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A look at key terms in poker, letters I - L

Implied Odds

Implied odds are hard to calculate, but can be the difference between you winning and losing when playing poker. Pot odds is the chance of your hand winning at that present time, but your implied odds are the odds you think you may have.

For instance, say you are short stacked and running deep in a tournament, and you call a bet that covers your stack with a hand like 4-5 suited with two loose passive players to act, at least one of which you expect to call. When you call the bet, your pot odds are not good, but say one or even both players get involved then your pot odds have risen significantly, and as you are getting the chance to times your stack by four, your call is probably worth it.


A jam is another term for playing aggressively. If you are in a hand with several players and there has been some action before it gets to you, and you push all in then you could say that you had ‘jammed’ it all in.


The kicker is one of the most important cards in poker. In Texas Hold’em your hand is formed from seven cards, but you are only looking for the five best cards from a selection of the community cards and your hole cards. In the instance that you have two pairs (four cards) you still need to have another card to make it up.

If you and the person you are up against have A-K and A-Q and the board is A, 10, 7, 4, 2, you have the winning hand because your best five-card hand is aces with a king kicker (A-A-K-10-7) while the other players' hand is (A-A-Q-10-7).


A limp or limping is when you get involved in the pot for as little as possible, the value of the big blind. Getting into the pot for this amount (assuming there is no raise) will allow you to see the flop. People that limp tend to have a semi-decent hand that is not strong enough to raise with, but a hand they feel could be valuable. A pocket pair or suited connectors are both hands people commonly limp with.

Live Hand

When you are sitting at a table, you will often hear people say, "please let me be live" once they go to a showdown. In this instance, they have shoved (probably with a small stack) hoping to steal the blinds. However, if they get called, they want to have two cards that are live. This type of hand is one that is not dominated by the player you are up against. If your opponent has A-K, and you have 8-7 your hand is live because you can hit an 8 or a 7 to win (as long as an ace or king does not hit.) If you have A-9 in the same situation, your hand is dominated and your only decent chance of winning is if you hit a nine without a king.

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