Free Poker Guide to Poker Jargon Words Like Check, Raise, Bluff and All-In

With the immense popularity of free poker and poker shows like the World Series of Poker and the World Poker Tour, poker, like basketball, has developed a jargon of its own.

Terms in an poker dictionary today may be found in a poker dictionary published, say, twenty years ago, so the nature of poker may not have changed much.

Bets, Calls, Checks, Raises, Bluffs and All ins are old favourites and still mean what they always did. For example, to ‘bet’ is an aggressive move; ‘raise’ aggressive too; ‘calling’ is not aggressive; ‘checking’ is passive…unless you are planning to raise after it!

Bluffing, well that’s always aggressive. And then all in’s in no limit games are the most aggressive of all for most players

But newer terms have emerged, thanks to the poker commentator’s ideal to be crisp and short slot online.

For example, in the 70’s they may have said “he raised after a check” now we’ll just say “check raise”. Calling after checking becomes “check call”. ‘Value bet’ may be ‘betting for value’ or ‘betting because A’s hand is good, and he wants B to call’. Although this does not imply that no one used the shorthand terms before, it may be that they are not clear enough to a general audience before in a time when poker was accessible only to a few.

So, we’ll start with some of the most popular and important compound terms like check raise and check call.

We will be using the terms in their traditional sense, i.e, checks and calls are non-aggressive, and bets, raises, bluffs, and all ins are aggressive.

#1 Check-raise:

To check-raise is to check, then if an opponent bets, you raise. One example is, in a Board with 4-7-J and you have 6-5, if you are the first to act, you can check-raise.

You can check because you can hit your Straight for free later if your opponent checks, and if your opponent bets, you can raise, so he will think you are on a bluff or on a made hand, so if you hit your Straight later your hand is disguised.

You may also check-raise if you think your opponent’s weak so that he’s not going to call if you bet, but you want your opponent to think you’re weak so that he can bluff, then you can raise him.

#2 Check-call:

To check-call is to check, then if your opponent bets, then you call. Check-calling is standard for the above Board (4-7-J and you have 6-5),p provided you are priced to hit your Straight later. Check-call can also be good if you flopped a monster on the Flop and you want your opponent to represent it so you can trap him.

#3 Value bet:

Value is the relative strength of your hand compared to what you think your opponent has. For example, you have A-10 in a Flop of J-10-6-5-2. You can consider your Pair of Tens to be not so strong, but if you put your opponent on 7-7 or weaker, then you can bet a small amount at the river (say, one-third or one-half the pot) so your opponent will pay you off if he, indeed has the 7-7, and if it turns out that he has the Jack, your loss is not so great. The point is you bet the largest amount you think your opponent will call.

#4 Check-raise-bluff:

Now we move on to more complex compound terms. You usually check-raise if you have a strong hand or a drawing hand that you want to disguise. If you have none, but want to represent, do this. Check, then if he bets, put pressure on him.

#5 Value-bet-bluff:

A value-bet is generally a fraction of a pot, typically 1/3 to 2/3. A bluff is usually greater than the pot (twice or more to be credible). If you bet 1/3 or 2/3 of the pot with nothing, a strong player is likely to recognize the value-bet and just fold.

In such a case, your bluff works and with less danger than a standard bluff as a standard bluff may involve more than the pot or even an all-in, in contrast the value-bet-bluff involves only a bet that is value-bet sized.

#6 Three-bets and four-bets:

A three-bet means this: Someone bets (or raises preflop), then someone reraises, then someone reraises again (possibly the first raiser).

This action is the third, hence ‘three-bet’. If anyone moves over the top after this, then this action is the fourth, hence ‘four-bet.’

To reraise a raise requires a very strong hand, then to reraise this requires a far stronger hand, then to reraise this reraise requires a hand far more stronger. Unless one is representing.

So we can make terms like ‘three-bet-bluff’ and ‘four-bet-bluff’, meaning ‘a bluff with a three-bet or a four-bet’.

#7 Bluff all-in:

An all-in implies a strong hand. If you have nothing and this is what you do, then you ‘bluff all-in’. It is good to bluff all-in in a dangerous board (one off a Straight or a Flush, or a paired Board) but it is more dangerous, because your opponent may have the nuts and call you.

In less dangerous boards, you can just bet and your opponent will fold if he has nothing – it has the same effect as the bluff all-in.

#8 Call all-in:

Technically, call all-in is nonaggressive. To call is not aggressive; you just moved all in because you have a hand that you will be willing to move all-in if you acted first, and someone just set you up to it (or maybe you slow-played and your opponent became aggressive and pushed you all-in and you called).

#9 Check-raise-all-in:

A very aggressive move. You check, then someone bets, then you move all-in. Many will not interpret it as a bluff, and will call only if they have a hand. Say, on a board with J-10-Q-7-6, even with A-Q it is difficult to call a check-raise-all-in. You must have, say, A-K or 9-8 to do it, or a Flush.

#10 Check-raise-bluff-all-in:

The #9 when you have nothing. Say, in the above board, you have 5-5. You just represent a strong made hand.

You can make some more variants of these poker moves. Enjoy it but don’t go too far! Your value-bet bluffs will just confuse weak players, and they will call check-raise-bluff-all-ins just as they will call regularly and that can be bad for you!.

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