table stakes

James Zhang

Senior Member
Hi, teachers. I have some questions with the sentence below.
For modern communications, the physical integrity of the wiring, magnetic
interference, and electrical noise are "table stakes".
My questions are:
1. What do "table stakes" mean here? Decisive factors, supports of a table, or something else?

Thank you. Have a good day.
  • Sabelotodo

    Senior Member
    English, United States
    "Table stakes" is a poker/gambling term. It means that the money or chips that you bring to the table must stay in the game until you leave the game. I'm not sure how the metaphor applies to communications. I think maybe they are saying that the three things listed (physical integrity of the wiring, magnetic interference, and electrical noise) are the first priorities; that correcting other problems is secondary when these three things are not in order.


    Senior Member
    U.S. English
    "Table stakes", means only the chips in play at the beginning of each hand may be used throughout the hand. Players may bring the additional money to the table only at the beginning of the hand and never during the hand.(