What is ‘Walk’?
‘Walk’ in poker refers to a player who makes an extremely easy pot without taking any action. It usually refers to a situation where the blinds are won by the last blind posted, following a round with no openers and where takebacks are not permitted. It can also refer to a player who takes the antes after every other player opts to fold.
In poker, there are often hands which no player chooses to play, or which only one player remains in the pot for. In these situations, a single player can win very easily just by remaining in the game – but they will win a very small amount, because there have been no bets. Players who make an easy small win without having to act are said to ‘walk’ the pot or the game.
The most common situation where the term ‘walk’ applies is when players are bound to bet with a small ante, or with the mandatory big and small blinds. If the last player to post a blind is the only player remaining in the game, they might take the whole pot. Many games will instead allow for the blinds to be taken back when nobody opts to make an opening bet, thus removing the chance of ‘walking’ a pot.
A player can also walk the pot by making an opening bet, and receiving no response from the table. Although they have had to act, they have not needed their cards to make the play – instead, everyone has forfeited their stake and the player who bet gets to keep a very easy win. Many casino games will force the opener through a high card rule or through position, in order to keep games interesting even when several tight players are involved in the table.