Introduction to Dan's Poker Dictionary

Welcome to Dan's Poker Dictionary, a lexicographic exploration of the most popular card game on earth (i.e., a big page full of poker words).

As every poker player knows - especially anyone who's tried to tell a poker story to a non-player - the language of poker is a language all its own. It's a rich, seductive, and often confusing shorthand for the complex concepts of a complex game. Learning the language isn't always easy, but it is required if you want to understand the contents of poker magazines and books, messages in poker-related internet newsgroups, table talk in cardrooms, and poker stories. Thus this dictionary.

I originally wrote this dictionary in 1995-1996, and an edited version of it became the glossary for my book, Serious Poker, which first came out in November 2000. The second edition was published by ConJelCo in March 2002. If you'd like to see an earlier version of it, a few snapshots are available on If you happen to know of an archive that might have the original 1996 release, please let me know.

Please note that the text of this poker dictionary is original and copyrighted, and that the copyright has been registered in the United States. You are welcome to print out a copy for your own personal use, and/or to make unmodified copies for non-commercial purposes. If you'd like to license it for commercial or some other use, email me and ask.

Why is this a dictionary and not a glossary? I'd be happy to call it either one, but I consider a glossary a reference for the terms used in a larger work, and a dictionary as a work meant to stand on its own (i.e., as a general reference). So I decided to call this a dictionary, although when my book came out it became a glossary as well. One thing it doesn't include that dictionaries often do is pronunciation information. Although some other poker terminology references do, I don't think there's any purpose to it. Virtually none of the words in a poker dictionary are peculiar to poker. They're just regular English words that have poker-specific meanings.

FYI, there are at least four other good references for poker terminology online: