from Lake Tahoe, in the casinos on the Nevada side of which the game was popular. Also called lazy pineapple.

Tahoe split

(n phraseSeven-card stud 8-or-better.


(n1. Rake (definition 3). — (v2. Draw (definition 7). “I’ll take three.”

take a bath

(v phrase) Lose heavily.

take a bad beat

(v phrase) See bad beat.

take a card off

(v phrase) Call a bet (sometimes implying inappropriately, that is, in a situation that does not warrant the call) in order to see another card; see another card.

take a free card

(v phrase) Not bet or raise, so that one can receive a free card.

take a little edge

(v phrase) See edge (definition 2).

take an advantage

(v phrase) See edge (definition 2).

take an edge

(v phrase) See edge (definition 2).

take a piece of

(v phrase) See piece.

take a piece of [someone’s] action

(n phrase) See pieceaction (definition 4).

take a shot

(v phrase1. Shoot (use) an angle2. Look for a chance to play. “I’d sure like to take a shot in that game.” 3. Make a cheating move. “He has to get a little booze in him before he takes a shot.” 4. Make a play against (someone or the pot); bluff. “When he checked, I took a shot at him” means I made a big bet hoping the opponent would fold. 5. Play undercapitalized, that is, put a large portion of one’s bankroll up in an attempt to make a score (a quick profit) in a game larger than one is accustomed to playing.

take a stab at the pot

(n phrase) Bet hoping that opponents will fold, often in a situation in which it is unlikely they will. Also make a stab at the pot.

take a stand

(n phraseMake a stand.

take a street off

(v phraseSee another card. Also, take a card off.

take care of

(v phraseToke, that is, tip the dealer, often implying with a large tip. If you win a big pot, you can take care of the dealer.

take down

(v phrase) Win (a pot).

take down a/the pot

(v phrase) Win a pot.

take it down

(v phrase) Win a pot.

“Take it down.”

(expression“Take the pot.”

take it down right there

(v phrase) Win a pot immediately (and usually on any round except the last), usually by making a large bet designed to cause opponents to fold, as opposed to bet in such a way that one might get called and have to play further rounds. “I had bottom two pair on the flop so I just went all in to try to take it down right there.”

take it in the middle

(v phraseTake the middle blind.

take it or leave it

(n phraseKeep it or shove it.


(nRake (definition 3).

take odds

(v phrase) See take the odds.

take off a card

(v phraseTake a card off.


(n) The minimum buy-in required for a particular game.

take [someone’s] action

(v phrase) See action (definition 3 or 4).

take [someone] off

(v phrase) Take a player’s money by cheating. This usually involves full-time thieves (as opposed to an ad hoc move by an otherwise straight-up player).

take the lead

(v phrase1. Bet or raise, generally when passed to, or sometimes in an aggressive fashion. 2. Make the first voluntary bet in any round.

take the middle blind

(v phrase) Sit down at the precise moment it is your turn to put in the middle blind. Some clubs do not let a new player (new to the particular game) be dealt in until it is his turn to put in a blind, supposedly to prevent his getting any “free” hands. (Also, if a seated player has missed the blind in a particular round, he can receive his next hand only in the blind position, by posting, or by killing the pot, that is, overblinding.) Some clubs, however, permit a player to receive his first hand, if he is too late to get the big blind, in the middle position. (That is, normally the first hand he could take would be when first sitting down two positions to the left of the deal position. Here we speak of first sitting down immediately to the left of the deal.) In such case, the player must in the next three hands still put in an amount equal to how much he would put in if he sat through all three blinds. This requires putting in the dealer’s blind when the deal is one position to his left, so that that player does not end up having to put too much in in the form of blinds. Also, when the player takes it in the middle, the player to his left puts in an amount equal to that of what the middle blind ordinarily is (since that player put in the big blind the previous hand and would ordinarily be putting in the middle blind this hand). To take the middle blind is also called come in in the middle. An example makes this clear. In a $30-limit lowball game (California style), blinds are normally $5-$10-$15. John sits in the open seat to Fred’s left on Fred’s deal, and asks to take it in the middle. The blind structures for the next three hands follow. On the first hand, Fred, in deal position, blinds $5; he had the middle blind last hand. John, taking it in the middle, blinds $15. Gary, who had the big blind last hand, before John sat down, now puts up $10. (When the betting gets to the blinds, they act in order of size; that is, first Fred, then Gary, then John.) For the second hand, John has the deal and puts $10 in on the button. Gary, now in the middle position, puts in $5, because he put in $15 and $10 on the preceding two hands, and Paul, who has not yet had a blind, puts in his regular $15. (When the betting gets to the blinds, they act in order of size; that is, first Gary, then John, then Paul.) On the third hand, John, now sitting one position to the right of the deal, puts in $5; he has put in a total of $30 over the last three hands. Gary, now on the button, puts in nothing; he has already put in $30 for this round. Paul puts in $10, as normal, for the middle blind, and Susie, to Paul’s left, puts in $15 for the big blind. (When the betting gets to the blinds, Gary acts before John.) See come in on the blindkilloverblind, and post.

take the odds

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

take the pot

(v phrase) Win, that is, either show down the best hand or bet and get no calls.

Take the pot.”

(expression) “You win.” In other words, “I see that you have the better hand, so take all those chips.” (Saying “Take the pot” sincerely and with a smile when they’ve just got drawn out on for the tenth time in a row by the drunk who plays any two cards for any number of bets as opposed to growling out an obscenity is a part of poker etiquette that many players haven’t learned — and probably don’t think they should.) Also, “Take it down.”

take the worst of it

(v phrase) See worst of it.

talking chips

(n phrase) Winnings. That is, winners can afford to waste time gabbing, while the losers want to concentrate on playing. “He’s got talking chips” means he’s winning. Also called chirping chipslobbying chipswalking chips.

tall pot

(n phrase) A large pot waiting to be won by someone; a large stack of chips in the center of the table, caused by excessive betting, that will look nice added to the stack of whoever wins it.

tall stack

(n phrase1. The player at a table or in a tournament having the most chips. “Emilie is the tall stack. She’s been pushing the others around a lot.” “I doubled through the tall stack.” 2. The actual chips involved. To say “The tall stack is $10,000” refers both to the player possessing those chips and to the chips themselves. Also, big stacklarge stack.




(n) See into the tank.


(v1. Go all in, that is, bet all one’s chips. Usually called tap off2. Same as rap (definition 3).

tap city

(adv phrase) Broke. “He had to quit when he went tap city.”


(adv) Broke.


(v, imitative) “I’m tapping off,” that is, betting all my chips.


(n) A bet of all your chips, or all the other guy’s.

tap off

(v phrase) Bet all your chips, or all the other guy’s.


(adj) A bet of all your chips, or all the other guy’s; usually followed by bet. “He made a tap-off bet.”

tap on the aquarium

(n phrase) See “Don’t tap on the aquarium.”

tap on the glass

(n phrase) See “Don’t tap on the aquarium.”

tap out

(v phrase) Lose all your money in a poker game, or in a hand; go broke.


(adv) Broke.

tapped out

(adv phrase) Broke.

tap [someone]

(v phrase) In a no-limit game, bet all the other guy’s chips. “I’ll tap you” means I’m betting all you’ve got on the table, and you must either fold or put all your chips in the pot.

tap the glass

(n phrase) See “Don’t tap on the aquarium.”

“Tap you.”

(v phrase) In a no-limit game, this means, “I bet all your chips.” See tap [someone].


(nTournament chips, usually found only in written text about cards. “We started with 1,000TC.” Also, a chat term.


(nTournament director, usually found only in written text.


(nTournament Directors’ Association.

TDA rules

(n phrase) A set of standardized rules published by the Tournament Directors’ Association and implemented at tournaments in many cardrooms and casinos.


(nTriple-draw lowball, found only in written text.

Team [x]

(n) A group of professionals associated with an online cardroom, where x is the name of the specific site, as, for example, Team PokerStars. Usually team members are identified by displaying their names in a color code (generally red) and are readily searchable. They contract to represent the site at major tournaments and usually agree to put in a certain number of hours at the online tables, often, for public relations purposes, at smaller games than they would normally play in on their own. Team members are generally sponsored (they play on house chips) when they play on their site or have a share in the site, as well as being sponsored in tournaments (their buy-ins and usually ancillary expenses are paid for by the site on which they are team members). Because of the color coding, team members are often known as red pros.


