Do you ever wonder where the terms used in poker come from? Poker is a game steeped in tradition, with many of the terms used to describe different hands and strategies having been around for centuries. In this article, we’ll explore the origins of some of the most commonly used names in poker and the stories behind them. So, if you’ve ever wanted to know the history behind the terms, go through the poker chart.

Different hand combinations and their nicknames 

Below are the common hand combinations and their nicknames. 

Early position

Early Position, or “EP”, is a term used in poker to describe the first four seats to the left of the big blind. Playing in early position is often considered one of the most difficult positions to play from in poker. 

Small Blind

The small blind is one of the most reviled positions at the poker table. It’s the one that you have to act first on every round after the initial opening round, and it’s the only one you have to pay money blind to occupy. This can put you at a distinct disadvantage, as you don’t get to see what the other players do before you have to make your move. 

Big Blind

The big blind is one of the worst positions to be in at a poker table. Not only do you have to pay double the amount of the small blind, but you also don’t get to act until after everyone else has made their pre-flop decisions. This means that you are almost always at a disadvantage, as you will often be missing out on valuable information that could help you make a better decision. As a result, it is almost impossible to be a long-term winner in this seat; the best you can do is to try to minimize your losses. 

Under the gun

The term “under the gun” is quite an interesting phrase, as it did not originate from poker, but rather from medieval times. Being in this position can be quite a pressure, as the other players will be watching and waiting to see what the first player does. It can be a tricky spot, as you have to make your move without any knowledge of what your opponents might be holding.

Middle Position

Middle position is the collective term used to describe the next three seats at the poker table, but they are rarely referred to by specific names. Occasionally you may hear references to “early middle” or “late middle” position, but even then these terms can be very vague. To denote middle position in shorthand, it is usually referred to as “MP.” 

Late Middle

Late middle position is an interesting seat in a poker game. While it might not always be included in a nine-handed game, it is often referred to in conjunction with the middle position. Late middle position is a great seat to be in because you get to see what the players in the early position and the players in the middle position have done before you have to act. This gives you more information to help you make the best decision possible. Additionally, being in the late middle position allows you to make more aggressive moves when necessary. You can also use the position to your advantage by raising more often, as you get the benefit of seeing what everyone has already done. 

Late Position

Late position is a term used to refer to the last three positions of a poker table. Late position is usually seen as the most advantageous spot to be in during a game of poker, as you can base your decision on what the other players have already done. The three positions are counted backwards from the button which is the last to act on a betting round, and the player left of the button is the first to act. 

The Hijack

At the poker table, the hijack position is one of the most feared. It is the seat to the right of the cut-off and two seats to the right of the button. The seat has earned its reputation due to its strategic advantage. With button and cutoff steals so common, this seat became known as the hijack when players in this position began “hijacking” the two later seat’s action and stealing the blinds before them. 


It is believed that the term “cutoff” was first used in reference to a particular seat at the table. This seat was not the same as the dealer seat, which is typically signified by a button. Rather, it was the seat that was used to cut the cards when the dealing was passed around. This meant that whoever was in this seat was tasked with cutting the cards, a job that often required a certain amount of skill and dexterity. 


The dealer position in poker is one of the most advantageous ones out there. In a home game, you can easily tell who the dealer is because they will be the one holding the deck. You can also look for the big plastic disc that usually says “Dealer” in a card room. The dealer has the advantage of being the last one to act in the betting rounds and is the first to receive the cards. 

Poker involves a great deal of strategy and research along with luck, and understanding the origins of the names and terms used in the game can be a valuable part of this. This poker chart of commonly used names and their origins can help you to understand the language of the game and become a more knowledgeable and successful player.

Rohan Mathawan

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This article is authored by Rohan Mathawan, who is presently working as the Vice President of Media Sales and Operations at Techstory Media. Rohan started his career as an online gaming and technology content writer and has written more than 5000+ articles for reputed brands and companies like Techstory Media, MarketingCrap, and a few other ad agencies in the last 4 years. Rohan loves to read about online gaming during his pastime. His passion to create content about online gaming forces him to dive deep into the research of the topic and what comes out is a highly relevant and captivating piece of content that is appreciated by his readers.