Poker Glossary
    Pay Off -
    To call a bet, almost always on the river, when it looks like you are beat, but the pot is offering enough return that you must call. "He was representing the flush, but there was so much in the pot that I had to pay him off with my set."
    Play the Board -
    In a Texas holdem game, if the five board cards form a better hand than you can make using one or both or your hole cards, you are said to be playing the board. This is usually a very weak hand and you will never win the pot outright in this event. The best you can hope for is a split. It should be noted that in an Omaha or Omaha high / low split game, you cannot play the board, as you have to use two hole cards to complete a hand.
    Pocket -
    The cards in your hand, or hole cards are often called pocket cards. For example, if you have two eights, you have pocket eights.
    Pocket Pair -
    Two cards of the same rank in your hand, such as two Aces or two Queens. "I had a pocket pair, but after that flop I had to fold."
    Post -
    To place the small or big blind. "I posted my blind." Also the name for the forced bet you must place in some card rooms when you first join a table. Most rooms will allow you to wait until you are in the big blind to start playing in order to post.
    Pot-Limit -
    A form of poker, most often used in Texas holdem and Omaha, where bets and raises can be up to the amount of money in the pot. In the case of a raise, the raise can be up to the amount in the pot including the amount necessary to call the previous bet. For example, if there is ten dollars in the pot and an opponent bets ten, then you could raise thirty, ten that was in the pot plus ten from your opponent's bet plus ten for your call. In this case you would place forty in the pot, your ten for the call and the thirty for the raise.
    Pot Odds -
    The amount of possible return that the pot is offering you if you win the hand in comparison to the amount you must call in order to stay in the hand. When pot odds are used in conjunction with your odds to improve on a draw to the best hand, you can make accurate decisions on the profitability of staying in the hand. For example, if you have four cards to a flush and you think that when you hit the flush you will win the hand and there is twenty dollars in the pot and you only have to call five, the pot is offering you four to one odds. If your odds of hitting your flush are better than four to one, then you should call. Don't forget to factor in any bets that you may have to call on the river or that you may collect on the river when determining your odds.
    Price -
    The amount the pot is offering, usually determined by pot odds, to stay in a hand. "I received the correct price to draw to my flush."
    Protect -
    To shield your hole cards while looking at them so your opponents can't see what you have or to place a bet in order to force an opponent or opponents to pay to draw to a better hand. For example, if you have two pair and there are two cards to a flush on the board, you may bet in order to protect your hand, forcing your opponents to call a bet to draw to a flush. Also, the act of placing a chip or some other small item on your hand so the dealer knows not to gather it as a fold.
    Quads -
    Four of a kind or four cards of the same rank, for example four Queens or four sevens.
    Ragged -
    Referring to the community cards, usually the flop, ragged means that the cards don't connect in any way such as no straight or straight draw possibilities and no flush or flush draw possibilities. For example, a flop with three different suits, often called a rainbow, of two, seven, Queen. "It was a ragged flop so I bet my pair of tens hoping to pick up the pot."
    Rainbow -
    >A term used to describe the flop, a rainbow flop means that there are three cards of different suits on the board. It can also refer to the first four community cards if they are different suits.
    Raise -
    To place a bet after an opponent or opponents have bet. The bet must be at least equal to the previous bet. For example, in a no limit Texas holdem game, your opponent bets 100, you must raise at least 100, for a total bet of 200 (100 for the call and 100 for the raise) in order to raise. You cannot raise 50 in the above example. Opening the betting on a round is not considered raising, it is just betting.
    Rake -
    The amount of each pot retained by the house as a fee for hosting the poker game. Some poker rooms do not charge a rake per pot, instead they collect fees based on the time a player sits in a game, usually every hour or half hour. This is called a seat charge or time. The rake varies from poker room to poker room, often between three and five percent of the total pot. Frequent players should be aware of the rake, as it has a long-term effect on your profitability at the poker table.
    Rank -
    The level of values of the cards in a deck. An Ace is higher than a King, which is higher than a Queen, etc. When a statement is made about two or more cards of the same rank, it means two or more of the same card. For example, two Kings are the same rank.
    Represent -
    To place a bet or raise that makes it look like you have a hand that you may or may not have. For example, if a third card of the same suit lands on the river, you may make a large bet representing the flush, whether you have it or not.
    Ring Game -
    Any poker game that is not a tournament is usually referred to as a ring game. In a ring game, players are able to purchase more chips between hands. A ring game also continues as long as there are players willing to play, unlike in a tournament setting.
    River -
    The last community card in Texas holdem and Omaha, also called fifth street. Often heard in the description of a hand, like "I caught my fifth spade on the river for the flush."
    Rock -
    A term used to describe a player who plays very tight before the flop, folding a very high percentage of hands. A rock only enters the pot with a strong hand, so you should be aware of whom the rocks are at the table, because you will need a strong hand to enter a pot they are in. Also, when a rock bets on the river, it is highly likely that they have a good hand.
    Runner -
    Often used as runner-runner, this means to catch cards on the turn and river to complete a long-shot draw. For example, "She hit runner-runner clubs to beat my straight."