Poker Glossary – Poker Terms Explained

This poker glossary provides simple explanations for all poker terms and links to more information about each broad poker topic.




Same as 8-Game with No Limit Lowball and Badugi added.

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Raise after a previous bet and a raise. Before the flop, the second raise after the forced blinds and a first raise.

Why Three-Bet? (Ed Miller, CardPlayer)

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Mixed game where 8 different variants are played: Limit 2-7 Triple Draw Lowball, Limit Texas Hold’em, Limit Omaha High/Low, Limit Razz, Limit Seven Card Stud, Limit Seven Card Stud High/Low, No Limit Texas Hold’em and Pot Limit Omaha. Each variant is played for one orbit.

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ABC Player | Ace to Five | Ace to Six | Aces Full | Aces-Up | Action | Action Card | Add-On | Affiliate | Aggression Factor (AF) | Aggression Frequency (Afq) | Air, Airball | All-in | Angle Shooting | Ante | Average

ABC Player

An ABC player is a predictable player who plays a rather simple system.

When to play ABC Poker (Ed Miller, CardPlayer)

Ace to Five

Method of evaluating lowball hands. In Ace to Five aces are low and straights and flushes don‘t count against the low. The nut low is A-2-3-4-5, hence the name Ace to Five.

Ace to Six

Method of evaluating lowball hands. In Ace to Six aces are low but straights and flushes count against the low. The nut low is A-2-3-4-6, hence the name Ace to Six.

Aces Full

A full house with three aces, such as AAAQQ.


A hand with two pairs, one of which is a pair of aces, such as AA88Q.


The term for activity in a betting round, for example betting, raising, calling or raising again. Often used as a synonym for gambling: “Where’s the action tonight?”.

Action Card

A community card on the turn or river that causes a lot of action by improving the hands for multiple players.


The purchase of additional chips at the end of the re-buy period during a tournament. Add-On chips are usually a bargain and should be taken.


A partner company that advertises to customers as an advertising platform or sells products as a sales partner. For this it is remunerated with a commission.

Aggression Factor (AF)

Online poker tracking term. Used to describe a players aggression post-flop. The aggression factor is the ratio of bets and raises in relation to calls a player makes. The higher the aggression factor, the more likely it is a players bets or raises instead of calling.

Aggression Factor and Frequency explained (Ben Hayles, PostFlopPoker)

Aggression Frequency (Afq)

Online poker tracking term. Used to describe a players aggression post-flop. The aggression frequency is the ratio of bets and raises in relation to all actions of a player. On a scale from 0 to 100 percent the aggression frequency describes how many actions of a player are aggressive ones.

Aggression Factor and Frequency explained (Ben Hayles, PostFlopPoker)


An adjective that describes a player who bets and raises often and a lot.

Air, Airball

Term used for a worthless hand.


A player bets all the chips he has left. He is then All-In.

Angle Shooting

A player who deliberately exploits every possible advantage he can find is angle shooting. For example, he deliberately hides his cards to get the players behind him to act, even though it’s not their turn yet. Angle shooting is frowned upon and might get you removed from a poker game.

Example of an angle shoot in a big tournament (Youtube)


A forced bet that must be placed by all players in some poker variations, especially in later stages of tournaments.


Average, also called average stack, is the average number of chips at a table or in a tournament.

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Backdoor | Bad Beat | Bad Beat Jackpot | Badugi | Bankroll | Bankroll Management | Base Dealing | Belly Buster | Bet the Pot | Bicycle | Big Blind | Big Blind Ante | Big Stack | Blank | Bleed | Blind | Blind Defense | Blind Off | Blind Steal | Blocker | Blocking Bet | Blow-Up | Bluff | Bluff Catcher | Board | Boat | Bottom pair | Bounty Tournament | Boxed Card | Bracelet | Brick | Brick and Mortar Casino | Bridge Ranks | Bring-In | BRM | Broadway | Bubble | Bubble Boy | Bullet | Bully | Burn-Card | Busted | Button | Button Ante | Button Straddle | Buy-in


A hand than can only be made with the last two community cards, usually Back Door Flush Draw or Back Door Straight Draw. For example, A5 has a back door flush and backdoor straight draw on a KQ2 flop.

Bad Beat

If you think you’re a sure winner of the pot, but then you still lose it.

Bad Beat Jackpot

Jackpot which is offered in some casinos which is paid out when a very strong hand loses. Usually a player needs to lose with needs Aces Full or Quads and to user both his hole cards to qualify.


Fixed limit triple draw poker variant where each player receives 4 cards, can draw three times and the player with the lowest hand and four different suits wins.

Badugi Rules (Wikipedia)


The money a poker player uses to play poker.

Bankroll Management

Rules according to which you use your bankroll. The goal of bankroll management (BRM) is to ensure that you don’t go bankrupt.

Bankroll Management Tips & Tools (Curtis Knight,

Base Dealing

A way to cheat in which the dealer takes cards from the bottom of the deck to pass them to himself or other players. Also called bottom dealing.

Bottom Dealing Video (Youtube)

Belly Buster

A Belly-Buster-Straight is a street with one card missing in the middle. E.g. 2356:he. Also called Gutshot Straight. See also Inside Straight Draw.

Bet the Pot

Betting as much as is in the pot. When playing pot limit this is the biggest possible bet.


Straight with A-2-3-4-5. Also called wheel or bike.

Big Blind

The bigger of the forced bets in the first round of Texas Hold’em or Omaha.

Big Blind Ante

Modern variant to handle antes in tournaments: The player in the big blind has to pay the ante for every player at the table.

WSOP introduces Big Blind Ante (Lee Davy, CalvinAyre)

Big Stack

A player with lots of chips.


A useless card that most likely won’t help any player.


Constantly losing chips – either due to bad play or due to a streak of bad cards.


A player’s forced bet before he receives his cards. In Texas Hold’em and Omaha, the player to the dealer’s left pays the small blind and the player to the left of him pays the big blind.

Blind Defense

Method of defending against a blind steal. Set of strategies how to play with weaker hands against late position raises.

