Literally, it is someone usually above the age of 65 who sits at a crowded table in a bingo hall dabbing several cards in the hopes of screaming ‘full house’ at the top of their lungs and scooping the grand prize.

In poker, it means something quite different and is yet another example of the distinct language that players use to describe one another and the happenings in the game. Thankfully for you, we’ve put in the hours on DuoLingo and are now fully fluent in ‘pokerish.’

Below is your unique guide to a selection of poker jargon used to describe a wide variety of different players and styles.

Bingo Players {bing-gow plei-uh} Also known as: Noob, Newbie or Chancer.

If you’ve ever been called a bingo player at the poker table, I’m afraid it’s bad news. It is the derogatory term used to describe poker players who have absolutely no strategy, zero skill and rely on nothing more than luck and good fortune.

These type of players are the bane of the experienced pros as they are almost impossible to read and call. They are so-called bingo players because they usually come to poker fresh from playing bingo games, where the game is based on luck rather than skill.

As such they believe poker to be the same, and instead of looking for patterns or playing the cards on the table they will play by impulse. In a straight one-one-one with all the cards on the table, you can usually work out the strength of your opponent’s hand based on their actions.

With the bingo player, you have no way of knowing if they’re packing a flush or nothing better than a low pair. A few unexpected encounters with a bingo player can quickly deplete your bankroll and leave you furious.

What’s worse is that bingo players are usually the most likely to brag and boast about their skill when they win. However, when they lose, they belittle your skill levels and chalk it up to bad luck.

Make sure you know what you’re doing before you sit down at the felt, don’t be a bingo player whatever you do!

The Fish {Th-uh Fish} – Also known as: Calling Station or Trigger
If someone has a bad hand you can usually tell by their eagerness to fold and get the hell out of the hand. If you’re playing the fish you will have no way of knowing the strength of their hand before the flop.

That’s because these type of players do the same thing all the time, they call. They very rarely raise bets or go all-in, they’d rather call and remain in the hand as long as possible to see how things pan out.

The main aim of this strategy is usually to flush out inexperienced players who significantly overestimate their own skill levels. If you’re a ‘proper’ player you will hate the fish as they will profit from your measured play.

However if you can spot the fish early on you can adapt your game to blow them away and keep topping up your bankroll with their cautious bets.

The Rock {Th-uh Roh-k} – Also known as: The Nit, The Stone or Old White n’ Tight

If you think the fish is annoying then wait until you encounter the rock, quite possibly the most infuriating player to come up against at the poker table. The only thing that interests the rock is a premium hand where his or her chance of winning is above 90%.

They will be happy to sit through as many hands as possible and wager nothing more than the blinds. If an ace, king or queen comes along their interest will be piqued momentarily, but only if the flop goes their way.

Unfortunately for the rock they are perhaps the easiest player to spot at the table and you should be able to pick them out after around 5 hands. Once you have identified them and their style, you can fold whenever you see them fidgeting to raise.

Their tactic whilst limiting their losses also limits their profits as they are so easy to read that other players immediately fold when they raise.

Sharks {Sha-aark} – Also known as: The Sneak or The Pro

If you can’t identify what type of player someone is then chances are they are a shark. These are the canny operators that have buckets of experience and put it to use by trawling through poker rooms and taking money from their unsuspecting victims.

Turning up in an amateur room and immediately outing yourself as a classy player is just going to scare everyone off. That’s why sharks put in the hard yards masquerading as bingo players, fish and rocks.

What they want to do is keep their opponents guessing through misdirection before pouncing and taking advantage of their superior knowledge and skill. The best way to spot a shark is by the bulge in their wallet as they walk away with all your money!

Other Notable Mentions

The Coffee Houser – Someone who uses trash talk to try and influence you and break your confidence. It’s commonplace in the USA but a style that is frowned upon in the UK.

Mr. ABC Poker – A player that plays it safe and sticks to the rules, they know blind structures inside out and can nail basic elementary play. That’s pretty much the limit of their knowledge though.




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