Definition of River

Community card poker is a popular poker format where players share cards. The dealer deals these shared, or window, cards face up in the center of the table, and each player uses those same cards as part of their hand.

Each card dealt face up has a unique name to identify the order. In community card poker game like Omaha hold 'em and Texas hold 'em, those names are flop, turn and river. The river card, or just river, is the last card dealt.

In most community poker games, the dealer starts each hand by dealing every player two hole (facedown) cards. Then the progression is betting round, flop, betting round, turn, betting round and finally river to the end the hand.

Definition of the term River - Poker dictionaryBecause of its order in that progression, the poker community often refers to the river card as Fifth Street. Likewise, they call the turn Fourth Street, and they sometimes call the flop Third Street, although that is most common in stud.

The term river is also used to identify the final card in a stud game, but the context is quite different because stud poker games do not typically use shared cards. Every player in a stud game is dealt his or her own river card.

In poker slang, being “rivered” means losing a pot because of the river card or the final card dealt.

A “river rat” is a player with a tendency to chase or catch up by making their hand on the river. River rat may sound like an insult but it implies that the player is successful. Otherwise, that player would be labeled a fish or a donkey.


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