Poker Terms and Lexicon
Some of these term and acronyms are used in my Tournament and Cash Game formulas.
ABC Poker: Playing a poker hand in a straightforward way; poker play that generally plays the top hands without any fancy play.
Add-On: AO: Used in poker tournaments. Purchasing additional chips, usually during the first few levels of tournament play. Usually only allowed once and frequently a better value for your dollar when you get more chips than the original buy-in chips for less money.
Aggression or Aggressive: In the game of poker, opens and raises are considered aggressive plays, while calls and checks are considered passive.
Aggression Factor: Usually refers to poker players who like to raise or re-raise frequently during the hands they play. Mainly as an intimidation play.
AIR: refers to a hand with no value.
All-In @ Level: Used in poker tournaments. It’s the Blind Change Interval Level prior to the BB+SB+Ante equaling the one half, or more, of the Total Chips in Play.
Angle or Angle Shooting: Using various “Hollywood” tactics to try to induce an action by another player. One example is when a player pushes forward fewer chips then what is actually required to make the call in order to get a reaction from their opponent or to get them to turn over their cards without first making sure that a call was made. Generally considered an unethical act, like playing or acting out of turn to get a read on an opponent.
Ante: An automatic or forced bet every player has to make pre-flop.
AO#: Add-on. Number of times you can buy additional chips for the tournament.
AO Chips: Add-on chips, Number of extra chips a player can buy for the tournament.
Bad Beat: Many poker players claim it is any marginal hand that beats their hand at the river or 5th Street. It’s more like when you go All-In with the best hand pre-flop or on the flop and get beaten by a drawing hand or a “Lucky” card that gives a lesser hand the win.
Badugi: A 4 card Draw poker game. Each card must be a different rank and suit in order to count towards the hand and straights are not counted. There are generally 3 draws. A High Action game. Part of some Mixed Games for Tournament Poker.
BB: Big Blind: the minimum bet for calls or raises.
BCI: Blind Change Interval; The number of minutes for each blind level until the blinds are increased.
BCI2: Blind Change Interval 2: A change in time durations for subsequent blind change intervals, can go up or down. Like when a tournament has 30 minutes for each blind change and later in the tournament the blind changes occur ever 20 minutes going forward.
BCI2L: Level when BCI changes after the tournament has started.
Bet in the DARK: When a player makes a bet without looking at their cards.
Big O: Omaha Poker where 5 cards are dealt to each player instead of the usual four. You still can only use 2 cards from your hand. A much more action oriented game, usually a limit game where many players stay in to see the river card.
BCI: Blind Change Interval: In tournaments, the time when the blinds are increased for each round of play, like every 30 minutes.
Blind Change Interval Level: The round or level when the blinds are to be increased.
Blinded Off: When a player doesn’t really bet, but their blinds are automatically put into each pot until they run out of chips.
Blocker: Usually used to refer to a player holding a card that represents one of an opponent’s “outs.”
Blocking Bet: A lower than normal bet or raise. Used to keep the pot small and slow down raises from Loose Aggressive players.
Bonus: Additional Cost that is usually paid to dealers, not generally applied to prize pool.
BB 1: The Big Blind, minimum bet, at the start of the tournament or game.
BB 2: The Big Blind, minimum bet, when the Minefield starts.
BB 3: The Big Blind, minimum bet, when the Blind Off level starts.
B Chips: Bonus Chips.
BiA: Buy-in Available for Prize Pool pay out (after fees etc.).
BLA: Blinds and Ante.
BOL: Blind Off Level: The level you would be out of chips only Blinds and Ante, the small and big blinds and ante, are automatically put in for each hand.
Brick: A card that fails to improve your hand and didn’t help any other opponent’s hand in play.
Bubble: having to do with the period just before the remaining players are “In-the-Money“ in a tournament.
Bubble Boy: The last player to lose without making it to be “In-the-Money“ in a tournament.
Bust Out: Loosing all of your chips.
Buy-in: The amount you have to pay to enter a tournament, but usually has entree fees and other costs added to it.
Buy-in Value: The Buy-in dollars and other monies, but not including Re-Buy costs, Add-on costs or Bonus costs, that are used to pay the tournament players that win and/or make it to the “In-the-Money” phase of a tournament, divided by the Total Cost a player makes to enter a tournament.
Buy-in Value w/RB+: The Buy-in dollars and other monies, including Re-Buy costs, Add-on costs or Bonus costs, that are used to pay the tournament players that win and/or make it to the “In-the-Money” phase of a tournament, divided by the Total Cost a player makes to enter a tournament.
Calling Station: A player who calls many hands but usually folds to a raise unless they
have a strong hand and still rarely raises.
CF: Competitive Factor, the minimum number of Big Blinds needed to be
competitive, usually at 60 Big Blinds.
Chop: In Cash Games; to return the blinds to the players who posted them and move on to the next hand if no other players call. In Tournaments; to a final-table deal made to divide the prize money.
CST: Total Cost to enter tournament.
Dead Money: Money contributed to the pot by players who have folded, a dead blind
posted by a player returning to a game after missing blinds, or an odd chip
left in the pot from a previous deal.
Deep Stack: A large stack of chips at the start of a tournament, usually exceeding 200 Big Blinds, not including Add-On or Bonus or Re-buy Chips.
Deep Stack Rate: A ranking of the value given for the starting chip stack for a tournament based on the starting “M” (stack/Big Blind):
where an “M” of 400+ = A; 300+ = BA; 200+ = C, and 100+ = D; Tournaments with an “M” of less than 100 are not worth playing.
Dirty Stack: A stack of chips apparently of a single denomination, but with one or more
chips of another.
Donkey: A term used by table bullies for a weak player, also known as a Fish, or
for someone who plays a marginal hand that beats them at the river.
Dry Board: When the cards on the table mean that is unlikely or impossible that any
player has made a strong hand.
DS w/AO: A Deep Stack at the start of a tournament, including any Add-On and/or Bonus and/or Re-buy chips bought.
DUL: Double Up Level: The level where you need to start thinking of doubling your stack, usually starting when the Ante kicks in and your forced bets are higher.
DUT: Double Up Time in hours needed to reach the level you need to start doubling up in a tournament.
DUL1/Dul2 and DUT1/DUT2: Double-up Levels and Times, based on if a player pays for Re-Buy, Add-on, and/or Bonus Chips.
1=No Re-Buy, Add-on, and/or Bonus Chips; 2=Re-Buy, Add-on, and/or Bonus Chips were bought.
EPLP: Estimated Player Pool.
Equity: One’s mathematical expected value from the current deal, calculated by
multiplying the amount of money in the pot by one’s probability of winning. If a
split is possible, the equity also includes the probability of winning a split times
the size of that split.
Expected value: The mathematical probability you will win or lose on a bet over the
long run. Used to mean the profitability of any bet.
Est 1st Pl: Estimated 1st place money.
Est ITM: Estimated In-The-Money minimum payout.
Est. ITM %: Est % of total pool dollars paid to the last qualified player, In-The-Money.
Fees: Cost not used in Prize Pool.
Fish: A weak player who usually plays marginal hands out of position.
Fuse: The length of the Mine Field from when the Ante kicks in to when you would be Blinded Off in the tournament.
1st PxC w/rebuy: Estimated profit after rebuy and/or Add-on (ROI), Profit times cost.
Gambler’s Fallacy: The mistaken belief that, if something happens more frequently than normal during some period, it will happen less frequently in the future, or that, if something happens less frequently than normal during some period, it will happen more frequently in the future; like believing that because your favorite cards have not hit for a long time, they are due to hit, like NOW!
Golden Ratio: 1.63636363636364 also known as the divine proportion, golden mean; Golden ratios are a mathematical calculation that shows a relationship between a larger number and a smaller number. It appears many times in geometry, art, architecture and other areas. It has recently been used to calculate the payouts for poker tournaments.
Guarantee: Minimum amount of total prize pool, sometimes not enough entries may
make a tournament a negative income for the casino.
HDPH: Average number of hands dealt per hour, generally 30 hands in a live game and up to 60 hands per hour on-line.
Hollywood: To act in a deceptive way regarding one’s hand. Overacting or acting in way that is usually the opposite of one’s intentions.
ITM PxC: In-the-Money Profit, if no rebuy or add-on (ROI), profit times cost.
ITM PxC w/rebuy: In-the-Money Profit after rebuy or add-on (ROI), profit times cost.
LA: Loose Aggressive
Loose: A person who plays almost every hand they are dealt, rarely folds. A table where
more than half the players want to at least see the flop.
Loose Aggressive: A person who plays almost every hand and raises frequently.
Loose Canon: A person who plays almost every hand and raises or re-raises every hand.
Loose Passive: aka a Calling Station.
Luck Factor: Amount of Luck needed to play, based on the “M” factor and Blind Off factor along with table action. The higher the Luck Factor, the less skill a player needs to win.
(M): Number big blind bets you can make, based on the number if chips you have. An
indicator of how aggressive you can be on each hand. Named after Paul Magriel.