A tournament format, invented by Tex Morgan (hence the official name of the system, Tex’s TEARS), in which blinds and antes increase in smaller increments, and sometimes also with increased level durations, than had been at use in most tournaments prior to the introduction of this format. Rather than the 100 percent increase that was common, the increase might be only 50 percent. So instead of 20-minute rounds proceeding at, for example, 100-200, 200-400, 400-800, and so on, there might be 30-minute rounds proceeding at 100-200, 150-300, 200-400, and so on. The system was introduced to provide more emphasis on skill for players and to give tournament directors more ability to determine the actual duration of a tournament. The actual time and level increments can be tweaked to cause any tournament to last as long as the organizers wish. The acronym stands for Tournament Evaluation And Rating System.


(n1. A wire or string used by thieves to signal each other. For example, one thief may see the holdings of the player next to him, and signal his partner across the table, who is in the hand, by pulling on a wire underneath the table that runs from him to his partner, using some sort of prearranged code. (v2.Cheat by sending prearranged signals, say by finger positions similar to the “signing” used by the hearing impaired, or by certain code words and phrases embedded within seemingly ordinary conversation. Sometimes called working the telegraph3. Give away one’s holdings, by an obvious tell, such as, for example, a betting pattern or the inability to keep from grinning when holding good cards. Often part of the phrase telegraph a or the hand.

telegraph a/the hand

(v phrase) See telegraph (definition 3).


(n) A form of poker found only in home games, a widow game in which each player receives five cards face down, as does a central area of the table (the widow), followed by a round of betting, and then the dealer turns up each central card, one at a time, each followed by another round of betting. At the showdown, each player uses the best five cards among his five and those of the widow, and the lowest card in the player’s hand is wild. The game is similar to Cincinnati, the difference being that in the latter the lowest card in the widow is wild, as well as any card of equal rank in a player’s hand.

television bubble

(n phraseTV bubble.

television table

(n phraseTV table.


(n) A mannerism that gives away your holdings. Smiling when you have a big (very good) hand is an obvious tell. More subtle tells include iris dilation, a throbbing pulse, or acting in a certain manner in a given situation. Also see betting pattern.


(n1. The card whose rank is 10, of which a standard deck contains four, one each in the spades (♠), hearts (♥), diamonds (♦), and clubs (♣) suit. Sometimes represented in print as T2. 10 high.

10 and 20

(n phrase10-20.

10 cents

(n phrase1. A $10 bill. 2. $10 in cash. 3. $10 in chips.

tender hand

(n phrase) A hand a player is wary or afraid of betting, one that is a favorite on the pot, but vulnerable to a raise, such as, after the draw, a rough 8 in ace-to-five lowball or two medium pairs in high draw. This is an old, obsolete term.

10 high

(n phrase1. In high poker, a no pair hand whose highest card is a 10. “I have 10 high; can you beat that?” (Also, “I have a 10 high; can you beat that?” The difference is that word “a.”) “Yeah, I got jack high.” 2. In low poker, a hand topped by a 10.


(adj) Pertaining to a straight or flush topped by a 10. “I was drawing to a 10-high flush but all I made was 10 high.”


(n) A form of poker found only in home games, a widow game in which each player receives five cards face down, and then the dealer turns up a card from the deck, one at a time, each followed by another round of betting, until five are in the center. At the showdown, each player uses the best five cards among his five and those of the widow. The game is often played high-low split. The game is nearly identical to Cincinnati, except in the latter the five widow cards are dealt face down at once, and then turned up one at a time.


(n, imitative10 high (definition 2). Someone saying this is usually announcing his hand.

“Tennessee Toddy.”

(n phrase, imitative10 high (definition 2). Someone saying this is usually announcing his hand.

10s full

(n phrase) A full house consisting of three 10s and a pair.


(n phrase) A form of draw poker found only in home games, in which the highest hand wins, with any hand higher than a pair of 10s eliminated. This game is sometimes played as the “back” in jacks back (instead of lowball).


(n, imitative1. 10 high (definition 2). Should probably be spelled “’ten-SHUN,” because it imitates the military command “Attention!” 2. Two or more 10s.

10s over

(n phrase1. 10s up2. 10s full.

10s up

(n phraseTwo pair, the higher of which are 10s.


(n phrase) A double-limit or structured limit poker game, in which the initial bets are in multiples of $10 and the last-round bets in multiples of $20. In hold’em, this would be the first two rounds of betting at the lower limit, and the last two at the higher. In draw games (lowball and high draw), the bets before the draw would be at the lower limit, and those after at the higher. Especially for the latter, sometimes also 10 and 20.

10-way hand

(n phrase) In the 53-card deck, four cards to a flush.



terce major

(n phraseTierce major.


(n) See put to the test.

test the waters

(n phrase) Make an exploratory bet (feeler).


(nTexas hold’em, an expression sometimes used in countries where the native language is not English.

Texas Dolly

(nDoyle Brunson (from his nickname).

Texas hold’em

(n phrase) The “official” name for hold’em.

Texas Hold’em Bonus Poker

(n phrase) A house-banked card game, dealt from one standard 52-card deck, which uses poker hand rankings and has a lot of similarities to the “real” hold’em, but nevertheless still is not poker. Players play separately against the dealer. Each player makes an ante bet and can make an additional side bonus bet. Each player plus the dealer receives two face-down cards. After looking at his cards, the player can either forfeit the ante, or place a flop bet, which must be twice the size of the ante bet. The dealer deals the flop (three community cards, just as in hold’em). At this point, the player can make a turn bet, equal in size to the flop bet, or stay in the game but make no further bets. The dealer deals the turn card. At this point, if the player made a turn bet, he can also make a river bet, also equal in size to the flop bet, or, again stay in the game but elect not to bet. When all five community cards are dealt, the dealer turns up his cards and each hand plays against the dealer’s hand. Just as in hold’em, players and dealer form their best hand by using two hole cards (see hole card), one, or none (playing the board) in combination with the community cards. There is no minimum qualifying hand, but the dealer pays the ante bet only if the player’s winning hand is a flush or better; ties are pushes. Thus, if a player beats the dealer but has a straight or lower, the dealer pays the river and turn (if made) and flop bets, but not the ante bet. Separately, the bonus bet pays for certain combinations in the player’s original two-card hand according to a pay table, with hands like pocket aces earning 30:1, suited A-K, 25:1, and other pocket pairs, A-K (unsuited), A-Q, and A-J also paying.

Texas Tech

(n phraseDouble-barreled shotgun.

Texas Shootout

(n phrase) A house-banked card game, dealt from six standard 52-card decks, which uses poker hand rankings and looks like a combination of hold’em and pineapple (but is otherwise not poker), in which players and dealer each receive four downcards and the object is to make a better hand than the dealer. Each player places a main bet and can optionally place a Shootout Bonus side bet. Each player decides on two cards to play, and discards the other two. Optionally, a player can split the cards into two two-card hands by adding an additional bet equal to the main bet. If a player splits this way, he can also optionally make another Shootout Bonus equal to the first. The dealer plays his cards according to set rules (“house way”). After all hands have been “set,” the dealer places five cards face up in the center of the table (the flop). Hands are then formed as in hold’em, with each player using the best combination of five cards from among his two cards and the five community cards. Since six decks are used, five of a kind, both suited and unsuited, are possible hands. A flush containing one pair, two pair, or three of a kind, is also possible, but it counts merely as a flush. When comparing flushes, only the high cards come into play. So, for example, J♦ J♦ 7♦ 7♦ 3♦ beats 10♥ 9♥ 9♥ 9♥ 3♥, and K♠ 9♠ 8♠ 8♠ 4♠ beats both J♦ J♦ 7♦ 7♦ 3♦ and 10♥ 9♥ 9♥ 9♥ 3♥. Winning wagers are paid 1:1. Shootout Bonus bets are paid according to pay tables, which differ at different casinos. Suited five of a kind might pay 5,000:1 or 1,000:1; a royal flush might pay 500:1 or 200:1; down to three of a kind which might either lose or pay even money, depending on the pay table used. If any player gets a straight flush or five of a kind, then all other players who placed a side bet of a certain minimum (usually $5) get an “envy bonus” (because they envy the person who got the good hand). Rules are always posted, which you should read.


(n phrase) See TEARS.


(nBoard texture.

“That depends.”

(n phrase) See It depends.

“That’s good.”

(expression) A verbal acknowledgment by a player on the showdown that another player has the best hand; that is, “You win; take the pot.” Also, “It’s good.” Compare with “Take the pot.

That’s no hill to climb for a stepper.”

(expression) “That shouldn’t be a difficult obstacle to overcome.” See hill to climb.

“That’s what I’m talking about!”

(expression) An expression heard, usually in tournaments, that essentially means “I just won a pot.” The expression is generally uttered, usually in exuberant tones, at the time of a crucial pot, usually a big one, often all in, and often involving less skill than luck, by poker newcomers, often young, particularly those who have played mainly online, and is considered by many players to be uncool.

the answer

(n phrase) See answer.

