Poker Terms Explained: Big Slick? Buried Pair? Belly Buster?

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.

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Big Slick

Big Slick is a common nickname for the poker hand ace-king. According to legend, the hand was previously called Santa Barbara after the 1969 Santa Barbara oil spill, and over time it changed to simply Big Slick.

Fun Fact: Some people still refer to {a-Spades}{k-Spades} as 'Exxon Valdez' after the oil spill

Buried Pair

In stud formats of poker, a buried pair refers to both of your original down cards being the same. This often disguises your hand strength, and can lead to you winning big pots if you make three of a kind somewhere on your runout.

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Belly Buster

Also known as a gutshot straight draw, a Belly Buster refers to an inside straight draw. For example, a player holds {7-Spades}{10-Clubs} on {6-Diamonds}{8-Spades}{4-Clubs}. A player needs to hit their nine to make their straight. The name comes from the fact that should the nine in this case appear on the turn, the straight is much more disguised and could lead to a player "busting" another.

Boxed Card

On rare occasions, a card may appear turned the wrong way in a deck. This is referred to as a Boxed Card. Most house rules treat a boxed card as if it didn't exist; that is, it is placed aside and not used. Different rules cover cards exposed during the deal.


Also known as a full house, a Boat is a poker hand consisting of three of one card and two of another. For example, a player holds {a-Clubs}{j-Spades} on {a-Diamonds}{j-Clubs}{4-Spades}{j-Diamonds}{k-Spades}

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Bad Beat

No one wants to be on the receiving end of a bad beat, and although no concrete definition is available as to whether a hand is a bad beat or not, it usually refers to a hand where you were substantially ahead only for your opponent to hit the card they needed to win the hand.

Battle of the Blinds

Everyone knows how important it is to know how to play your blinds. Should the action fold around, leaving just the small blind and the big blind in the hand, you might be looking at a battle of the blinds where neither player want to give up the chips they've already committed to the pot.

Read More: Playing Effectively from the Blinds in Small Stakes Cash Games

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