What is Behind?

‘Behind’ is a common gambling term meaning running at a loss. For example, a player who has less than the average chips at the table or who has less playing funds than they started with is ‘behind’. The term also applies in poker to a player who acts directly after another, or generally late in the round. Finally, it can mean a player who is permitted despite still being owed chips by the house.

Behind Explained

When a gambler is described as ‘behind’, this typically means that they are losing, or at least currently running at a loss. For example, the player starts the session with $100 and bets $50 to win $100 – putting them ahead. They then bet $150 and lose – placing them behind with a $50 balance. In poker, a player is described as behind when they have the smallest stack at the table, or when their stack is smaller than the average of the table.

‘Behind’ is also a way to describe a player’s position at the poker table. If a player is behind another, they act after them. The player acts ‘behind’ the player to their right, and the player to their left acts behind them. Behind usually refers to the next play made, but it can also mean any play that happens later in the round, after other actions have been taken.

In some cases, a player at the poker table might be described as ‘behind’, or more specifically their bet is ‘behind’, when the dealer is short and cannot change a player’s bet in time for the next round. While the chip runner goes to fill the order, the player is sometimes permitted by the house to act as though they have chips to bet, becoming ‘behind’ in the pot in the process. When the runner returns and the exchange is made, the debt will be paid immediately.

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