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Poker jargon – B

A low-ranked card, usually used in lowball games. Also “spoke” when between ace and five.
  1. A draw requiring two or more rounds to fill. For example, catching two consecutive cards in two rounds of seven-card stud or Texas hold ’em to fill a straight or flush.
  2. A hand made other than the hand the player intended to make. I started with four hearts hoping for a flush, but I backdoored two more kings and my trips won.
back in
  1. To enter a pot by checking and then calling someone else’s open on the first betting round. Usually used in games like Jackpots, meaning to enter without openers.
  2. To enter a pot cheaply or for free because of having posted a blind.
back into
To win a pot with a hand that would have folded to any bet. For example, two players enter a pot of draw poker, both drawing to flushes. Both miss, and check after the draw. The player with the ace-high draw “backs into” winning the pot against the player with only a king-high draw. Also to make a backdoor draw, for example, a player who starts a hand with three of a kind, but makes a runner-runner flush, can be said to back into the flush.
Also called the house, the person responsible for distributing chips, keeping track of the buy-ins, and paying winners at the end of the game.
The amount of money that a player has to wager for the duration of his or her poker career.
  1. Not currently having the best hand. I’m pretty sure my pair of jacks was behind Lou’s kings, but I had other draws, so I kept playing.
  2. Describing money in play but not visible as chips in front a player. For example, a player may announce “I’ve got $100 behind” while handing money to a casino employee, meaning that he intends those chips to be in play as soon as they are brought to him.
berry patch
A game with many unskilled or “live” players; a lucrative opportunity for profit.
  1. Any money wagered during the play of a hand.
  2. More specifically, the opening bet of a betting round.
  3. In a fixed limit game, the standard betting amount. There were six bets in the pot when I called.
big bet game
A game played with a no limit or pot limit betting structure.
big blind
See blind.
big blind special
A situation in which (assuming no raising) the player in the big blind is dealt weak hole cards, but ends up making the best hand because he or she was able to see the flop for free, often two pair with unusual cards such as 3-9 or 10-2.
A card, frequently a community card, of no apparent value. I suspected Margaret had a good draw, but the river card was a blank, so I bet again.
A hand of five face cards that used to outrank a flush.
To lose small amounts continually, so as to add up to a large loss. I won that large pot with my kings, but then I bled it all off over the next hour.
  1. A type of forced bet.
  2. In the “dark”.
blind stud
A stud poker game in which all cards are dealt face down. Was popular in California before legal rulings made traditional stud legal there.
blind off, blinded
  1. To “ante off”.
  2. To have one’s stack reduced by paying ever increasing blinds in tournaments. Ted had to make a move soon or he would be blinded away in three more rounds.
On the last betting round, a hand that cannot win if the opponent is making a legitimate value bet, but that might win if the opponent’s bet was a pure bluff. It looked like Jim and I were both drawing for a flush. I missed and he bet, but I figured the pair of nines I caught along the way made a bluff-catcher, so I called.
  1. The set of community cards in a community card game. If another spade hits the board, I’ll have to fold.
  2. The set of face-up cards of a particular player in a stud game. Zack’s board didn’t look too scary, so I bet into him again.
  3. The set of all face-up cards in a stud game. I started with a flush draw, but there were already four other diamonds showing on the board, so I folded.
A “brick”.
A chip, often of small denomination.
both ways
Both halves of a split pot, often declared by a player who thinks he or she will win both low and high.
bottom end
The lowest of several possible straights, especially in a community card game. For example, in Texas hold’em with the cards 5-6-7 on the board, a player holding 3-4 has the bottom end straight, while a player holding 4-8 or 8-9 has a higher straight.
bottom pair, bottom set
In a community card game, a pair (or set) made by matching the lowest-ranking board card with one (or two) in one’s private hand.
The chip tray in front of a house dealer, and by extension, the house dealer’s position at the table. You’ve been in the box for an hour now; don’t you get a break?
boxed card
A card encountered face-up in the assembled deck during the deal, as opposed to one overturned in the act of dealing. Most house rules treat a boxed card as if it didn’t exist; that is, it is placed aside and not used. Different rules cover cards exposed during the deal.
  1. In a draw poker game, to discard cards that make a made hand in the hope of making a much better one. For example, a player with J-J-10-9-8 may wish to break his pair of jacks to draw for the straight, and a lowball player may break his 9-high 9-5-4-2-A to draw for the wheel.
  2. To end a session of play. The game broke at about 3:00.
A “blank”, though more often used in the derogatory sense of a card that is undesirable rather than merely inconsequential, such as a card of high rank or one that makes a pair in a low-hand game.
bring in
  1. To open a betting round. Alice brought it in for $5, and Bob raised $10.
  2. A kind of forced bet. Ted posted the bring-in.
  1. A casino employee whose job it is to greet players entering the poker room, maintain the list of persons waiting to play, announce open seats, and various other duties (including brushing off tables to prepare them for new games, hence the name).
  2. To recruit players into a game. Dave is brushing up some players for tonight’s game.
The last finishing position in a poker tournament before entering the payout structure. He was very frustrated after getting eliminated on the bubble. Also can be applied to other situations like if six players will make a televised final table the player finishing seventh will go out on the “TV bubble”.
  1. An ace.
  2. A chip.
To bluff repeatedly at all opportunities, or a player who does so. Compare to “run over”.
bum deal
A mis-deal
To raise. Alice bet $5 and Bob bumped it to $20.
  1. Not complete, such as four cards to a straight that never gets the fifth card to complete it.
  2. Out of chips. To “bust out” is to lose all of one’s chips.
The minimum required amount of chips to become involved in a game (or tournament). For example, a $4-$8 fixed limit game might require a player to buy at least $40 worth of chips to play. This is typically far less than an average player would expect to play with for any amount of time, but large enough that the player can play a number of hands without buying more, so the game isn’t slowed down by constant chip-buying.
buy short
To buy into a game for an amount smaller than the normal buy-in. Some casinos allow this under certain circumstances, such as after having lost a full buy-in, or if all players agree to allow it.
buy the button
A rule originating in northern California casinos in games played with blinds, in which a new player sitting down with the button to his right (who would normally be required to sit out a hand as the button passed him, then post to come in) may choose to pay the amount of both blinds for this one hand (the amount of the large blind playing as a live blind, and the amount of the small blind as dead money), play this hand, and then receive the button on the next hand as if he had been playing all along.
buy the pot
Making a bet when no one else is betting so as to force the other players to fold in order to win the pot uncontested.

This guide is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia.

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