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In poker, donk betting means betting out of position (you must act first) without the betting initiative (you did not make the last bet or raise on the previous betting round.) It's typically considered an unorthodox and unusual move because the traditional play after passively calling a bet out of position would be to check the next round--a donk bet is unexpected and can throw off your opponent's plans for the hand.

This is as opposed to continuation betting, which is a bet made in or out of position after you have made the last bet or raise on the previous round, and thus have the betting initiative.

The name "donk bet" derives from the common derogatory term "donkey" for bad players, because bad/clueless players will often make this play without knowing why they are doing it, simply because they don't know what's going on.

Under the right circumstances, however, it can be very good--by no means does donk betting necessitate bad play.
I was in the big blind and I called the button's opening raise. Most people would check the flop here whether or not they hit anything, but I decided to bet the flop before the button had another chance to act.

This is a donk bet because:

A) I was out of position (the button gets to act after me on all postflop betting rounds; therefore, he has position on me), and

B) I did not have the betting initiative (I merely called the button's raise on the previous round--I did not make the last bet or raise and thus I did not have the initiative.)
by simulatedworld October 11, 2010
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n. In poker, a bet made when first to act on a given street, after having checked and called the preceding street(s). Formerly "gaybet", before that "bet-from-nowhere".

v. the act of making a donkbet

My donkbet on 6th street was meant to represent the flush I had showing.

I donkbet the river with my weak hand, to avoid giving a free showdown.
by Chris V January 19, 2006
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To place a bet in first position on the river in texas holdem with little or no value to be gained. This play is used as a bluff and a scare tatic, most likely resulting in additional bets gained at a latter time.
I had missed a draw and I led out on the river knowing I could not win this was a donk bet.
by MR_WOLFF August 23, 2006
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putting a c-bet in on the flop or later streets in community card poker games with little or no thought to flop texture or hand strength.
I had AK offsuit and the board came down 8-2-10, I just threw a donk bet.
by Bloodsong February 24, 2009
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