What is a Donk in poker?
If you spend any time playing poker you are almost certainly going to hear the term donk. Most people when they first hear it are confused about just what it means. You can probably tell from the context that it is not a compliment. There are actually a few different meanings of the word so you will need to be able to figure out which meaning was intended.
In poker the word donk actually has several different meanings. The most common use is to refer to a bad player. The term is short for donkey and it is frequently used to describe a bad player who makes bets that are not smart. In a lot of cases the term is used to describe all new players but there are also a lot of people who have been playing for years that are also regularly called donks.
In addition the term donk is often used by players to describe the way that they are playing. You will often hear things like "I'm playing like a donk tonight". Again the reference is to a player who is not very good. Often very good players will have bad games and refer to themselves as playing like a donk.
One other meaning of the term is to refer to a bad bet. Strictly speaking it refers to betting out on the flop before the pre-flop raise. Oddly this is not always a bad bet so it in fact may not be a donk move. It has now become fairly common to extend the meaning of the phrase to mean any bad bet so you will likely hear it used in this context.
One thing to keep in mind about the term donk is that a lot of very good players will refer to themselves as donks. Therefore you do have to be careful to not assume that because somebody has called themselves one that they are in fact a bad player. Everybody has bad nights and there will be times when everybody makes a few donk bets, you should expect that it will happen at some point during your poker career.
You are also not going to want to take the term to seriously if somebody calls you a donk. While you are first learning you will make bad bets and you can be pretty sure that somebody will call you a donk. This is really just a part of learning. In fact it can be a very useful part of the process since it will make it easier to learn what not to do. You can be pretty sure that if people call you a donk it is because you have just made a bad bet. This is the sort of thing that you are going to want to learn from so that you can improve your skills.