Poker Glossary

Poker terms beginning with a "S"


Another term for slow playing, where a player plays a strong hand weakly to trap opponents into betting more. Also see slow play on this page.

Satellite (Tournament)

Tournaments that allow you to qualify for other, larger tournaments are called satellites. This is also known as a qualifier.


Abbreviation for small blind.

Scare Card

A community card that may turn your potentially winning hand into a losing one. For example, if you have 10 of Spades 8 of Spades and the flop comes Queen of Hearts Jack of Hearts 9 of Diamonds, giving you a straight, the turn bringing the 10 of Hearts could scare you as anyone holding Ace of Spades King of Spades would now have a higher straight. There's also a chance someone has a flush or at least a flush draw. So, the 10 of Hearts acts as a scare card for you.

Scared Money

Money that a player cannot afford to lose and thus plays too conservatively with, often negatively impacting their decision-making.


To win the entire pot in a High-Low Split game by having both the best high hand and the best low hand.

Second Pair

When you pair one of your pocket cards with a card on the flop that is neither high nor low. For example, if your pocket cards are King of Spades 8 of Hearts and the flop comes Queen of Diamonds 8 of Spades 4 of Hearts, you now have the second pair, 8 of Hearts 8 of Spades.


A bluff where a player tries to sell their hand as weaker than it actually is. For instance, making a check or a small bet to entice other players to stay in the game instead of folding, aiming to extract more money from them. Also see bluff.


When your hand is too good for a bluff but not good enough for a legitimate bet or raise, you might opt for a semi-bluff. For example, if you have Ace of Hearts Queen of Hearts and the flop comes Jack of Spades 10 of Hearts 7 of Diamonds, betting now would be a semi-bluff since you likely don't have the best hand yet but have a good chance of hitting a straight or maybe even a flush, or at least a pair. Sometimes, after a semi-bluff, you're not sure if you want your opponent to fold or call. With a pure bluff, you always want your opponent to fold.


Three cards of the same rank, formed from your pocket cards and one community card. Another term for this is three of a kind.

Set Mining

The strategy of calling pre-flop raises with a small pocket pair, hoping to hit a set on the flop.

Seven Card Stud

Seven Card Stud is a poker variant where each player receives seven cards. The first two are dealt face-down, the next four are visible to all players, and the last card is dealt face-down again.


A highly skilled poker player who seeks to maximize their profits is called a shark. For this purpose, they often look for fish who are eager to hand over all their chips.

Short Deck Poker

A variant of Texas Hold'em played with a 36-card deck, removing all cards ranked 2 of Any Color through 5 of Any Color, making it a more action-packed game.

Short Handed

A short handed poker game is a game with only a few players (usually five or fewer) at the table.

Short Stack

Indicates a stack that is significantly small compared to the current blinds at the table. Experienced players adjust their playing style according to their stack size.

Short Stack Strategy (SSS)

A strategy used by players with short stacks to maximize their chances of doubling up or stealing blinds before their stack becomes critically low.


To go all-in, putting all of your chips into the pot.


To reveal your cards at the end of a hand, either voluntarily or because it is required at showdown.


When after the final betting round, there are two or more players remaining, this is called a showdown as in this case, at least one player has to show their cards to win the pot.

Shuffle Up and Deal

A phrase used by the dealer or tournament director to start the game, instructing the players to begin play.

Side Action

Betting that takes place between players on the side, separate from the main pot, often in the form of prop bets or side bets.

Side Pot

If a player with a smaller chip stack than the remaining players goes all-in, the other players can continue betting against each other. In this case, the pot is divided into a main pot and a side pot. The main pot consists of the chips up to the all-in by the player with the smallest stack, while the side pot is the chips bet by the remaining players.

Single Table Tournament

A single table tournament is a tournament played at a single table. Usually, this is a Sit & Go, while regular tournaments are mostly multi-table tournaments. An abbreviation for single table tournament is STT.

Sixth Street

In Seven Card Stud, sixth street refers to the second to last betting round before the river.


