B & M - abbreviation for 'Brick and Mortar'. This refers to games played in land-based casinos or card rooms such as The Vic, The Gutshot or The Western.
Back into – To complete a hand that you did not expect to. For example you may be drawing to a flush with Ah5h and a flop of 5cKhQh and catch running fives to make Quads.
Backdoor - A long shot draw (requiring runner-runner) which requires two additional cards to get there. Typically refers to straights and flushes. For instance you hold 7h-2c and the board reads Ah, 4s, 8h. You can catch a 6 and a 5 to make a backdoor straight or running hearts to backdoor a weak flush.
Bad Beat - This typically refers to when the best hand before the final cards are turned is broken by a lucky or very unlikely outdraw, for instance you hold Ah Ac and your opponent has Kc, Ks on a board of Ad, Qc, Qd, Kh and your opponent gets the case Kd on the River to make Quads against your Aces full. Everyone has their own bad beat story, and you will I am sure get cornered by someone at some stage and have to suffer their Hellmuth-like whining, so I won't bother with more examples here. If you're a true glutton for punishment and would actually LIKE to read some interesting bad beat stories try clicking your mouse here for an amusing selection.
Bad Beat Jackpot - In casinos, online and live, this is a progressively increasing prize fund that is awarded to the victim of a bad beat. In order to qualify for the Bad Beat Jackpot you need to lose with a monster like Aces full to, say, quads or a straight flush. Can often be quite lucrative, and usually is shared with others at your table. Don’t forget to toke the dealer!
Bad End - Also known as the Idiot End or the Mug Straight. Refers to drawing to or betting the lower end of a straight that will not necessarily be the Nut Straight. If, for example, you hold 8,9 suited and the flop comes 10, J,Q. You have a made hand, but it is the low end of the straight. Any player holding AK or K9 has you beat already, and any player holding, say, KK, KQ, KJ or K10 is open-ended and could outdraw you on the Turn or River.
Backdoor - This refers to making a hand other than the one you originally intended, using either the last card or possibly the last two cards, and is most often applied to straights and flushes. For instance you call a pre-flop raise in the SB with Ac-Qc and the flop comes Ad-7c-9h, which gives you a pair of Aces. You bet out and are raised. You call. The Turn is the Jc. You check, your opponent makes a small bet, you call, and the River is the 5c. You've made a 'Backdoor' flush, which also happens to be the Nut Flush. You bet, and your opponent calls with Ah, Qh.
Back-Raise - A re-raise from a player who originally just called a previous bet, or limped in by calling the Big Blind. Oft-utilised when slow-playing high pairs like AA or KK, or playing ‘second hand low’ with AA from mid-position, you have to be fairly confident of someone behind you raising in order to pull this off. Most commonly a back-raise is seen from early position when a player looks down on a hand like Aces or Kings and is confident that an aggressive player behind him will bump it up.
Bankroll – Often abbreviated to ‘BR’. Quite simply, the amount of money you have set aside for the beautiful game, money you can afford to lose and still be able to make the rent or mortgage payments. A bankroll will normally dictate the limit you are comfortable playing at, so for instance if you generally play $50c/$1 limit, you will want a bankroll in the region of 300xBB, or $300. If you normally play $30+$3 buy-in MTTs you should be comfortable enough with something like 25 buy-ins, or a bankroll of around $800. If you regularly sit down in NL$100 ring games or $100 SnGs, then 20 buy-ins should be a sensible enough figure, or a bankroll in the region of $2,000.
Base Dealing - Also called Bottom-dealing. A form of cheating utilised by mechanics by dealing cards from the bottom of the deck. You can protect against this (although not eliminate it) by making use of Cut Cards or a Postillion, but a skilled cardsharp can still work round this. Practice makes perfect, says I.
Baskin Robbins - A Hold' Em starting hand comprising a Three and an Ace (Baskin Robbins has '31 Flavors' of ice cream...all of them goooood….)
