What is Grift?
To grift means to cheat or steal during a poker game, often infrequently and in small amounts. A grifter is someone who cheats irregularly during their games, making a little from each game they hit. The term ‘grift’ can also mean a cheat or a scam carried out by a gambler. A ‘grifter’ might also be called a ‘grift’ in some regions. Grifting is obviously frowned upon by casinos and a player caught using any illegal or fraudulent scheme will be ejected from the game – and could face prosecution.
‘Grifting’ is similar to ‘grinding‘ in poker, in that the player chips away at the game and makes a little profit for their trouble, rather than scooping a major win. However, ‘grinding’ is above board play that implies a player is working hard for their modest win, often taking on more skilled opponents and wearing them down. To ‘grift’ a win means to somehow swindle or con your way to it instead.
A player is said to ‘grift’ when they cheat or play dishonestly, or when they use some form of advantage technique. The term is also applied sometimes to players who steal from the table, either by taking back their own chips during play or by swiping those belonging to their opponents. Players might ‘grift’ by hiding cards or using holdouts, though the term usually applies to small acts of theft.
A player could be described as a ‘grift’ if they sometimes or often engage in underhand playing methods. The term ‘grifter’ – one who grifts – is also used to describe such a player. Grifting is usually applied infrequently, making a ‘grifter’ hard to identify at the table, and it rarely produces any remarkable wins that would draw attention to the player.
Want to play poker (without resorting to cheating?) Read our guide first.