Vocabulary & Expressions for POKER and other card games

Hi there. Welcome to poker night with Ronnie. Do you know how to play poker? Maybe? Do you know how to play poker in English?

I’m going to teach you. I know how to play poker. I am not very good at playing poker; I always seem to get really terrible cards, no fault of my own. Very skilled in the game, just bad luck. Luck of the draw is not with me.

I’m going to put my old-school video camera away, and we’re going to learn how to play some poker in English. So, the first thing that we need to know about poker is it’s a game. Woo-hoo. It’s become very, very, very popular online because you can get a lot of money.

The way I learned to play poker was my father taught me, after many a grape soda, sitting around the kitchen table, betting matchsticks. So, welcome to my childhood. I learned how to play poker. What did you do? The most important thing is to learn the name of the cards in English. So, probably you know: A, K, Q, J, 10, and the numbers, but these actually have names.

The “A” is the Ace. The “K” is the King. The “Q” is the Queen. The Jack is the “J”. Then it goes from 10 all the way down to 2. There is no 1.

Sometimes the ace can be used as a 1, but that’s too complicated, and I’m not going to tell you my tricks. Well, you’re going to lose anyway, so might as well. The other thing that we need to know is what to call the cards. So, these are suits. Not… Suit? Suit, suit, suits… Suits, they’re called…

I don’t know why they’re called suits, they’re just suits. So, the suits means: Hearts, diamonds, clubs, and spades. Now, when I was a child, I had a very stupid brother. Still do. Mm-hmm.

And for some reason, he said shovels. Okay? It’s a spade, buddy; not a shovel. Get it right. Okay? So, hearts, diamonds, clubs, and spades are the proper names of these.

So, now you know the vocabulary of the wor-… Of the cards. I’m going to teach you some verbs that you need. The first one probably you know, is a bluff. “Bluff” means you have a face… Oh, Lady Gaga go away. Mm-hmm. Poker Face.

Do you know what that means? “Poker face” means you are expressionless. Usually you have a baseball hat, so people can’t see your eyes. But a bluff is when you do not let your face show your cards or what you’re doing. So, if you’re betting money or matchsticks and you want to bluff, you’re going to pretend that you have a fabtabulous hand. Now, “the hand” means what cards you have.

So, I’m going to pretend that I have the highest cards ever, called a “royal flush”. So I would not make expressions with my face, and I would bet a lot of money. I would be bluffing, because maybe I have really, really bad cards. I always have bad cards. So, “bluff” means to, like, lie and pretend you have really, really good cards.

The most important word is “bet”. “Bet” means you put in money that you’re going to lose or win, depending. Before they even deal the cards-“deal the cards” means you give them to people- there’s something called an “ante”. An “ante”, not your mother’s sister, means a forced bet before the deal. So, if we were playing cards or playing poker, and I have lots of money, I would ante $100. I would never do that.

And then everyone else that wants to play would have to put in, automatically, $100, even before we look at our cards. Scary. What happens is we have the first bet is called “open”. So, it would be my turn, I could open, which means I would put in money; or if I did not want to, I could “check” or “pass”. This means I don’t want to play with money.

I’m just like: “No. Enh, we’ll see what happens.” If I have a really, really, really terrible hand, which means my cards are not good, I would do what’s called “folding” or “fold”. I would say: “Fold.”

Fold means: “This is terrible, I’m out. I end the game. I’m no longer playing this.” When you bet, you can “call”, which means you match what the other person has bet. For example, if the person before me bet $10, I would call, and I also would put in $10. If I wanted to get more money from people, I would “raise the pot”, which means I would put in my $10, and I would add more money.

So, if I had a really good hand, I would say: “I call the 10, and I raise you 50.” So the other people playing, if they wanted to stay in the game, would have to put in $50. Is it complicated yet?

It’s not, really. It’s just… You’ll get it. The thing that’s the most important is the money, but they don’t call it “the money”, they call it “the pot”. So, “the pot” means the money that you’re going to lose or win. So all of the money that people bet goes into a pot. It’s not really a pot.