BB - abbreviation for Big Blind or Big Bet
Beer Hand – A.K.A. ‘The Hammer’. A Hold' Em starting hand comprising a Seven and a Two. Generally regarded as the magnificent 'Ace-cracker' 7-2 offsuit, although some consider the premium 7-2 suited to be a beer hand as well. Considered by many to be the worst starting hand in hold em. What do they know? It's called The Beer Hand, by the way, because most players will opt to leave the table to get a beer when they are dealt it, or those who have had one too many beers may be tempted to actually play it. I say RAISE with it and let the cards fall where they may....
Belly Buster - Nothing to do with eating too many carbs. A draw to an Inside Straight, more commonly called a Gutshot or a Gut-buster. See Inside straight draw if you want to read a complete repeat of this.
Berry Patch - an easy game where the pickin's are good, in other words one populated by weaker players. Players who suck. Players like me.
Best of it, The - When you are getting your money in the centre of the table with 'the best of it' it means you are playing hands or making plays which have a clear mathematical edge to them, as opposed to chasing long shots. David Sklansky popularized the use of this phrase. If you play correctly and are only getting involved in hands where you are getting the best of it, it should translate into money in your pocket in the long run, even though short-term fluctuations of dumb luck will see your opponent making donkey plays against you and sucking out on you playing hands like J-4off.
Bet - To make a wager, or place chips into the pot. By doing so you are increasing the price for your opponents to stay in, and putting them to a decision as to how best to proceed. Other players have the option of calling your bet, raising you, or folding their hands. See also come in.
Bet for value - see also value bet. This is a bet that wants to be called, where it is likely you have the best hand and you want to build a pot and invite callers, not discourage them. Applying especially to limit games, a value bet is one that is geared towards building the pot when you have or believe you have the best hand. It is a bet designed to induce a call or one that you hope will be called, as opposed to being a bluff or semi-bluff bet. Your expectation is that you will have the best hand at the showdown, and you want your opponent's money in the pot.
Bet Into - Betting against someone when you are first to act and they have already shown strength and are likely to hold a powerful hand. "I raised with QQ pre-flop, one caller. Flop J-3-7 rainbow. He checks, I bet, he calls. Turn a 5, two clubs. He checks again, I bet the pot, and he calls. The River is a Kc and now he bets into me!"
Bet out - Being the first in a round to raise a pot, for example "Both blinds checked the flop, and Woody bet out with his two queens."
Bet the Pot - Vincent's favourite expression. As a phrase it is usually reserved for when playing pot limit games (but it is not exclusive to them) and is the maximum bet that you can make in a PL game at that particular time. That’s not to say people don’t make pot-sized bets in NL games – they do, generally when they believe they’re ahead and want their opponents to make a mistake by calling. Betting around the size of the pot would normally mean anyone who is drawing to a straight or a flush is getting mathematically incorrect pot odds to continue in the hand. In NL it is probably more common to see bets of 1/2 to 2/3 the pot when a player believes he is ahead, but may actually want people to be tempted into making a bad call. Sure, he’ll get outdrawn more, but he’ll also win more too. When a player bets an amount equivalent to the number of chips in the pot he will often say "I bet the pot" perhaps adding "you losers" as a salty footnote. BTP is also quite a popular poker forum.
Best Hand - If, by examination of the board, you are able to determine that no-one else can beat you, then clearly you have the best hand. For example you hold Ad, Kd and the board is Qd, Jd, 10d, 10c, 10h. You may be facing a Straight, Flush, Full House, Four of a Kind or a lower Straight Flush but you hold a Royal Flush and therefore have an unbeatable hand. Also referred to as The Nuts.
Bicycle / Bike - A straight comprised of A-2-3-4-5, more commonly referred to as a Wheel. This is the best possible low hand in games like Omaha8, and is the lowest possible straight you can hold in regular poker.
Big Bet - In Limit this refers to the size of the bets which would apply in the later (i.e. the third and fourth) betting rounds. So at a $20/$40 limit game the Big Bet that players can make in rounds 3 and 4 is $40). Limit players also typically use the Big Bet as a measure of how much to buy in to a game for and also as a means of evaluating their performance. As an example most players would see 25 to 50 Big Bets as a typical amount to sit down with at a Limit table, and aim to win at least 1Big Bet per hour. A recommended bankroll if you are playing Limit poker is 300 x Big Bets.
