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Poker Glossary - S



To check a strong hand with the intention of raising or re-raising.


A small-stakes tournament whose winner obtains cheap entry into a bigger tournament.

Scare Card

A card which may well turn the best hand into trash. If you have Tc-8c and the flop comes Qd- Jd-9s, you almost assuredly have the best hand. However, a turn card of Td would be very scary because it would almost guarantee that you are now beaten.


The players in a regular game.


To win the entire pot in a high / low split pot game.


Passing chips to another player after winning a pot; horsing.

Seat Charge

In public cardrooms, an hourly fee for playing poker.

Seating List

In most cardrooms, if there is no seat available for you when you arrive, you can put your name on a list to be seated when a seat opens up.

Second Pair

A pair with the second highest card on the flop. If you have As-Ts, and the flop comes Kd-Th-6c, you have flopped second pair.


To call.


As in 'sell a hand'. In a spread limit game, this means to bet less than the maximum when you have a very strong hand, hoping players will call whereas they would not have called a maximum bet.

Semi Bluffing

Betting on a weak hand that has a decent chance of being improved.


A powerful concept first discussed by David Sklansky. It is a bet or raise that you hope will not be called, but you have some outs if it is. A semi-bluff may be correct when betting for value is not correct, a pure bluff is not correct, but the combi


To bet with a hand which isn't the best hand, but which has a reasonable chance of improving.

Set You In

To bet as much as your opponent has left in front of him.


Three of a kind when you have two of the rank in your hand, and there is one on the board.

Seventh Street

This is applicable to Seven Card Stud Poker. This is the fifth and final round of betting, and is called Seventh Street because the Players have seven cards each.


A cardroom employee, often an off-duty dealer, who plays with house money to make up a game.


Shills are paid props who help start and maintain poker games


A tournament format in which a single player ends up with the entire prize money, or in which play continues at each table until only one player remains.

Short Stack

A number of chips that is not very many compared to the other players at the table. If you have $10 in front of you, and everybody else at the table has over $100, you are playing on a short stack.


Having only a small number of chips left.

Show One, Show All

A rule that says if a player shows their cards to anyone at the table they can be asked to show everyone else.


The point at which all players remaining in the hand turn their cards over and determine who has the best hand - i.e. after the fourth round of betting is completed. Of course, if a final bet or raise is not called, there is no showdown.


The mixing and rearranging of the cards before each hand so that the cards occur randomly. This is done by the dealer.

Side Card

An unmatched card which may determine the winner between two otherwise equal hands.

Side Pot

A pot created in which a player has no interest because he has run out of chips. Example: Al bets $6, Beth calls the $6, and Carl calls, but he has only $2 left. An $8 side pot is created that either Al or Beth can win, but not Carl. Furthermore, any

Sit In

To join in a game that has already started.

Sixth Street

This is applicable to Seven Card Stud Poker. This is the fourth round of betting and is called Sixth Street because the Players have six cards each.


To fix the cards; cheat.

Slow Play

Representing a strong hand as weak by not betting in order to disguise the strength. Also, especially online, slow play can simply mean you are taking too long to call or bet.


To reveal one's hand slowly at showdown, one card at a time, to heighten the drama.

Small Blind

The person to the immediate left of the person on the button. The small blind is required to place 1/2 the pre-flop amount. To see the flop, the person must then match any outstanding bet.

Smooth Call

To call rather than raise an opponent's bet.


The best possible low hand with a particular high card.

Snap Off

To beat another player, often a bluffer, and usually without a powerful hand.


The level of aggressiveness with which you play. Fast play is more aggressive, slow play is more passive.

Splash Around

To play more loosely than you should.

Splash The Pot

To throw your chips into the pot, instead of placing them in front of you. This makes it difficult for the dealer to determine the amount you bet.

Splashing The Pot

Throwing chips into the pot in a messy and unorganized fashion. Literally just tossing your chips into the pot rather than moving neatly and easily countable stacks of chips.

Split Openers

In draw poker, to discard one or more openers, usually to draw to a straight or flush.

Split Pair

A pair in Stud with one card up and the other down.

Split Pot

In a game that isn't high-low split, a tie between at least two players. This happens when both players show the same hand. This is common in Texas Hold'em for straights especially when both players are playing the board. In a high-low split game, of

Split Two Pair

A two pair hand in which one of each of your cards' ranks appears on the board as well. Example: you have T9, the flop is T-9-5, you have a split two pair. This is in comparison to two pair where there is a pair on the board. Example: you have T9, the


A tie.

Spread Limit

A betting structure in which a player may bet any amount in a range on every betting round. A typical spread limit structure is $2-$6, where a player may bet as little as $2 or as much as $6 on every betting round.

Spread Limit

A structure in which betting limits have a fixed minimum and maximum bet for each betting round. Any amount in between these limits may be bet.


When a cardroom starts a table for a particular game, it is said to spread that game. If you want to know what games are played in a particular place, you can ask what they spread.


To look slowly at the extremities of your hole cards, without removing them from the table, to worry your opponents and heighten the drama.


The pile of chips in front of a player.

Stand Pat

To decline an opportunity to draw cards.


A tie, in which the players divide the pot equally.

Starting Hand

The two pocket cards in Texas Hold'em or the first three cards in 7-Card stud.


To remain in a hand with a call rather than a raise.


A bluff in late position, attempting to steal the pot from a table of apparently weak hands.


Playing poorly and wildly, often because the player is emotionally upset.

Steel Wheel

In lowball, a straight flush, five high (Ace-2-3-4-5).


An optional extra blind bet, typically made by the player one to the left of the big blind, equal to twice the big blind. This is effectively a raise, and forces any player who wants to play to pay two bets. Furthermore, the straddler acts last before

Straight Flush

A hand consisting of five cards of consecutive ranks of the same suit, aces being high or low.


A straight is five cards of any suit in ascending order. The ace can be either high or low and the high straight wins the tie.


A run of good or bad cards.

String Bet

A bet (more typically a raise) in which a player doesn't get all the chips required for the raise into the pot in one motion. Unless he verbally declared the raise, he can be forced to withdraw it and just call. This prevents the unethical play of put


The rules of a particular game regarding betting, including antes, blinds, and the amount that may be bet on any round. In card rooms, games are typically posted along with shorthand for the limits. For example, Texas Hold'em is usually a fixed limit


Slang for losing, often a substantial amount of money.

Stud Poker

A form of poker with cards dealt to each person, some being face down and some being face up.


Refers to stud games in general, however, usually short for seven card stud. Stud games are contrasted with flop games and draw games.

Suck Out

To win a hand by hitting a very weak draw, often with poor pot odds.


A hold'em starting hand in which the two cards are the same suit. Example: 'I had to play J-3 - it was suited.'


To watch a player from the rail.

Sweeten The Pot

Slang for raise.


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