Poker terms for players in the "Mafia"

Many players of Mafia have a passion for poker as well. Both games are based on psychology, bluffing, intuition, math, luck and developing your own strategy. For experienced poker players it is easier to understand rules and tactics of Mafia, and vice versa. In this article we will tell you about several professional terms that apply to both games.


Distance in poker is a number of tournaments or hands played by one person. The longer it is, the easier it is to evaluate success of a player. Analysis based only on a short-term period does not give an objective conclusion when, for instance, the player have the string of a bad luck. The distance of 50 thousand hands usually gives an approximate idea how good is that player, a distance of 100 thousand is considered even more reliable, and according to its results you can already make an objective conclusion.

This concept also applies to Mafia. You also need to consider not only one tournament, even a victorious one, but a big amount of games.

Position at the table

Many novice poker and Mafia participants underestimate a position a player gets at the table. It is important to pay attention not only where you are sitting, but also where your main opponents are located.

Some poker players prefer to sit to the left of the strongest player, and some prefer to be next to the weakest one. Position in poker is a place at the table relatively to a dealer. Your position changes clockwise with each hand. At a later position, you already know how the majority of your opponents played, and it is more profitable for you as you can decide what to do. In theory, the earlier is your first position, the stronger cards you need for victory.

In Mafia players with black cards are most advantageous if they sit on the edge of the table, at the closure of the circle. Then it will be easier to influence the voting process. First and second places are also considered to be good. The first speech usually is poorly remembered, so the first player will not seem suspicious and others will not vote for him. The second player opens the first day (if you count days from zero) and can repeat what was said during the zero circle. He can also do the same trick when he is closing the second Sheriff's day, Players number 7-8-9 are more often forced to confirm the theory of players 4-5-6 and agree with their opinion.

Do not confuse position at the table with another Mafia term that is applying for player’s weak/strong position. That position is an information that a player gives about himself. To measure it you need to see whether he can influence opinions and actions of others. A strong position is considered to be an attacking role supported by most players. A weak position shows a situation when a player's opinion is not very significant.


Tilt is a player's state caused by strong emotions after a victory or defeat, when he makes mistakes due to lack of concentration. This term does not mean just a bad game, it is a certain mental state that does not allow a player to follow his strategy.

With the heat of emotions, your brain blocks access to a higher level of thinking, and you cannot stay reasonable. You are stressed out and cannot manage your own thoughts and reactions.

There are many exercises that help to cope with it. You need to try to stay calm, do not stick to your old mistakes and be able to analyze results of the game.

Answer these questions:

1. What did cause your tilt?

2. Describe your speech, gestures and unusual sensations in your body. What thoughts did you have at that moment?

3. Write down typical mistakes you make while having tilt. How you can avoid those mistakes, even when you are under stress?

4. Find a line between your stable emotional state and tilt. When do you lose control?

Almost every poker or Mafia player has a tilt story. Yes, it can be difficult to continue playing after an unfortunate defeat, but negative thoughts will not save the past, and also will ruin your new game. Concentrate only on the present moment.

Without outs

Remaining in the deck cards that can strengthen your hand are called outs. "Without outs" is a situation in poker when none of the cards remaining in the deck will save you from losing.

In Mafia such a situation is also possible. For example, after eliminating a black player, another Mafia reveals as a false Sheriff. No one believes him, and he is immediately exposed, then there is no chance for victory of the Blacks.


Preflop in poker is the first round of betting, known as the preflop betting round, starting with the player to the left of the blinds, and the betting is going around the table in a clockwise manner, with the player in the big blind closing the action. This is an important stage, when even a small mistake can ruin the game.

The main task here is to determine the strength of your hand relative to the hands of rivals. During preflop you can make preliminary conclusions about the cards of other participants and understand their strategy.

In Mafia preflop moment comes when black players remove masks during the first night. They are trying to make a useful game plan: who will be killed and who needs to be checked for Sheriff card. Some experienced players can already predetermine all rounds and the outcome of the game during preflop. Beginners often do not know how to behave at this moment and do not care so much about the plan, which usually leads to defeat.


Each poker player has his own style of playing. If you understand typical models of the behavior, you can easily anticipate actions of others. There are several criteria for that:

1. How a player raises stakes:

• Aggressive player is always aspired to raise stakes.

• Passive player tries to postpone it.

2. Entrances to the game, depending on the cards:

• Tight player enters the game only with good cards.

• Free player enters the game with almost any cards.

Whether you are a Mafia or a Citizen, do not stick to just aggressive or just passive behavior, improvise and develop your own style.

Fish and Regulars

Fish in poker is a beginner or a weak player. The opposite term is Regular, or Shark who is a strong experienced player.

There are Fishes and Regulars in Mafia as well. Some players do not like to be in the same team with newcomers, because beginners do not fully understand how to follow the rules and are not familiar with basic strategies. Just be more tolerant and patient. Experience does not affect a level of the player. Some players need just a few months to win their first tournament, and some play quite bad for years.


Bluff in poker is a bet or raise made with a hand which is not thought to be the best hand. Basically, when a player tries to convince opponents that he has stronger cards than he really does. Without bluffing poker do not exist. You will not win a lot of money if you wait only for excellent cards.

Eventually others players will adapt to your strategy and will use it against you, so it is not a good idea to bluff all the time. However, from time to time it is worth it. Bluffing allows you to hide a winning combination, and confidently play a weak card to mislead others.

Mafia players should be able to bluff too and be able to recognize the bluff of others. This is especially important if you get a black card, which implies that you have to hide your true role and pretend to be a Citizen. Bluffing is also possible when a false Sheriff reveals himself to the circle. He has to convince others that he is the real one.

Bluffing in Mafia and poker is a true art, that you can improve over the years, like other techniques in these games.