Issue 290
April 3 - April 9, 2006
Volume 6
page 3

Can You "Talk the Talk" at the Poker Table?
By Fred Renzey

You're in a three-way Texas Hold'em hand and you've got "big slick" on the "button". The "flop" comes down Q-10-4 "rainbow" giving you a "gutshot" draw and two "overcards".

The "big blind" is a "calling station", but the middleman is a "rock". They both check, so you "lead out" and the big blind "check-raises" you. The rock folds, making the pot "heads up" and you call.

On the "turn", you "spike" the Jack to make your "broadway". You've got the current "nuts", but two spades now put a possible "flush draw" out there. The big blind bets and you promptly move "all in". He "covers" your bet and you both turn up your "pocket" cards.

The big blind flopped a "set" of 4s, making you a 3.5-to-1 "favorite" to win. But a 10 comes at the "river", "filling up" the set and you get "drawn out" on again. Chalk up one more "bad beat" in poker.

There were 25 poker jargon words (or phrases) in the above story. Do you know what they all mean. If you're going to swim with the sharks, you'd better learn to talk the talk. So let's start by defining the 25 terms above.

Big slick

An Ace/King in the hole. It's one of the best starting hands in the game because of its versatility. It can make high pairs as well as a high straight, and might occasionally even win without improvement.

Button The last player to act in the betting rotation. The button has a natural edge in the hand because he gets to see what everybody else wants to do before he has to act.
Flop Three cards turned up in the center of the table. Everybody uses them so that each player in effect, now has five cards.
Rainbow A flop that contains three different suits, so that no flush can be made on the next card.
Gutshot A draw to an inside straight. In the above case, you're A/K combined with the Q/10 on the flop needed a gutshot Jack to make a straight.
Overcard A card higher than the highest cards on board. The Ace/King above not only could make a straight, but would have "top" pair if an Ace or King would come.
Calling station A very loose player who calls lots of bets, but seldom bets or raises.
A very tight player who plays few hands.
Lead out To be the first player to make a bet on that betting round.
Check-raise To check when it's your turn, but then raise after somebody else bets. It's usually done with a strong hand.
Heads up A two-player pot.
Turn The fourth board card on the table. It comes all alone right after the flop betting is complete.
Spike To catch a key card on either the turn card or the last card.
Broadway An Ace high straight.
Nuts The best possible hand with the cards that are there so far.
Flush draw A 4-flush. If a player had two spades in the hole to go with the two spades on board, he would have a flush draw.
All in To bet all your chips at one time.
Cover To have enough chips to call another player's all in bet.
Pocket Your hole cards.
Set 3 of a kind involving a pair in your hand with the third card of that rank on board. If you had just one 4 in your hand with a pair of 4s on board, that would be classified as "trips".
Favorite Having a greater chance to win the pot than your opponent. He would then be the "underdog".
River The 5th and final board card on the table. It decides the winning hand.
Fill up To make a full house out of three of a kind or two pair.
Drawn out When somebody comes from behind to beat you in a hand.
Bad beat When somebody draws out on you, you've taken a bad beat.

About the Author

Fred Renzey is a high-stakes, expert poker player. On a daily basis he faces--and beats--some of the best players in the country in fierce poker room competition. Now for the first time, Renzey offers his perceptive insights on how to play winning poker.

Books by the Author

Purchase Fred's must-have book, available online here.


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