Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Wed Jan 11 17:42:58 UTC 2012

On Jan 10, 2012, at 11:39 PM, Victor Steinbok wrote:

> You are right, of course, except that the groups I played with always
> expanded on the original definition, but probably because both kinds of
> talk came as a package (we often played with five players, rotating
> someone in--particularly when teaching a novice). Of course, the other
> default was "table-talk", although that was usually a "conversation"
> between partners--not with opponents. I'm sure there were other
> Yiddishism flying across the table, but I don't recall them.
>    VS-)

In my poker circles, "table-talk" is between "kibitz" and "coffeehouse" in that (like coffeehousing and unlike kibitzing) table-talking may and usually does involve those playing a hand but (unlike coffeehousing) table-talking typically involves true information (or reasoned conclusions) about other players' hands, rather than false information about one's own.  The objection ("No table-talk!") is not on the basis of the immorality of lying or dissembling but on the basis that one player might hurt another's chances by imparting information not obvious to one of the table-talkees, such that s/he might tailor behavior (bet, fold, call, raise) accordingly.  If A points out (qua table talk) that B is "beat on the board" by C, i.e. that regardless of what B has in the hold, C will have a better hand based on C's up cards, and if B believes A, B will fold, and C will get very upset.


> On 1/10/2012 11:09 PM, Laurence Horn wrote:
>> On Jan 10, 2012, at 10:56 PM, Benjamin Barrett wrote:
>>> I checked my Mac dictionary, and it says that kibitzing refers to someone who is not playing giving advice. That's what I recall from my childhood, too.
>> Right, a kibitzer (in chess too) is looking over your shoulder, not telling you how he's going to move or bet or what he has in his hand.  I suppose you can coffeehouse in chess as well, if you're playing; seems like something Bobby Fischer would have done.
>> LH
> ------------------------------------------------------------
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