To temporarily leave the game or take a break, especially in online poker, where the software will automatically fold your hands.

Sit & Go

A tournament variant that doesn't begin at a scheduled time but starts as soon as the table is full. Sit & Go's are usually played by six or ten players, with the top two or three getting paid.

Slow Play

With a slow play, you attempt to conceal a strong hand. For example, if you have 8 of Spades 8 of Hearts in your pocket cards and the flop comes 8 of Diamonds 7 of Spades 3 of Clubs, you have quads on the flop! If you make a large bet now, all other players will likely fold. So, you prefer to check and hope someone else bets, or at least the action starts on the turn or river.

Slow Roll

The unethical practice of taking a long time to reveal a winning hand at showdown, often to taunt or needle an opponent. Also see showdown on this page.

Small Bet

In Fixed-Limit games, this is the lowest possible bet or raise. In a $5/$10 Fixed-Limit game, the small bet would be $5. See also big bet.

Small Blind

Small blind, often abbreviated as SB, is the bet the player directly left of the dealer must place before the cards are dealt. For $5/$10 games, this would be $5. See also big blind.

Snap Call

An immediate call made without hesitation, often indicating confidence in one's hand.

Soft Play

Playing less aggressively against a friend or partner at the table, often considered unethical or collusion.

Split Pot

If a showdown ends in a tie and both players show a hand of equal value, this results in a split pot where both players win the same amount from the pot.

Spread-Limit (Hold'em)

A betting structure that allows for any type of bet or raise within a defined range. A Spread-Limit of $1 to $5 would allow any bet within that range.


The stack is the number of chips a player has available at the table.

Stack-to-Pot Ratio (SPR)

A ratio used to determine the effective stack size relative to the current pot size, important for post-flop decision-making.


A straddle is an optional blind bet made before the cards are dealt, typically twice the big blind, which allows the straddler to act last in the pre-flop betting round.

Starting Stack

The starting stack is the number of chips a player has at the beginning of a poker tournament.

Steal Raise

A raise made with the intention of stealing the pot, attempting to force other players to Fold. This is usually attempted from a late position, when the players before have only limped into the pot.


A straight is a hand of five cards where the ranks follow each other in sequence. For example: 5 of Spades 6 of Hearts 7 of Clubs 8 of Diamonds 9 of Spades, 8 of Hearts 9 of Clubs 10 of Diamonds Jack of Spades Queen of Hearts, and so forth.

Straight Flush

A straight flush is a straight of the same suit. For example: 5 of Hearts 6 of Hearts 7 of Hearts 8 of Hearts 9 of Hearts.

String Bet

A bet that is not made in a single continuous motion and thus not allowed, as it can be used to gauge opponents' reactions before completing the bet.

Stud Game

Stud games are poker variants where some cards are dealt face-down.

Suck Out

When a player who was behind catches a lucky card to win the hand, often on the river.


Suited indicates cards of the same suit. Often denoted by an "s" when reading card combinations. For example: KhJh (King of Hearts, Jack of Hearts) are suited and are also often represented as KJs.

Suited Connectors

Suited connectors are consecutive cards of the same suit. For example: KQs (King of Spades, Queen of Spades), 54s (5 of Hearts, 4 of Hearts), T9s (10 of Clubs, 9 of Clubs), and so on.

Suited Gappers

Two cards of the same suit with a gap in their ranks, such as 8 of Spades 6 of Spades or Jack of Spades 9 of Spades.


One of the four suits of cards, along with hearts, clubs, and diamonds. For example: Ace of Spades.

Straight Draw

A special form of a draw. A straight draw indicates a hand that has the potential to complete a straight on the turn or river. Also see draw.

Street Card

Street cards are the cards in Stud poker dealt after the first betting round. These include the fourth, fifth, and sixth street.

Squeeze Play

A pre-flop move where a player re-raises after there has been a raise and one or more callers, often used as a bluff to exploit the callers' likely weaker ranges.


A significant change in a player's chip stack or bankroll due to a series of wins or losses.