What is ‘Out of Line’?
‘Out of line’ is a poker phrase relating to a bet at the table. If a poker player makes a bet ‘out of line’, they go in on the pot with a weak hand in the hope of inducing a fold from the other players. The player may even risk a raise or go all in, aiming to get the other players to concede the round.
‘Out of Line’ Explained
In poker, players are aiming to hold a better hand than the other players at the table, and they make bets based on the strength of their hand with the hope of taking the whole prize pot for themselves. Bets made usually relate to the hand held, but sometimes a player will attempt to overplay or underplay their hand in order to sway the behaviour of the other players – usually referred to as ‘bluffing‘.
‘Out of line’ is a phrase which relates to a bluffing player. A bet which is ‘out of line’ is made when the player holds a very weak hand with no chance of winning, but they intend to play for the win anyway. Even with a poor hand, a player can pick up the pot if they can convince all of the other players to fold.
If a player bets ‘out of line’ or makes an ‘out of line’ play, they may simply make a call or check on their turn and stay quiet in the game, waiting out the decisions of others in the hope of being the last person standing. The player might also choose to take a risky action, such as making a raise or even going all-in. This bold play is intended to intimidate the other players, and convince them they have no chance of winning, so the player who is bluffing can claim the prize for themselves.