The Bible of Poker

(n phrase) Super/System.

The Big Dance

(n phrase) See Big Dance.

The Big One

(n phrase) See Big One.

the book

(n phrase) See book (definition 1).

the chips are down

(n phrase) See chips are down.

The Corporation

(n phrase) See Corporation.

the farm

(n phrase) See ranch.

the felt

(adv phrase) See felt.

the goods

(n phrase) See goods.

the hand

(n phrase) See hand (definition 9).

The horseshoe fell out of his ass.”

(expression) A comment made about a player who has been running very lucky but whose luck has just run out. Often implies that the player in question has been winning due to luck only (and specifically not skill).

the limit

(n phrase) See limit (definition 3).

the nuts

(n phrase) See nuts.

The Official Dictionary of Poker

(n phrase) See Official Dictionary of Poker, The.

the overs

(n phrase) See going the overs.

the pit

(n phrase) See pit.

the profession

(n phrase) See profession.

The pot is right.”

(expression) Announcement, usually by a house dealer, verifying that the betting round is complete and the amount in the pot is correct.

“The price of poker has just gone up.”

(expression) Announcement of a raise, particularly popular among television commentators. See price of poker.

the ranch

(n phrase) See ranch.


(adv1. Having a good hand. “Every time I bet, someone was there.” 2. Having made a hand; used among thieves, in particular players who cheat by signaling each other the contents of the hands of opponents. “He’s there,” a seemingly innocent remark, might be an announcement by one such scammer (seescam) to his partner that the person they’re trying to beat (and whose hand the former caught a glimpse of) has made his hand or has a hand better than the one of the second scammer. 3. Making the hand, starting with a good hand in a big pot, or catching the required card. “How come it’s never there?” is an oft-heard remark by a self-pitying player who thinks he never makes or has a hand when it counts. 4. Having made a particular hand. “I tried to raise him off what I thought was a draw but he was already there.”

There is work down.”

(expression) The remark by one thief to another that the game in which they are has crooked cards, in the form of, for example, a marked deck. See work.

the road

(n phrase) See road.

the tank

(n phrase) See into the tank.


(n1. A cheat, usually a mechanic (card manipulator) or scammer (see scam). The term has a somewhat restricted meaning in poker circles. 2. Bluffer. “Take it, thief.”


(adv1. Without having much chance of improving; usually part of the phrase draw thin2. Having only a small edge, if even that; usually part of the phrase bet thin.

“Think long, think wrong.”

(expression) A reminder that too much contemplation of a poker situation (as when faced with a large bet) often leads one to an incorrect action, implying that one’s first inclination (or hunch) is often best.

think tank

(n phrase) See into the tank.

third base

(n phrase) The position to the right of the house dealer in a poker game or at a blackjack table.

third hand

(n phrase) The player three positions to the left of the dealer, usually the first to bet in a blind and straddle game and many three-blind games (see three-blind traveling blind game). Also see charlie.

third man walking rule

(n phrase) An alternative rendering of third person walking rule.

third nuts

(n phrase) In hold’em, having the third-best possible hand for the situation, or, the actual third-best hand in such a situation. For example, if four spades (not including the ace, king, or queen) and no pairs are on the board, the nuts would be an ace-high flush (that is, the ace of spades in the possession of any player), second nuts a king-high flush, while the third nuts would be a queen-high flush.

third pair

(n phrase) In hold’em, forming a pair that consists of one of your starting cards matching the third-highest card on the board.

third person walking button

(n phrase) A button placed at the position of a player who is in the situation described under third person walking rule.

third person walking rule

(n phrase) In a public cardroom, once two people have gotten up from a game (and left their chips, so that they remain part of the game) for whatever reason, the next person to get up is given a button (called third person walking button) by the house dealer and informed that he must return before his next blind (or perhaps within 10 minutes) or he will be picked up. (See pick [someone] up.) This rule helps to keep games full, keeps them from breaking up, and yet still allows the third player time enough to make a quick restroom trip or take a smoke break. An alternative rendering of this is third man walking rule.

third street

(n phrase1. In seven-card stud, the third card dealt to each player, that is, the first upcard. Following this card is the first round of betting. 2. In hold’em-type games, the flop. Following these cards is the second round of betting.


(adj phrase) Pertaining to third street. He made a third-street bet.


(n) A California game that combines elements of pai gow poker and poker. The game is played with four players, each one taking turns at dealing or being in dealer position. Each player is dealt 13 cards, which the player arranges into three separate poker hands: one three-card hand in front and two-five card hands; each hand must rank higher than the hand before it. (In one variation, the middle hand is ranked according to deuce-to-seven lowball.) The goal of the game is for all three of the player’s hands to rank higher than the opponent’s hands. Each player’s set of hands competes separately and one at a time against each other player’s set of hands. Each winning hand receives one or more chips, at whatever is the preestablished rate for the game, from the other player. In addition, certain rare hands (three of a kind or better, depending on in which hand they appear) rate bonuses from each player. The game is sometimes one of the events at major tournaments. Often called Chinese poker.

13-card pai gow

(n phrase) Another name for 13-card.

13-card poker

(n phrase) Another name for 13-card.


(n30 miles.

30 days

(n phrase30 miles.

30 days in the county jail

(n phrase30 miles.

30 dirty miles

(n phrase30 miles.

30 miles

(n phrase) Three 10s; sometimes part of the phrase 30 miles of rough road. Many variants exist, including San Jose to Gilroy.

30 miles of bad road

(n phrase30 miles.

30 miles of railroad track

(n phrase30 miles.

30 miles of rough road

(n phrase30 miles.


(n) The card whose rank is 3, of which a standard deck contains four, one each in the spades (♠), hearts (♥), diamonds (♦), and clubs (♣) suit. Often called trey.


(nThree-card draw; usually preceded by the. “Check to the three.”


(v) Raise a raise, that is put in the third bet; often followed by the name of a person. “I came in for a raise, and he three-bet me.” “I opened, Mike raised, and Willie three-bet the pot.” The term applies to limit and no-limit games, and often implies interaction between only two players. To put in one more raise would be to four-bet.

three-blind traveling blind game

(n phrase) A traveling blind game with three mandatory blinds: dealer blind, put in by the dealer, middle blind, put in by the player to the left of the dealer, and big blind, put in by the player two positions to the left of the dealer. For example, in a 5-5-10 no-limit lowball game, the dealer puts a $5 chip in the pot before receiving his cards, the next player puts in a $5 chip, and the big blind puts in two $5 chips. This makes the minimum bet $20; this also starts the pot off with $20 for anyone who opens to shoot at. (In games in which limping is permitted, the minimum bet would be $10. See gypsy and limp.) Compare withstraddle game.

three-card brag

(n phrase) A player-banked game dealt from one deck, a complicated variant of poker involving a lot of blind betting. Players get three cards, and hands are ranked thus: three of a kind, straight flush, straight, flush, pair, no pair. Play begins with each player putting in an ante bet (the same amount for all) and the first player to the left of the dealer putting in an additional compulsory blind bet of at least the ante (more if he wishes). Each player then receives three cards. Action proceeds clockwise, with each player in turn having to at least match the last full bet or pass. A player can put in more if he wishes. Any player who looks at his cards (is open) must either fold or put in twice the amount of a player who has not looked (is blind). Betting continues until only two players remain and one “calls” the other by putting in the required bet and saying “turn you.” At this point, the cards are faced and the higher hand wins. Pots can get very large, particularly if some players do not look at their cards on their turn but just match or increase the current bet. As in poker, the house makes its money by taking a certain amount (the rake or drop) out of each pot. Sometimes called three-card poker. A variant of three-card brag called flush is played in some casinos. Flush involves supplemental payoffs by each player when a hand of three of a kind appears, followed by several special hands being played, some involving four cards, two cards, and wild cards. It’s all very complicated, so be sure to find out all the rules before sitting down to play. (Unfortunately, particularly in casinos outside North America, which is primarily where the game is played, the rules are often neither posted nor available. Even if available, they might be in some language other than English.)

three-card draw

(n phrase1.draw hand that needs three cards. A single pair (or two low cards in lowball) is usually considered to be a three-card draw. 2. The person so drawing. 3. The action of so drawing. “Check to the three-card draw” could be used in senses 2 and 3.

three-card hop

(n phrase) See hop (definition 1).

three-card monte

(n phrase1. Any card game played with three cards, particularly three-card poker2. A con game involving three cards and sleight-of-hand, a “game” that has nothing to do with poker.

three-card Manila

(n phrase) See Manila.

three-card poker

(n phrase1. Any poker game played with three cards. Sometimes called three-toed Pete2. A house-banked game that resembles poker only in the ranking of the hands, dealt from one deck, in which player and dealer each gets three cards. Two bets are made. For the original bet, a player is paid on certain holdings according to a pay scale, ranging from 40:1 for a three-card straight flush to even money on a pair. A player can also make a second bet, and then his hand competes against the dealer’s. If the player does not make the second bet, he loses the original bet. The dealer needs at least a queen high to qualify. Some casinos have other rules, sometimes involving three bets. Casino brag is a variant. 3. Three-card Manila.

three deuces

(n phrase) Apart from the hand you would expect, three 2s plus two other unrelated cards, draw players sometimes refer to the specific two-pair hand A-A-K-K-Q as three deuces, probably because the hand is very close to that.


