I'm trying to understand what a donk bet is in detail. Searching the web has come up with various ambiguous and inadequate explanations.

What I have understood so far: A player calling a bet in a previous betting round who then bets out-of-position in the current round is considered to be making a donk bet.

Questions: Is it also considered donk bet in the following scenarios:

  1. A non heads-up situation (more than 2 players are in-game)
  2. If the flop (or turn or river, depending on current round) has opened up many draws
  3. If the donk bet is happens in a blind-defence situation (button attempts blind steal, SB folds, BB flat calls, on the flop BB raises)

Any further explanations or corrections are much appreciated!

4 Answers 4


Generally a donk bet is when a players leads out with a bet (often on the flop, but could also be turn or river) before the preflop raiser has acted (i.e. when the preflop raiser was in position relative to the now donk-bettor), as you have alluded to.

To answer your specific questions:

  1. Yes
  2. Yes
  3. Yes

Originally the term was used to describe any bet which could be considered bad strategically/tactically, but since then it has developed into the more specific definition above.

Additional reading:

https://www.pokernews.com/strategy/what-is-a-donk-bet-is-it-ever-correct-28796.htm https://www.pokernews.com/pokerterms/donk-bet.htm

  • 1
    A donk bet can also occur on the turn and river!
    – Raymond
    Mar 20, 2018 at 12:23
  • Yes, fair enough - I’ll update my answer, thanks!
    – 3N1GM4
    Mar 20, 2018 at 12:30
  • I always thought a donk bet was a min-bet before the raiser acts, good info!
    – Clarko
    Mar 20, 2018 at 19:33

A donk bet occurs whenever a player bets post-flop, while there is another player who has the betting lead.


Donk is also used to describe a weak player or weak move. I think it derives

The aggressor is the last raise from the previous round.

Donk bet has come to mean opening out of position against the aggressor. Typically only applies to the flop. Number of players, board, and defend blind does not matter.

Donk bet is not always a bad move.

Out of position if you hit then let the aggressor bet for you. Don't give away you hit a hand as you give them a chance to slow down or fold. If you don't hit then no reason to donk bet.

You don't have a lot of fold equity here as if you really smashed the flop you should just check it. And you cannot rep JJ+ in your hole cards as you should have re-raised pre. You are both out of positions and capped.

If you hit the flop and it goes check check you still have the turn and river to lead out for value.

On the flop if it goes check bet call and you lead out on the turn I would not call it a donk bet as by calling back the flop you have indicated you have something. For sure if flop and turn go check bet call or check check and you lead out on the river it is not a donk bet.

If you hit the flop but don't have a piece of draws you may donk bet to take away pot odds. It is not a donk move (as in bad player) but it is still called a donk bet.

If you are defending your blind it does not change donk bet strategy on the flop in my opinion.


Donk is short for donkey, the pack animal. Donkey was used in chat boxes at online poker rooms because they started censoring the terms ass, jackass etc. So when a player made a play that another thought was out of line and wanted to swear, they just called the player a donkey, and this naturally got shortened to donk.

A more detailed and formal meaning to describe what it means to be an ass at the poker table IE make a donk play, defies a formal definition beyond you will know it when you see it because it is simply a stupid play on the part of another player that might make you consider that the particular player making the play is an ass. And the actual thing(s) the player could be doing that could be called a donk play is beyond the scope of just the play they make, it could include their general demeanor at the table, the way they treat other players, bad treatment of staff etc., etc. ad-infinitum. In other word donk is the context of play, not actual plays.

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