Postflop Blind Defense (Ed Miller, CardPlayer)

Blind Off

Term used in poker tournaments for a player who either is not present or who doesn’t play any hands. He loses his stack bit by bit by paying the blinds and antes – he blinds off.

Blind Steal

Raise from late position (usually the button) with the intention to steal the blinds and not see a flop.

Stealing the Blinds (Greg Walker, The PokerBank)


In community card games holding one (or more) cards that could potentially help opponents. For example holding AT on a AT762 board the A is a blocker against a potential flush.

Examples of blockers in poker (FlopTurnRiver)

Blocking Bet

Also: Bock Bet. A small bet made in attempt to discourage the opponent from making a bigger bet. Usually done to see the showdown or a next card cheaply.

What is the blocking bet? (Greg Walker, The PokerBank)


A player’s outburst of anger or an emotional reaction that goes hand in hand with bad play.

12 Minutes of blow ups by Phil Hellmuth (Youtube)


Betting a lot of chips with a bad hand hoping that the opponent gives up and folds.

What is a bluff (Wikipedia)

Bluff Catcher

A hand that is only good enough to beat a pure bluff.

Example of a bluff catcher in an expensive poker tournament (Youtube)


The cards in the middle of the table that anyone can use. Also called community cards. In Seven Card Stud or Five Card Stud, “board” are the cards dealt to the opponents.


Full house, also called full boat – trips and a pair, for example QQQ22.

Bottom pair

When a player uses the lowest of the community cards to make a pair with one of his hole cards.

Bounty Tournament

Tournament where each (or a specific) player has a bounty. Whoever eliminates a player with a bounty wins the amount of the bounty. Tournaments where every player has a bounty are called Knockout Tournaments.

How to play Knockout Tournaments (Miikka Anttonen, UpSwingPoker)

Boxed Card

A card lying upside down in the deck.


A bracelet you get when you win an event at the World Series of Poker.

About the WSOP Bracelets (Wikipedia)


Also: Blank. Card that doesn’t change the status of the board.

Brick and Mortar Casino

Casino based in a building.

Bridge Ranks

Suits are ranked in this order: spades () beats hearts () beats diamonds () beats clubs (). This order is called bridge order or rank. Generally poker is neutral about suits and the bridge rank is only used when determining the highest card when high carding (when determining the first dealer or chip racing) or when determining who has to post the bring-in and two cards are of the same rank.


Also called forced bet. In Stud poker the player with the lowest face up card has to place the bet at the beginning of the first betting round.


See Bankroll Management.


The highest possible straight, A-K-Q-J-T.


Phase of the tournament right before the money ranks are reached. The players of a tournament are on the bubble if only one more player needs to bust before all others are in the money. For example, if the first two places are paid out, the players are on the bubble if there are three of them left.

Tips for Improving Your Bubble Play (Andrew Brokos, Thinkingpoker)

Bubble Boy

Nickname for the player who finishes a poker tournament one place before the money.


An ace. Also a term for a tournament buy-in. A player who has “three bullets in a tourney” has re-entered twice (and paid three buy-ins in total).


A player who dominates the table through his dominant behavior and runs over the other players.


The card that the dealer burns, i.e. puts away face down, before placing the flop, turn and river each.


A player who has lost all his chips is busted. Also a term for an incomplete draw on the river. For example a busted straight draw is a hand that consists of 4 cards to a straight on the river.


A big chip that signals who’s in the dealer’s position. The button goes around clockwise and is mainly used when players do not deal themselves, for example in the casino. A button is also the last and best position.

Button Ante

Modern variant to handle antes in tournaments: The player on the button has to pay the ante for every player at the table. See also Big Blind Ante.

Advantages of the Button Ante (Heather Allen, AdvancedPokerTraining)

Button Straddle

In a cash game the player on the button posts a bet of 2 big blinds before receiving his cards. In this case the Small Blind is the first player to act before the flop. In most card rooms button straddling is not allowed.


The prize for the chips in a tournament or the minimum amount you need to buy in for in a cash game.

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Call | Calling station | Cap | Card Dead | Cash Game | Cash Out | Catch | Chase | Check | Check in the dark | Check-Raise | Chicago Low | Chip | Chip Dumping | Chip Leader | Chip Race | Chop | Chopping the Bllinds | Click-Back | Clock | Coffeehousing | Coinflip | Cold Call | Cold Deck | Collusion | Combo Draw | Committed | Community Cards | Completion | Concealed Pair | Connectors | Continuation Bet | Cooler | Covered | Crap Shoot | Crippled | Crossfire | Crying Call | Cut Card | Cutoff Seat


Match the bet of a previous player.

Calling station

A loose-passive and losing player who makes almost no raises, but often calls even with very weak hands.

How to beat a Calling Station (George Mathias, UpSwingPoker)


Number of maximum raises for a betting round. Also the name for the last possible raise in Limit Texas Hold’em.

Card Dead

If a player does not get any decent cards for a longer period of time he is said to be “card dead”.

Cash Game

A poker game where the chips are real money, the size of the blinds doesn’t change, and in which you can buy in at any time.

Cash Out

To withdraw from the cash game and exchange the chips for cash.


When you get the cards you need for your draw.


Calling bets in hopes of completing a draw.


If there was no action before on this round players can opt to check, not waging any money. Of all players check the betting round ends.

Check in the dark

An action sometimes announced in live cash games. The player first to act announces to check before the next community is dealt. Rarely players also opt to bet in the dark. Both are usually weak moves.


A tactical variation. You check first and then raise after another player’s bet.

Chicago Low

A Seven-Card Stud and Draw-Poker variant where the lowest spade card in a players hand wins half the pot.

Rules of Chicago Low (PokerRules)


Also called jeton. The player exchanges real money for chips before playing poker or buys a fixed number of chips for a certain amount in a tournament.

Chip Dumping

A form of forbidden interaction between two players. One player supplies another player with chips, for example, by deliberately raising a huge amount of chips with a bad hand in a tournament, but folding to the eventual all-in. Chip dumping is forbidden and a form of collusion.

Chip Leader

The player at the poker table or in a tournament with the most chips.