(nTriple-draw lowball.

three-draw lowball

(n phraseTriple-draw lowball.

three fates

(n phrase) Three queens.

3-5-7 poker

(n phrase) A house-banked game in which the player does not play against the dealer, but tries to make up to three different kinds of hands that are paid off according to posted pay tables, with different payoffs corresponding to the number of cards being played. While the game uses poker rankings, it is not poker. The player has two betting options. He can bet on the first two games (three- and five-card poker) or on all three games. The player can bet any amount on any hand, subject to the table minimum and maximum. The first two bets must always be made; playing the seven-card game is optional. The player receives three cards and there are four community cards. The first payoff is based on the player’s initial three-card hand. The third, optional, payoff is based on the player’s three cards combined with the first two of the community cards. If the player chooses to make the seven-card bet, the player has the option of surrendering (giving up half of that bet and getting the rest back) after seeing his first three cards. The seven-card option plays the best five-card poker hand that can be made from all seven cards.


(n phrase) Three cards to a flush, that is, three cards of the same suit.


(n phrase) In lowball, a proposition that one player will call the bet or raise and draw three cards if the raiser agrees to draw two. Compare with two-for-one.

three of a kind

(n phrase1. A poker hand, three cards of the same rank, plus two other unrelated cards. In high poker, this hand ranks above two pair and below a straight. Example: 9♣ 9♠ 9♦ A♣ Q♥. Often called trips, and sometimes tripletstricon, or trio2. Specifically, just the three cards, without referring to other cards, as, for example, when you start a seven-card stud hand with three of a kind. In hold’em, often called set.

three pluck one

(n phrase) A cheating scheme with three thieves working together against one victim.


(v) Win three-fourths of a pot by winning half (probably the high half) outright plus half of the other portion (see quarter, definition 4).


(n) In high, three of a kind.

3s full

(n phrase) A full house consisting of three 3s and a pair.

3s over

(n phrase1. 3s up2. 3s full.

3s up

(n phraseTwo pair, 3s and 2s.


(n phrase) An analog of seven-twenty-seven, using totals of 3 and 33 instead of 7 and 27.

three-toed Pete

(n phraseThree-card poker.

three wise men

(n phrase) Three kings.

threshold of pain

(n phrase) A point of losing beyond which it no longer hurts to lose any more. For example, for one player it might feel very bad to lose $900, and even worse $1,000, but no worse to lose $3,000 than $1,000. Consequently, it is very dangerous for that player to get stuck $1,000, because he has crossed his threshold of pain and it will not be very hard for him to end up losing $3,000. Unfortunately, the $2,000 difference will hurt very much the next day.


(v1. Discard. “What card did you throw?” 2. Put chips in a pot; usually followed by chips (n3. Discard. “What was your throw?”

throw a party

(v phrase) Lose heavily, generally caused by playing much too liberally. The implication is that the party is being thrown for the other players.

throw off

(v phrase1. Gamble away; sometimes followed by something. If someone asks you to throw off something, he wants you to gamble it up, that is, play looser. 2. Lose, generally by making bad plays. “He’s been trying to throw off those chips all night.” 3. Discard (definition 1).

“Throw off something.”

(v phrase) An exhortation to a tight player to loosen up a little. “You never gamble; why don’t you throw off a little something?”


(n1. A card. In a draw game, a player might say to the dealer, “Give me a ticket.” 2. Charge slip, which a player fills out and gets chips, which are charged against a tab card. In a cardroom in which such are used, a player might yell, after going broke, “Bring me a hundred on a ticket.”


(n) Cards. In a draw game, when the dealer asks, “Tickets?,” he wants to know how many cards you are drawing. If you say to the winner of the pot, “Nice tickets,” you are complimenting him on the quality of his hand. (This is sometimes said facetiously about a very poor hand.) Compare with paper (definition 1).


(n1. Raise. “I’ll give it a tickle.” (v2. Raise; often followed by it. “I’ll tickle it.”

tied in

(adv phraseLocked on.

tied in to

(adv phraseLocked on. “You’ve got me tied in to this one.”

tied on

(adv phraseLocked on. “Too much money in the pot; you got me tied on.” Also, tied intied into.


(n1. The verbal request by a house employee for the players to pay their time2. A request by a player for more time to consider his cards.


(n) Three cards to a straight flush. Also called terce.

tierce major

(n phrase) The three top cards to an ace-high straight flush, that is, A-K-Q in the same suit. Also called terce major.


(nLittle cat. Sometimes the term refers to any of the hands big catbig tigerlittle cat, or little tiger.


(adj, adv1. Playing very conservatively; showing little gamble; not likely to take a chance; having stringent playing requirements. Usually said of a player, but can also describe a particular table. Compare with close to the chestconservativedrummerhardrockmilkernutted uprockrocked uprockyscrewed down2. Pertaining to a full house, generally when part of the phrase tight on followed by the name of the three of a kind of the hand. “I’m tight on aces” means “I have aces full.” This is an old usage, rarely heard today.


(adv) Descriptive of play that is both tight and aggressive, that is, the play of those who do not play many hands but the ones they do include frequent bets and raises, or, in a big bet game, large bets.


(nTight player.

tighten up

(v phrase) Play tighter or more conservatively. See tight.

tight hold’em

(n phrase) Another name for Omaha.

tight play

(n phrase) Pertaining to the play of a tight player.

tight player

(n phrase) One who plays tight, that is, bets only when holding a strong hand.


(v1. Go on tilt or put someone there. “He tilted me.” “I tilted early.” — (n2. The situation of being on tilt.


(n) A group of poker players (all men, except for one member), who started in a home game in the San Francisco Bay Area, are now scattered throughout the US, and are known for various antics, such as entering a ladies-only tournament dressed in drag. Former Celebrity Poker Showdown host and world-class tournament player Phil Gordon is the most prominent member. The book Tales of the Tiltboys chronicles their history.




(n1. A fee levied by the house on each player for letting the player use the premises, supplying the license, furnishing cards, providing other players, and so on, and assessed at regular time intervals (and thus the name). The amount collected per player depends on the size of the game, and the larger the game, the larger the time collection, although the smaller percentage of the game’s limit. For example, a $4-limit hold’em game might charge $8 per player per hour (usually collected half-hourly), while a $20-limit game might collect $12 per player per hour. Sometimes (less commonly) called seat charge. Compare withrake2. When part of the phrase call time, a request by a player for more time to contemplate his action.


(expression1. A request by a player for more time to contemplate his action. In some clubs, unless a player calls time, others may act behind him, and if they do, his hand may become dead. 2. The verbal request by a house employee for the players to pay their time.

time bank

(n phrase) An aggregated amount of time upon which a player can draw when he exceeds the allotted time for his action. This concept is most prevalent in online cardrooms (particularly in tournaments and fast games; see fast game, definition 2), in which only a short time is given for each action. For example, a player might have a one-minute time bank. He might be allowed 10 seconds for any action. If he exceeds those 10 seconds for whatever reason, then any additional time is subtracted from the time bank. When the time bank is depleted, the player must act upon the current hand immediately (and any succeeding hand within the allotted time) or his cards become dead. If the allotted time is exceeded because the player’s connection to the Web site was dropped or otherwise compromised, some online cardrooms give an automatic extension and do not subtract from the time bank. Time banks are also used in some televised poker tournaments.

time buy-in

(n phraseTime (definition 1).

time charge

(n phraseTime collection.

time collection

(n phrase) The amount collected as time (definition 1).

time collector

(n phrase) A cardroom employee who circulates throughout the club either picking up time from each player or getting it from the house dealer (who has previously collected from each player).

time cut

(n phrase) The fee charged in a time collection.

timed out

(v phrase) In an online cardroom, having not responded in time when it is one’s turn to act, as described under time out.

time game

(n phrase) A game in which the house makes its money by charging time (as opposed to a rake game).


