Table Stakes

word type: noun

  1. The amount of money on the table being played for. It is a guideline in formal poker games that a player may not reach into his pocket for more chips or wager money or property that is not on the table.

Hollywood Myths

We've all seen the Western movies where the wealthy stranger outmaneuvers his hapless opponent by betting a piece of property or money that cannot be matched and is not anywhere near the table. It is likely that "Table Stakes" existed even in the Wild West and that such portrayals are pure function.