Chip Race

In a tournament with increasing blinds, the chips that are no longer needed due to their value are exchanged and taken of the table during a break. Any excess chips are left in front of each player. Each player then receives one card per chip. The player with the highest card wins all excess chips.

How to chip race (Wikipedia)


Also “Chopped pot” – a pot that is tied between two or more players.

Chopping the Bllinds

If all players have folded to the blinds in a cash game the players can announce to chop the blinds. The hand is not played out and both players take their wagers back.


Min raise in online poker. You just click on “raise” without setting the amount, thus min raising.


Also “Call the clock”. Used in poker tournaments. When a player takes a long time to act, other players can call the clock on him. Depending on the house rules the player then has up to one minute to make a decision, otherwise his hand is folded.


Unpleasant form of small talk at the poker table. For example, you make comments about a current hand or confusing statements about your own game.


A term used when the winning probability of two hands in Texas Hold’em is approximately equal. For example: one player has a small pair, e.g. 55, the other player has two high cards, e.g. AK. Since the probability of winning for both hands is approximately 50%, such situations are called coin flips.

Cold Call

A call if there was a bet and raise by two other players. For example, if a player calls on the flop in late position after one player has bet and another has raised.

Cold Deck

A card game prepared for cheating in which cards are per-arranged. It is called cold deck because the deck comes into play freshly and has not yet been “warmed” by the dealer’s hands. The term is also used when a huge setup has been dealt (for example Queens vs. Kings vs. Aces preflop).


Collusion refers to the interaction of two or more players to the detriment of the other players, for example by chip dumping. Collusion is forbidden and a form of cheating.

Combo Draw

Combination of multiple draws at once. For example 76 on a 542 flop has outs to a flush and a straight and is called combo draw.


If a player already has so much money in the pot that he can’t throw away his cards anymore, he is committed to the pot.

What does Pot Commited mean? (Greg Walker, The PokerBank)

Community Cards

Community cards in Texas Hold’em that are face up on the table and can be used by all players. Also known as board or common cards.


A player makes a completion when he raises an opponent’s low bring in to the minimum bet amount in Stud Poker variants. An example: In a €2/4 € Limit Seven-Card-Stud game where the bring-in is €1, a player makes a Complete if he raises the bet to €2 in the first betting round after the bring-in.

Concealed Pair

Term for a hand in Seven Card Stud where you have a pocket pair with your two face down hole cards.


Two cards of consecutive rank, e.g. 67.

Continuation Bet

A player who has raised before the flop and also bets on the the flop makes a continuation bet.

How to make a good continuation bet (Greg Walker, The PokerBank)


Situation in poker where two players have a very strong hand, for example KK vs. AA is a cooler for the player with the kings.

The best televised poker coolers (Natalie Faulk, UpSwingPoker)


If a player has more chips than another player, he has him covered.

Crap Shoot

A poker tournament that resembles a pure game of luck because of very fast escalating blinds.


A player is crippled if he has very few chips left after a big loss.


A player is under crossfire if he sits between two players who both raise and are is thus forced to pay two bets.

Crying Call

A call made in the expectation of losing the hand with the slight hope that the opponent might bluff.

Cut Card

A card that is not a playing card that is used to cover the deck from below so that you cannot see the bottom card when dealing.

Cutoff Seat

Also simply called cut-off. The seat at the poker table in front of the dealer button or the last player before the button. Second best position in Texas Hold’em.

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Data Mining | Dead Hand | Dead Man’s Hand | Dead Money | Deal | Dealer | Dealer′s Choice | Deep Stack | Deuce to Seven | Deuces | Dog | Dominated Hand | Domination | Donk Bet | Donk, Donkey | Door Card | Double Belly Buster | Double or Nothing | Double-Suited | Double-Up | Down Card | Downswing | Draw | Draw Poker | Drawing | Drawing Dead | Dump

Data Mining

You collect as much data as possible about an opponent’s playing style, in online poker mostly with help programs. Data Mining is frowned upon and not allowed by most operators.

Dead Hand

A hand that no longer plays and can no longer claim the pot. For example 4-4 on a 7-7-A-T-T board is a dead hand.

Dead Man’s Hand

Nickname for a particular poker hand: black aces backed with eights. Western Hero Wild Bill Hickok was said to have had this hand when he was shot at the poker table.

More about the Dead Man’s Hand (Wikipedia)

Dead Money

Chips in the pot that have been contributed by players that are no longer active in the hand. Also an expression for a bad player.


The remaining players in a poker tournament agree on the allocation of the prize money and changing the payout structure. Usually done to soften the very top heavy payouts in a tournament.


Person who deals the cards and runs the game.

Dealer′s Choice

A poker variant in which the player on the button can determine the game variant for the next round.

Dealers Choice (Wikipedia)

Deep Stack

A tournament where players have very deep stacks relative to the blinds. A stack that is significantly bigger than the maximum buy-in at a cash game table is also called deep stack.

Deuce to Seven

Method of evaluating lowball hands. In Deuce to Seven aces are high and straights and flushes count against the low. The nut low is 2-3-4-5-7, hence the name Deuce to Seven.


A pair of twos.


A dog or underdog is a hand that has poor odds against another hand. For example: 5-5 is an underdog against 8-8.

Dominated Hand

A hand that is similar to another hand but statistically has a much worse chance of winning. For example, A-Q is dominated by A-K.


A player plays against another player and the players have have one card of the same rank, for example A-K against K-J. In this case, A-K dominates the K-J starting hand. It is also used to indicate that one starting hand has a better chance of winning than another.

Donk Bet

A bet made by a player in early position who only called in the previous round. Despite it’s derogatory name, donk bets are valid strategic poker maneuvers.

When and how to use the Donk Bet (Adam Jones, PokerVIP)

Donk, Donkey

A Bad player. The term is frowned upon, don’t use it at the poker table.

Door Card

The open card in a Seven-Card-Stud starting hand. Also: the first card in the flop in Hold’em.

Double Belly Buster

A straight with two gutshots at once. For example: 5-7-8-9-J; a 6 or a T would make a straight.

Double or Nothing

Also DoN, a tournament where half of the players go away empty-handed, the other half doubles their buy-in.

