Wikipedia:WikiProject Poker/Guidelines

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This is a manual of suggested guidelines for writing poker-related articles, the aim of which is to try and provide a consistent style throughout all poker-related articles, making the lives of both readers and editors a lot easier.

Naming conventions[edit]

Hand notation[edit]

When listing cards without specific suit, make sure to embolden and hyphenate the list, for example K-K-7-3-2. When the cards do have a specific suit, please use the {{cards}} template for the cards. You can pass either Unicode symbols for the suits: ♥ ♦ ♣ ♠; or the standard one letter abbreviation: h, d, c, s. For example, {{cards|A♥}} and {{cards|Ah}} both produce A. Multiple cards may be sent to a single call of {{cards}}. So, for instance, typing {{cards|Ah|As|Ac}} produces A A A.

Try not to combine the two styles within a single example, but if it is necessary either fully hyphenate or don't at all. One exception is when using X to represent an unknown card, the non-hyphenated style should be used J J J J X.

Card names and suits[edit]

Card names and suits should not be treated as proper nouns (i.e. should not be capitalized), whether used in isolation or in combination to describe a single card. For example:

  • "the ace of spades" not "the Ace of Spades"
  • "a pair of deuces" not "a pair of Deuces"

"Joker" should not be capitalized except when used in a list of cards (e.g. describing a certain hand). For example:

  • "the red joker" not "the red Joker"
  • "A A A A Joker" not "A A A A joker"

Reference to specific cards should be colored using the standard two color deck. Spades and clubs are black, diamonds and hearts are red.

Hand names[edit]

Names of poker hands should not be capitalized. For example:

  • "a straight flush" not "a Straight Flush" or "a Straight flush"
  • "a pair hand" not "a Pair hand"

Names of games[edit]

Names of all poker games should have their first letter capitalized. Other games may require capital letters in other parts of the name, just use your best judgement and try and keep the name consistent throughout all articles. Hold 'em games should include a space between the "hold" and the "'em". Also, if the names contain any proper nouns like "Texas" or "Omaha", make sure to capitalise them. For example:

  • "Texas hold 'em" not "Texas Hold'Em"
  • "playing Five-card draw" not "playing five-card draw"
  • "I like Pai Gow poker" not "I like Pai gow poker" or "I like pai gow poker"
  • "Omaha Hi-Lo" not "Omaha hi/lo"

Names of poker players[edit]

Players should be referenced by their names sans nickname. Nicknames are given in the player articles. Exceptions would be cases where the player normally goes by their nickname, such as Chip Reese or Scotty Nguyen. A good rule of thumb is to use the name that is the article title for the player.


Where and when to use hyphens is a matter general English grammar, and the editor should be aware of the basic rules of hyphenation and try to judge situations accordingly. However, some commonly used poker terms are listed below for clarity.

Poker-specific terms[edit]

Terms created specifically for the game of poker will often be hyphenated if they contain multiple words, as the words may not make sense outside the context of poker and so have to be explicitly linked. For example:

  • "pot-limit", "fixed-limit" and "spread-limit"
  • "high-low"
  • "bring-in", "buy-in"
  • "check-raise", "semi-bluff", "slow-play", "rolled-up", "heads-up"

When using a number-card format or a card-high format, use a hyphen:

  • "five-card"
  • "ace-high"

However, some terms should be hyphenated when used in a poker-specific sense, but should not be hyphenated when used in a more general sense. For example:

  • "Alice went all in against an all-in opponent"
  • "No-limit games are where there is no limit on the bets and raises"

Names of hands[edit]

Hands such as "three of a kind" and "full house" should not use hyphens. These are listed here:

  • "high card"
  • "no pair"
  • "two pair"
  • "full house"
  • "three of a kind"
  • "four of a kind"
  • "five of a kind"

Slang poker terms[edit]

Standard terms should be used instead of jargon. For example:

  • "four of a kind" not "quads"
  • "three of a kind" not "trips"
  • "inside straight draw" not "gutshot straight draw"

Editors should refer to the article List of poker hands for the standard names of hands.

Writing about poker situations[edit]

When adding examples of poker plays, use the following guidelines:

  • Avoid using "you" and "we"; articles should refer to a "player" and "his opponents" when discussing gameplay or strategy. Avoid "another player" and instead say "an opponent". That way, in a particular context, "player" becomes the place holder for a single player.
  • Examples that refer to players by name should use "Alice", "Bob", "Carol" and "David"; ABCD, two males and two females.
  • When talking about an unnamed player, use masculine or feminine pronouns and possessives consistently, "he calls the bet and shows his cards" or "she calls the bet and shows her cards". Using a mixture of masculine, feminine and "they" and "their" just complicates things.

General article structure[edit]

  • Where possible, articles should use the WP:FOOTNOTE style for references. Articles using footnote-style references should include a section titled Notes. If additional references were used that are not referenced in the notes, they should be listed in the References section.
  • The following sequence should be used for ending topics: See also, Notes, References, External links.
  • Every article should have a link to the Poker article somewhere.
  • Add the {{Poker}} tag to the discussion page of a poker article.
  • Add the article to an appropriate poker category.

See also[edit]