(1) What's the most you've ever won at poker?

I can't understand among what the questioner can imply us making a choice.
What does "the most" mean here:
(a) It can mean only money.
(b) It cannot mean money. It means a trip, a car, a house, etc.
(c) It can mean both money and other prizes.

Also, I would like to ask whether I can remove "the" in (1):
(2) What's most you've ever won at poker?
Is (2) correct?
Does (2) mean the same as (1)?
If not, then why not?

oxfordlearnersdictionaries.com writes "the" can be left out in informal British English when "the most" means as in (1): "the largest in number or amount".
So based on this, (1) and (2) mean the same.
But I need your confirmation to it to be exactly certain.

  • 1
    To answer your first question depends as much on a knowledge of gambling (which I don't have) as of English! I would assume that it meant money; if other prizes can be won at poker, the question might be "What's the best/biggest prize you have won?" Sep 9 at 18:07

1 Answer 1


This is not a matter of English, but a question of how poker games are played. There is nothing in the question that refers explicitly to money, but you may assume that it is asking about money, since poker is normally played for money. People don't (usually) get prizes when they play poker.

In this case "the" is required in British English. It is acceptable to leave out "the" in these examples:

Who ate most?

He has most.

but not in

This is the most money.


What is most?

I think this is because "most money" would be understood as "a majority of money" and not "The largest amount of money". But I think the issue is subtle.

  • 1
    The second question stumps me, too! If you spill some milk and ask where it fell, I can say, "Most is on the floor." However, I can't (I don't think) make that a question: "Where is most?" OTOH, it's fine if I add some words: "Where is most of it?" However, the issue is not simply one of adding words after "most", as the question version of "Most fell on the floor" is fine: "Where did most fall?" So something curious seems to be going on here. Sep 10 at 2:10

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