Texas Hold’em The A-Z Of Poker ‘Speak’ – The Letter ‘S’

Learning to speak Texas Hold’em as well as you play it is all part of the fun and excitement of the world’s most popular poker game!
Some of the terms and slang used are self-explanatory, some humourous, others startlingly apt, but all very relevant to the game and your knowledge of it.
To help you along we have put together a comprehensive list of terms. Read them, memorise the ones you find worthy of repeat, and begin to speak Hold’em as well as you play it!
This covers the letter ‘S’. The remainder of the alphabet will be gradually introduced to allow meanings to soak in.
Have fun reading!

S is for:


• A satellite tournament is one that awards the winners entry into another, larger tournament

Scare Card:

• This is a card that has the potential of giving you or your opponent a winning hand


• Very nice to have! When a player wins both the high and the low pots in a split pot game


• When a player with a strong drawing hand makes a bet before completing their hand


• 3-of-a-kind with 2 of the cards being hole cards


3 different meanings:
• Cards used by the dealer
• When 2 players have no choice but to get it all in
• A pre-ordered deck that is used to cheat another player


• Be aware if playing against a Shark, they are strong, experienced poker players


• This is to make 1 final call and by doing so agreeing to check on all remaining streets


• This is a tournament where a player has to defeat all players on their table before they can move on

Short Buy:

• When a player buys in for less than the minimum amount. In general, a player can short buy once while at the table and only after they have bought in at least once for a legitimate amount

Short Stack:

• Any player that does not have many chips left is on the short stack

Short Handed:

• This term is used on a table that only has a few players. Occurrences include cash games before others buy in and tournaments when there are only a few players left. Short handed games can have a huge effect on a player’s starting hand ranges


• Once the 5 community cards are dealt and all betting rounds over, if there is still more than 1 player left with cards, those involved will turn over their cards to establish who has the best hand and therefore wins the pot

Side Game:

• This is when a ring game runs concurrently with a tournament

Side Pot:

• In Texas Hold’em games when a pot has 3 or more players remaining with 1 of them all-in, a side pot will be created to enable the players who still have chips to continue betting until the showdown. It should be noted that the player who is ‘all-in’ can only win the initial pot and not the side pot

Sit and Go:

• This is a poker tournament style where the game commences once a certain number of players have entered. The majority of ‘sit and go’ tournaments are single table and consist of 9 or 10 players

Slow Play:

• This is when a player intentionally plays a very strong hand slowly in order to convince other players that their weaker hand is the best. Another term for Slow Play is “Sandbag”

Slow Roll:

• This will not win you any friends as it is frowned upon by poker players. It is when a player intentionally takes longer than necessary to show a winning hand in a showdown, or calls another large bet when holding a very strong hand

Small Blind:

• This is the smaller of the 2 forced bets that all players must place pre-flop. You are in the Small Blind Position when sitting directly to the left of the dealer

Splash the Pot:

• When a player tosses their chips into the pot and makes it difficult to see the amount of chips actually thrown

Split Pot:

• When 2 or more players have the same hand on showdown the pot is split between them

Split Two Pair:

• When a player pairs the rank of both of their hole cards


• This is the table range between minimum and maximum bets


• A betting structure which allows players to bet any amount between a set minimum and maximum figure


• An aggressive play. It is seen when a player raises after an initial bet has been laid and others have already called the bet


Two meanings:
• These are chips a player has in play on the table
• A stack of exactly 20 chips all of the same denomination


• Taking a pot uncontested by making a modest, well-timed bet


• To be avoided! This is when a player works themselves into a state of anger which induces Tilt

Stop and Go:

• An advanced poker play. It is when a player who has previously only checked and called suddenly takes the lead betting on a later street


• A bet from the player sitting to the left of the Big Blind (BB). It is usually double the amount of the BB bet. It also acts as a 3rd blind. The straddling player can then either check or re-raise once the action returns to them


• 5 cards in sequential order. The ace can be used as a high or a low card

Straight Flush:

• A straight but with cards all of the same suit


• The turn is known as 4th Street, the River as 5th Street. Together they are known as ‘Streets’


• Hitting a lucky card to beat a much better hand


• A player is suited when holding 2 cards of the same suit

Suited Connectors:

• 2 cards of the same suit in sequential order. Example: A 10 and Jack of Clubs are suited connectors
That’s it for the letter S in our installment of “Texas Hold’em – The A-Z of Poker speak”. There is little doubt you will be familiar with some of the terms above, but hopefully you have added to your Texas Hold’em vocabulary with ones previously unheard of.

There’s lots more to come:

Do keep a close eye out as we build this extensive compendium on the A-Z of Hold’em jargon. It will add to your knowledge of common terms as well as the more obscure ones. What is more, you will be able to impart your knowledge to friends as well as foes!
Our final article covers the letters ‘T-Z’ and includes the reasons you should take a break if heading towards the ‘Tilt’, what a ‘Wet Board’ is, and why a ‘Wheel’ is certainly not the worst hand to have!