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A look at key terms in poker, letters A-D

In any community card game (game where cards are dealt on the board) an action card is one that significantly increases the action at the table. For instance, if there are two players left and they both have a strong ace, and the turn shows an ace this could be considered an action card.

There is also an implied action card, which is a card that people think will bring action, like an ace, but in reality, it does none of the players left any favours.


The bubble is essentially the most dreaded position that you can finish in tournament poker. It is the position that finishes one outside the pay. With this in mind, many people tighten their game up around the bubble because they want to cash, and this gives those who are a bit more adventurous the chance to increase their aggressiveness and potentially steel a few decent-sized pots.

Calling Station

A calling station is a way of talking about a type of player. In fact, it is essentially just another way of calling somebody a loose-passive player. A calling station will often call raises in order to try to chase cards, but will rarely raise the pot and only fold if they really have no potential outs. These players know little about pot odds or implied odds and instead like to base their game on luck.

To play a calling station correctly you should bet maybe slightly over what you usually would. This means that if you win the pot, it is worth your while, and if you lose, then you just have to put it down to bad luck and tell yourself that in the majority of cases you will win against these players.

Coffee Housing

The term coffee housing can be used to describe both online and offline play, and is something that is seen as poor sportsmanship in the UK, but not so much in the USA. Coffee housing is talking about the strength of your hand whilst the action is still in play.

This is not against the rules, but it is against general etiquette, and if you are playing poker live you can be warned, and if you continually do it then you can be barred from the venue.

Dominated Hand

A dominated hand is when there are two hands against one another pre-flop with the same high kicker. For instance, in the situation of AK up again AQ, AQ is dominated because, in reality, the only way AQ is going to win is if it hits a straight or if a queen hits the board without a king.

There is also a case for saying that in the situation when two players have pocket aces and kings pre-flop the kings are dominated. This is because, in reality, baring the unlikely straight or flush possibility, the only way the kings have of winning is if a king hits the board, and that is two potential outs.

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