Poker Dictionary


In the dark

In the dark

This is a term that is exclusive to live poker games. It refers to a check or bet that a player makes before even seeing the next card(s) dealt.

More commonly, a player who is first to act in the next betting round will call out, "Check in the dark!" as the dealer is preparing to deal the next card(s). Since verbal declarations are binding, the action on the next round starts on the next player. Of course, the player who checked dark does not get last action, but that player can check-raise, and that is the thinly veiled hammer one wields when choosing this line. In many cases, a check in the dark on the river means that a passive player is chasing a draw.

One can also bet in the dark as a show of strength, conveying the idea that one's hand is so powerful it doesn't matter what the next card brings.

Actions declared in the dark are typically viewed as "theatrical" moves, drawing attention to the player (both positive and negative). One can exploit this to build up an "actor" type table image and induce loose calls.

Example: eg - Hero holds TPTK in EP and checkraises a rainbow flop. Unfortunately, he still gets multiple callers. In an attempt to narrow the field with scare tactics, Hero throws out a handful of chips before the dealer has even cleared the table of cards and chips, declaring, "Bet 50 in the dark."

Created by ChezJ on 14 Oct, 2009
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