The modern day poker world has come up with an entirely new vocabulary for the game. One of the most colloquial and popularly used terms nowadays is “donkey.” This is used to describe a player who makes consistently bad plays and gets rewarded for them.
Anyone who watches the World Series of Poker has probably heard Phil Helmuth call someone a donkey. He uses the term every chance he gets, and he’s not afraid to let the people hear him.
Being called a donkey by Helmuth or anyone else is an insult in the poker world. It’s a derogatory and sometimes hurtful term. Most of the time, though, if the person really is a donkey, he or she doesn’t care about being called one. They are well aware of their own reckless and bad plays. Some so-called donkeys are even proud of their negative status.
There are ways to avoid becoming a donkey. First, don’t over bet a pot. That’s a sign that you don’t know what you’re doing or that you’re trying to steal the pot. Second, don’t call a large bet with nothing but a small draw (like an inside straight draw or two cards to a flush draw). If you do win, you’ll get hassled for it. If you lose, then you wasted a lot of money for no reason.
There are also ways that you can spot a donkey at your table. When you see someone consistently bet more than the value of the pot or randomly going all in, chances are he is a donkey. If you do see a donkey, best thing to do is avoid them until you know that you have them beat. Then, lure them into wasting a lot of money in a pot.
You can actually benefit from a donkey if you play your cards right. Donkeys present opportunities to earn easy money if you have a strong hand. They can ruin a game, sure, but they can just as easily make you a very rich player. Keep your eyes open for these sloppy players and you could come out on top.