(n) Time away from a game as an enforced penalty for some infraction of the rules. In a tournament, for example, someone who mucks a hand overly vigorously such that cards end up on the floor might be given a 10-minute time-out by the tournament director. (During this time, he might be blinded off.) Outside of a tournament, a player who breaks the rules in some fashion that doesn’t warrant immediate barring (such as, for example, swearing or throwing cards at the dealer) might, upon the discretion of the management, be asked to sit out for some period of time.

time out

(v phrase) In an online cardroom, not respond in time when it is one’s turn to act. Usually this is due to connection problems, but a player can also time out by being away temporarily from his computer, or even deliberately. Deliberately timing out is against the rules of every online cardroom, though sometimes hard to enforce.

time pot

(n phrase) The specific pot involved in a game in which players agree to take the time charge for the whole table out of the first pot (in each time period) to reach a specified size.


(n, vToke.

tip off

(v phraseTip the hand.

tip [one’s] hand

(v phraseTip the hand.

tip the duke

(v phraseTip the hand.

tip the hand

(v phrase1. Give away one’s holdings, by one’s actions or some other tell. This expression has moved from the world of poker to general usage in the English language with the meaning of giving away one’s intentions or revealing a secret. 2. Cheat by signalling to an accomplice the value of a downcard or of the holdings of another player. Also see sendsign offtelegraph.

tip the mitt

(v phraseTip the hand.


(n, initialismTournament leader board.


(nChat term for “Too much information.” Usually typed in response to someone describing a hand in excruciating detail, or divulging unsolicited personal data. Comes from general Internet and texting usage, online postings, instant messaging, etc.


(nChat term for “tomorrow,” as in “bb tmw.”

toad in the hole

(v phraseWild widow.


(n, initialismTournament of Champions, (formerly) one of several major tournaments recognizable only by their initials. (Others include WSOP and WPT.)


(n phrase) Official Dictionary of Poker, The.

to go

(adv, adj phrase1. Referring to the size of a game, usually with respect to the minimum bet or the betting limit. “This game is four to go.” 2. Referring to the current level of the betting. For example, if the pot was opened for $4 and raised $16, when the next player asks, “How much to me?,” someone might reply, “It’s $20 to go.”


(adj) Referring to the size of a game, usually with respect to the minimum bet or the betting limit. “This is a four-to-go game.”

toilet flush

(n phrase) Missed flush draw, that is, in a draw game having drawn one card to a flush and ended up with the same thing, four cards to a flush and nothing else. “I’ve got a flush.” “Oh yeah? Well I’ve got a toilet flush.”


(n1. Tip, often given by a player in exchange for having been dealt a winning hand. “Did you get a toke for dealing him that big winner?” No one knows the derivation of this word, but it may come from token (that is, of appreciation). — (v2. Tip. “Don’t forget to toke the dealer when you win a big pot.”


(nChip (definition 1).


(n) A poor tipper.


(adj) Poor, bad, unfavorable. “Don’t get in there; it’s a Tom game.” Opposite of George.


(n) A bad situation. “Lost your last hundred, huh? That’s a real tommer!”


(n) Bad person or situation.


(n) In lowball, 50 points (sometimes 49) (see point, definition 2); from the game of that name. This is an unplayable hand, and “criers” (see crier) like to demonstrate their saltiness by showing all the poor hands, so they don’t miss the opportunity of saying, “Tonk,” and showing their 50-point hands.


(n) Any mechanical cheating device. Also called work.

Too much hand.”

(n phrase) “My cards were too good not to play,” that is, a player’s explanation for why he couldn’t fold in a particular situation, as, perhaps, when faced with a large bet. “I couldn’t fold; I had too much hand.”

“Too rich for my blood.”

(n phrase) “I fold.” See rich (definition 2).

“Too strong to fold.”

(n phrase) See “Too much hand.”


(n) See come over the top.

top and bottom

(n phraseTop and bottom pair.

top and bottom pair

(n phrase) In a flop game, having hole cards that pair the highest and the lowest cards on the flop. For example, holding Q-2 in hold’em on a flop of Q-7-2, thus making two pair, queens and 2s.

top and bottoms

(n phraseTop and bottom pair.

top card

(n phrase1. In lowball, the highest card in a hand; in high, the highest card in a flush or straight. 2. The first card off the deck.

top-card draw

(n phrase) A method of determining, at the start of a new game, who deals the first hand. Each player draws a card from the deck, which is often fanned face down on the table, and the holder of the highest card deals; often suits are used to break ties (in bridge order); sometimes ties are broken by the winner being the first person to draw that tying card. To participate in this is to draw for deal.

top hand

(n phrase) Winning hand.

top kicker

(n phrase) When two or more players have identical hands at the showdown, the situation in which the pot is won by the player with the highest side card. For example, with a hold’em board of Q-9-8-7-4, if you have Q-J and your opponent has Q-T, you both have two queens, but you have top kicker. With a board of A-Q-9-8-4 and the same hole cards, you still both have two queens and you still have top kicker, though in this case each of you has a pair of queens with an ace; your winning hand is Q-Q-A-J-9 while your opponent has Q-Q-A-T-9.

top off

(v phrase1. Bring an online buy-in that has become a partial stack back to the maximum, in a pot- or no-limit game. Also, top up2. In England, add on.

top pair

(n phrase) The situation in hold’em in which a player pairs one of his starting cards with the highest card on the board. For example, if you have Q♥ 8♥, and the flop is Q♣ T♦ 7♣, you have flopped top pair. (If you have Q♥ A♥, you have flopped top pair, top kicker.) Compare with second pairbottom pair.

top pair, top kicker

(n phrase) The situation in hold’em in which a player pairs one of his hole cards with the highest card on the board and his kicker is the highest possible. See top kicker and top pair.

topped out

(adv phraseShaved.


(nRake (definition 3). This usage comes from panguingue, in which each player antes one or two chips, and the antes are placed on top of the block (a wedge-shaped block of wood or lucite against which lean the eight decks of cards from which the game is dealt), where they are called the tops; sometimes part, or all, of the tops are kept as the house cut, from which comes the association with the rake.

tops and bottoms

(n phrase1. Top and bottom pair2. Two pair, aces and 2s.

top set

(n phrase) In hold’em, forming a set with the highest card on the board. Compare with middle setbottom set.

top stock

(n phrase) A small packet of prearranged cards placed on top of the deck prior to dealing (sometimes arranged by a sleight-of-hand maneuver such as a false shuffle), such that specific hands go to predetermined players, usually a good hand to the sucker and a better hand to the thief or his confederate. Also seestacked deck.

top the deck

(v phrase) Palm cards from or to the top of the deck.

top top

(n phraseTop two pair.

top two

(n phraseTop two pair.

top two pair

(n phrase) In hold’em, forming pairs with the highest two cards on the board. For example, if you have T-9 and the flop is T-9-2, you have flopped top two pair. Compare with bottom two pair.

top up

(v phrase1. Top off (definition 1). 2. In England, rebuy.

top wrap

(n phrase) In Omaha, a situation in which the four downcards provide a draw to the high end of a straight on a hand with more than eight cards that will fill the straight. For example, with hole cards of 9-8-6-x and a flop of Q-7-5, any 9, 8, 6, or 4, of which 13 remain in the deck, makes a straight. Compare withbottom wrap.

total prize pool

(n phrasePrize pool. This term is somewhat misleading, because it actually refers to the net amount distributed among the winners.

to the felt

(adv phrase) Pertaining to being all in.

to the rail

(adv phrase) Part of the phrase send [someone] to the rail.

to the test

(adv phrase) See put to the test.

touching cards

(n phrase) Cards in sequence, as part of a straight.


(adjSolid, that is, conservative, not likely to get out of line; difficult to beat; good; said of someone’s play, a particular game, or a player.

tough money

(n phrase) Money for living expenses, and not to be used for gambling. Compare with nut (definition 1).

tough player

(n phrase) A very good or successful poker player, often a professional.

tough spot

(n phrase1. A difficult game to beat, particularly one in which it is hard to tell when others are bluffing. 2. A game in which it is difficult to bluff, as a limit game with small stakes. 3. A situation in which it is hard to tell what other active players are holding because not enough information has been revealed, either because of being first to bet, because other players may have checked good hands, or some other strategic reason. 4.tough player, or the position occupied by same. “Watch out for seat four; that’s a tough spot.”


(n) A tough player.


