What is a piker? 

In North America a piker is term for a gambler who makes only small bets. It is a stingy or cautious person. In Australia and New Zealand a piker is a person who withdraws from a commitment. (Definitions from Oxford languages).

Another claimed origin of the term is Pike County Missouri, that is north of St. Louis. It was a stop on the path for travelers going west to participate in the California gold rush.  People coming from the area were called “pikers.” These people were thought to be frugal and avoided spending money on gambling or alcohol.

In the trading and investing world a piker is an insult people call someone because they believe they either trade very small or they are too scared to make a large trade or investment. The term piker has a lot in common with the Texas saying “All hat, no cattle” a piker is someone that talks big with little money or action to back it up.  

Piker as a term had a big comeback on fintwit over the past decade as it is a derogatory term meant to discard someone’s credibility on social media. 

piker meaning
Architect of the Capitol, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons



By Steve Burns

After a lifelong fascination with financial markets, Steve began investing in 1993 and trading his accounts in 1995. It was love at first trade. After more than 30 successful years in the markets, Steve now dedicates his time to helping traders improve their psychology and profitability. New Trader U offers an extensive blog resource with more than 4,000 original articles, online courses, and best-selling books covering various topics.