Presented here, in glossary format, are some of the poker
Presented here, in glossary format, are some of the poker terms and concepts common to a sit n go hold’em tournament These particular ones are especially meaningful for the fast or turbo version of the sit n go. The goal of this glossary is to help in making informed decisions when playing in the turbo sit n go. Consequently, I have added some of the strategic considerations that underlie many of the concepts. QQ Online
Glossary of poker terms and concepts common to the turbo sit n go:
Actual Deck. The actual deck is the term applied to describe the actual deck of 52 cards in play during the game. The actual deck is different from the virtual deck. The virtual deck is discussed later in this glossary.
Backdoor Draw. A backdoor draw to a flush or straight means that you hold three of the required cards on the flop. To complete your draw will require hitting the turn and river. If the draw is completed, the event is described as ‘catching runner-runner’ cards.
Bad Beat. If you play poker, you know about bad beats. Everyone has suffered this flip-side of good luck. And, you have just as likely dished out as many bad beats to someone else as you have received. That is nothing more than poker probabilities doing their job. Your opponent had nothing more to do with the outcome than you did. So, learn to quickly shrug off these common occurrences.
Consequently, it is pointless to share our personal bad beat stories. That would be dwelling on an event over which we had no control, but was entirely and statistically predictable. Bad beats are a common poker reality. Crying about a bad beat is to deny that reality. It is an emotional flaw or weakness to allow any thoughts about a bad beat. A bad beat memory should enjoy no more longevity than your memory of the last bad beat you put on someone else.
Bait-Bet. A bait-bet is made in hopes of deceiving an opponent. If the deception works, the opponent will perceive you to be weak, and will re-raise your bet.
The bait-bet is thus smallish compared to the size of the pot, or to prior betting action, or to the size of your opponent’s stack. Instead of being weak, you would be holding a very strong hand.
Buy the Button. Buying the button is an expression that describes the result of a late position raise. If your raise forces the players to your left through the button to fold, then you are said to have bought the button. This is a great benefit for a raiser. Post-flop, not only will you have respect for your raise working for you, but you will also be last to act. A near perfect situation for stealing the pot.
Card Dead. In a turbo, card dead or not, you must play. Or, you will quickly be blinded into desperation. This is the reason that learning lots of moves is important. You must invent ways to accumulate chips, because not catching a decent starting hand, or not hitting the flop, are the normal, frequent occurrence. And, being card dead can last the entire tournament.
Coin-Flip. This term describes two hands that are statistically similar, both having about the same probability of winning a pot at showdown. So, the two competitors could as easily have flipped a coin to determine the winner. There would not be much, if any, difference between flipping the coin to determine the winner, and dealing out the hand.
Note that in only one trial, such as this one hand, because of variance, even the underdog could win. Even a big underdog could win (that event is commonly called a suck-out). And, it is a common enough occurrence. So, unless you are nursing a short stack or have a move in mind, avoid entering into coin-flip situations.
Continuation Bet. The continuation bet (c-bet) is the most common of all the moves. As the name implies, this move is a continuation of a prior betting action. Basically, if you open the betting, or raise pre-flop, then your opponents expect for you to continue your aggression post-flop. Since most hands, most of the time, do not hit the flop, a c-bet will usually win the pot.
Cooperative Play. There is only one instance of cooperation between opponents in a tournament. And, that occurs when several join in a pot to beat an all-in desperate stack. The cooperation is unspoken. But, proceeds this way. The hand is merely checked down. The hope is that at showdown one of the cooperating players will have a hand good enough to beat the all-in stack. Obviously the more players in the hand, the more likely someone will hit something strong enough to beat the all-in hand.
In this case, the cooperation occurs by everyone silently agreeing to check down the hand. Each knowing their odds of moving into or up in-the-money are enhanced by the more players in the hand. Consequently, there is no betting action.
Coordinated. A coordinated flop is said to have occurred when there are at least two cards of a straight and/or flush on the flop. A coordinated board is a great tell. It can help explain the betting behavior of your opponents. Regardless of whether your opponent has the goods or is bluffing, the warning has been sounded. Likewise, the coordinated board is a good set-up for your own bluffs.
Counterfeit. Counterfeiting describes the situation where the showdown hands hold the same high card. In this case, the hand holding the highest rank kicker will usually win the pot, since the low hand has only three outs. Of course, weird outcomes can happen. Like pairing, making trips or a straight or flush with the low kicker (I’ve seen everyone of them… many times). But, the odds favor the hand with the highest kicker.
