Poker Glossary

The following is a glossary of poker terms used in the card game of poker.  See also Poker Rules.

Bicycle
Also known as Wheel.
Board
All the community cards in a hold'em game -- the flop, turn, and river cards together.
Example: "There wasn't a single diamond on the board."
Community Cards
Also known as the Board. In hold'em, the cards dealt face up and used by everyone to form hands.  Players combine community cards with their personal hole cards to create the best possible five card poker hand.  Different people can use the same board cards, they do not get used up.  In hold'em, a complete board is composed of five cards: three dealt on the flop, then one each on the turn and river.
Flop
The first three community cards, put out face up, all together.
Flush
Five cards of the same suit.
Kicker
Kickers are also used to determine who wins if both players hold a Flush or Straight. The highest ranking card of the flush or straight is considered the kicker. For example, if I hold A-K-T-7-5 of clubs and John holds K-8-7-6-4 of spades, I would win because my flush is to the ace and his is only to the king. Again, if two people have the same highest kicker, the next highest kicker is used until the tie is broken. If two players hold the a flush with all the same kickers, then the pot is split between the two players.

A kicker is the highest card that is unrelated to the type of poker hand one has. For example, someone with the hand K-K-A-Q-5 has a pair of kings with an ace kicker. Kickers are used to break ties. For example, if someone else had K-K-J-6-5, that person would have a pair of kings with jack kicker. The person with a pair of kings with ace kicker would beat the person with a jack kicker. If two people have the same type of hand with the same type of kicker, the next highest kicker is used.
Hole Cards
Also known as Down Cards.  In hold'em, the cards dealt face down to each player, which combine with community cards on the board to make a hand.
Poker Hand
A group of five cards which are ranked according to the hand rankings: Straight Flush, Four of a Kind, Full House, Flush, Straight, Three of a Kind, Two Pair, Pair and High Card.
Rake
The rake in poker is what the house take fee an online poker site charges for the use of its poker server.  The rake is typically 10% of every pot, up to a maximum of a few dollars ($2.00 or $3.00).  At TheOnlyPoker, our rake is much lower.
Rank
The numerical value of a card (as opposed to its suit). The highest rank is Ace, and the lowest rank is 2. However, the Ace can usually be used as a 1 in a straight.

Ranks are sometimes abbreviated as follows:
A for Ace, K for King, Q for Queen, J for Jack, T for Ten, 9 for Nine, 8 for Eight, ... and 2 for Two.
River
The fifth and final community card in hold'em, dealt face up in the middle of the table, which anyone can use as part of a hand.  See flop, turn, hole cards.
Screen Name
Name of the player visible to everyone while playing online.  Typically the Screen Name is a nickname or alias, as most poker players prefer to keep their real name private.  When you create an account, you pick a screen name and an avatar for your online account.  The game TheOnlyPoker will display your screen name (and avatar when possible) to whatever action you do, such as joining a table or playing a hand. By contrast, your email address and password are private to you.
Steel Wheel
A five high Straight Flush which is 5-4-3-2-A, all in the same suit (♠♥♦♣). A steel wheel is a rare and powerful hand: it is the lowest ranking straight flush possible, beating four aces and losing to a six high straight flush. Similarly, if a player holds a five high Straight, or 5-4-3-2-A, it is commonly called a Wheel, or a Bicycle.
Suit
Spades ♠, hearts , diamonds , or clubs ♣. Suit is important for determining a flush, but has no other meaning in most poker games. The suit itself is never used to break a tie in poker.  The suits are sometimes abbreviated as follows:
  s - spades ♠
  h - hearts
  d - diamonds
  c - clubs ♣
Therefore, AKh would mean Ace and King of hearts. However, sometimes the s only means suited. This usually is made clear by context.
Suited
A starting hand in which the two cards are the same suit (♠♥♦♣), such as king-two of hearts.  Suited hole cards are valuable because they are more likely to form a Flush with the Board.
Example:  I had to play K♥ 2♥ -- it was suited!
TOP Points
Points you earn while playing our game with real money.  TheOnlyPoker (TOP) points have real money value and may be used to pay the entrance fee for a tournament.  For more details about TOP Points, visit our page explaining the Rake.
Turn
Aka fourth street. The fourth community card in hold'em, dealt face up in the middle of the table, which anyone can use as part of a hand.
See also flop, river, hole cards.
Wheel
Also known as Bicycle. A wheel is the poker hand 5-4-3-2-A, the lowest possible Straight, beating any three of a kind, but losing to any higher straight or better. If a player happens to make an Ace to Five straight flush, then it is known as a Steel Wheel, which is a rare and powerful hand, beating four aces.

In most poker games, the ace can play as either a high card or a low card, depending upon the situation. If the Ace is used as a high card in the hand it will also play as a high card. For example, if a player held A-K-Q-J-T, he would have an Ace high straight, and the Ace would play for high. Alternatively, if a player holds 5-4-3-2-A, he would hold a five high straight, and the ace would play as a low card. In keeping with this logic, a wheel is considered five high, even though it contains an ace, meaning that it would lose to any higher ranking straight.
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