(n) In the French deck, the index for the jack (valet in French).
(n) Cow; usually preceded by la.
(n phrase) Cow. If a player says “Vaca vaca” to a floorperson (or another player), it generally means, “Do you want to go half and half with me in this game?”
(n) Jack (the card); comes from French.
(n phrase) In hold’em, K♥ Q♥as starting cards. (A couple showing their hearts.)
(n phrase) Any 3, 5, or 7; comes from the game of panguingue, in which those cards have value (which is the meaning of the word valle) and for which other players pay a player who melds them.
(n) 1. Getting paid off for a good hand (by someone who calls); often part of the phrase full value or maximum value. A player in a hold’em game who makes a set, and busts three other players with it because of the way the action comes down, might say that he got value out of the hand. If he was not prone to understatement, he might even say that he got full value out of the hand. 2. The worth of a hand in comparison with its chances of winning. Compare with return. 3. What a bet has that is made to increase the pot when a hand has winning potential. Often part of the phrase bet for value.
(v phrase) 1. Bet for value. — (n phrase) 2. A bet so made.
(n) A measure of the spread of a statistical distribution about its mean or center. With respect to poker, the distribution of your results over a a set of hands or sessions, or the swings in a positive or negative direction of cash flow. The greater the variance, the wilder the swings; the lower the variance, the more likely a given session results will be close to one’s average result. As an example, suppose you average $20 an hour in winnings in a particular game. You calculated this over a long period of time, say 1,000 hours, in which you made $20,000. You didn’t make exactly $20 every hour you played, but a graph of your winnings was a generally upward-sloping line. Some hours, you might have lost $50; others you might have won $70 or $100. Some playing sessions you lost; others you won. The closer each hour to plus $20 were your results, the lower was your variance, and the farther from this number were your results, the higher was your variance. In mathematical terms, variance is the square of the standard deviation, a topic beyond the scope of this dictionary. Various poker plays can be described as high variance or low variance. A very tight player who rarely made risky plays might be a steady winner; likely his play would show low variance. An aggressive player who made frequent risky plays might win more overall, but his play would show high variance. The higher your variance, the larger the bankroll you need. Playing very few hands and only those with a high expectation of success is a winning strategy for many players, particularly in low-limit games. Such a low-variance strategy produces consistent results, with few deviations, but also at a relatively low hourly rate. Playing more hands, particularly hands that are purely speculative, frequently betting aggressively when having only a small edge, and other risky plays might produce a greater win rate for another player, but the high-variance player is also subject to be stuck (losing) considerably more at any juncture. An example of a high variance play is raising on the last round of betting with a pure bluff in the hopes of getting a player who appears to be betting a weak hand to fold. The bluffer wins more pots than someone who rarely makes this play, but also frequently finds himself in the position of having lost multiple bets on a hand the low-variance player would have just quietly folded.
(n phrase) Oral bet.
(n phrase) Oral declaration.
(n phrase) A kind of holdout machine. A vest holdout is worn under a thief’s coat. Also called breastworks.
(n phrase) 1. In a draw game, at the showdown, spreading your hand triumphantly. (It’s usually done in the same manner that a blackjack or poker dealer spreads an entire deck fanned face up on the table in front of her. Spreading one’s hand in this fashion, by the way, is something of a needle, and is not practiced by a refined player, who, when he has an obvious powerhouse, gently and diffidently turns it face up on the table.) 2. A similar method of showing down in any form of poker. Also known as victory roll.
(n phrase) Victory rip.
(n phrase) The game played on a video poker machine.
(n phrase) A computerized slot machine (video slot machine) based on draw poker (but not really a form of poker), with card symbols, on which players try to make certain poker hand combinations, a casino game that can sometimes be beaten by skill, and the fastest-growing form of mechanized gambling. The higher-ranked the hand, the bigger the payout, typically starting with even money for a pair of jacks to a large, often progressive, jackpot (see progressive jackpot) for a royal flush. There are many varieties of video poker machines, such as deuces wild, joker machines, and so on.
(n phrase) In hold’em, 7-5 as starting cards. From the year the Vietnam War ended.
(n) 1. Percentage edge (definition 3) either built into a bet or charged as a fixed amount or charged by the hand or per hour by a cardroom, casino, or bookie, as its fee for offering a game or hosting a wager. 2. Specifically in a cardroom, house take; time; rake.
(n phrase) Four queens.
(n phrase) See Caribbean Draw Poker.
(n phrase) Play money.
(n phrase) Face-up cards in a stud game, that is, those that can be seen by all players, as opposed to hidden cards.
(n phrase) A hand that does best against multiple players, as a medium or small pair in limit hold’em.
(n) Initialism for video poker, usually found only in written text.
(n) VIP frequent player points, that is, those with special redemption value, perhaps awarded after acquiring some specified number of FPP.
(n) Describing a hand that is easily susceptible to getting beat.
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.