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The Language of Online Poker

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Jose Kim is the founder of Gorilla Overview. Jose has been running Gorilla Overview and learning self-development, personal finance, and investment for the last 3 years. Jose has been creating celebrity net worth websites for the past 5 years. Currently, he is focusing on building Gorilla Overview. Jose and his team were previously working on the popular entertainment website known as "Bio Overview" which became one of the fastest-growing websites in the world. Jose doesn't use personal social media anymore, so you won't be able to find him on Instagram, or Twitter.

Online poker is a game that has a community of players, and just like in other communities or sports leagues like the NHL or NBA, there are terms specific to that league. With online poker sites not getting as much media attention as either of those leagues, the words used in this community are not well known except to people who play online poker. But these words help build this community and bring in more players. Someone who knows these words can feel like they are a part of something special. Not only that, but these words are essential to playing the game. The last thing a newbie would want is to play a game on one of the nation’s favorite online poker sites, and a more experienced player says a word, and they do not know what that word means. Not only does it potentially delay the game as the player looks to find out what the word means, but it could cause the more experienced players to come for those players who realize they do not know their way around the online poker circuit.

Below, we will discuss some common languages used in online poker.

Language used in online poker.

Here are some words with definitions commonly used in the online poker world.

  1. Big Dog – A newbie or someone who no one expects to win.
  2. Bullets – When someone has two aces.
  3. Horsing – Also known as “Scooting,” this practice is when a player who has won the pot hands a little money to another player.
  4. Nursing – This is when a player seeks to play the game conservatively because they may only have one chip.
  5. Tank – This term gets used when a player takes an abnormally long time to decide what to do next.
  6. C- Note – In reference to a hundred-dollar bill
  7. Lid – In reference to the first card in the deck
  8. High Roller – Also called Whale, a High Roller only plays for large amounts of money.
  9. Drawing Dead – When someone has a drawing hand that will lose no matter what they do to try and improve the hand.
  10. Bluff – A common term for when a player who knows they do not have a good hand in the group tries to convince the other players they do by betting or raising the pot.
  11. Barn – Another way of saying “Full House.”
  12. Lock – When you have a hand which you believe is destined to win

The impact of having unique language in online poker

As the introduction mentions, having a unique set of words for online poker helps foster a community. A person can gauge another player’s experience level based on their knowledge of these words. Just like how two NBA players may say a word unique to basketball, both smile when they realize they are the only people who know what they are talking about. It’s the same feeling in online poker. People feel a part of this particular club, which only a few people are members of, and they know the insider language, which only makes them feel more welcomed.

Also, these words help build a culture—a culture of respect. If you are going to play online poker, you must show the game and its players a level of respect by knowing the language. You cannot simply go into online poker and shout your own words; there is already a dictionary associated with online poker. These words are so there is a level of respect amongst players. Instead of taunting, you could use these slang words and convey the same message without being seen as disrespectful.

A player who does not know the language and attempts to come into this community thinking they do not need it will find it incredibly difficult. People in the community want you to take the time to learn these words and show the game respect. Once you do this, the game will become more accessible and easier to acclimate to the community.


Online poker is a game that anyone can play, and while playing this game can be fun, even if you do not know the slang, it will be astronomically better once you know the proper terms. These words have come about to build a culture of respect and a community. Not learning these words will make others believe you are not serious about the game. A game in which so many people dedicate their lives to. Seeing a top online poker player not know these words would be unthinkable. Everyone has to start as a newbie, but this does not mean you have to walk in blind. Learn these words and their meaning; a new world will open to you. Online poker is a community, and to be a part of this community, you have to learn the words associated with it.

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