Overview of double or nothing tournaments (Sit and Go Planet)


A starting hand in Omaha poker that has two cards of the same suit each. For example AKAQ


A player doubles his chips by winning an all-in.

Down Card

A card that is dealt face down.


Prolonged period of bad luck in poker.

Downswing Calculator


A hand that still needs improvement. For example, a straight where one card is missing. Also called drawing hand.

Draw Poker

A poker variation with five face down cards for each player, where each player has the opportunity to re-draw up to five cards once. There is one betting round before and one betting round after the draw.

Draw Poker (Wikipedia)


You play and hope that more cards will come to improve your hand.

Drawing Dead

A hand that can’t win any more. You hope to get a card that helps you, but your opponent already has a better hand than the one you’re drawing to. For example: drawing to a flush while your opponent already has a full house.


Lose a large number of chips to another player in one or more hands.

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Early Position | Edge | Eight or Better | EPT | Equity | Expected Value

Early Position

A position in a betting round where the player must act before most other players at the table. The blinds and early position are the worst positions in most poker variants.


An advantage you have over another player.

Eight or Better

Term for the low rating in a split pot game, for which you must qualify by having five cards that are eight or lower in value (for example 2-4-5-6-7). In Eight or Better variants flushes and straights don’t count against a low and aces are considered low for the low half of the pot. Also called a high-low variant of a game, such as Omaha Eight or Better or Stud Eight or Better.


European Poker Tour, PokerStars sponsored tournament series with stops in Europe and all over the world.

European Poker Tour (Wikipedia)


Expected value for a player in the current game situation. Calculated by multiplying the probability of winning the pot with the amount of money in the pot.

Difference Between Equity & Expected Value (Evan Jarvis, Gripsed)

Expected Value

Also called EV. The expected value in chips that is assigned to a certain game situation in the long run.

Understanding Expected Value (Donovan Panone, Pokerology)

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Family Pot | Fast Fold Poker | Fifth Street | Final Table | First to act | Fish | Five-Card Stud | Flashed Card | Flat Call | Floating | Floorman | Flop, Flopping | Flush | Flush Draw | Fold | Fold Equity | Forced Bet | Four Flush | Four of a Kind | Fourth Street | Free Card | Free Roll | Freeze Out | Full House | Full Ring Game

Family Pot

A pot in which all or many players are involved.

Fast Fold Poker

Played online. If you fold, you are instantly seated at a new table and don’t have to wait for the hand to end. Called Zoom Poker on PokerStars, Snap on 888 and Fast Fold on

Beginner’s Guide to Fast-Fold Poker (Tadas Peckaitis, RedChipPoker)

Fifth Street

The fifth community card in Texas Hold’em. Also called a river. In Seven Card Stud, the fifth card a player receives and the name for the third betting round.

Final Table

In a multi-table tournament the table that is left at the end and where a winner is played out is called final table.

First to act

The player who acts first in a betting round.


A bad player.

Five-Card Stud

A poker variation in which each player receives one face down and four face up cards.

Five Card Stud (Wikipedia)

Flashed Card

A card that was partially uncovered so that you could see it.

Flat Call

Calling a bet without raising.


A poker move done on the flop or turn. A bet by the pre-flop raiser is called with the intention of betting (or raising) on the next betting round.

When and how to float (Andrew Brokos, Thinkingpoker)


The casino employee who’s responsible for the oversight of the games and who makes final decisions when issues arise at the table.

Flop, Flopping

The first three community cards that come to the table in Texas Hold’em all at once. Also used as a verb when you hit something with the flop. “He flopped a full house.”


Five cards of the same suit, e.g. AQ832.

Flush Draw

If you already have four cards of the same suit and still have the chance to get a fifth of the same suit.


Give up, get out of the hand, also called “pass”.

Fold Equity

The statistical amount gained when opponents fold to a bet or raise.

How to calculate fold equity (Wikipedia)

Forced Bet

A forced bet. Blinds for example are forced bets.

Four Flush

An incomplete flush with one card missing.

Four of a Kind

Quads. Also called “Poker”. For example: JJJJ8. In case multiple players have the same quads (when quads are on the board in community card games) the highest kicker wins the pot.

Fourth Street

The fourth community card in Texas Hold’em. Also called a turn. In Seven Card Stud, the fourth card a player receives and the name for the second betting round.

Free Card

The player is dealt a card or a community card without waging any chips in the previous betting round.

Free Roll

The chance to win something without risk or cost. A Free-Roll tournament is a tournament without entry fee.

Freeze Out

The term for a tournament without re-entry, re-buy or add-on.

Full House

Combination of trips and a pair.

Full Ring Game

Cash game with a full table, usually 9 or more players.

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Gap concept | Going South | Grinding | GTO | Gutshot

Gap concept

The phenomenon that when playing poker you need a better hand to call than to raise. First described by David Sklansky. The difference in the required hand strength is called a gap.

How the Gap Concept works (Greg Walker, The PokerBank)

Going South

The act of taking part of your own chips from the table in a cash game. Usually done by players who just won a big pot, but who don’t want to play with a big stack. Going south is not allowed in most card rooms and frown upon.


A playing style with minimal risk and moderate winnings over a long period of time. “Grinding it out on his fucking leather ass. No, thank you” – a quote from the movie Rounders.

Effective Grinding (PokerVIP)


Short for “Game Theorety Optimal”. Playing in a way that you cannot be exploited in the long run. Meaning: No matter which strategies an opponent uses, GTO play will at least not lose in the long run.

Poker Game Theory (Rory Carrigan, UpSwingPoker)


A Gutshot Straight is a straight where a card is missing in the middle. For example 2-3-5-6. Also called Belly-Buster Straight. See also Inside Straight Draw.

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H.O.R.S.E. | Hand for Hand Play | Heads-Up | Hero | Hero Call | High Carding | High-Card | High-Low | Hold ’em | Hole Card | Hollywood | Home Game | House


A tournament variant where the game variant is changed every round. The order is: Hold’em, Omaha, Razz, Seven-Card Stud, Seven-Card Stud Eight or better.

