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Z-Game

What is ‘Z-Game’?

The term Z-game’ is used when referring to a player playing badly. This is the opposite of A-game, which is a term used to describe the fact that a player is playing well.

‘Z-Game’ Explained

If a person is playing a Z-game, it means that they are playing that particular game of poker badly. Typically, this person is making errors during gameplay and not thinking rationally. It is also said that playing this poorly, or playing a Z-game, is unconnected to the player’s skills. Instead, it is due to their emotional state.The term Z-game takes its name simply from the fact that Z is the last letter of the alphabet, and typically associated with that which is low. A, as the first letter of the alphabet and associated with that which is high (or good), hence, it gives it name to the A-game.The player of a Z-game may be playing poorly due to a number of reasons. For example, they could have needlessly lost chips due to bad luck, experienced a long losing streak, or have repeatedly been dealt bad cards.These factors can make a player go on tilt, which means that they have become angry, frustrated, or agitated. The Z-game is the name given to their poor gameplay when they are on tilt.The following example describes a player who was is on tilt and who played their Z-game as a result of it:Brian: “Did you hear about Colin?” Hannah: “Yes. I heard he played a terrible Z-game last night. Raised when he shouldn’t have, and ended up losing all his chips.” Cathy: “I wonder why he was playing so poorly?” Jeff: “Apparently he’d been losing all evening, and he just let it get to him. Had some really bad losses and wasn’t feeling his best.” Brian: “It probably would have been better for him if he’d ‘Cashed Out’ when he had the chance!”
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