Big Bet Poker - Generally taken to mean No Limit or Pot Limit poker as opposed to a limit game. Big bet poker is typically reserved for tournament play, and limit for cash games, even if your name's Andy Beal. You might find this and this interesting reads before deciding whether you can afford to make the jump to the $1/$2 game on Pokerroom.
Big Blind : Also see Blinds. The Big Blind (often referred to as BB) is a forced bet made by the player two seats to the left of the Button prior to cards being dealt. It is the larger of the (usually) two mandatory bets preflop. The next player to act (said to be Under The Gun) may match the Big Blind (call), muck his cards (fold) or increase the pot by any amount equal to or greater than the Big Blind (a raise). The size of the Big Blind normally also denotes the minimum bet or raise after the flop unless a player is moving All In for less than the amount of the Big Blind. When this is the case the next player to act must still meet the Big Blind to continue in the hand, not just the amount of the AI player to his right.
Big Chick - A Hold' Em starting hand comprising an Ace and a Queen, suited or otherwise. Also called Little Slick. Doyle Brunson's least favourite openers. And mine, come to that, as I’ve managed to bust out of my last two tourneys with it :o) AQ is also known as the 2.7 hand, because Daniel Negreanu claims to have lost more than 2.7 million dollars playing it.
Big Lick - A Hold' Em starting hand comprising a Six and a Nine, unsuited. I have absolutely no idea how this hand gets its name.
Big Slick - A Hold' Em starting hand comprising an Ace and a King, suited or otherwise. A very powerful starting hand in Hold 'Em - when suited AK is one of Sklansky's Group One openers. Often overplayed, it is also known as 'Walking Back to Houston' because many Texas road gamblers have gone bust with it. Better to be aggressive with this than calling other people’s raises IMO, it’s also a hand that likes to see a full board. Yum yum yum.
Black - Usually used when referring to poker chips. $100 chips are typically black in the majority of land casinos. "So Graeme pushes forward two stacks of black, sits back and lights up a cigar - 'Let's gamble, ladies' he says, and gives everyone at the table a wink".
Blackjack - A Hold' Em starting hand comprising an Ace and a Jack, suited or otherwise. Also called a Blackjack, usually by people who are sitting at the wrong table, at the wrong game. Some people will actually raise with this hand, but I’ve never met one in person.
Blank - This is a term used in both stud and Hold'em games, and refers to a card that doesn't appear to improve anyone's hand. In Stud it is used in reference to Up Cards where announcing the card value and suit might not assist the players involved - much easier to say "Fourth Street is a blank". In Hold 'Em, it is used to describe a board card that doesn't appear to be of any help to any active player. For example, flop is Ks-Qd-Ts. Turn is the Ad. River is the 4c – no apparent help - a blank. If it was a 4s or a 4d, however, it would not be a blank as it may have then made someone a flush on the River. See also brick.
Blinded out - Busting out of a tournament simply by paying the blinds, most typically in the latter stages of the tourney when the levels of the blinds are very high. Usually happens when a very conservative player simply cannot find a hand that he feels comfortable moving in with. A weak way to exit from a tournament, and I speak from experience.
Blinds - In Hold 'Em the two players to the immediate left of the Button place (or post) compulsory bets prior to the deal taking place. These mandatory, or forced bets ensure there that will be some action on the first round of betting. There are usually only two blinds - the Big Blind (or BB) and the Small Blind (SB). The SB is always the player to the immediate left of the dealer and places chips to the value of half the minimum bet in front of themselves. The BB, being the full minimum bet, is the player to the left of the SB, and it is this bet that puts a decision on the first player to act and all those to follow, namely to call, raise or fold (you can only check when there is no bet in front of you, for instance if you are first to speak after the flop. Blinds take the place of antes (which are more typical in stud-based games) or can be used in conjunction with an ante at later levels in the Blind Structure. Blinds reach such a level in the latter stages of tournament play that they serve to force the action.
Blinds are good - an expression used to indicate that that the proper blinds have been posted by the players in their positions, and that cards may now be dealt.
