Understand-the-Chatter--What-Poker-Terms-Mean Understand the Chatter: What Poker Terms Mean

   21/02/2018 at 09:26       Richard Horne       0 COMMENTS.
 - Poker, Poker Rooms

For anyone who wants to get involved in the poker scene, there are (generally speaking) a couple of minor stumbling blocks to overcome before it’s possible to seriously enjoy a competitive world where stakes are raised and tension grows with each passing minute. The first such challenge can be easily overcome with a bit of practice and simply involves learning the rules of the different variants of poker, or at least the ones you might encounter most commonly. After all, you want to have confidence in your ability to play fairly whilst remaining on as level a playing field as possible with those who may have slightly more playing experience than you.

Poker isn’t limited to the likes of 7 card stud and Texas Hold’em; there are actually variants where players aim to get the worst cards as well as some that involve poker dice. All of these are fun to learn, but one aspect you could choose to focus on as you aim to unravel the intricacies of the poker community is the chatter that goes with it. Mastering this can, far faster than you might imagine, take you from a poker player to a true poker champion.

It's in the Games

One thing that might give you a head-start is realising that poker terminology and lingo actually appears in pop culture far more commonly than you may realise at first. Card games, and in particular poker games, actually appear surprisingly commonly in one niche corner of pop culture: video games. In fact, such is the prevalence of these games that entire web pages are dedicated to the discussion of the different poker mini-games that exist in this context, and their relative strengths and weaknesses.

Gaming fun in Red Dead Redemption 

The most famous of these games is Red Dead Redemption, and fans will no doubt be hoping that the game within a game theme is continued when the sequel comes out (if it ever does as it continues to be delayed!). The trend highlights that anyone who wants a taste of poker action and a more casual way to get to grips with the terms and lingo involved can do so whilst having fun in an entirely different format, in this instance whilst playing computer games.

Indeed, often in games where there is no mini-game option, you will still find video scenes that help to immerse gamers in the kind of gambling language that crops up in poker games. For instance, video game characters may discuss between each other the concept of going all- in on a particular action (even if just in a war game situation, for example), or raising the stakes in a particular situation, all important terms in the context of online poker and online poker rooms. Such saturation is important for a gaming niche that still holds such mystique (despite appearances like the ones we’ve mentioned in video games, a recent article on this site found poker had the hardest terminology and lingo to understand). That’s despite the competition provided by the likes of Call of Duty and GTA, where light-hearted, ‘wannabe gangster’ chatter as well as talk of noobs and camping are all too commonly involved during the online chatter that accompanies this sort of game, particularly between those who have played together before.

No More Lingo Bingo

While learning by osmosis and immersion through the playing of other games will of course eventually lead to a better understanding of the key terms involved in poker, the real understanding does tend to come from using them properly and understanding how they affect the game in a real life context, be it virtual, through online poker rooms which offer a series of different variants, or even in land-based poker rooms - or even in their combination, webcam poker, which is available through providers such as 888poker. This is crucial for players needing to work out what is being asked of them, what their opponents are saying about them, and why they might be saying it. Pop culture references like video game inclusion is a solid start, especially for more straightforward concepts such as bluffing and raising the stakes, but it is the more complex and nuanced terms that can leave players really scratching their heads if they haven’t tried to learn whilst playing.

One famous example of this comes in the form of the story of William Kassouf, who famously announced that he was "nine high like a boss" after winning a hand of poker and has since used the term as his put-down and tagline during matches. The key part of the phrase is 'nine high', which could also be changed to aces high or another card that is your top card in the hand of poker you are playing. The reason why Kassouf earned fame (and a degree of infamy) for this was because he was ironically boasting about how good his cards were, but they were the worst hand he could have had. He still managed to win big, hence the long-lasting legacy he is able to boast!

Other more obscure terms like broadway (which is an ace high straight e.g. 10-Jack- Queen- King-Ace) could well end up confusing during a chat, whilst downright bizarre terms like broomcorn's uncle (which mocks people who end up spending all their money on forced bets rather than on bets that they want to make), can prove to be so mysterious to newbies that they’re intimidated out of the game. The only way around these more obscure phrases really is practice, practise, practice.

Becoming the Poker Master 

Perhaps the most important thing to remember about poker terminology is that it isn't just about knowing the terms by checking out online poker guides but also about making sure you learn how to use them at the right time to your own advantage. Indeed, if you want to learn how to play poker without using your cash at the beginning so you have time to brush up on the key phrases, it is sensible to play your mini-games, start talking to the players you are up against using the terms yourself, and spend some time watching events like the WSOP (even old re-runs of events) where you can see how players use the terms in a way that counts.


Tense WSOP Action 

A big part of properly understanding any language, or set of vocabulary, is knowing how it fits in context. With poker, success isn't always about the hand you are dealt, but how exactly you use it. In this regard, making sure that you take advantage of the fact that it is agreed scientifically that the game is a mixture of skill and luck is essential, and being able to present yourself as having a better hand than you do by bluffing through clever language or body language is crucial for covering up any inadequacies.

Learning new terminology not only helps to keep your mind sharp and active, but your newfound ability will help you to master the skills needed to play poker to the best of your ability. The world of poker chatter can be one that can seem confusing at first, but mastering it and indeed dominating it could help you along the road to winning big at poker (even just on mini-games). Who knows, put in the right work, and enough viewing time of those popular video games, and 2018 could yet be the year your luck turns on the poker felt!

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Looks who's back. Shady's back.
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