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In this edition of Poker Jargon Explained, we are going to take a look at the lingo of the live poker room. For many modern poker players, they learned the game entirely online and some may have never stepped into a live poker room.

While the game is essentially the same, there is a bit of extra lingo that you will need to know in order to keep players from targeting you as an “online guy.” Continue reading to learn the lingo of the live poker room.

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Meeting the Poker Room Employees

Everything in a live poker room has its own lingo, including the staff. If you have never played in a live poker room, you will want to know the following terms so you know which people to see about playing a game or getting chips.

Brush – This is the person that tracks the sign-up lists for cash games and tournaments in a casino.

Cage – This is where you can buy chips or cash out your winnings.

Chip Runner – Some casinos have employees that bring chips to your table. When you run out, you or the dealer can call for a chip runner to sell you more chips.

Cocktail Waitress – If you need anything to drink at all, this is the person you need to talk to. Don’t forget to tip.

Floor Staff – These are the poker room supervisors in charge of keeping the games running smoothly. You’ve got questions or problems and they have answers.

Food Service – If you are allowed to eat at the table, you will probably see a couple of folks roaming around with a menu. Sometimes the cocktail waitresses or porters will pull double duty. If you don’t see a food service person, ask the floor about it.

Porter – This person is different than your cocktail waitress. Cocktail waitresses are usually limited to serving drink where porters can run other errands for you. Want a canned soda or a newspaper from the souvenir shop? Call a porter and they will run your errand. Make sure you tip.

Prop Player – A prop player is a person employed by the casino whose job is to keep games going. They will often sit in short-handed games to either start or keep them going. These players play with their own money and get an hour wage from the casino.

Security – The folks in charge of keeping players safe. Just because you don’t see them doesn’t mean they aren’t around. Let someone yell Security and see how fast they flood into the room.

Shill – A shill player is one that is hired by the casino to keep games going in much the same way as a prop. The difference is that the money they are playing with is the casinos money. In the modern live poker world, shill players are used more often in tournaments over cash games.

Tournament Desk – Some casinos have a different desk for tournaments than for cash games. Sometimes it is just someone with a clipboard, but you need to know who to see about signing up for the daily tournament.

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Lingo of Playing the Game

Ready to play some poker? Sure you are, or at least you think you are. You need to make sure you’re up to speed with your live poker lingo. Here are some common terms you will hear in a live poker room.

Blind Missed – You may see an empty seat with SB Missed or BB Missed buttons. This means that a player has been away from the table for an extended period. Sometimes a player’s chips will be picked up if there is an extended waiting list.

Broken Table – When players in a game decide to quit, it is considered a broken table. If you move to a new cash game table at the same limits, tell the dealer you came from a broken table to avoid having to post again.

Chop – This term has dual meanings at the table. It can mean when two players have the same hand in a poker game. It can also mean when players split a prize pool. Also, some casinos will allow the blinds to “chop” and take back their blinds if nobody else plays in the hand. This is usually at casinos that collect rake after the flop.

Collection – At intervals during the day, the cage will go around and collect the money dropped for rake at each table. The rake box is typically replaced with a new one and the game resumes.

Floor! – The way that a player or dealer summons a member of the floor staff to solve a dispute.

Must-Move Games – For some games, usually mixed games, there is a main game and a secondary table. In a must move game, the players at the secondary table must move to the main game when a seat opens. Players move in the order they arrive at the table.

Paying Time – Some cash games will charge a flat fee every dealer shift rather than collect rake. This is called paying time. Some low stake Stud games will use time instead of antes. When collected, each player pays times to the dealer.

Posting – When you sit down to a cash game for the first time, you can either wait until it is your turn in the big blind or you can post the big blind and take a hand immediately.

Rack – A holder for your chips. If you want a rack of chips, you get five stacks of 20 of a particular denomination.

Rake – The portion of each pot that is taken out for the casino. Rake percentages can vary and when rake collection actually starts varies state by state and sometimes casino by casino.

Seat Open – For cash games, this is proclaimed by the dealer to indicate they can accept a new player. For tournaments, this lets the floor staff know that a player has busted.

Setup – If you hear a player or dealer ask for a new setup, they are asking for new decks of cards.

Stack – Most commonly used to refer to a players chip stack. However, when asking for chips, a stack of chips is 20 of a particular denomination. Example – 2 stacks of white is $40.

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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.