Discrimination. If their is one word that best describes a competent poker player it would be the word, discriminating. Another word might be, detached. Some phrases might be, good decision maker, or someone with good judgment.
But the word, discriminating, seems to wrap the whole concept into a tidy, one-word package. To be discriminating implies caution and thoughtfulness in seeking to play in only the highest positive value expectation situations. If you are discriminating in your choices at the table, you will be a long term winner.
Fold Equity. Fold equity is a concept regarding stack size. If the size of your stack might intimidate an opponent into folding, then you have fold equity. If not, then you do not have any fold equity. Your potential fold equity is a factor taken into account when plotting a move against an opponent. Of course, it would be a meaningless consideration in the case when against a desperate opponent. And by the same token, perhaps meaningless in the case of a huge stacked opponent.
Implied Odds. There is a lot written about all kinds of odds – odds, implied odds, reverse odds, and probably more. In my opinion, about the only one of much importance in a no-limit tournament is implied odds. This simply speaks to the fact that a player can push all-in anytime with the prospect of being paid off handsomely, or stealing a big pot. You can’t exactly calculate your odds in these situations, but you know instinctively that the ‘implications’ are mighty nice.
Levels of Poker Thinking. There are three common levels of poker thinking. First, is when you are thinking about your hand. Second, is when you are thinking about your opponent’s hand. And third, is when you are thinking about what your opponent is thinking about your hand.
The fourth level is, how you think your opponent will play his hand based upon what you think he thinks to be your hand. (I think I got that right). The fourth level is much less common. If you do happen into that rare level, it will probably be in the heat of a heads-up battle. I don’t think there is a fifth level, as at that point you would just be thinking in circles (if not already).
Limping. Limping is merely the pre-flop act of calling the big blind amount, or completing the small blind. It is not the same as calling a post-flop bet or a raise. It is short for ‘limping into the pot’. It is the cheap means to stay in the hand and see a flop.
Min-Raise. The min-raise, short for minimum raise, serves a couple of purposes, but has a big flaw. It is useful for thinning the number of players in the hand, and for building the pot. But, it is an announcement that you have a weak hand and could probably be bet off of the hand right then or after the flop.
The min-raise could be used as a deceptive tool to understate a powerful starting hand. But, even that approach is flawed, because a powerful hand should be bet. Largely, the min-raise is a play by novices, and is a waste of chips. However, with a big blind of 100 chips and larger, the min-raise takes on more serious proportions. As it then represents a large percent of many of the smaller stacks.
Move. The move is a play that is intended to deceive your opponent(s). Usually, the move when used in a no-limit tournament is successful because a large number of chips are involved. Opponents correctly assess that the risk is not worth the reward. For our purposes, a move is any non-standard, non-straightforward play. It could be a bluff. Or, it could be a slow-play. You might have cards to back-up your move. Or, you might not.
Orphan Pot. The concept is simple. If, in the current and any prior rounds of betting, the players in the hand have checked. Then the pot is considered an orphan pot, since no one has bet to claim the little orphan.
Outs. This term describes the number of cards available in the virtual deck to improve your hand. This is a common concept, for which a lot has been written. Suffice it all to say, that the more outs you have the better. In my experience, ‘outs’ is not a compelling decision making factor in turbo play. In fact, chasing outs in a turbo is almost always a bad play. Unless, you are a big stack with chips to gamble with, or you are a short stack without a choice.
Performing in the Zone. The Zone is a description used mainly by athletic competitors to describe when their mind and bodies are in perfect sync. In this mental state they are performing perfectly without thinking about the execution of movement or performance.
Another similar term is ‘flow’. The perfect performance seems to ‘flow’ without thought or effort. This mental state can be achieved by poker players. It is basically a state of pure concentration. And, usually described as playing your ‘A’ game.
Pot Committed. Pot committed describes the size of your stack in relation to the size of the pot during the course of a hand. Once you have committed most of your chips to the pot, or the pot size has grown significantly larger than your stack, you are said to be pot committed.
In other words, there are no odds and little compelling reason, outside of the prospect of elimination, to abandon the pot. Furthermore, there is often a feeling of desperation induced by being pot committed. This is an emotional state ripe for making fatal mistakes. Needless to say, it is your objective to get your opponent pot committed when you hold the winning hand.
