The Key Poker Terminology to Memorise Whilst on Poker Apps

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When you first play online poker real money or download your first mobile poker app, it can feel a little bit overwhelming. There are bonuses, offers and verification processes to navigate before you even make your first bet.

Then there is the worry that you’ll be placed on a table with seasoned card sharks and lose all your hard earned money in the blink of an eye. In addition to that, there is the often overlooked issue of poker terminology.

If you’re new to the game, the terminology used to describe poker can sound like a foreign language, which is where we come in. Below you’ll find a list 11 of the most commonly used poker terminology along with a handy definition.

Read on to find out the difference between a call and a check and why you don’t need a boat to ride the river.


You have most likely heard the term ‘upping the ante’, usually in a sporting or business context, to signify when something is taken to a new level of importance, or in other words, an upping of the stakes…

The phrase comes from poker, where an ‘Ante’ is a small bet that all players have to make before the hand starts. It is usually a small percentage of the minimum bet of the game and is in place to avoid players sitting defensively on the outside and watching others bet.


The most commonly known term associated to poker, which describes the moment in which a player deceives another player into an action based on misdirection.

Most commonly this happens when one player behaves in a way to suggest that they have a winning hand and forces their opponent to fold, only to reveal that they had nothing close to a winning hand.

There are more complex and nuanced forms of bluffing, but don’t worry about them until you’ve got to grip with the basics first.

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(If you’re interested in learning more about bluffing, watch this video.)


This is what you do when you match the amount of the bet of the previous better. If you decide not to call you will be removing yourself from the game until the betting round is over.


This can be done by deciding not to call in the early betting rounds or by simply giving up as the hand progresses. This is usually done as a means of damage limitation when you have a really bad hand and want to mitigate your losses.


If there is no bet in the current round, you can check, which means you remain in the round but without having to stump up any additional cash. If betters after you choose to raise the bet, you will then be asked to call or fold.

Community Cards

In Texas Hold ‘em, the most played variant of poker, you must make the best possible hand from your 2 private cards combined with 3 of the 5 cards that are placed face up in the middle of the table.

As these cards can be used by all players, they are referred to as ‘community cards’.

The Flop

After the first round of betting, the dealer will place five cards in the centre of the table. The first three will be face up for all players to see and the fourth and the fifth will be face down. After this there will be another betting round before…

The Turn

The fourth community card, which is turned from face down to face up for players to see. This prompts another betting round before…

The River

The fifth and final community card which is turned to face up for players to see prompting the final betting round.

There are a number of theories as to why the fifth card is called the river with one rather spurious belief that because river was traditionally played on riverboats, the fifth card reveal was the moment when cheaters would be revealed and thrown into the river.

Another much more believable theory is that as poker was widely played in French speaking areas such as New Orleans, the word derives from the French word ‘river’ which means clincher.

The Showdown

Like Ronseal, it does what it says on the tin… This is the moment in which players reveal their hands and the winnings are decided.


Not what your Grandparents called Marijuana in the 80s. This is the pot of money that the winner scoops at the end of the hand.