Poker Terms Explained: Bet in the Dark? Bubble? Paint Cards?

Poker Terms Explained

The poker world can often be a confusing one, even if you already know how to play poker. You can read as many poker strategy articles and books as you like, but it's always an intimidating moment when you don't quite understand the meaning of a certain word or phrase.

There are certainly many eclectic and confusing poker terms that make poker such an exciting game, and PokerNews is here to explain seven of them to you.

Poker Terms Explained: Shootout? Set-Mining? Semi-Bluff?

Bet in the Dark

A "Bet in the Dark" refers to making a bet before the next round of cards is dealt. This action is then binding regardless of the card(s) dealt.

Example: "I called my opponent's bet pre-flop, and they bet $100 in the dark before the flop was dealt"

Poker Face Meaning – What Is a Poker Face and How to Get a Good One?


There are multiple meanings for the term "Bubble" in poker.

  1. When there are only a few eliminations or perhaps even just one until the money is reached - "With 200 places paid and 204 players remaining, the bubble was close."
  2. When you finish outside of the money by one or two places - "I bubbled, finishing 19th with 18 places paid"

10 Multi-Table Tournament Tips: Strategy on the Bubble

Open Pair

"Open Pair" is a term that is often used in Stud Poker and refers to when a pair is dealt face-up.


A "Limp" is where a player enters a pot by calling rather than raising.

Example: "The game was $1/$2 and I limped in by just calling the big blind of $2"

A Preflop Question: Is Limping Lame?

Paint Cards

"Paint Cards" refer to any face card: King, Queen or Jack. Players also commonly use the term "face cards" to refer to Kings, Queens or Jacks as they all have faces.

Example: A player all-in with QxJx against pocket sixes might ask for some "paint" on the flop.

Calling Station

A "Calling Station" is a passive and loose player who does not raise much, but calls more than he or she should.

Example: "I knew my opponent was likely to call my bet as they had a reputation as a Calling Station"

Related: Five Ways to Beat Calling Stations in Your Home Game

Gutshot Straight Draw

A "Gutshot Straight Draw" is a straight draw where you are looking for the "inside" card. For example, you hold 89 on an QJA flop. You need any ten to complete your straight draw. The turn is a 10 therefore completing your gutshot straight draw.

Flopped a Double-Gutshot in a Multi-Way Pot: Call, Fold, or Raise?

  • Ever wondered what some of these poker terms mean? Check out Poker Terms Explained!

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