What is a ‘Ribbon Clerk’?
If a poker player is described as a ‘ribbon clerk’, they have a particular playing style which is slow, steady and hesitant. These ‘ribbon clerk’ players hold off on a lot of hands, fold easily and rarely push the bet higher with a raise. Another common term is ‘rocks’ because there are the reliable low-level players who can be counted on to make predictable plays.
‘Ribbon Clerk’ Explained
In poker, there are lots of different types of players who might come to the table. Some are very skilled, and others are inexperienced. Some of those players might use a lot of tactics, such as bluffing, to disguise the strength of their hand, while others might play the game straight and take the hands as they come. If a player goes in on a lot of hands they are being ‘loose‘ in their play style, and if they avoid a lot of hands or fold early frequently, they are playing ‘tight‘.
A ‘ribbon clerk’ is a common term heard in the casino, describing a player who has a very tight and gentle play style. As well as passing up all but the best hands, these ribbon clerks often keep their bets to the minimum possible and will rarely risk a raise. If a raise is made, the player will try to call at best but will often be intimidated into folding instead. Some players like to look for opponents who fall into the ‘ribbon clerk’ category because they make it easy to get raises past the rest of the table while avoiding being forced into raises from these opponents. Others will avoid games with lots of tight, passive players because the pots rarely run high and there is not much chance of a contest from a strong rival for the pot.