This week’s term is satellite. In poker, in its most basic sense, a satellite is a tournament with a smaller buy-in amount that awards seats to higher-value, more prestigious tournaments rather than cash.
Satellite tournaments can also be used as qualifiers for events which may have a larger popularity than capacity. Satellite tournaments are also used to divide the player pool by a certain region, country, or other location, whether for accessibility purposes or to ensure varied representation. Finally, online satellites—in addition to providing entry to larger online tournaments—are oftentimes used for land-based events
This week’s term is calling station. While this term may elicit different ideas, in poker a calling station is a derogatory term for a weak and somewhat passive player who almost always calls—and rarely, if ever, raises or folds—regardless of the strength of his/her hand.
This week’s term is bubble. Now, in addition to being a bathtub additive as well as a fun activity for children, in poker jargon, the bubble is the point at which the next player to be eliminated is the last one to be out of the money. Thus, if, in a tournament, the top 65 players get paid, then the unfortunate player in 66th place is known as the bubble.
This week’s term is tell. A tell is a hint or a clue that a player unknowingly provides about the strength/weakness of his/her hand, next action, or other potential move. In essence, the player tells you what s/he is going to do. Some believe this word originated from “telegraph.”
The best and most successful poker players don’t provide many tells themselves, and many are adept at detecting their opponents’ tells during play.
In fact, poker pro and casino executive Mike Caro devoted an entire book to identifying potential tells entitled Caro’s Book of Poker Tells: The Psychology and Body Language of Poker (2003) hailed as one of the ten greatest poker books ever written.
This week’s term is side pot. Quite simply, a side pot is a pot that is separate from the main pot that is created when a player goes all-in. Thus, the pot to which the all-in player(s) contributed is the main pot. This can get tricky when there are multiple all-in players and multiple side pots are created. It is important to realize that any all-in player is only eligible to win a pot to which s/he has contributed chips.
This week’s term is straddle. In addition to being a nifty gymnastics move demonstrating one’s flexibiliy, in poker, a straddle is an optional pre-deal bet that amounts to twice the big blind. Straddles are usually made by the player to the left of the big blind—the under-the-gun position (UTG)—and the straddler then earns the preflop “option” to act last from the big blind. Some casinos, however, also permit button straddles.
Straddles occur most often in cash games as they are not typically permitted in tournament play.
This week’s term is rainbow. In poker-speak—and specifically in flop games—a rainbow is when no two flop cards are of the same suit. For example, a rainbow flop would be Q♦ 5♠ A♥ or 8♣ 5♦ 2♠.
This week’s term is nuts. In the poker world, if you have the best possible hand at any given moment, then you have the nuts.
For example, if you have pocket 8’s and the flop comes 7-8-2, then you have the nuts as a set of 8’s is the best possible hand at that moment during the hand. However, if a Jack comes on the turn, then you would no longer have the nuts, as a player holding 9, 10 would have a straight. If the river pairs the board, then you would have the nuts again because you would have a full house (or quad 8’s if the river card was the last 8).
This week’s term is donkey. In poker, a donkey is a weak, inexperienced, and generally bad player.
Historically, the donkey has been associated with ignorance and stubbornness, and, at the poker table, a donkey—or donk—is frequently identified by his/her poor play. Among the most common donk plays are calling every hand, especially with poor cards, chasing hands, refusing to fold bad hands, going all-in on weak hands, and continuing to bet against other players who show strength by raising the bet.
This week’s far-out term is orbit. In poker, an orbit is a complete round of dealing. You can look at it as the number of hands based on the number of players at the table or as the period in which each player at the table has served as the dealer for that round. Thus, each time the button passes you, this is a complete orbit.
Oftentimes, players who break tournament rules are required to sit out for an orbit as a penalty.