Poker Term Donk

PokerNews Staff

The poker term 'donk bet' was actually coined relatively recently, only coming into prominence over the last decade or so.

Donk bet poker term

It started out as a somewhat derogatory way of describing a bad play (strategically speaking), although over time the term has been used more generically to describe a specific type of postflop bet.

What does the term donk bet mean in the world of poker? What is the definition of the term donk bet?-Misclick Misclick Definition - what does the term misclick mean. A donk bet was only introduced as a poker term 13/14 years ago. It’s quite interesting that it has been given the negative name “donk”. This conjures up thoughts of a donkey, which is one of the worst insults a poker player can be called. But is the donk bet actually all that bad?

PokerNews recently caught up with 888Poker Ambassador Dominik Nitsche who offered a quick explanation of donk betting and how the move fits into larger strategic concerns in no-limit hold'em.

As Nitsche explains, a 'donk bet' refers to a postflop bet in which a player who is out of position is 'leading into the preflop aggressor.'


In other words, say a player in late position raises before the flop and another defends the big blind with a call. Then after the flop the player in the big blind leads out with a bet — called a 'donk bet' because (as Nitsche explains) 'usually inexperienced players would do it,' not realizing the importance of position when making that leading bet.

'Typically this is thought of as a bad play, but there's a lot more to it,' explains Nitsche, who goes on to distinguish between situations when leading with a so-called 'donk bet' can actually be a good play and times when it clearly is not. Take a look:

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    Dominik Nitsche

The term “donk bet” actually came to be recently, becoming popular only in the last decade or so.


At first, it was used to describe a strategically lousy play in the most derogatory way.

In modern poker, it’s used to describe a specific type of post-flop bet.

Donk betting should be an essential part of your strategy. It refers to the post-flop bet that occurs when you are out of position against a pre-flop raiser. For example, one player raises before the flop, and the other defends the big blind with a call. Then, in the post-flop, the player in the big blinds leads out with a donk bet.

In this post, we’ll be making arguments for and against donk betting, and we’ll show you how to use it as an exploratory strategy against passive players.

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Poker Terms Fish Donkey

Why You Shouldn’t Donk Bet

The primary reason why donk bet is considered a bad play is that they are complicated to balance. In other words, someone can easily catch up to your strategy, and they will eventually come up with a counter-move. A balanced range of betting would consist of a mix of strong hands, draws, weak hands, and bluffs.

Poker Term Donkey

The idea behind the balanced range is that your opponent cannot read your hand when you take a particular action, and with donk betting, that just isn’t possible. An example of donk betting would be a range that consists of 15% bluffs and 85% sets. Any mid-skilled opponent would know that they should fold most hands because you have a set 85% of the time.

On the other hand, if your donk bets consist of 80% weak hands and 20% sets, your opponent will bully you with his top pair most of the time. As you can see, donk bets represent a weak hand. However, this depends on bet-size.

Players sometimes use donk bets to determine where they are in a hand. For example, if you have a weak hand and you donk bet, you might do this hoping that you’ll scare the opponent who’s missed the flop. If they raise, they probably have a strong hand, and if not, then there is a slight chance that they are bluffing as well. The problem is that if you do this often, the opponent may read into it and raise your bet with any two hands.

When You Should Donk Bet

Although it may be challenging to balance your range when donk betting, it’s highly unlikely that a passive opponent will take advantage of this. Even if they’re using some sort of statistics tool like HUD, they’re not the type of player to analyse their opponent’s ranges. Also, they might not be aware that the donk bet is a weak lead. Even if they are, they probably won’t raise this bet with a weak hand or a bluff. This is why passive players are easy to bully — they don’t make aggressive hands unless they have premium hands.

Poker Term Donk

The question now arises — if a passive player knows what a donk bet is and realises that you’re using it, what are they going to do about it? Usually, this type of player will merely fold if they miss the flop entirely. Some of them might call. However, if they’re just peeling with air, they will let you get to the showdown more often than not.

In 90% of the time, donk betting is exploitable. However, if the opponent is too passive and doesn’t take advantage of it, the pros outweigh the cons. This is similar logic to when a loose-aggressive player 3-bets and squeezes relentlessly from the blinds and the button. Excessive 3-betting is also exploitable. However, if everyone is falling for his bluffs, he’s going to keep doing it.

Poker Term Donk


Poker Term Donkey

Donk betting was coined after a donkey because someone thought that it was a stupid play. But as we have shown you in this article, it can be useful in certain situations. Donk betting is a complex area of poker strategy because it’s challenging to balance the range across multiple lines. Therefore, beginners should simply consider it a possible option and try for themselves at one of new online poker sites which we have reviewed.

Poker Term Donkey

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