Push or Fold. The deeper you get into a turbo sit n go, the more likely you are to have to adopt a push or fold style of play. The large blinds having created pots just too large for effectively betting any amount less than your entire stack. There will also be times when you will find push or fold to be the most effective style for the entire tournament. This could be the case when you are card dead at a tight table.
And, of course, when you are badly short stacked, or desperate, push or fold is the only way to play. The style is exactly as the name suggests, either you fold your hand, or you push your stack all-in. There is no calling or limping.
Represent. To represent a hand, is another form of bluff or deception. It means that you bet or act in accordance with the community board cards. Your betting action is designed to convince your opponent(s) that the cards on the board have helped your hand.
Re-Steal. Unfortunately, you probably won’t know if your opponent’s move is a re-steal, or the real thing unless you call. And, that could be a very expensive lesson. Your opponent’s action is considered a re-steal if you were bluffing when you bet. Or, it is a raise if you were betting with a legitimate hand. Either way, unless you are holding the nuts, it is usually better in a turbo to save your chips for another battle.
Selective Aggression. This term may be subject to individual interpretation. It is definitely not about playing loosely. Nor, is it a style that would tag a player as being aggressive. Basically, it means to play good hands and favorable situations aggressively. More importantly, in the case of the turbo, selective aggression is the muscle behind many of the moves. I have heard it likened to a coiled rattlesnake ready and waiting for the perfect opportunity to strike. I like that analogy.
Semi-Bluff. A semi-bluff is just a dressed up bluff. It is still a bluff that could lose in the event of a showdown. With the exception that there exists some outs that might improve the bluff into a winning hand. Obviously, if you have to bluff, and you frequently will in a turbo, hope for a hand with outs.
Slowplay. Slowplaying is a strategy designed to keep a player(s) with a weaker hand thinking that he has the stronger hand. Slowplaying means that regardless of your position in relation to your opponent(s), you are checking your hand, and just calling their bets. Another name for this maneuver is ‘trapping’. The goal is usually to keep as many opponents in the pot as possible. And, to let them build the pot for you. The concern is that if you were to bet-out or raise, you might scare them off.
Slowrolling. A player who slowly reveals their winning hand, or in the case of on-line play, slowly calls a river bet with the nuts, is said to be slowrolling.
Small Ball. Small ball is a style of play typified by seeing lots of cheap flops, keeping pots small, and out-playing your opponents on the later streets.
Squeeze Play. The squeeze play is a move from late/last position against opponents whose pre-flop action was to merely call a small or min-raise. They have indicated weakness. The squeeze then is a large or all-in raise that forces your opponents to fold including the original raiser. The original raiser is thus squeezed out of the pot by his concern over the re-raise and the possible actions of those opponents yet to act.
Tilt. Tilt is a common gambling term. It simply describes a state of mind when emotions, rather than logic, influence one’s decisions. Decisions made emotionally are financially ruinous for the gambler.
Trapping. Trapping is synonymous with slowplaying.
Suited Connectors. There is plenty written about suited connectors, and there is not much to add. As to a turbo tournament, I would recommend limping with them when early in the tournament, and forget them when late.
Switching Gears. This is a term used to describe a player who has changed his style play during the game, usually between tight and loose. These changes are in response to such factors as the number of players at the table, the table image of the player, the size of the big blind, the size of the player’s stack, or the tightness of the table.
Variance. This is a term common to statistical analysis. For our poker purposes, it describes the range of possible hands, and their likelihood of occurring. The concept to appreciate is that every hand that is possible, and every way that that hand might occur, will occur. Some possibilities are obviously less likely than others, but they all will occur. If the improbable occurrence results in a losing hand, you are said to have had bad luck, or suffered a bad beat.
Consider this: given enough time, a monkey playing with a typewriter will type all of Shakespeare’s works… several times… forwards and backwards. So, don’t sweat those insignificant bad beats. In the cosmos of probabilities, they amount to nothing.
Virtual Deck. The virtual deck is the term used to describe the methodology for hand odds calculation. The method considers only the cards that you can see, the two in your hand and the ones on the board. Calculations are then based upon all the other cards still remaining in the virtual deck. It does not consider that in actuality other cards have been dealt to your opponents. The virtual deck is, thus, different from the actual deck.
So, in actual game play, you must temper hand odds predictions with your observations. If it looks probable that a player holds the cards to beat your hand, or beat your best improved hand, then it is time to fold regardless of your hand odds.
As you know, there are many more terms and concepts in poker than are included in this limited glossary. For a turbo sit n go player, hopefully these are a few of the more important ones.