poker slang terms

7 Poker Slang Terms Players Love to Say (And What They Mean)

If you hang out with poker players, you are bound to hear poker slang terms to describe things away from the table. Not being familiar with these poker terms can make it seem like the person saying them is speaking a different language, or maybe they’re concussed.

We asked our followers on Twitter and Facebook to share the poker slang terms they use in real life. Here are the 7 best and most commonly used answers.

Drawing Dead

Drawing dead is used to describe situations in which the subject has no chance of winning/coming out ahead/etc.

Example: “The Giants are down 28-0 nearing the end of the 4th quarter — they’re drawing dead.”


Freeroll is said by players in situations that have no risk and some reward.

Examples: “Mark gave me a 50% freeroll on the lottery ticket he bought.” or “I freerolled dinner last night by going out with my parents.”


Tilting refers to frustration. It’s probably the most common poker slang term on this list.

Example: “I’ve been so tilted since watching Game of Thrones Season 8, Episode 3.” (I didn’t like the episode.)

Running Bad

Running bad is used in unlucky situations. Similarly, “bad beat” is used to describe an unlucky situation.

Example: “You lost your keys and your phone screen shattered? You’re running bad.”


Nit is used to describe a risk-averse or frugal person. Similarly, “nitty” is used to describe risk-averse or frugal actions.

Example: “I want guacamole, but I’m a nit and don’t want to spend the extra $2.”


Fish is used to describe someone who is bad at something.

Examples: “I’m a fish when it comes to cooking.” or “You don’t read Upswing Poker? You’re such a fish!”

Nuts / Nut low

Nuts is used to describe something that is the best, or at least very good. The nut low is used to describe something that is the worst, or at least very bad.

Examples: “That sushi spot is the nuts.” or “I’m the nut low at bowling.”

What poker slang terms do you use in real life?

Let me know in the comments below.

If you ever need to reference any type of poker lingo, check out our extensive poker terms glossary.

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Home > 7 Poker Slang Terms Players Love to Say (And What They Mean)
Home > 7 Poker Slang Terms Players Love to Say (And What They Mean)
About the Author
Mike Brady

Mike Brady

I used to play a ton of poker. Now, I'm the Vice President of Upswing Poker and only play a decent amount of poker.

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