Published On: Wed, Feb 27th, 2019

Common Terms and Phrases We Took From Texas Hold’em

Many people use terms and phrases every single day that are taken from the popular game Texas Hold’em. If you have ever wondered where these popular words and phrases have come from and how their meaning has changed from the original meaning in the game, this is the article for you. It is extremely interesting to see how these terms have similar and different meanings from their Texas Hold’em counterparts.

Even if you don’t know how to play poker, there are a number of words or phrases from the game that you probably use every day. Below, we’ll discuss some of the most common terms and definitions from Texas Hold’em such as “fold,” “flop,” and “bluff,” that have all seeped into mainstream usage.


In Texas Hold’em, a fold refers to when a player lays down their cards and stops playing their hand. In this game, a player can fold at any point while it is their turn to act. When a player in Texas Hold’em decides to fold, they are out for the rest of the hand.

However, outside of the game, folding typically refers to when you crease something. For example, you can fold a piece of paper or fold your laundry. In addition, folding has taken on a unique meaning in pop culture. Another meaning of the term folding is when someone gives into something they were adamantly against doing originally. A great example of this is when someone does not want to go get ramen for dinner but their friends keep pestering them until they give in. The act of giving in is when a person is folding. This is, naturally, the most similar mainstream usage to the Texas Hold’em term.


Another term from the popular game Texas Hold’em that has taken on a life of its own in modern language is a flop. Although the rules for gaming around the world can vary greatly, the meaning of these gaming terms has stayed stable within the game Texas Hold’em. In the game, a flop refers to when three face-up cards are dealt to the board, but it can also refer to the actual cards themselves. Flop has two distinct meanings within the game, but in the real world, flop has taken on a new meaning of its own.

Today, we recognize flop as what happens when an event is expected to go well but actually goes terribly. For example, a flop occurs when a Broadway play is anticipated as a big hit but can’t sell enough seats to keep the doors open. Because the play had high expectations and failed to uphold the expectations, the Broadway play was a flop.


In the game Texas Hold’em, the term bluff describes when a bet or a raise is made with a hand which is not considered to be the best hand in the game. Making this bet is referred to as bluffing. The purpose of the bluff in Texas Hold’em is to get one of your competitors to fold (who may have a better hand than you).

A bluff in real life has a very similar definition. A bluff is when a person tells a convincing lie to try to cover for themselves. For example, if someone asked if your ring was made of 24-karat gold, you may bluff and say that it is even though it is only 14-karat gold. A person may tell a bluff like this because it will make her sound like she has more valuable jewelry. The purpose of this simple bluff is to lie without getting caught.

It can be shocking to see how language evolves and grows over time, and very interesting to see how terms and phrases change over time. Some of the most common phrases and terms that we use today are from current popular games such as Texas Hold’em or trending slang from movies or TV, but they won’t necessary remain in usage forever.

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