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What is a 'Donk Bet'? Is It Ever Correct?

Dominik Nitsche
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  • When is it okay to lead with a "donk bet" into the preflop aggressor? @DominikNitsche explains.

  • The "donk bet" sounds like a move only donkeys try. That's not always so, @DominikNitsche explains.

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

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.

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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