H.O.R.S.E. (Wikipedia)

Hand for Hand Play

In a multi-table tournament during the bubble phase, each table waits at the end of a hand until all other tables have finished that hand as well. The mode is used to prevent players from taking advantage from excessive time wasting.


Poker with only 2 players.


When describing a poker hand the hand the terms “Hero” (for the player’s perspective) and “Villain” (for his opponent) are used.

Hero Call

Call for a lot of chips with a weak hand, usually done when the opponent is expected to be bluffing. See also: Crying Call.

The Anatomy of a Hero Call (PokerVIP)

High Carding

At the beginning of a poker game, the initial position of the button is drawn by giving each player a card. The player with the highest card value wins. High Carding is also used when deciding chip races.


A combination of cards at showdown that does not contain a pair or better.


Poker variations in which the pot is split between the highest and lowest hands.

Hold ’em

Usually a short term for “Texas Hold’em”, each player receives two face down cards and five community cards.

Texas hold’em (Wikipedia)

Hole Card

A face-down card that only the player sees.


A term for a player who acts excessively trying to hide the strength of his hand.

Home Game

A poker game in a private house.


The casino that organizes the poker games.

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ICM | Idiot End | Implied Odds | In the money | Induce | Inside Straight Draw | Isolation | ITM


Independent Chip Model. Calculates how much a chip is worth in a tournament.

What is ICM (PrimeDope)

ICM Calculator

Tool used to calculate ICM distributions.

ICM Deal Calculator (PrimeDope)

Idiot End

“Idiot end of the straight” – lowest possible straight in community card games. For example 5-6 on a 9-8-7 flop. Called “idiot end” because there’s a decent chance the hand is beaten if there is a lot of action.

Implied Odds

When calculating the pot size to be won, the implied odds take future bets into account.

What are implied odds (The PokerBank)

In the money

A finish position in a poker tournament where you receive money. In short: “ITM”.


Move to make an opponent play a specific way. Usually a bluff induce – playing a strong hand passively against an aggressive opponent, inducing him to bluff.

Inside Straight Draw

An inside straight draw is a straight where one card is missing in the middle. E.g. 4578. Also called Belly-Buster-Straight or Gut-shot-Straight.


Bet or raise to get other players to fold. Usually done to play against only one specific weak opponent.


In the money. A finish position in a poker tournament where you receive money.

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Joker | Junk Hand


Card sometimes used in old draw poker variants. In high variants the joker can complete four-flushes and four-straights and counts as an ace otherwise. In low variants the joker counts as the lowest card not present in the hand.

Junk Hand

A bad hand.

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Key hand | Kicker | Knockout Tournament

Key hand

Key hand. A hand that marks a turning point in a poker game, for better or for worse.


A kicker or side-card is the card that goes with a pair or two pair. For example, if two players have a pair of aces, the player with the highest side card – i.e. the highest kicker – wins the hand.

Knockout Tournament

Tournament where each player has a bounty which is awarded to the player who knocks him out (i.e. busts him).

How to play Knockout Tournaments (Miikka Anttonen, UpSwingPoker)

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LAG | Late Position | Lay-Down | Legitimate Hand | Limit Poker | Limp-in / limping | Live Hand | Loose | Low | Low Limit | Lowball


Abbreviation for Loose-Aggressive. Playing style in which many hands are played very aggressively.

How to play loose and aggressive (Nathan Williams, BlackRain79)

Late Position

A good position during a poker game where most players act before it’s your turn.


Surrender. Also giving up with a good hand which is most likely beaten.

Legitimate Hand

A strong hand that is no bluff.

Limit Poker

Poker with fixed bets. In a €2 – €4 Limit game, all bets and raises in the first two betting rounds are €2 and €4 in the last two betting rounds.

Guide to playing Limit Poker (Cardschat)

Limp-in / limping

Just pay the big blind before the flop, not raising.

Live Hand

A hand that can still win the pot.


A way of playing in which many hands are played. The opposite of tight.


Term for the rating in a split pot game in which the lowest card combination wins half the pot. For example, in Omaha High-Low or Seven-Card-Stud High-Low.

Low Limit

A game where the stakes are low.


A draw poker variation where the lowest hand wins.

Lowball (Wikipedia)

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M Ratio | Made Hand | Maniac | Markup | Micro Limit | Middle pair | Middle Position | Milking | Min-Cash | Min-Raise | Minimum Buy-In | Misdeal | Monster | Morton’s theorem | MTT | Muck | Multitable

M Ratio

Indicates the ratio of individual chips to the sum of blinds and antes in a poker tournament. For example, if you have 12,000 chips and the blinds are 1000/2000, the M ratio is 4. Also simply called “M”.

M-ratio (Wikipedia)

Made Hand

A finished hand, such as a pair that has a chance of winning the showdown.


A very aggressive player who plays many hands. Extreme form of Loose-aggressive.


Term from poker staking. Percentage or factor that a stakee adds to the amount he charges per share. For example: A player sells shares for a $1,000 tournament with a markup of 1.2. Buying a 10% share will cost $120.

Explaining mark-up (Phill Huxley, PokerShares)

Micro Limit

A poker game, mostly online, played with such small stakes that it would be unprofitable for a live casino.

Middle pair

When you form a pair with one of your face down cards and the middle card of the flop.

Middle Position

Medium position at a poker table between early position and late position.


A small bet or raise with a strong hand, intended to get callers.


The smallest possible cash win in a poker tournament.


An increase by the smallest possible amount.

Minimum Buy-In

The smallest amount you can start the game with.


A dealer mistake that requires re-deal.


A very good hand.

Morton’s theorem

Morton’s theorem is a poker theorem by Andy Morton. It states that in multi-way pots, a player’s expectation may be maximized by an opponent making a correct decision. Mostly applies to Limit Hold’em games.

Details about Morton’s Theorem (Wikipedia)


Multi-Table-Tournament. Term for a tournament with several tables.


Also called “to fold”. The muck is also the pile of the player’s folded cards. If a player’s cards touch the muck, he is out of the game and his hand is “dead”.


Term for a tournament with several tables.