Bluff - To make a (usually substantial) bet, typically with a poor hand or one that you do not believe to be the best hand, in order to give other players the impression that you have a better hand than you actually have. The intention is to represent strength, get your opponents to fold and thereby win the pot, and obviously you are hoping you do not get someone who wants to look you up. Good times to bluff are generally when you feel your opponents do not have a very powerful hand and the board is scary, for instance if the River makes a straight, flush, or full house possible holdings, or if you feel your opponents are particularly weak or you have a solid table image.
Board / Board Cards - In Hold 'Em the board is The Widow, or area where the exposed community cards are dealt face-up on the table for all to see, made up of the Flop, the Turn and the River. All active players are free to use any or all of the board cards in conjunction with their own two hole cards to make the best possible poker hand as determined by the hand rankings. It is essential that you are able to 'read' the board to determine whether or not you have the best hand. In simple terms if there are three cards of the same suit on the board there are flush possibilities, whereas if the board has 'paired' (i.e there are two cards of matching value) you must consider the possibility you are faced with trips or a full house.
Board play - see Playing The Board. This is where the community cards make up the best possible 5-card poker hand at the table, and any remaining active players tie for the pot. Not a very common occurrence. A good example of this is where the board reads A-K-J-T and player one moves in with JJ(trips) and player two calls with AQ (the broadway straight). The River brings another Q and player one plays the board to tie with player two with a Broadway straight and split the pot.
Boat - Nickname for a Full House. Occasionally called a Full Boat. It's also our affectionate nickname for Barny Boatman, who we had the pleasure of playing with back in April 2005. What a Top geezer.
Bonus hunter - someone who pursues the many deposit and reload bonuses offered by many of the major internet cardrooms - a relatively easy way to build a bankroll from nothing. See also Bonus Whore.
Bottom-dealing - Also called base-dealing. A form of cheating by dealing from the bottom of the deck. You can protect against this (although not eliminate it) by making use of Cut Cards, but a skilled mechanic can still work round this. Practice makes perfect, says I.
Bottom-Pair - When a player matches one of his hole cards to the lowest card on the flop he is said to have flopped bottom-pair. For example you have made a SPFR with 7c-2h, had one caller, and the flop has come Ad-Kh-2h - you have made bottom-pair. In this example the likelihood is very high that you can represent the Ace, but if you are called or re-raised you will probably have to shut down. Either that or re-raise AI.
Break - In poker the primary us of 'break' is in reference to that interval in tournament play when players can smoke, stretch their legs and a colour up might take place. At Dom and Dave’s game it is normally used by Asif in reference to what he will do to Mark’s legs if Mark keeps pushing his buttons.
Brick - If not being used in conjunction with the word 'my' and the word 'kecks' this typically refers to a card that does not help your hand. "I went All In with my four flush on the Turn thinking he'd lay it down but he looked me up with pocket sixes, the River was a brick and I was out"
Brick and Mortar - a casino, public card room or physical place where poker is played, as opposed to a virtual space (like Pokerstars etc) - often abbreviated to plain old 'B&M'.
Bring in - In stud games, either the high card or the low card must make a bet to start the action, usually half of the minimum bet. This bet is called the bring-in. For instance in 7 card Hi-Lo $10/$20 (where the betting on early streets is $10 and on later streets is $20), High Card brings it in, typically a $5 bet. Usually the bring-in folds to a raise, unless they have a good holding (e.g. [A]  K) or they are especially stubborn or stupid (e.g.   Q)
Broadway - A Broadway straight is an Ace-high straight (i.e. from Ace to Ten) and is the best possible straight you can get. A more common term in the good old US of A.
Broken - see busted
Brush, The - is the card room employee who handles the seating chart for multi table tournaments and the like.
Bubble - As well as being Dave P's nickname, this is also the nickname for that point in a tournament (typically characterised by competitors tightening-up their game) that a player might get busted out before getting in the money. For example you are in a 45-runner tourney and the top seven spots pay. If you lose all your chips on a big hand and go out in 8th position you are said to have gone out 'on the bubble'. This is my area of expertise – any questions on over-aggressive play and unnecessary confrontations when just outside the money, feel free to drop me a line.
