Poker Terms Explained: Big Slick? Snake Eye? 

Poker terms can be challenging to memorize and understand, especially if you’re inexperienced at this game. Here’s our complete guide.

Understanding Common Poker Terms: A Complete Guide

When looking at the various poker terms in use today, one might decide against playing when they see how many different terms exist. Therefore, even if you are a skilled poker player, the poker world can be confusing. It doesn’t matter how many books or articles you read about poker strategy or the number of promo offers for people interested in playing online. It can be intimidating not to understand the meaning of certain words and phrases. Join us below as we explain several of the most confusing terms in poker.

Poker Terms: Understanding The Fundamentals

Big Slick

Big Slick is the common nickname for the poker hand ace-king. Legend has it that the hand was initially called Santa Barbara after the 1969 Santa Barbara oil disaster but changed to Big Slick over time. Fun fact: numerous players also referred to A, K of either clubs or spades as “Exxon Valdez” after the other famous oil spillage in 1989. 

Pair Buried

A buried pair is a set of two down cards identical in stud poker. This can disguise your hand strength and could lead to big pots for you if you get three of a type somewhere on your runout.

Belly Buster

A Belly Buster is also known as a gutshot straight drawing when it comes to different poker terms. It’s an inside straight draw. For example, a player holds 7 of spades, 10 of clubs on 6 of diamonds, 8 of spades, 4 of clubs. To make their straight, a player must hit nine. This term stems from the fact that the straight could be called “busting” if the nine appears on the turn.

Rarely, a card might be flipped in a deck. This card is known as a “Boxed Card.” A boxed card is treated by most house rules as though it doesn’t exist, meaning it is put aside and not used. Different rules apply to exposed cards during a deal.


A Boat is among the most common poker terms today and is also known as a full-house. This poker hand consists of three cards and two of the same card.

Bad Beat

Nobody wants to be on the receiving end of a bad beat. Although no specific definition exists as to what a bad hand is, it is usually a hand in which you were significantly ahead of your opponent but failed to win ultimately.

Battle of the Blinds

Everybody knows how important it can be to learn how to play your blinds. If the action fails to fold, and you have only the small blind or the big blind remaining in your hand, then you could be facing a battle between the blinds, where neither player wants to lose the chips they have already committed to the pot.

Additional Poker Terms

The previously mentioned terms refer to the most common expressions that players worldwide use in daily games. Below, we’ll also explain numerous other frequent terms in the game that might not be as common but are still present. We recommend memorizing them to make the most of your poker experience. 

One Pair

One pair is the lowest hand a Texas Hold ’em player can have. This name refers to a hand in which a player has only one pair. It can be beaten by two pairs, three of a kind and higher, but it cannot beat the High Card.

One Chip Rule

When it comes to poker terms, the One Chip Rule is a poker rule that allows a player to place a single chip in a pot without making any verbal declarations. In a no-limit hold ’em game, a player may place a $25 chip and face an $8 bet. It would be an $8 call instead of a raise of $25.

One Gapper

A One Gapper refers to a player’s starting hand. It is a two-card hand with a gap of one card between them. For example, 6 of spades, 8 of spades, and 7 of diamonds, 5 of spades are one-gappers, with one card between them.

Straightforward One-Way

A one-way straight is a four-card straight that has only one side open. If a player holds J, Q, K, A, or 2-3-4-4, it means that a four-card straight is one-way.

One Drop

One Drop, or the One Drop Foundation, is an international non-profit organization based in Montreal. Guy Laliberte, Cirque du Soleil founder, created it in 2007. It focuses on clean water projects in Latin America, India, and Africa.

Many high-roller tournaments have been organized since 2012 to raise money for One Drop Foundation at the World Series of Poker. These include three $1,000,000 buy-in tournaments (2012, 2014, and 2018).


As far as poker terms go, every poker player who has ever played at any casino in the world knows about the One Time. It is the perfect choice for someone behind in their game and needs to catch up “just one time.” It is a common belief that you can only use this move once, so it might be wise to keep it until you reach the World Series of Poker final table.

Bet in the Dark

A “Bet in Dark” is a wager made before dealing the next round of cards. This action is binding regardless of which card(s) players receive. Example: “I called my opponent’s bet preflop, and they bet $100 in the dark before we received the cards.”


The term bubble in poker can have multiple meanings.

There are a few elimination rounds in this game, or maybe just one until one reaches a win. For example, “with 200 places paid out and 204 remaining players, the bubble was very close.” Alternatively, it could also refer to finishing outside the money by one or more places – “I bubbled,” meaning they finished 19th with 18 paid positions.

Open Pair

Stud Poker often uses one of the most famous poker terms called “Open Pair” to describe when a pair of cards is dealt face-up.


A “Limp” refers to a situation in which a player calls rather than raises pots. Example: “The game was $1/$2, but I limped in calling the big blind at $2.”

Paint Cards

“Paint Cards” refers to any face card, including Jack, Queen, and King. The reason is that all of these cards have faces, causing players to often refer to them as “face cards.” Example: A player with Q, J against pocket sixes might ask to have some “paint” on the flop.

Calling Station

When it comes to standard poker terms, Calling Station refers to a loose and passive player who raises little but calls more than they should. Example: “I knew that my opponent would call my bet because they were known as a Calling Station.”

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