What is ‘Jam’?
In poker, ‘jam’ refers to a pot into which several players are raising. Players can therefore ‘jam the pot’, or the pot can be ‘jammed’. A player might say that they ‘won the jam’, or that the pot itself ‘was jam’. The term can be a noun, a verb and an adjective – a ‘jam pot’ or a ‘jammy pot’ is one that has picked up lots of chips through player raises.
In the game of poker, players aim to take the game pot from the other players by having the best hand. In order to make good money from the game, they need to win big pots from the players. A round in which everyone folds at the ante is not very profitable for the player left in the game. Many poker games end in a head to head round, where several players have folded and just two or three remain. If these players feel they have strong cards, they might start making raises against the other’s wagers, bumping up the pot in the process. The winner will take a good prize away with them in this situation.
If a poker player refers to ‘jam’ in a game, they mean that a lot of players were raising on their hands and the pot was filled up by lots of different players as a result. When a table creates ‘jam’, they mix a lot of chips into the centre and this mixture will eventually be won by one player. ‘Jam’ can also refer to the ‘jamming up’ of the pot – the repeated betting makes it a busy pot, like a traffic junction, and the round will go on for some time before the next or final action is taken. Players who are ‘jamming’ the pot are in direct competition with each other for the win. It would take a brave player to try and bluff the win when a jam occurs, because plenty of players probably have a strong hand to play.