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Nash Equilibrium | Nit, nitty | No Limit | Nosebleed stakes | Nuts

Nash Equilibrium

In poker a term used for a set of strategies for two players where neither player can unilatery improve his results.

Nash Equilibrium Push- and Call Charts

Nit, nitty

A very tight player who only plays premium holdings. Also called rock.

No Limit

A type of poker where a player can bet an unlimited amount. If he bets all the chips he has, he is all-in.

Nosebleed stakes

The highest stakes offered for cash games. Usually with blinds of $50 / $100 and above.


The best possible hand in a round. Also used to determine the best hand in a category, e.g., Nut Flush as the highest flush with an Ace.

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Odds | Offsuit | Omaha | On the Button | On Turn | One Chip Rule | One Gapper | Open | Open pair | Open-Ended Straight-Draw | Orbit | Out of Position | Out of Turn | Outs | Overbet | Overcall | Overcard | Overpair


The probability of improving your hand and winning. Is expressed as a percentage.


Cards with different colors, for example JT .


A poker variation, similar to Texas Hold’em, where each player is dealt four cards face down and must use two of their face down cards and three of the community cards at showdown.

Omaha (Wikipedia)

On the Button

The dealer who has the best position in a Texas Hold’em game.

On Turn

If a player acts when it’s his turn, he acts “in turn”.

One Chip Rule

Rule enforced in live casinos. Waging one chip counts as a call if there was a bet or raise before, even if the size of the chip is of higher denomination. If the player wants to raise, he has to verbally announce a raise.

One Gapper

Two cards with a one card gap in between the two cards. For example 86.


Making the first bet or raise before the flop.

Open pair

A pair on the board when playing with community cards or a visible pair for a specific player when playing stud games.

Open-Ended Straight-Draw

4 Cards in a row, for example 5-6-7-8 – two cards, a 4 and a 9, complete this straight.


One round at the table. Number of hands per orbit is equal to the number of players at the table.

Out of Position

A player is out of position if he is not the last to act in a betting round.

Tips on how to play Out of Position (Adam Jones, PokerVIP)

Out of Turn

Acting in poker even though it’s not your turn to act. Acting out of turn is not allowed and can be penalized.


The number of cards in the deck that improve the hand.

Poker Drawing Odds & Outs (Tom Leonard, Pokerology)


A bet that is bigger than the size of the pot.


Call if another player has called before.


A card that is higher than any community card. In Texas Hold’em, for example, if you have a king in your hand and the board shows a jack as the highest card, the king is an overcard.


A pocket pair that is higher than the board’s highest card.

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Paint | Partial Outs | Pass | Passive | Pat Hand | Perfect Catch | Picture Cards | Playing the Board | Pocket Cards | Pocket Pair | Poker Face | Polarized Range | Position | Position Raise | Post Oak Bluff | Pot | Pot Limit | Pot odds | Pot-Committed | Pre-flop | Progessive Knockout Tournament | Protection | Push | Push-Botting


Picture card: Jack, Queen, King or sometimes also the Ace.

Partial Outs

These are cards that help you, but don’t necessarily win in the end. They are usually estimated at half of the outs. For example: If you hold K-Q on J-T-2-4 board, you have 8 full outs to a straight and 6 more outs to a pair. But since a pair doesn’t necessarily win the showdown, those are partial outs.


Give up. Also Fold.


Describes a player who rarely bets or raises.

Pat Hand

A complete hand. Term mostly used in draw games where players announce they don’t want / need to draw by patting the table.

Perfect Catch

Also known as a runner-runner. If you get exactly the two cards you need for your draw, typically a flush or straight draw. Such a draw is called a backdoor draw.

Picture Cards

See Paint. Picture card: Jack, Queen, King or sometimes also the Ace.

Playing the Board

You can’t improve the community cards with your face down cards and only use the board at showdown. For example with 55 on a AA:h QQ9 board.

Pocket Cards

The face down cards in Texas Hold’em, also called hole cards.

Pocket Pair

If your hole cards form a pair, you have a pocket pair.

Poker Face

Blank expression not revealing any information about the strength of the hand.

Polarized Range

A range that is split into either very strong hands or pure bluffs. For example a player moving all-in on a QJ654 board usually either has the A or a bluff, rarely a hand in between.

Explain Poker Like I’m Five: Range Polarization (CardPlayer)


The player’s seat in relation to the dealer.

Position Raise

A raise that is (possibly) only made because of a player’s good position.

Post Oak Bluff

A bluff where the bet or raise is relatively low so the other player thinks it’s bet to lure in calls.


The money or chips in the middle of the table that the players are trying to win.

Pot Limit

Poker game in which you can bet up to the total pot amount.

Pot odds

Pot odds are the ratio between the current pot size and the amount you have to call. For example, if there is $80 in the pot and it costs $40 to call a bet, the pot odds are 8 to 4 or 2 to 1.

What are pot odds (The PokerBank)


A game situation in which you have already invested so much money into the hand that you have to stick with it for that reason.


The betting round in community card games before the flop when you only have cards in your hand.

Progessive Knockout Tournament

Tournament where each player has a bounty. When a player is knocked out, half of his bounty is awarded to the player who knocks him out (i.e. busts him), the other half is added to the other player’s knockout bounty.

Math and Strategy in Progressive Knockout Tournaments (ICMIZER)


Often you have to protect your made hand against other players who might improve and beat you by raising or betting.

Betting for Protection (Andrew Brokos, Thinkingpoker)


One player bets all the chips, he goes all-in.


Technique used in late stages of tournaments with shallow stacks. Method of pushing / folding with predefined mathematical optimal ranges.

Pushbot Trainer

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Q Ratio | Quads | Qualifier | Quartering

Q Ratio

The ratio of individual chips to the average stack size in a poker tournament. For example, if you have 20,000 chips and the average stack is 10,000 chips, you have a Q ratio of 2.


Four of a kind.


Tournament to qualify for another tournament, also called a satellite. In High-Low variants, the term used to describe a hand that qualifies for the Low rating, for example, 24567.


A situation with split pot variants where you win a quarter of the pot because you have the same low hand as another player. Not desirable.

