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.)
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