(n) Competition among players, who start with some number of chips (usually but not always the same amount for every player), usually with escalating blinds and limites, sometimes with one buy-in, in which case it is often called a freeze-out tournament, and then played down till there are a preset number of players remaining, at which point all win the chips they have at that time, or till one is left, at which point prizes are awarded that are percentages of the total bought in, with the most for the first-place winner, next for second, and so on, sometimes with a guaranteed amount for first place, or a guaranteed total for the entire prize pool; and sometimes with multiple buy-ins, in which case it is usually called a rebuy tournament, and often with the same prize structure. Players are eliminated as they go broke (immediately in a freeze-out tournament and after the rebuy period in a rebuy tournament). In such a tournament, first place might be worth 40 percent or 50 percent of the prize pool (sometimes as little as 25 percent), second place 20 percent or 25 percent, third 15 percent, and so on, down to the last qualifying place, which might just pay the cost of the buy-in. (Prize allocation might be changed by a deal, definition 9.)The larger the tournament, the more places paid, from as few as one in a one-table satellite, to three in a small tournament, eight in a medium-sized tournament, or many more for very large tournaments. Some large online tournaments have paid 100 places and more. The final event of the 2006 World Series of Poker, with a record 8773 entrants, paid 876 places. Sometimes shortened to tourney.

tournament chips

(n phrase) Chips with no actual cash value, used just in a tournament, and that cannot be cashed in when the tournament is over. At the end of the tournament, such chips are used merely as counters to determine the winners. Sometimes rendered TC in print.

tournament circuit

(n phraseTournament trail.

Tournament Evaluation And Rating System

(n phrase) See TEARS.

tournament director

(n phrase) The cardroom or casino official in charge of organizing and running tournaments (see tournament). Sometimes rendered TD in print.

Tournament Directors’ Association

(n phrase) A group of tournament directors who have formed an association primarily for the purpose of standardizing tournament rules. Sometimes rendered as the initialism TDA.

tournament game

(n phrase) Any of the tables in a tournament.

tournament leader

(n phrase) In a tournament, the player who, at any particular point, has the most chips.

tournament leader board

(n phrase) The leader board for a tournament, that is, a list of players who have the most chips in a particular event or the most best all-around player points. Sometimes rendered TLB.

tournament level

(n phraseLevel.

tournament life on the line

(n phrase) Being in a critical situation in a tournament, generally all in, in which a player must win the pot or leave the tournament.

Tournament of Champions

(n phrase1. A prestigious tournament on the tournament trail, first held in August, 1999, at the Orleans in Las Vegas, in which only winners of major tournaments are eligible to compete. The tournament is now defunct. Sometimes rendered as the initialism TOC2. An event of the World Series of Poker that pits champions of various events against each other.

tournament player

(n phrase) Someone who plays mainly or exclusively in tournaments or is currently playing in one. 2. A derogatory term used by cash players for those who are proficient in tournament play but cannot win in the “real” cash games. Some very prominent tournament players are considered live ones (suckers) in cash games.

tournament structure

(n phrase) See structure (definition 3).

tournament ticket

(n phrase) A prize awarded to finalists other than first place in a step tournament that pays the buy-in to the current or a lower step.

tournament trail

(n phrase) The yearly cycle of major poker tournaments, including, of course, the World Series of Poker and the World Poker Tour, but also including others such as the National Championship of Poker at Hollywood Park Casino in Inglewood, California, and the Festival of Poker in London’s Victoria Casino. Also called tournament circuit.




(n) Someone who does not live in Las Vegas or some other venue noted for poker (and is presumed to be at a disadvantage in the poker games), as contrasted to a local (who “lives” in the poker games, and who supposes that the only purpose in life for tourists is to supply him with a living).


(n) Shorthand, particularly in e-mail and Internet postings, for top pair. Sometimes tp. Also a chat term.


(n) Shorthand, particularly in e-mail and Internet postings, for top pair, top kicker. Sometimes tptk. Also a chat term.


(v) Receive a twist.

traditional cardroom

(n phrase) Brick and mortar club.

traditional casino

(n phrase) A casino having a real physical location, with live players, as opposed to an online casino. Also called brick and mortar casino.

traditional deck

(n phrase) Deck of cards in which spades and clubs are black and hearts and diamonds are red, as opposed to a four-color deck.


(v1. Come in light, that is, call a bet when several others have already called, usually to get money odds on a straight or flush draw (in high), or to try a longshot cheaply, as an inside straight draw in hold’em or seven-card stud, a cathop or short pair draw in high draw, a multiple-card draw in lowball, or substandard starting cards in any of the games. 2. Have a weaker hand than an opponent with more cards to come.

Traktor poker

(n phrase) A nonpoker card game (see nonpoker games) played in mainland China that pits teams of two against each other, similar to four-way gin. A double deck of 108 cards (jokers included) is used, and the players try to make tricks using tens and kings. The entire deck is dealt out per hand. The China Leisure Sports Administrative Center (CLSAC) considers the game an official sport; Westerners have described it as a cross between bridge and gin. The game is also known as Tuo La Ji.


(n1. The state of being stuck; usually preceded by the. “I was stuck a hunnert, but I got out of the trap.” 2. The setting up of a situation in which one player can catch or trap another, as described under set up (definition 1). 3. Check-raise (definition 2).  (v4. Set up (definition 1). 5. Catch one or more players when you have a good hand by playing in such a way as to conceal your holdings: checking or underbetting a good hand, or playing a hand in such a way as not to let opponents know you have a strong hand, thus inducing them either to try a bluff, or bet a weak hand they might otherwise just show down without betting. 6. Check-raise (definition 1). 7. Catch someone in a whipsaw.




(n) One who plays a hand in the way described under trap (definition 5). After this happens (and sometimes happens unsuccessfully, as all the players just show down their hands without betting, and the first player reveals that he passed a monster), someone is sure to say, “Not all trappers wear fur hats.”


(n1. Poor or worthless cards. 2. Muck (definition 1). “Pass the trash; it’s my deal” means “Give me the discards and let me shuffle.”

trash talk

(n phrase) Putting other players down, often practiced by young players, particularly in an online chat box.

traveling blind

(n phrase) A mandatory blind, dependent on position, as described under traveling blind game. Examples are under-the-gun blindopen blind, and so on.

traveling blind game

(n phrase) A game with mandatory blinds (see blind, definition 1), dependent on position, rather than on who won the last pot or how many times a particular player has or has not blinded. See three-blind traveling blind game. Sometimes called straddle game.

traveling blinds

(n phrase) The blinds in a traveling blind game.


(nChip rack (definition 1).


(n phrase) The third pot of three in which the first two have not been played, either because of no player having had openers in a game with opening requirements, or because of two successive misdeals (see misdeal). Also see triple ante.


(n1. See live in a tree2. A 3 (the card).


(n) “Three cards, please.” This is heard at the time of the draw in a draw poker game.


(n; imitative1. In hold’em, 3-3 as starting cards. 2. Two or more 3s.


(n1. 3 (the card). The 3♥ is called the trey of hearts. — (v2. Divide a deck into thirds prior to shuffling. (This is an old, obsolete term.)

treys full

(n phrase) A full house consisting of three 3s and a pair.

treys over

(n phrase1. 3s up2. 3s full.

treys up

(n phraseTwo pair, 3s and 2s.


(n) Poor player; from pimp slang for a prostitute’s customer.

tricky play

(v phrase) Any play made by a tricky player, such as calling rather than raising with a strong hand, check-raising, and so on.

tricky player

(v phraseBackward player or one who exhibits Fancy Play Syndrome.


(nThree of a kind.




(v) See pull the trigger.

trimming shears

(n phrase) Special heavy scissors for cutting the edges of cards in any of several ways for cheating. These produce various kinds of strippers.


(n, always used in the plural) A deck marked by shaving the edges of some cards such that a thief can tell by feel the values of certain cards. Also called strippers.


(nThree of a kind.


(vi) Make three of a kind; often followed by up. “I started with two aces, but tripped.” “I drew three and tripped up.”

triple ante

(n, adj, adv phrase) In double-limit draw (high, with an ante), pertaining to the situation following two passed pots (that is, unopened pots; see passed pot), at which point the pot contains three antes from each player, and the limits double (once only) until a pot is played. After a pot is played, the limits revert to their usual level.

Triple Crown

(n phrase) Wins in events of all three of the World Series of Poker, European Poker Tour, and World Poker Tour.

Triple Crown of Poker

(n phraseTriple Crown.


(n phraseTriple-draw lowball.

triple-draw lowball

(n phrase) A form of deuce-to-seven, or, less commonly, ace-to-five, with three draws, instead of the usual one in ordinary lowball, and thus having four betting rounds, usually played as a limit game, but sometimes played pot limit. Often shortened to simply triple-draw and sometimes known as three-draw lowball.

triple jackpot

(n phrase) A period of time in a cardroom that has progressive jackpots (see jackpot) for getting certain hands beat (for example, aces full in a hold’em game) during which the posted payouts are tripled. Usually triple jackpot times are at times that otherwise have lower attendance than others, with such promotions being to increase patronage. Compare with double jackpot.

triple shootout

(n phrase) A shootout tournament (definition 1) with three levels. A number of tables of players each play down to one winner. Those winners then reassemble at multiple tables, each of which again play down to one winner, and finally the winners of each of those tables compete in the playoff. This form of shootout occurs only online. With nine-handed tables, 729 players would participate.

triple shootout tournament

(n phraseTriple shootout.


