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playing cardsRemember when you didn’t know what rockets were in Texas Hold’em or when you didn’t know the difference between a C-Bet and a check-raise? Every poker game has its own unique set of poker terms that you must acclimate to or risk looking like a complete newbie at the table.

In this edition of Poker Jargon, we look at Stud Poker and the jargon you will hear in its variants. If you were a poker player before the Poker Boom, then you’re already familiar with these terms. However, many of us will only hear these terms in mixed games or in home game poker.

Please note that a couple of these terms may be used in other forms of poker but in many cases they either originated in these games or they are terms used most frequently in Stud games.

Seven Card Stud

Seven Card Stud is the most common form of Stud Poker still spread in casinos and online. If you’ve never sat down in a Stud game, some of the language will sound completely alien until you play a few hands. Here’s a brief rundown of common terms you will hear in Seven Card Stud.

Bring-In – The first player to act after the initial deal, the lowest card showing, must post a forced bet known as the bring-in. In most games, this amount is double the ante.

Complete – When a player makes the bet the size of the small bet amount. For example, in a $2-$4 Stud game with a .50 ante, the bring-in will be $1. The low card may either post the bring-in or complete the bet to $2. If the bring-in player does not complete the bet, other players at the table have the option to do so. This does not count as a raise.

Rolled up – If the first three cards dealt to you match, aka trips or three of a kind, this is referred to as rolled up.

Split pair – when you upcard on third matches one of your down cards. This is a split pair.

Buried pair – a pair as your down cards on third street

Double bet – When you have a pair on Fourth Street, you can make a double bet that is equal to the big bet.

Brick – when a card doesn’t help your hand.

Squeeze – the act of checking your down cards. It looks as if you’re squeezing them. This term is typically used on the river when someone is drawing or perceived to be behind in the hand.

Stud 8 or Better

The great thing about Stud 8 or Better, aka Stud Hi-Lo, is that the basic rules are the same as Stud High. There are a few additional terms specific to the game that will help acclimate you the game quick. Here they are:

Baby card – Any card that is eight or under. Sometimes used in other forms of poker but you hear it in Stud 8 most frequently.

X-Low – When someone has a low in their hand, they will refer to it by the highest card. For example, a 6-5-4-3-A would be a six-low.

Wheel – An ace through five straight. This plays high and low.

Scoop – When a player has both the high and low hand, they win the entire pot. This is a scoop. Also occurs when no low is present.


Razz is the least common form of Stud Poker still spread today. With the exception of mixed games, you will seldom find a live Razz game outside of the World Series of Poker. It still has a following online.

Below are a few terms common to Razz:

Perfect X – When you make a low hand other than a wheel with four of the lowest cards, this is perfect. For example, a perfect seven is 7-4-3-2-A.

Rough X – When you make a low hand but most of the cards are high. For example, a rough eight would be 8-7-6-5-2 or similar. These hands are susceptible to being outdrawn.

Smooth X – A low hand where most of the cards after the high card are very low but not perfect. A smooth eight would be 8-5-4-3-2.

Eighty-seven, seventy-six, etc – If the first two cards of a low are in sequence, some players will call it out based on that number. An 8-7-4-3-2 would be an eighty-seven while a 7-6-3-2-A would be a seventy-six.

Board-locked – A condition in Razz where your opponent cannot outdraw your already made hand. This is based on the cards you can see and calculating their best possible hand. If you have a seven perfect and your opponent is showing a board of 8-9-7-6 on Sixth Street, you know they cannot outdraw your hand.

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James Guill

James Guill began his poker career in 2006, spending two years traveling the US tournament circuit. Since 2008, he has covered the game extensively for some of the biggest names in the industry. When not writing about the latest poker news, he can be found hunting for antique treasures in Central Virginia.