So, this is one thing that we really, really, really have to remember and memorize if you want to be a very good poker player. This is the hardest part about poker, other than getting the cards that you want, is what all these words mean. So… And the ranking of them. Basically, the ace is the highest number one card, and it goes down in order.

So, if you have aces, you’re doing well. So, this number one, most impossible hand is called a “royal flush”. I’ve never, ever had a royal flush.

Flush the toilet. A royal flush is almost impossible to get, because it is the ace, the king, the queen, the jack, the 10, and it must be of the same suit. Suit?

The same colour. Right? So, it has to be either all hearts, or all diamonds, or it must be all clubs or all spades. So, when I… Remember, when I say “the same suit”, it has to be the same; hearts, diamonds, clubs, or spades.

Got it? If you have the royal flush, you are guaranteed going to win. You are going to throw down all of the money that you have in your piggy bank, in your pocket, in your bank account, you’re going to mortgage your house – you are going to win. No other hand in the world, ever, can beat a royal flush. So, good luck. One down from the royal flush would be a “straight flush”.

Example: If I have a royal flush and you have a straight flush, I win. [Laughs] But it’s really hard to get a royal flush. So, a straight flush is any sequence of five cards, it must be the same colour. So, for example, I can have: 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, or I could have: 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, as long as there are five cards in the chronological order, the same number order, and again, they must be of the same suit.

So, if you have all the same colours, but one’s a heart, one’s a diamond – you’re not having it. It must be the exact same colour, the exact same suit, and the numbers must be in order, black or white. If you have this, you’re betting your house again. This is hard to get. You’re going to win.

So, one down from the straight flush is “four of a kind”. One, two, three, four. So this means you have four cards of each suit. So, for example, you have all of the aces, down to all of the 2s.

This is a very strong hand again. Again, you would bet, bet, bet, win, win, win, win. Ding, ding, ding. And then lose it all.

Next down from the four of a kind is a “full house”. Full house means there’s many people in your house, so a full house is three cards of the same, and then a pair. If you look at my example on the board, here, I have six cards… No, I have three cards that are 6s, and I have two kings.

But on the other one, I have three queens and two king-… And two 2s. Which one do you think is the higher card? Which one do you think would win?

Yeah, this one, this one, this one, this one. This one would win, because I have three queens. Queens are higher than 6s, so whatever cards you have the most of, they’re the highest, you’re going to win that pot. Woo-hoo. This is a pretty common… Actually, full house is a pretty common hand to get, so this is pretty good. Of course, we’re going down.

The “flush”, you might want to bluff on this one, but a flush is any five cards that are the same suit. Okay? So if you have a whole list of five cards that are all diamonds, you’ve got a flush. This one does not matter if the numbers are in order; it only matters that they’re the same suit, black and white. We have a “straight”, now, a straight is kind of like a straight flush, except we don’t have to have the same suit. So, as long as your cards are in order, you can have a straight.

So it’s, for example: queen, jack, 10, 9, 8; king, queen, jack, 10, 9. As long as they’re in the right order-this is a queen-you will win this hand. “Three of a kind” is also called “a set”, or “trips”, or “triplets”.

It is three cards of the same. “Two pairs” are two cards, and two cards are the same number, so two 10s and two 5s, for example. This would be…

If you have something like this, all the poker games have two… Have five cards. So the other cards, we just disregard them; we don’t care about those ones. Really, really, really terrible hand would be “one pair”. Worse than one pair would be one card of an ace or a king, or a face card. So, one pair would be the lowest of the poker hands that you could get, as opposed to having one, nothing. There’s also many, many, many slang words that the poker people use.

I’m not schooled in that. I have no idea. They have crazy names, like two aces are “snake eyes” or, I don’t know, it’s crazy.

If you’re interested in poker, go online, lose all your money. It’ll be fantastic. If you have questions about playing poker, call my dad. He’ll tell ya. I really don’t know. This is all I know.

Good luck out there, lose all your money. Till next time, party on.