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I’m a retired tech entrepreneur and investor climbing his way up to the highest stakes in tournament poker. This Substack is a place for me to document that journey.

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What do all these weird poker abbreviations mean?

Most of these represent positions around the poker table:

UTG (under the gun) means the first person to act before the flop. Depending on how many players are at the table, UTG+1 and UTG+2 may be used to describe the second and third person to act after UTG.

Then, in order comes:

  • MP (middle position)

  • LJ (lojack)

  • HJ (hijack)

  • CO (cutoff)

  • BTN (button)

  • SB (small blind)

  • BB (big blind)

I use bbs (big blinds) to describe how big a chip stack is relative to the size of the big blind. e.g. 10bbs is 2,000 in chips if the blinds are 100/200 (100 = small blind, 200 = big blind). If this means nothing to you, just know that 10bbs isn’t much in tournament poker, and 100bbs is a lot.

When describing hands, I’ll use “o” to mean off-suit, or two cards of different suits (e.g. AKo might mean an ace of spades and king of hearts) and “s” to mean suited, or two cards of the same suit (e.g. AKs might mean an ace of diamonds and king of diamonds).

When describing flops, I might use “r” to mean rainbow, or all three cards being of different suits (e.g. AKQr might mean the ace of spades, king of clubs and queen of hearts).

Yes, this understandably archaic and confusing if you’re new to poker. The shorthand is helpful though when trying to quickly recap a hand. And everyone in the poker world uses them so I use them too.

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Climbing up to the highest stakes in tournament poker


Mostly playing poker these days. Former tech entrepreneur & investor.