Quartering in Omaha (LowLimitOmaha)

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Rabbit Hunting | Rags | Rail | Railbird | Rainbow Flop | Rake | Rakeback | Range | Range Merging | Rank | Ratholing | Razz | Re-Buy | Re-Draw | Re-Raise | Reading | Relative Position | Represent | Reverse Tell | Rigged | Ring Game | River | Rock | ROI | Rolled Up | Royal Flush | Run | Run it twice | Runner-Runner | Runner-Runner-Perfect | Rush | Rush Poker

Rabbit Hunting

See what community cards would have come even though the hand is over. Frowned upon in most places.


Bad cards.


Sideline at a poker table separating the spectators from the players. Also used to describe the spectators of a game.


A player who is eliminated or a spectator standing around the table during a poker game.

Rainbow Flop

If the flop consists of different colors and no flush or flush draw is possible.


Amount taken out of the pot for the organizer of the poker game. Usually between 2 to 10 percent.


Refund given by operators or affiliates – a fixed percentage of the rake or tournament fees paid by the player is returned to him.


A range of hands that you can mentally attribute to your opponent based on various circumstantial evidence.

How To Think About Poker Ranges (Matt Colletta, UpSwingPoker)

Range Merging

Betting with a medium strength hand on the river when your opponent thinks you either have a bluff or the nuts (i.e. a polarized range). Made to encourage calls with bluff catchers and as a means to mix up your game.

What is Range Merging? (Greg Walker, The PokerBank)


Card or hand value.


Also called “going South”. Removing (own) chips from the table during a cash game. Ratholing is not allowed in most card rooms.


Poker variation with 5 betting rounds. Played like stud, except the worst hand wins.

Razz (Wikipedia)


In Re-Buy-Tournaments players have the option to re-buy more chips if their stacks falls below a certain amount. This is only allowed during a limited time frame.


Draws with the potential to keep improving after hitting the draw a called Re-Draw-Hands. For example a straight draw can turn into a straight and a flush draw on the turn.


A further raise.


Analysis of players and their hands based on their play, behavior and language.

Hand Reading Made Simple (Andrew Brokos, Thinkingpoker)

Relative Position

Position in relation to the preflop raiser (or aggressor in the lat round). Relative position only matters in multiway pots.

What is relative position? (Greg Walker, The PokerBank)


A player represents a certain hand through an action. If for example a third card of the same suit hits on the turn and a player raises he represents a made flush.

Reverse Tell

Intentionally faking a tell to confuse the opponent. For example, deliberately trembling with the hand to fake strength.

How to use a Reverse Tell (PokerVIP)


A poker game is manipulated in an inadmissible way. The game is rigged.

Ring Game

Normal poker game that is not a tournament and where the chips are real money, unlike a tournament. Also called cash game.


The fifth and last card of community cards in Texas Hold’em, also known as 5th Street.


A tight-passive player.


Return on investment, the average profit of a player in a tournament.

Poker ROI (Greg Walker, The PokerBank)

Rolled Up

In stud a player has rolled up trips (or is rolled up) if he has three of kind in his first three cards. Odds of being rolled up in stud are roughly 1 in 425.

Royal Flush

The best possible card combination in a poker game is for example AKQJT.


A series of pots won by a player.

Run it twice

If two players are all-in in a cash game before the river has been dealt, some card rooms allow them to deal two different runs of the remaining community cards. Each player wins half of the pot for run he wins. Running it twice is done to reduce the variance in all-in situations. It doesn’t affect the expected value for each player.

Guide to Running it Twice (FlopTurnRiver)


After the flop, you need two specific cards to complete your hand, for example two hearts to catch a flush. See also Backdoor.


A perfect runner-runner-draw where a player needs to catch exactly 2 specific cards to complete a hand. For example: 7-7 against A-A on a A-2-2 flop needs to catch both remaining 7s to win the hand.


A player wins several hands in a short time, also called a “run”.

Rush Poker

Fast Fold Poker in the online area. If you fold, you are instantly seated at a new table and don’t have to wait for the hand to end. Called Zoom Poker on PokerStars, Snap on 888 and Fast Fold on

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Sandwich Effect | Satellite | Scare Card | Scared Money | Scoop | SCOOP | Semi-Bluff | Set | Seven Card Stud | Seventh Street | Shark | Shootout | Short Stack | Short-Handed | Shot Clock Tournament | Showdown | Side pot | Side-Bet | Sit ‘n’ Go | Sit Out | Sixth Street | Slow Play | Slow Rolling | Small Blind | Snap Call | Snow | Soft Play | Soft Seat | Sop and Go | Spin And Go | Spread Limit | Squeeze Play | Stack | Staking | Stalling | Standard Deviation | Steel Wheel | Stone-Cold-Nuts | Straddle | String Bet | Suck-Out | Sucker | Suited | Suited Connectors | Swings

Sandwich Effect

The sandwich effect describes the phenomenon in poker that the more players are left to act, the worse the situation is for a player.


A small buy-in tournament where you can win the higher buy-in for a larger tournament.

Scare Card

A scary looking community card on the turn or river. For example a card that completes a potential flush-draw or an overcard to the board.

Scared Money

Playing for unusually high amounts of money and therefore playing worse than normal due to fear of losing.


In split pot poker variants, win the entire pot. For example, in Omaha High-Low with A2345, winning the high hand and the low hand.


Spring Championship of Online Poker – Huge tournaments on PokerStars.

Spring Championship of Online Poker (Wikipedia)


Betting or raising with a hand that is not the best, but still has chances to improve.


Trips made with a pocket pair and a third card on the board.

Seven Card Stud

Poker variation with five betting rounds. Each player is dealt two cards face down and one card face up, followed by the first round of betting. Players are then dealt three cards face up, each followed by one round of betting. At the end, each player receives a face down card, followed by the fifth and final betting round. The best five card hand wins.

Seven Card Stud (Wikipedia)

Seventh Street

The fifth and final round of betting in Seven Card Stud, where each player has seven cards, four face up and three face down.


Strong, usually professional player.


