Counterfeit in poker: meanings and meanings

In poker, counterfeit is the loss of value of a hand in postflop play. That is the main meaning given to this term that has other meanings inside and outside poker.

Let's delve a little deeper into the meaning of this concept and how it influences the decision making and strategy of the turn and river.

Counterfeit as loss of value of a postflop hand


As we said, this concept is mainly used to talk about a postflop card that is useless to improve your hand, but that, on the other hand, can help your opponents to improve theirs. Therefore, we are talking about a delicate situation that compromises your postflop game by giving a boost to your opponents that you lack.

A few lines above we talked about counterfeit as a phenomenon characterized by the sudden loss of value of a hand from one street to another after the flop. This loss of value happens precisely because of that card that does not add value to your hand, but to your opponents'. Detecting these cards is crucial to create your post flop strategy, basic to get into the race for the pot.

In live poker games, when someone comments in English that a player has been "counterfeited", it means that the hands of his cards, without changing, have ceased to be as useful as on the previous street. This is never good, because the passage from one street to another means that it will cost the player money and the losses, without the cards changing, will be greater.

Examples of counterfeit in a Texas Hold'em game:

  • Player's cards: 4 5
  • Flop cards: 4 5ª A. On the turn comes 10, therefore: 4 5ª A 10.

A bottom two pair is not a bad hand; it has value and you think (rightly so) that it gives you enough strength to fight.

But it turns out that on the river we get 10. Our pair now has almost no value because of the overpair of the table. The 10 is the one that made our hand suffer the counterfeit. This is bad because that card forces us to use it to make a two pair hand, replacing our original pair. Yes, we still have the pair of fours, but in Texas Hold'em there is no such thing as a three pair hand, so it is of no use to us.

In short: because of the river we have thrown away the advantage that the two cards gave us to form the original double pair.

The counterfeit can happen with any hand, even in Full House or Flush. The key to overcome counterfeit is to accept the facts, since the community card is something beyond our control. It is in these situations that you see good poker players trying to make a stab like that the basis of a strategy to minimize damage.

The crucial thing is that you realize that the counterfeit has happened. There are inexperienced players who become obsessed with the first hand they form and don't realize by the time they move on to the next few streets that their hand has been "faked" or has suffered from counterfeit. This pushes them to keep putting money into the pot, which will only make them lose money.

Be careful! You can use this strategy to bluff like a champion, pretending to be a rookie who does not know that his hand is being "faked" to continue putting money in the pot and make the opponent do the same, knowing that your hand has not been affected by the turn card or the river, and that it is still better than the opponent's hand. But this bluff is of advanced level, since we are talking about:

  • Detecting a card that exposes us as a possible counterfeited player.
  • Intuit that the villain has read the play as we want so that he bites (if not, the bluff will not make sense).
  • Keep putting money in the pot when we believe that the villain is thinking that our hand has lost value.
  • Betting as much as possible until we hit him and he realizes that we have pretended to have been counterfeited.

Let's delve into other meanings of counterfeit in poker to give the term the necessary context in each case.

Counterfeit in poker: the problem of counterfeit chips

It is the most popularized meaning. The activity of counterfeiting poker chips is popularly known as counterfeit. This word of English origin is used as a synonym for counterfeiting not only in the world of poker, but in any other world: banking, commercial, artistic and others.

In poker the concept has been accepted as a synonym of fake, and there are users who are dedicated to counterfeit poker chips and pass them off as good. We are talking, obviously, about live poker, since online poker, due to the characteristics of its format and the security measures of its rooms, prevent users from pretending to have more chips than they actually have.

What counterfeit allows is the popularization of sales of fictitious poker chips for recreational purposes. Skilled counterfeiters engage in imitating casino logos to pass them off as good ones, which alters the money circuit and the fairness of the game.

Although casinos have taken measures and developed advanced security systems to prevent the inclusion of fake poker chips, it is a practice that is still widespread and is still a scam.

How to detect these fake chips in a poker game? Users do not have the necessary tools to detect counterfeit poker chips in a poker game, but the rooms that organize live poker games do have the necessary tools to combat it and prevent fraud.

Resources such as ultraviolet marks can help detect these problems, allowing to combat counterfeit chips. Something that, on the other hand, still happens, but less frequently: most players who sign up for live poker games comply with the basic principles of fair play.

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