Stand Off

What is a ‘Stand Off’?

In gambling, a ‘stand off’ is a head to head clash between two players or between a player and the dealer, and also a phrase sometimes applied to a tiebreak situation where two players have to draw for the win, or where two high cards are played against each other. To ‘stand off’ as an active verb also means to call a bet rather than raise it – this applies specifically to games of poker.

‘Stand Off’ Explained

In any form of game or competition, a ‘stand off’ is a tense battle between two players for the finish. In some games, such as poker and Casino War, the term might be used to describe a tie between two players, or between the dealer and one or more players. In some games, an additional card is played when there is a tie, and this high card draw or kicker from the hand is played in the ‘stand off’ for the pot.

In poker, a player can also be said to ‘stand off’ when they hold back from a bet and opt to call. The ‘call’ is a minimum bet or the value of the last raise made, depending on how previous plays are made. It is the lowest bet possible in some games, unless the option to ‘check’ or skip without betting is active. A call represents a player’s desire to stay in and see the next round, but to avoid any battles for the pot at this stage. Players with an average hand, players underplaying a strong hand and players hoping to ride out the round without being forced to bet high will all choose to ‘call’ rather than raise if they can. The phrase ‘stand off‘ refers to this action of staying away from the fight for now.

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