Darken

What is ‘Darken’?

To ‘Darken’ is to effectively make a bet without looking at your dealt cards, this is very similar to making a ‘Dark Bet’ and can also often be heard pronounced by a player when announcing he/she will ‘Open the betting Dark’, i.e. make a play before they have looked at their cards.

‘Darken’ Explained

As mentioned in the definition of ‘Dark Bet’ the two phrases go hand in hand and there are a couple of reasons why a player may make a Dark or Darken Bet.

Showboating is one, with a numerous professional poker players sometimes making a Darken just to play up to the cameras during a tournament.

The second reason is simply mathematics. The player is left with no choice due to the lack of chips they have left and may wish to add to the suspense by playing Darken in a bid to unsettle their opponents.

For example, the big blind is priced at £10 but you only have £15 worth of chips left, if you are on the big blind you have to pay the £10 regardless leaving you with only £5 worth of chips behind the commitment line.

This means you will have to effectively take action and as you have had to commit a majority of your pot on the big blind, going all in with your remaining £5 chips makes sense when the play returns to you.

You do not have to announce you want to play Darken but it may work in your favour as due to the unpredictability and readable hand you have, your opponents may wish to ‘fold’ leaving you to claim the pot and live to fight another day.

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