Ratholing is the practice of taking money off the table. Apparently another less-common phrase used to describe this practice is "going south" (seen during season two of High Stakes Poker). Standard poker rules forbid ratholing, and most casinos will enforce this prohibition. Virtually all poker is played at table stakes, meaning that only money on the table at the start of a hand is in play and subject to being wagered. Ratholing is taken seriously, especially in no-limit and pot-limit games, because it deprives opponents of the opportunity to win back money lost to the ratholer.
Online poker makes it somewhat easier to rathole, but some sites (such as PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker) will force a player who leaves a no-limit table to buy in for the same amount if reseated within a set time limit.
- Taking chips off the table - (2+2, May 2006) - Generated more heat than light, but certainly shows the low esteem ratholing enjoys among most B&M players.