What does Fish means in sports betting mean? A HowToBet.com Guide

What does Fish means in sports betting mean?

A fish in the world of sports betting refers to gamblers who either don't know what they are doing or don't bother to put in the effort to figure out how to make intelligent bets. As such, you can also call them suckers or losers.


Fish, of course, are very popular with other gamblers because it's so easy to get their money. Remember the old cliche about how a fool and his money are soon parted? This is particularly true in gambling games such as poker where strategy and skill are required as opposed to games that are more about blind luck.

Obviously, the house is also very willing to have fish gambling as well. A great example of this is a clueless blackjack player who doesn't know when to take another card as opposed to standing pat.

The opposite of fish in gambling is what's known as a "sharp,'' who uses a strategy to decide how much to bet and who to bet on. A sharp bettor tends to do his homework such as looking at trends and finding up-to-date information like injuries and weather reports. A fish does not.

Where the term "fish'' came from is not entirely clear, but it could easily stem from the way fish seem to swim aimlessly around with no sense of direction. It could also refer to the way fish are dumb and can easily be hooked into doing something stupid. In addition to being unwise bettors, fish also suffer from the fact they have no idea how bad they are at gambling and will continue to lose even more money because of their ignorance.

The word "fish'' is often applied to sports bettors, but is particularly common when referring to poker. This doesn't necessarily mean a person is bad at playing poker, but rather they are not on the same level of the other players at the table. At this table, therefore, the player is the fish. It's also often been stated that if you can't spot the fish at a poker table then you are the fish yourself.

There are many ways to spot a fish at a poker table. These include playing too many hands, raises that make little sense, and players who pay little attention to the other players at the table. Fish will also tip off their hands by limping in, which means wagering the absolute minimum to remain in a hand.

In addition to fish, another aquatic term used in reference to some kinds of bettors are gamblers known as "whales.'' Sometimes referred to as high rollers, these are players who wager large amounts of money and don't seem all that concerned about it if they lose.

Quite often these types of bettors are looking for the excitement that comes from online gambling because they already have so much money that winning or losing is not high on their priority list. As such, it's possible for whales to become fish because they are more reckless and carefree when it comes to their own money.

About Rick Fortenbaugh
Rick Fortenbaugh author profile

Sports writer in Trenton, New Jersey, for over 35 years. Has covered a full range of sports, including pros, colleges and high schools. Owner of a bachelor's degree to teach history from the College of New Jersey.

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