(M1hr): The number of Big Blinds you have after 1 hour if you don’t bet but are only giving the blinds and ante.
MC: Master and Commander
MM: Mental Midget: A person who re-raises out of position or goes all-in out of position with a marginal hand, trying to steal the blinds.
MFB: Maximum number of forced bets; SB+BB+Ante.
MFL: Level the Minefield starts, usually when the Ante kicks in.
MF: Minefield: The section of the tournament when the Ante starts and aggressive players try to steal more blinds.
MHP: Minimum number of playable hands needed to reach a certain level in a
MPH: Minutes per hand played, live about 2 minutes per hand. On-line about 1 minute per hand.
Optimal 1st PL: Probable 1st place money with estimated max number of entries.
Optimal 1st PxC: Estimated maximum profit, if no rebuy or add-on (ROI), profit times
Orbit: one complete round of play before the Blinds start again.
PF: Patience Factor = Hours to Blind Off, squared. (Arnold Snyder)
PO%: Payout; Percentage of players that will be In-the-Money.
RB: Rebuy: When a player may buy more chips for the tournament. Some tournaments
impose a maximum stack size in order to buy more chips, some limit it to only
players that have no chips left. Generally one can rebuy at your current table and seat assignment, different from Re-entering a tournament after busting out.
RB#: Number of Re-Buys Allowed, usually more than 2 is unprofitable.
RB Chips: Number of Re-Buy Chips you get, different from Re-Entry.
Rebuy Factor: how much a rebuy may affect the skill factor.
Rebuy Prob: likelihood that a player will take a rebuy.
Re-buy Start Level: level rebuy starts and ends; 1-7 for starts on Level 1 Ends on
RE#: Number of Re-Entries Allowed, usually more than 2 in unprofitable.
RE Chips: Number of chips bought for re-entry to the tournament, usually the same as
original buy-in cost.
Re-Entry: Usually when players bust out of a tournament they may re-enter the tournament by buying back into the tournament and being assigned a different table.
Rock: A player who plays selective hands and only raises or calls with with strong hands.
RP: The number of players required to meet a tournament guarantee.
SB: Small Blind, one half the Big Blind bet, a mandatory bet for the first player to the left
of the Dealer Button.
SA: Selective Aggressive: A person who plays pre-flop mostly when in position and usually raises or re-raises when the do play.
Skill Factor: Amount of skill needed to play, based on the “M” factor and Blind Off factor
along with the table action. The higher the Skill Factor, the more skill a player needs to win.
SS: Starting Stack, not incl rebuy, add-on, re-entry, bonus.
stBCI-A: Short Term Blind Change Interval Anomaly, abnormal blind changes that occur
in the middle of a tournament, and then reset to the normal BCI later in the
Straddle: A raised blind bet made pre-flop by the person to the left of the Big Blind, it
doubles big blind for a player to bet just to call. Usually a tactic by action players to increase the pot pre-flop
Table Action: How the different players are betting during the game, loose or tight as
well as aggressive or passive.
Tight: A person who plays very few hands and rarely raises. A table that has few players
play to see the flop.
TA: Tight Aggressive: A person who plays few hands but usually raises when they do play.
Tight Passive: A person who plays few hands and usually only calls when they do play
and usually folds to any raise.
Total Chips in Play:
Tournament: In poker, it’s a game with many players competing for a share of the total Prize Pool, where the winner can make several times their entry cost, and no rake for each pot played. Generally, unlike cash games, the blinds and ante are automatically raised several times during the tournament play.
Tournament Value: A rating system to show how much a tournament is worth playing. The higher the rating, the more likely a skillful players can make it to the “In-the-Money” phase of a tournament.
TSS: Total Starting Stack, after adding Add-ons and Re-buys, etc.
T (M): Average Number of Big Blinds that have value in a tournament; Starting M, Ante Level M, Blind Off “M”.
T (UM): Number of Bets you have to win in a tournament to get beyond ITM, Final
Tripple Draw 2-7:
(UM): Utility of (M); based on an “M” of 60 Big Blinds; M/60xPF.
(UM-Hr): Utility of (M) at the 1 hour mark.
Vig: Vigorish, total of all required bets for an orbit of play; SB+BB+Ante.
Vig2: Vigorish when the Minefield starts; Total of Blinds and ante for one orbit at the
start of the Minefield.
VIG 3: Vigorish at the Blind Off Level
Wet Board: When the cards on the table make it possible for players to have hit strong hands.
(Glossary of Poker Terms)