(n) A house-banked game dealt from one deck, in which players play three games in one separately against the dealer(casino war, blackjack, and poker, or any combination of these games). The three bets are independent so the player can bet any amount on each one, subject to table limits. The player’s and dealer’s first card determine the outcome of the war bet, which is settled at that point. (The player cannot “go to war.”) Then the player gets another card and plays out his blackjack hand. The blackjack segment differs from standard blackjack in that players can split only aces, receiving only one card, and that six cards 21 or less is an automatic winner. Then more cards are dealt to the player to complete a six-card poker hand. (While this portion of the game uses poker rankings, it is not poker.) Finally the dealer plays out his blackjack hand, settles the blackjack wagers, and then pays the player according to the value of the six-card poker hand, of which the best five cards are played. The poker portion payoffs start at either jacks or queens, and range from 1:1 for one pair to either 100:1 or 200:1 for a royal flush.

triple-threat player

(n phrase) Someone who plays all games (all variations of poker) well.

triple through

(v phrase) Triple a small stack by beating two others, generally those with larger stacks; sometimes part of the phrase triple a stack through. “Big John and Bubbles each had about $10,000 in chips, and they were both hot and stuck. Kate came in with $100, tripled it through them twice, and took the $900 to the window.” Also see double throughrun through.

trip report

(adj phrase) An online posting on a poker Web site or a mailing to the members of an Internet poker mailing group describing one’s experiences at a tournament or the entire gestalt of one’s *ARGE attendance.

triple tough

(adj phrase) Extremely tough.


(nThree of a kind. Usually called trips.


(nThree of a kind; shortened from triplets. Sometimes synonymous with set (definition 1), though in flop games (see flop game) a set usually implies a pair in the hole, while trips most often means that two of one’s cards are on the board and only one in the hand.

trips eight

(n phrase1. A form of draw poker found only in home games, a split-pot (high-low) game with qualifiers of three of a kind for high and an 8 for low (see 8-or-better). 2. A form of stud poker found only in home games, with the same qualifiers, often played with one or more twists (see twist) at the end.

trip up

(v phrase) See trip.


(n1. In lowball, a 7-6 hand; comes from the song “76 Trombones” in the musical The Music Man2. In high, two pair, 7s and 6s. 3. In hold’em, a 7 and 6 as starting cards.

tropical stud poker

(n phrase) A variant of Caribbean Stud Poker, usually offered as a form of slot machine, with progressive jackpots, and in which the “call” bet can be paid, depending on the player’s holding, even if the dealer does not qualify.

trouble hand

(n phrase) A hand that, if played incorrectly, can have disastrous results. For example, ace-jack in early position in hold’em is considered by many to be a trouble hand, because it can be costly if anyone in a later position has an ace with a better kicker or a pair. With many players left to act, such a hand (one better than the ace-jack) being out is far more likely than if the ace-jack is first in from a late position.


(nTrucker’s hand.

trucker’s hand

(n phrase) In hold’em, starting cards of 10-4. The term comes from CB slang, which truckers use. See Broderick Crawford. Also, CB hand, convoy, good buddy, over and outover and out good buddyRoger thattrucker.

true odds

(n phraseCorrect odds (definition 1).


(nChat term for “thank you.” Also, ty.


(n) A variant of hold’em, usually played only in private games, in which the community cards are turned face up one at a time, thus adding two more rounds of betting.



Tuo La Ji

(n phraseTraktor poker.


(n, imitative) Two pair.


(n, imitative) Two pair.

turbo satellite

(n phrase) An online satellite tournament, usually for low buy-in and often of short duration.

turbo tournament

(n phrase) An online tournament that has quickly accelerating limits. Where in an ordinary tournament the limits may go up every 15 minutes, in a turbo tournament they might go up every six minutes. The level sizes are usually the same as regular tournaments; the difference is the speed, whence the name.




(n1. Turn card. “I spiked an ace on the turn.” 2. With respect to a particular player, the point at which the action is on him, that is, the time when he is faced with the choice of checking, folding, calling, or raising. “Whose turn is it?” 3. Sometimes (rarely, these days) the term is used by Texans and others from the Southwest with the same meaning as flop. — (v4. Deliver the turn card. “The dealer turned an ace.” 5. Catch a specific card on the turn. “He turned an inside straight.” 6. See burn and turn.

turn a draw

(v phrase) In hold’em, catch a draw to a straight or flush, on the turn card. You might, for example, start with pocket 9s. The flop is 6, 8, K of three different suits. If the turn is a 7, you have turned a draw, specifically to a straight.

turn a pair

(v phrase) In hold’em, pair one of one’s hole cards on the turn card.

“Turn a toothpick into a lumber yard.”

(v phrase) Start with a few chips and, by winning, transform them into a substantial stack. This is one of the colorful sayings attributed to Thomas “Amarillo Slim” Preston and picked up by announcers of televised poker events.

turn card

(n phrase1. In hold’em-type games, the second card of the flop (that is, the fourth card dealt to the center). Following this card is the third round of betting. This card is sometimes (rarely) called fourth street2. In seven-card stud, the fourth card dealt to each player. Following this card is the second round of betting.

turn down

(v phrase) Fold (a hand).

“Turn one.”

(v phrase) When everyone passes in a hold’em game, the last player may say this to the dealer indicating that he, too, does not wish to bet. Also, “run ’em.”

turn out

(v phrase) Teach someone how to cheat. “He should be good; he was turned out by One-Eyed Charlie.” Probably comes from the world of prostitution, where the process of starting a beginner on the tortuous road of sin, usually by a pimp, is called the same thing.

tute poker

(n phraseCaribbean Stud Poker as played in casinos of Latin America; the name is probably used by some casinos to get around paying royalties to the original inventors of the game.

TV bubble

(n phrase) A specialized bubble, the last position to bust out before the remaining players assemble for the TV table. In many tournaments, when the TV bubble player busts out, the players take a break, often until the next day, until the TV table assembles. The player who busts out on the TV bubble usually has made the money (see make the money), sometimes even receiving a substantial prize. Unfortunately, he misses the TV appearance.

TV table

(n phrase) In a tournament whose final table will be televised, that final table is often called the TV table. Often the TV table consists of six players, even though an actual final table generally consists of nine. Someone who busts out last before having made the TV table is said to have busted out on the TV bubble. Sometimes the term TV table is used for featured table.

12-way hand

(n phrase12-way straight.

12-way straight

(n phrase1. In draw poker played with the 53-card deck, the four-card combination consisting of the joker plus three to a straight with one gap so that any of 12 cards makes it a straight. For example, 3-4-6-joker of mixed suits can be made into a straight by drawing any 2, 5, or 7, of which 12 remain in the rest of the deck. 2. In the 52-card deck, the four-card combination consisting of four to a straight flush with one “hole,” so that any of 12 cards makes it a straight or better. For example, 3♠ 4♠ 5♠ 7♠ can be made into a straight by drawing any 6, a flush by drawing any spade, or a straight flush by the 6♠, of which there are 12 altogether.

20 and 40

(n phrase20-40.


(n phrase) A double-limit poker game, in which the initial bets are in multiples of $20 and the last-round bets in multiples of $40. In hold’em, this would be the first two rounds of betting at the lower limit, and the last two at the higher. In draw games (lowball and high draw), the bets before the draw would be at the lower limit, and those after at the higher.


(n21 miles.

21 days

(n phrase21 miles.

21 days in the county jail

(n phrase21 miles.

21 miles

(n phrase) Three 7s; sometimes part of the phrase 21 miles of rough road.

21 miles of railroad track

(n phrase21 miles.

21 miles of rough road

(n phrase21 miles.

22-way hand

(n phrase) In draw poker played with the 53-card deck, the four-card combination consisting of three to a straight flush plus the joker, so that any of 22 cards makes it a straight or better. For example, 3♦ 4♦ 5♦ plus the joker can be made into a straight by drawing any ace, 2, 6, 7, a flush by drawing any diamond, or a straight flush by the ace, 2, 6, or 7 of diamonds, of which there are 22 altogether.


(n) In hold’em, 2-9 as starting cards. Probably comes from this erstwhile ultraskinny model’s measurements. (She flourished in the ’60s, so you can see how long the term has been around.)

twin beds

(n phrase) A form of poker found only in home games, a widow game in which each player receives five cards face down, and 10 cards are arranged face down in the center of the table, in two rows of five each, at which point there is a betting round, and then the dealer turns up each central card, one at a time, usually alternating one from each row, each followed by another round of betting. At the showdown, each player uses the best five cards among his five and five from one row (only) of the widow. The game is often played high-low split.


