Three things you thought you knew about poker

Although it is probably accurate to say that poker is a minority pursuit – let’s face it, unless you are a poker shark who moves among other players, there’s probably one or fewer regular players in your circle of friends – it’s still a subject you hear a lot about. Indeed, it’s become something of a cultural signifier. We talk about “keeping our cards close to our chests”, “keeping a good poker face”, and “cashing in” when discussing topics that have nothing at all to do with poker, and there have been songs and movies written about the subject too.

All of this means that most of us think we know a bit about poker. Some of us think we know more than a bit, and if we’re not regular poker players, it’s because we know too much about it to be happy risking our money. Some of us would even turn down a 888poker promo code because, hey, why get into playing a game that you can’t have any control over? But in truth, many of us know a lot less about poker than we like to think, and in many cases it’s because we believe “facts” such as the following…

Poker is all about reading the opponents’ faces

Perhaps Kenny Rogers is partly to blame for this. After all, his eponymous “Gambler” tells him in the lyrics to that hit song: “Son I’ve made a life/ Out of reading people’s faces/ Knowing what the cards were/ By the way they held their eyes”.

However, online poker tournaments are consistently won by the same players, even though they can’t see the eyes of their opponents. Maybe there is a reason The Gambler needed to borrow a cigarette from Kenny shortly before dying on a train. More time looking at his cards and strategzing would have gone a long way.

Online poker is rigged

Just… no, it’s not. Where people even get this idea is a mystery. Poker sites, and all casino gaming providers, can only get their license when they have proven that their software generates hands and cards randomly. If they were rigging games, they’d be caught out and would lose their license along with lots of money. If you keep getting bad hands in online poker, it’s because you get bad hands in poker sometimes. That’s why you need to be good at keeping a straight face when the cards do fall your way.

You’ll have noticed a few mentions of licenses in the above paragraph – the key takeaway here is that there’s a reason you should never play at an unlicensed casino.

The best players win consistently

The impression some people carry is that you shouldn’t play poker with anyone who’s good, because they have made serious money from this game. They’re sure to beat you if they’re that good, right? Except no, they’re not. Professional poker players get dealt with cards from the same shoe you get them from. Sometimes their hands will be rotten, and even a great poker player can’t make a shoddy hand look good. You shouldn’t play a great poker player for big money, sure, but if it’s money you can afford to lose it’s worth playing anyone. If you get the luck of the draw, you may win – and you can always learn something from playing with the best.


Three things you thought you knew about poker was first seen on Casino Life Magazine