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.
Casinos 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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