(n1. In stud, played in a home game, an extra card that a player can “buy” after all the cards that constitute a hand have been dealt. This card is generally a replacement for one of the player’s existing cards, usually with an upcard being replaced by an upcard, and a downcard being replaced by a downcard, and often with the player having to pay for the card, that is, put extra chips in the pot, such chips not constituting a bet, because that “bet” does not have to be matched by other players. “We’re playing five-card stud, high-low, with a twist.” Also called discardoptional cardpitchreplacementsubstitution. Allowing players to exchange more than one card — sometimes up to all the cards — is called a giant twist, and may require payment of more chips than for a single card. — (v2. Make the replacement so described.

twist your neighbor

(n phraseScrew your neighbor.


(n) The card whose rank is 2, of which a standard deck contains four, one each in the spades (♠), hearts (♥), diamonds (♦), and clubs (♣) suit. Often called deuce.


(nTwo-card draw; usually preceded by the. “Check to the two.”

2-and-4 blind structure

(n phrase2-4 blind structure.

2-and-3 blind structure

(n phrase2-3 blind structure.


(vRaise, that is put in two bets; usually followed by the name of a person. “I opened and he two-bet me.”

“Two bets.”

(expression) Usually means, “I raise,” in the sense that when a player says this, it’s his turn to call one bet, but by putting in two, he is indicating a raise. The phrase is most common in limit games, but is also heard in no-limit and pot-limit games to indicate a raise exactly equal in size to the preceding bet.


(adj1. Pertaining to $25, as a two-bit chip2. Pertaining to a small-limit game or player.

two-bit game

(n phrase) A small game.

two-bit player

(n phrase) A small-limit player; someone who plays only in the smallest games.

two bits

(n phrase1. $25 or a $25 chip. More commonly called quarter2. In hold’em, a 2 and a 5 as one’s starting cards.

two-blind traveling blind game

(n phrase) A traveling blind game having two blinds, one to the left of the dealer (often called the small blind) and one to the left of that player (often called the big blind). Also called under-the-gun blind. Also see three-blind traveling blind game, and compare with straddle game.


(n) A form of poker, found exclusively in home games, in which each player receives one card face down, followed by a round of betting, another face up, with another round of betting, and then each active player has an optional replacement (as described under twist, but generally without having to pay for the card). The game is played high-low, with both the highest and lowest hand being two aces. Pairs win for high, followed by high-card combinations; that is, A-K ranks just below a pair of 2s. For low, the point total is used, with 2 being best, then 3; 4, next, can be formed in two ways, A-3 or a pair of 2s; and so on.

two-card draw

(n phrase1. A hand that needs two cards. Three of a kind (or three low cards in lowball) is usually considered to be a two-card draw. 2. The person so drawing. 3. The action of so drawing. “Check to the two-card draw” could be used in senses 1 and 2.

two-card hop

(n phrase) See hop (definition 1).

two-card Manila

(n phrase) See Manila.

two-card party

(n phrase) In lowball, all players (usually implies at least three) drawing two cards.

two-card poker

(n phrase) Poker played with two cards, in particular two-card. Sometimes called Hurricane.


(n phrase) Two cards to a flush, that is, two cards of the same suit.


(n phrase) See proposition (definition 1).

2-4 blind structure

(n phrase1.two-blind traveling blind game in which player to the left of the dealer puts up $2 (called the small blind) and the next player (called the big blind) $4. 2. Any two-blind traveling blind game in which the blinds are in multiples of 2 and 4. For example, a $20-$40 limit hold’em game is played with two blinds of $20 and $40, using $5 chips in a 2-4 ratio and distributed as described in definition 1.

2-4 chip blind structure

(n phrase2-4 blind structure.


(n, adj) Describing hold’em starting cards in which the two cards are separated by two cards in rank, as, K♥ T♥ or 7♣ 4♥.


(n phrase1. Double belly-buster2.two-gap hand.


(adjHead up (definition 1).

“Two in pan.”

(expression) In draw (or lowball), an announcement that you have A-2-3 or J-Q-K of spades or three 3s, 5s, or 7s (which are worth a collection of two chips in panguingue). Often the announcer shows the cards in question and then throws the hand away. Also see pan (definition 2).

two-minute rule

(n phrase) A house rule that a player must act on his hand within two minutes, or else give up the hand and have no claim on the pot. This rule is found mainly in no-limit games, and is usually invoked on players who frequently abuse the time limits, that is, when confronted with a large bet, often study the situation for long periods of time. The five-minute rule is similar, though not as common. There can also be a one-minute rule.


(n) In hold’em, a hand that is behind on the turn and can win on the river only with one of two remaining cards. For example, you have pocket aces and your opponent has pocket 2s. The board is K♥ T♠ 7♣ 4♦. Your opponent can win only by catching a 2 on the river, of which two remain.

two pair

(n phrase) The poker hand that consists of two of one rank, plus two of another rank, plus an unrelated card. In high poker, this hand ranks between one pair and three of a kind. For example, A♥ A♣ K♣ K♥ Q♣ is two pair, known variously as two pair, aces and kingsaces upaces overaces over kings;aces and kingsaces and.

two pairs

(n phraseTwo pair. This usage is nonstandard.

2s full

(n phrase) A full house consisting of three 2s and a pair.

2s over

(n phrase2s full.


(n phrase) A card with two pips (see pip), commonly known as a deuce.


(n phrase) Two cards to a straight, usually two cards of consecutive ranks, as 4-5.


(n phrase) In lowball, an agreement between two players that when the two of them are the only ones to remain in an otherwise unopened pot (which might happen when one has the middle blind and the other the big blind), one will open blind for two bets, and the other will raise to three bets. At this point, the action will be on the first, the one who made the two bets, who can, of course, fold, call, or raise. Compare with two-two-three.

2-3 blind structure

(n phrase1.two-blind traveling blind game in which the player to the left of the dealer puts up $2 (called the small blind) and the next player (called the big blind) $3. 2. Any two-blind traveling blind game in which the blinds are in multiples of 2 and 3. For example, a $15-$30 limit hold’em game is played with two blinds of $10 and $15, using $5 chips in a 2-3 ratio and distributed as described in definition 1.

2-3 chip blind structure

(n phrase2-3 blind structure.


(n phrase) A three-blind traveling blind game, in which the dealer puts up $2, the player to his left (called the middle blind) $3, and the next player (called the big blind) $5, with the minimum bet (or bring-in) usually being $10. In some games the minimum bet is the size of the big blind, that is, $5.


(adj) Pertaining to a structure that has two levels; double-limit.

two-tiered structure

(n phraseDouble limit.


(n phrase) An analog of seven-twenty-seven, using totals of 2 and 22 instead of 7 and 27.


(n phrase) A three-blind traveling blind game, in which the dealer puts up $2, the player to his left (called the middle blind) $2, and the next player (called the big blind) $4, with the minimum bet (or bring-in) usually being $8. In some games the minimum bet is the size of the big blind, that is, $4.


(n phrase) In lowball, an agreement between three players that when they are in the last three positions and that if no one else opens the pot, the first will open for two bets, the second will call, and the third will raise, that is, make it three bets. At this point, the action will be on the first, the one who made the original two bets, who can, of course, fold, call, or raise. These last three positions are normally the three blinds in a three-blind traveling blind game, and this agreement stipulates the dealer put in the three bets, so as not to give him any added positional advantage. Compare with two-three.


(n phrase1. Heads-up2. Pertaining to any two-way hand.

two-way call

(n phraseSweeper (definition 1).

two-way hand

(n phrase1. In high poker, an open-ended straight; so called because it can be made by two ranks. 2. In draw poker, a hand with two possible ways of drawing, such as four cards to a straight or four to a flush (but not the same for both draws); for example, 7♥ 8♥ 9♠ K♥ joker, from which the 9♠ can be discarded to draw for an ace-high flush, or the K♥ can be discarded to go for the 16-way straight. Also, a hand that can be played either as a pair or a straight or flush draw, as A♦ A♠ K♦ Q♦ 9♦, from which either K♦ Q♦ 9♦ can be discarded and the aces drawn to or A♠ and the flush drawn to. 3. Breaking hand.4. In high-low split-pot games with a declare, a hand that can declare (but not necessarily win) both ways. 5. In high-low split-pot games without a declare (that is, those in which cards speak), a hand that wins both ways.

two-way joint

(n phrase) A crooked gaming establishment. Also called flat jointflat shopflat store.

two-way straight

(n phraseTwo-way hand (definition 1).


(nChat term for “thanks.” Usually typed in response to nh.


(nChat term for “thank you.” Usually typed in response to nh. Also, tu.


(nChat term, for “thank you very much.”




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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