Poker Glossary VI
Scare Card — Any card that lands on the turn or river that can complete a hand for one of youropponents, when you have had the best hand up until this point. The most common scare cards are ones that place three cards to a flush or three cards to a high straight on the board. Also, if the board pairs, this can give someone a full house. For example, if you have a set but a third heart lands on the river, one of your opponents may have a flush or if you have a flush but the board pairs on the river, one of your opponents may have a full house.
Second Pair — When you pair the second highest card on the board with one of your hole cards, you have second pair. Also often called middle pair when describing pairing the middle-ranking card on the flop. For example, if you have Ace Queen and the flop is King, Queen eight, you have second, or middle pair.
Sell — Used in the phrase "Sell a hand" or "Selling a hand." To sell means placing a bet that may be smaller than normal when you have a very strong hand in order to get an opponent or opponents to call or even raise so you can win additional bets.
Semi-Bluff — To place a bet when you have a hand that may or may not be the best hand at the time, but has a chance to improve to the best hand if it isn't currently. Your hopes when placing a semi bluff are usually that your opponents will fold, but you have a chance to win if they do by improving on the later rounds. A bet on the river is never a semi bluff, as you must be able to improve if called for it to be a semi bluff.
Set — Three of a kind, with two of the three cards in your hand. When there are two cards of the same rank on the board and you have a third one in your hand, it is not called a set, but is referred to as trips.
Short Stack — To have the smallest, or one of the smallest, stacks of chips at the table. Usually used in tournament play to describe players in danger of being eliminated by the rising blinds.
Showdown — The end of the hand when all remaining players turn over their hole cards to determine whom the winner is. In the event that there is a bet and no one calls, there is not a showdown. For example, "You must showdown the best hand to win" or "After the showdown, I collected my chips and left."
Side Pot — A pot created in which a player has no interest because he has run out of chips. Example: Al bets $6, Beth calls the $6, and Carl calls, but he has only $2 left. An $8 side pot is created that either Al or Beth can win, but not Carl. Carl, however, can still win all the money in the original or "center" pot.
Slow Play — To check or call when you have a very strong hand in an attempt to fool your opponents into thinking you have a poor hand and / or to entice them to invest more money in the pot.
Small Blind — The smallest of the forced bets that are placed in a Texas holdem or Omaha game before the cards are dealt. It is placed by the first person to the left of the dealer, or "button", and is usually equal to half of the big blind and / or half of the lower betting limit in a ring game. For example, in a 4 / 8 game, the small blind would be 2 and the big blind would be 4.
Smooth Call — To call a bet, usually used when you have a very strong hand and are trying to entice more action either behind you or on the later rounds. "He flopped the nut straight, but just smooth called to trap me."
Split Pot — If two or more players tie for the best five-card hand, the pot is divided equally amongst all of the winning players.
Split Two Pair — Any hand in which you have two pair by pairing both of your hole cards with two on the board. A hand with one pair on the board and either one pair in your hand or one of your hole cards pairing the board is not called a split two pair.
Spread limit — Used almost exclusively in Texas holdem, and not very often even there, in a spread limit game, the betting limits are not set like a limit game, they are a "spread" of betting limits, where a player may place a bet anywhere within the spread. For example, in a 2 –10 spread limit game, the bets can be anywhere from 2 to 10. Any raise still must be at least equal to the previous bet, so if a player bets 5, a raise must be for at least 5.
Straddle — Only allowed in some poker rooms, a straddle is an additional blind bet placed by the player to the left of the big blind before any cards are dealt equal to twice the big blind. When a player places a straddle bet, any player entering the pot must call or raise the double bet and the player who placed the straddle will act last on the first round of betting and may place an additional raise at that time if the betting has not been capped.
String Bet — Against the house rules in almost every poker setting in the world, a string bet is when a player either calls a bet and then raises, "I call and raise" or when a player places chips in the pot equal to a call and then reaches back to get more chips to make a raise without stating his or her intentions to raise beforehand. When players are allowed to use a string bet, they can use it to judge the reactions of their opponents to decide whether or not to raise and / or how much to raise.
Structured — The term used when describing most limit poker games. A 2 / 4 limit Texas holdem game is structured, as the small blind is 1, the big blind is 2, all bets on the first two rounds are 2 and all bets in the last two rounds are 4.
Suited — When two or more cards are the same suit, like hearts or clubs, they are "suited." Usually used when describing a starting hand, for example if you have the Ace and Jack of diamonds, your hand is suited. Can also be used to describe a flop or part of a flop. "The flop was suited in spades" or "The flop had a suited King Queen."
Glossary courtesy of "Winning Low Limit Hold'em" by Lee Jones