The shadow of the poker tradition is so long that there are many expressions in popular culture that have their origins in poker games. Other expressions, on the other hand, have come from young players who are still competing in top-level tournaments.

Some famous phrases we owe to the competitive players themselves; others, however, are only known, but the exact source is unknown.

Let’s take a look at some of the best-known poker expressions. There are even some interesting morals to be drawn from some of them. Let’s see which ones.

Famous poker expressions that have come down to our days

  • It takes a minute to learn to play; it takes a lifetime to master all aspects of the game. It’s one of the best-known poker expressions, and also one of the most accurate. Learning to play is not the hard part, but mastering all aspects and being able to play a game of poker without any data or variable escaping your control. That’s why consistency and continuing education is so important.
  • Much of the money you make in poker will come not from your exceptional play, but from the ineptitude of your opponents. This may be a half-truth, but there is a grain of truth in it. Many hands will be won because opponents simply aren’t good enough, don’t know how to fold in time, or have misread the game. Rather than ineptitude, inexperience would be the exact word.
  • Poker is not about winning money, it’s about making good decisions. A good decision will make you money. If your goal in poker is to make a quick buck, you will soon realise that you are playing the wrong game.
  • To win at poker you need a clear head and a pair of balls. If you have a lot of balls, but not enough brains, you’re lost. Courage is necessary on many occasions, but if you don’t combine it with some brains, you have no chance in poker. Winning at poker takes more than bravery – you have to have technique and know when to risk and when not to risk.
  • Don’t blame bad luck when you lose and praise your skill when you win. If you are one of those who think that you lose only because of bad luck but that your victories are due to your excellent technique, then you only prove that you still have a lot to learn.
  • Poker is 100% skill and 50% luck. This is a very interesting thought, which is closely related to the previous one and suggests that, although luck has a lot to say in poker, it is not the main ingredient you will find in a game. Without technique there is nothing to do, no matter how much luck you have. Training is necessary.
  • No one is always a winner, and if anyone says otherwise, they are either a liar or have never played poker. Certainly, no matter how much people think that professional players have it all figured out, in reality they can lose just like any other player.
  • I have to complain that the cards are badly shuffled until I get a good hand. Not that you really should, but it’s a sardonic comment often made in casual settings. The cards are obviously not to blame for being dealt, and that is why a dealer is always available to shuffle and shuffle the cards properly.

Other well-known poker expressions

Some of these phrases are already familiar to you, and others are sure to come to mind, but let’s continue our review of some of the more well-known ones. If you don’t know them, you need to know them!

  • Look around the table. If you can’t find the sucker, then you’re the sucker. This is one of the best known, and refers to the fact that rookies tend to get sucked in quickly by the sharks and professional players. In every poker game, there is a weak player who is being taken in by the rest, and around whom many strategies revolve to try to fleece him. If you’re not seeing that player, chances are that player is you. But don’t shy away! Nothing a little practice won’t get you.
  • There is no such thing as a bad hand. You just have to know how to play them. It is important to relativize the contents of sentences, because they contain neither absolute truths nor completely refutable facts. They simply have to be interpreted. Bad hands do exist, of course they do, but what this saying refers to is that a bad hand by itself does not necessarily make you lose. A bad hand can be a winning hand if you choose the right strategy and, with a bit of luck, the stars align so that opponents with better cards can interpret that they have nothing to play for. That is the way to read this expression.
  • Only losers and amateurs complain about the cards. If you do, it doesn’t mean that you are no longer a classy player, but it is true that the game is the way it is and the cards are what they are. Without tricks or manipulation, the cards are the only actors in the game of poker that are fully objective. So, it is necessary to know that anyone who constantly complains about the cards is either a man with little class or wants to attract attention. And beware of players who try to destabilize their opponents by overreacting… don’t fall into their trap!

I’m sure you know other phrases or new poker-related expressions that come to mind. And you can certainly make interesting reading out of them.