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Glossary Of Texas Hold ‘Em Terms
BET – Placing chips in front of your hole cards that are at least equal to the value of the big blind.

BLINDS – Forced bets made before the cards are dealt. The small blind is on the dealer’s left, and the big blind is to the left of the small blind. The big blind is twice the value of the small blind.

BURN CARD – The card that is dealt face down before the flop, the turn, and the river cards are turned face up.

BUTTON – The dealer, or the token indicating dealer position.

CALL – Placing chips equal to the current bet in front of your hole cards.

CHECK – No bet is placed or required and the player is still active in the hand.

COMMUNITY CARDS – The five cards that are dealt face up and may be used by any or all players to complete their best hand; consists of the flop, turn, and river.

FLOP – The first three community cards dealt face up.

FOURTH STREET – Also called the Turn. The fourth community card dealt face up.

FIFTH STREET – Also called the River. The fifth community card dealt face up.

FOLD – Ending play in the current hand by placing your hole cards into the muck. A player may NOT fold unless there is a bet on the table and it is that player’s turn to act.​
HOLE CARDS – The two cards dealt face down to each player at the start of each hand. Only the player holding the hole cards can use those cards to complete the player’s best hand.

MUCK – Folding your hand by placing your hole cards in the middle of the table; also called “mucking your hand.”

POT – The chips that have already been bet on the current hand.

PRE-FLOP – Anything that happens before the flop is dealt.

RABBIT HUNTING – Continuing to expose cards after a hand has been decided. This is poor etiquette and wastes time.

RAISE – Placing at least double the chips of the current bet in front of a player’s hole cards. This is the new betting level that must be called or re-raised by any player that wants to continue playing the hand.

RIVER – See Fifth Street.

SHOWDOWN – When the active players reveal their cards at the end of a hand. The called player must show their cards first.

SPLASHING THE POT – Tossing chips into the pot instead of placing them in front of the player. The tournament director may declare those chips dead and make the player use new chips to bet, call or raise.

STRING BET – An illegal bet where more than one betting motion is used to bet, call, or raise. That player’s bet is considered to be a call.

TURN – See Fourth Street.

In the Big Dog straight poker format, seat and table positions are drawn before play begins. The players drawing the Ace will deal the first hand at each table. Subsequent deals will be passed to the left of the previous dealer.


The player to the dealer’s left is the small blind, and will place the amount of chips for the current blind level in front of that player. The next player to the left is the big blind, and will place that amount of chips in the same manner. Blinds are placed before the cards are dealt. Blinds must be placed, even if a player is absent when it is their turn to be a blind.

pocket threesDEALING THE HAND

Two cards are dealt to each player – one at a time, even to a player that is not in their seat. These are the player’s hole cards. If a player is not in his/her seat when the deal is completed, that hand is mucked (dead) and those cards are put with other folded hands in the center of the table. Then there is a round of betting, starting with the player to the left of the big blind. Following the first round of bets, the dealer deals one burn card face down; then deals the next three cards face up. These cards are called the FLOP. A second round of betting takes place with the player to the dealer’s left acting first. After this round of bets, the dealer deals one burn card face down and then deals one card face up. This card is called the TURN. A third round of betting occurs, with the player on the dealer’s left being the first to act. After this round of bets, the dealer deals one burn card face down and then deals one final card face up. This card is called the RIVER. A fourth and final round of betting occurs, with the player on the dealer’s left being the first to act. When all betting has been completed, there is a SHOWDOWN, where the players show their cards. The winning hand is the highest 5-card poker hand, using that player’s hole cards and any or all of the 5 community cards that the dealer has dealt face up. If two or more players have the same 5-card hand, the winning players split the chips in the pot. This is called “chopping the pot.”


full house hand

Any player may bet, check, raise, or fold on any round of betting.  Each player can act ONLY when it is their turn. The minimum bet is the value of the big blind. A player may go ALL-IN (bet all of their chips) at any time. A raise must be at least double the amount of the current bet. A player may check and then raise after another player has bet. This is called a CHECK-RAISE. No player may check if a bet has been made. That player must call, raise, or fold. No player may fold unless there has been a bet made and it is that player’s turn to act.  All bets and raises are placed in front of that player’s hole cards until the betting round has been completed. Then the dealer gathers those bets into the pot.  The player with the best 5-card poker hand wins all the chips in the pot. Verbal bets are binding; i.e., a player must actually put in the chips to raise if that player says “raise.” If any player pushes chips toward the pot without a verbal declaration of that player’s intent, that player has called the existing bet, or bet the minimum bet if that player is the first to act. Deceptive betting statements or actions are prohibited.  To prevent the appearance of collusion, two players that are heads up and have checked after the river must BOTH show their cards to determine the winning hand.


When two or more players are eliminated in the same hand, the one with the most chips at the beginning of the hand will be awarded the higher finish and tournament position.


When only two players have chips, the dealer is the small blind and the other player is the big blind. The dealer acts first before the flop, and last for all other rounds of betting.


The tournament winner is the player that has won all the chips from the other players. When players lose all their chips, they are eliminated from the tournament.  There are NO rebuys and NO add-ons allowed in any Big Dog poker tournaments.


Players are asked to be on time for the start of a tournament, and to be at their table when it is their turn to play. Cell phones should NOT be used for OUTGOING calls or to play video games until they are on break. INCOMING calls are permitted, but the player should let the call go to voice mail, or step away from their table to take the call. Our blinds go up quickly so keep the game moving along at a steady rate of play. ​This will keep the game more enjoyable for everyone that plays with our league.  During breaks for chip-ups, players should leave the table area to allow the TD room to work.


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