Poker has been a favorite among casino goers for years due to the thrill and excitement the unpredictable skill-based game brings to the table. The game’s social aspect is also a big draw for new and experienced players alike, allowing them to bond over a shared interest and engage in friendly competition.

Let’s face it, whether we have seen the game played out on the big screen like in Rounders or watched it unfolded online, it is difficult to find someone who has never heard of poker. The undeniable drama and tension that fuel the game make it a very engaging spectator sport, spawning many major events and worldwide tournaments.

As with all casino games, poker does require some luck; however, it won’t get you very far if you don’t understand how the high-stakes game works. So, if you want to join the millions of poker players around the globe, you need to get a good grasp on the rules and nuances of the game, especially the terminology.

Yes, one of the essential aspects of poker is understanding the various terms and jargon used by players. As such, we have compiled a detailed list of the most popular phrases used to help you navigate the game and know what your opponents are up to.

Don’t even think of venturing into the world of poker before going through this list – especially if you’re eying that free poker no deposit bonus codes. As with anything else, you need to equip yourself with all the useful information you can get. Remember, this is a game of strategy, and not knowing enough may very well mean you’re setting yourself up for failure.


The term “Airball” or “Airballing” refers to a situation in which a player needs to bluff as they have lost out on all the community cards and are left with a weak holding with no chances of improving.


An ante is what players call the minimum amount of money they must wager in order to play. This is done before the start of each hand and is usually a flat amount that is agreed upon prior to the start of the game. The ante helps to ensure that everyone has a stake in the game and will not instantly fold if they get a weak hand.


Ammo is one of the many slang terms poker players have borrowed from the military. Short for ammunition, players use it to refer to their chip stacks. As such, if you ever find yourself out of ammo, then it must be your unlucky day, as that means you are out of chips.


In poker, the word arsenal is thrown around to describe a player’s strategies and tactics that they employ throughout the game. For example, someone with a big arsenal has the ability to adjust their strategy effectively to gain better odds in the game. Additionally, they are also able to pull from the many poker skills they have mastered, including the ability to read an opponent and bluff successfully.

Belly Buster

Belly Buster is a more commonly used term for a gunshot. It describes a situation in which a straight draw which does not include consecutive cards, requires a specific rank card to complete the straight.


You don’t need to be a poker aficionado to know that ‘busted’ is not a good thing. While the term can be used in a number of situations, it is never used in a positive light. It generally refers to a situation in which you have lost all your chips and do not have any more money to continue playing the game.

Chip Dumping

Chip dumping is an unethical poker practice that happens in poker tournaments whereby a player intentionally loses their chips to give another player on the table an advantage. The goal then is for the players to share the profits following their win.

Chip dumping goes against the rules of most poker games and is seen as blatantly cheating other players out of their winnings. If caught, players could be suspended from the tournament or even have their winnings confiscated.

Dolly Parton

One of our favorite poker terms is the Dolly Parton. If you are thinking of the iconic country music star, then you are not far off. Inspired by her 1980 movie and namesake song “9 to 5,” this term is used to describe a weak hand that has a slim chance of winning as it has no strong cards. As such, if you find yourself with a Dolly Parton, then you need to think strategically about the best course of action given the odds. While we may not have gotten our “9 to 5” sequel yet, we can all have fun with this slang term.

Hit and Run

As the name would suggest, hit and run is used in poker to refer to a player who leaves very quickly after winning a huge pot. While some players do this to protect their winnings and avoid the temptation of playing again, it is considered unethical in the poker scene and is frowned upon. No one wants to have a player just swoop in for the cash and leave. You need to give other players the opportunity to win.


In the poker industry, a nitfest can be used to describe a game in which the players exercise a lot of caution with their plays, avoiding unnecessary risks. This can be done by only playing premium hands and frequently folding when the odds are uncertain. As this type of game tends to move slower, it can be frustrating for more skilled players resulting in less opportunity for exciting hands and big pots. However, this could be a viable strategy when it comes to competition, as it will enable you to reduce the risk of losing money when playing against more aggressive opponents.