Buck - Another name for the Button (see below), a marker that is moved clockwise round the table to denote who is the nominated dealer for that particular round. And, yes, that’s where we get the expressions ‘to pass the buck’. The origin of this phrase goes back to President Nixon’s day. Nixon was a keen (and talented) poker player and had a plaque on his desk announcing ‘The Buck Stops Here’. I really should be charging for this…
Bullets - Nickname for pocket Aces, usually wired or in the hole.
Bump - Slang. To raise. For example "I'll bump it up to $200"
Buried pair - A pocket pair. Normally used when talking about one's hole cards in 7-card stud
Burn / burning - To remove the card at the top of the deck and discard it, face down, prior to dealing out any of the community cards. This is done before the Flop, before the Turn and before the River cards are turned over as a precaution against any player who may have 'accidentally' (yeah, right) caught a glimpse of the top card or as a precaution against marked cards. Burning the top card is similar to my baseball bat in that both discourage cheating to an extent. For example if some of the cards have 'somehow' come to be illegally marked during play (say, creased with a fingernail) a cheat might only know what card will be burned rather than the next card to be dealt. Whilst still playing at an advantage, this reduces the cheat's edge and might make the use of marked cards less attractive. The card that is placed down is termed the 'burn card'.
Burn and turn - an expression used to describe the act of burning a card, followed by the dealing of the next community card.
Bust - to run out of money or chips, most typically applied to tournament play. For example "I ran into a higher set and busted out in 10th. Only 7 paid."
Busted - A draw that has failed, be it a straight or a flush. "He bet into me at the River, and all he could turn over was a busted flush"
Button - Either used to describe the item itself or the table position. The item can also be referred to as the dealer button, a puck or a buck, and is typically a distinctive white acrylic disc not unlike a large Trebor extra-strong mint. It should not, however, be sucked. In some home games or at casinos the players themselves do not generally deal the cards, preferring instead to use a dealer. Where this is the case the button is moved clockwise from player to player at the conclusion of every hand, to denote who would theoretically be the dealer in that hand. Except in the pre-flop round, the player who is on the button is last to act in any round of betting, which is a distinct advantage as you get to see what everyone else does before deciding what to do yourself. The reason the button rotates is so that every player in the game has the opportunity to enjoy this advantage. When talking about table position one normally refers to the player 'on' the button - the 'denoted' dealer for that hand - simply as 'the button', especially when discussing a hand. Example: "Hang on, UTG raised, it's folded round to the button. Button re-raised and the Small Blind cold called?. Bugger that, I fold."
Buying a free card - A term used most commonly in Limit poker. When you have a draw on the flop this is the act of betting out or raising from LP in order to induce your opponents to 'Check to the Raiser' when the Turn card hits. If you make your hand on The Turn you would bet when (or rather if) it is checked round to you, but if you miss you can always check in last position and see The River for free, or at least that's the idea. In truth the card is not strictly speaking 'free' because of your flop bet/raise, but because Turn and River bets are usually twice as expensive you are essentially getting to see The River for 1/2 price. Clever, huh?
Buying the Button - Similar to the above, this is the tactic of of betting or raising strongly enough that you make the players between you and the button fold, consequently bestowing the advantage of acting last in any subsequent betting rounds on you.
Buying the Pot - To buy a pot is to make an intimidatingly large bet (with what are usually startlingly un-intimidating cards) that gets the table to fold. If you succesfully buy a pot you do not have to show your cards. As a move it is often done from late position and is often glaringly obvious to your opponents, but the reason it works is simply that no-one has cards good enough to play back at you with (see overbet).
Buy-In - This is the minimum amount of money necessary for any player to provide in order to sit down in a particular game or enter a tournament. Often an additional fee (for registration, et cetera) is levied on top of a tournament buy-in and this is expressed with a plus sign, so a $10+$1 tourney would cost $11 to enter, $10 of which becomes part of the prize-pool, and $1 of which is taken as a fee to the organiser.
- "Behold the power of the Beer Hand!" -