A type of tournament where you have to qualify for the final table or the next round by winning at a preliminary round table.

Short Stack

A player at the table with few chips.


The adjective that describes a game with few players.

Shot Clock Tournament

Tournament where each player only has a limited time per action – usually 30 seconds. Players receive time chips they can exchange for additional time in crucial situations.

WSOP introduces Shot Clocks (Lee Davy, CalvinAyre)


Indicates the end of a game. After the last betting round, players show their cards and the best hand wins the pot.

Side pot

If an all-in situation occurs, another pot is formed for which the all-in player is eligible.


A bet between two or more players that is independent of the current pot. For example, two players can bet that the next card of the deck is black or red.

Sit ‘n’ Go

A tournament without a fixed starting time that starts as soon as a certain number of players have arrived.

Sit Out

In a cash game a player can opt to sit out for a couple of hands. He doesn’t have to post blinds and doesn’t get any cards. Usually players that sit out too long are removed from the game.

Sixth Street

Fourth round of betting in Seven Card Stud, where each player has six cards in front of him.

Slow Play

Playing a very strong hand passively in order to lure more players into the pot.

SlowPlay in Poker (Wikipedia)

Slow Rolling

When a player uncovers the winning hand necessarily slow and with a lot of acting. Frowned upon and should not be done. Slow Rolling is never hilarious.

Small Blind

The small forced bet in the first betting round of a Texas Hold’em game.

Snap Call

Quick call without much thought. Usually indication of a strong hand or good draw, but no monster.


Term for bluffing in low ball. Usually done with some blockers in the hand (like when holding three or four deuces).

Soft Play

A player protects another player by not betting or raising against him.

Soft Seat

A poker game that is considered easy because of the weak opponents.

Sop and Go

Tournament move where a player with a small stack calls a preflop raise in the blinds and moves all-in no the flop regardless which cards come.

The Stop and Go Play (Greg Walker, The PokerBank)

Spin And Go

Jackpot tournament format on PokerStars. Hyper-Turbo-Sit-And-Go with three players and random prize pool between double and 3,000 times buy-in.

Spind and Go Strategy (ICMIZER)

Spread Limit

Form of limit poker where the bets and raises can be between a set minimum and maximum limit.

Squeeze Play

Raise or re-raise after a bet and multiple callers.


Current number of chips a player has in front of them.

Poker Squeeze Play (Greg Walker, The PokerBank)


Also: Backing a player. Arrangement between a player (stakee) and a staker in which the staker provides partly (or completely) the bankroll for the stakee. Usually done in tournaments with mark-up.


Delaying in a tournament.

Standard Deviation

Statistical term describing how volatile the results of your game are in the long run.

What is Standard Deviation in Poker (Greg Walker, The PokerBank)

Steel Wheel

A straight flush with the cards A2345. The cards must be of the same suit. For example: A2345.


The best possible hand in the poker game.


In the cash game, a bet equal to the double big blind that the player places to the left of the big blind without receiving his cards. If everyone only calls, he has the right to raise again, as was originally the case with the big blind.

String Bet

A bet or raise that is not placed at once, but in several moves. Prohibited in all poker games.


If the other player wins at showdown with a very unlikely hand. For example, if someone hits a runner runner straight against a set.


A bad poker player. Also known as a player who hits something with the last community card in Texas Hold’em and thus wins unexpectedly.


Cards of the same suit.

Suited Connectors

Two cards of consecutive rank and the same suit, e.g. 87.

How to play suited connectors (James Sweeney, SplitSuit)


The fluctuations in success caused by luck and bad luck

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TAG | Tell | Third-Street | Tight | Tilt | Top pair | Top Two Pair | Trips | Turn


Tight-aggressive player. A TAP player only plays solid hands and plays aggressively.

How to Play a Tight-Aggressive Style (Yaniv, UpSwingPoker)


A behavior that gives an indication of what cards someone is holding. For example, trembling of the hand with strong holdings.

Understanding Poker Tells (David Sasseman, Pokerology)


The first round of betting at Seven Card Stud Poker where players have three cards in front of them.


The adjective for a player who rather only plays good hands.


The behavior after losing, mostly negative.

Top pair

The highest card of the community cards forms a pair with a player’s face down card.

Top Two Pair

You form a pair with the best card and the second best card of the community cards with your hole cards.


Trips formed in Texas Hold’em with a pair on the board and one matching hole card.


The fourth community card in Texas Hold’em Poker.

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Under the Gun | Under-Full | Undercards | Unexploitable | Unsuited | Upcard | Upswing

Under the Gun

The first player after the blinds. The player under the gun is first to act preflop. Short: UTG.


The lowest possible full house. For example, in Texas Hold’em, if you have 22 in your hand and the board shows 2A33Q you have an under full.


Hole cards that are lower than the board or cards that are lower than the opponent’s hole cards in heads-up situations.


Game theoretical term. Playing in a way that the opponent cannot take advantage. See also: GTO.


Cards of different suits.


In Stud variations, a card that the player has face up.


Prolonged period of good results. See also: Downswing.

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Value Bet | VPIP

Value Bet

A bet with a good hand placed in anticipation the other player calls.


“Voluntary Put money Into the Pot” – Indicates in what percentage of cases a player voluntarily invests money in the first betting round.

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WCOOP | Wheel | Win the button | World Series of Poker | WPT | Wrap, Wraparound Draw


World Championship of Online Poker. Tournament Series held on PokerStars.

World Championship of Online Poker (Wikipedia)


Straight with A2345. Also called Bicycle.

Win the button

Poker variant (normally used in tournaments) where the winner of a hand also wins the button and is the dealer in the next round.

World Series of Poker

The annual World Poker Championship in Las Vegas.

World Series of Poker (Wikipedia)


World Poker Tour

World Poker Tour (Wikipedia)

Wrap, Wraparound Draw

In Omaha Poker, the term for a straight draw that is open on both sides and consists of two community cards and three starting cards from the player. For example, if a player has 345A in his hand and the board shows 67K, then the player has a wrap. Every three, four, five, or eight makes him the straight. A hand with 4589 on the same board is called a big wrap, is has 20 outs.

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