Definition of Going South

The term ‘going south’ is poker slang for when a player removes a portion of his or her chips from the table in order to reduce their stake. Going all in is a very different proposition when one can remove half their chips first.

At the very best, going south is a serious breach of poker etiquette, and will earn a player a bad reputation. This type of behavior is most common at private games where poker etiquette is expected but not necessarily enforced.

Definition of poker term Going South - Meaning and ExamplesCasinos and the like tend to prohibit such behavior, and this is particularly important in such environments because of ratholing. If there’re lax rules, low buy-ins or numerous tables, players can protect their stack by ratholing.

It’s worth noting that card rooms that prohibit going south and ratholing will still allow a player to leave the table. If a player sits down for one hand and wins big, it may be bad form, but it’s very much within his or her right to leave.

There’s also a lot of gray area when it comes to going south. Also, players must often help the casino enforce it. If a player notices money disappearing or a returning player, he or she is within their rights to tell the dealer.


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