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Top 10 poker acronyms

25 Mar 2024

By Narciso Baldo
Acronyms are an easy to way to communicate in most walks of life, but especially in poker. The game of poker has numerous acronyms and while some are obvious, there are others that leave recreational players clueless. That’s why in this article we’re going to share 10 acronyms you need to know to navigate the poker world.

Three-bet is when someone re-raises their opponent.

Three-bet is when someone re-raises their opponent.

10. 3B
Kicking off with the easiest acronym of all, 3B is 3-bet. A 3-bet is where a poker player re-raises their opponent. Don’t be confused with a normal raise, this is an open raise. A 3-bet is specifically where someone has already bet and you have elected to re-raise them. When someone says 3B they usually refer to the pre-flop re-raise, however, it is often used in post-flop scenarios too.

9. CB
If you’re on a forum and reading CB, they are talking about a continuation bet. This bet is made after the flop by the initial pre-flop raiser. A continuation bet is often shortened to “c-bet.” Remember, the CB can only be made by the initial pre-flop aggressor.

8. ITM
This one is for tournaments. ITM is otherwise known as “in the money.” This abbreviated term is a calculation to determine the percentage of tournaments you cash. It’s a really easy one to compute, you just divide the number of tournaments you placed in the money by the total number of tournaments. So, if you’ve cashed in 19 out of 100 tournaments, you have a 19% ITM rate.

7. ROI
This one should be obvious for anyone familiar with finance or business. It can be easily translated to “return on investment.” It is essentially a calculation of how much you’ve made for the money invested. This acronym can be used for both cash games and tournaments. You just divide the amount you’ve invested by the amount you’ve won or lost to arrive at the ROI as a percentage. Therefore, if you invested $1,000 in tournament entries and the profit was $2,400 you’ve generated a ROI of 240%. Remember, you use the profit figure, not the total cash amount. This is a common mistake by tournament beginners.

6. 4B
You should know this one based on the earlier 3B. A 4B is where someone 4-bets their opponent. Where a 3-bet is a re-raise, a 4-bet is when a poker player puts in another raise over a 3-bet. It reads more complicated than it is. Let’s say you open with King-King, your opponent 3-bets you and you go into the tank and decide to re-raise again, you’ve just applied a 4-bet.

Unless you’re familiar with a HUD, you won’t know this one. VPIP is known as “Voluntarily Put Money In Pot.” In other words, when someone has entered the pot willingly, it will add to their VPIP percentages.

A player with a high VPIP is known as a loose player, while someone with very low VPIP stats (under 15), is a tight player. A key thing to remember about VPIP is that it’s “voluntarily.” It doesn’t include when you’re in the blinds.

4. SPR
Otherwise known as Stack to Pot Ratio, this acronym isn’t used commonly. However, it is a key indicator to use when playing most forms of poker as it drives key decisions. To work out the SPR, you just need to divide the effective stack by the current pot size. When the SPR is high, there is flexibility and a deeper game involved, when SPR shrinks, you’re confined to fewer decisions and may well end up in all in scenarios.

A piece of information in poker is the Pre-Flop Raise percentage.

A piece of information in poker is the Pre-Flop Raise percentage.

3. PFR
One of the most useful pieces of information in poker is the Pre-Flop Raise percentage. This is the amount of time a poker player is open raising before the flop. It’s a really useful metric as you can determine the level of pre-flop aggression other players are employing. If you have sufficient hands on a player, you can quickly recognize which ones are more active before the flop by reading their PFR.

This stat should be used in conjunction with VPIP as most strong players will have a narrow range between the two. Players that have high VPIP and low PFR, for instance, are likely to be poor poker players and fall into loose passive tendencies that are easier to exploit.

2. ATS
This acronym is great for tournaments as it highlights the Attempt To Steal percentage of a poker player. As tournaments are all about survival and finding ways to keep yourself alive through stealing, the ATS percentage is vital. By observing players who have a high ATS you can combat their strategy with liberal pre-flop 3-bets or post flop floats. While it's not necessary for you to calculate this percentage, it’s just the percentage of time a poker player will raise an unopened pot.

Lastly, we have WTSD, otherwise known as Went To Showdown percentage. This stat will reveal the percentage of time a poker player will go to showdown. I am not entirely convinced this stat is as useful as others mentioned in this guide, simply because there are lots of variables why a poker player may get to showdown, such as. pot committed. However, its universally accepted that a high WTSD is an indicator that a player is overly stubborn or reluctant to fold. In other words, they are not someone that can be bluffed easily. In contrast, a low WTSD (below 20%) suggests that the player can be pushed around.

Whilst WTSD is an interesting stat, I think you need a lot of data to be able to understand the players tendencies. I wouldn’t recommend using this stat liberally as there are simply too many elements that can impact the percentage over a small sample size.

That completes my top 10 poker acronyms you need to know. Now that you know them you can join in discussions and actively use some in future sessions with a poker HUD.
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