Famous Poker Phrases

If you play long enough, you hear a lot of poker phrases. Some are witty, some are ironic, and some are better forgotten. A poker phrase, like puns and sayings you hear in ordinary life are a summation or snippet that requires no further elaboration. This article will look at some poker phrases, what they mean and when to use them.

Poker Phrases

“A Chip and a Chair”

This saying is one of the most famous. It basically means you are in the game so don’t give up. How many stories have you heard of a player who had a big blind left and came back to win the tournament or make a final table? A chip and a chair means as long as you have a chip, you are still in with a chance. The best time to use this poker phrase is after losing a massive pot and being left with very little chips.

“Better Lucky Than Good”

This always struck me as an interesting poker phrase. The poker community are forever banging the drum that poker is a skill game, so much so, that Gutshot poker club had court case about it. The phrase implies it is better to get lucky and win the pot than be a good player. Certainly, in one off instances, this poker phrase is true. As we know, poker is about the long run, the better players make the money every year. The saying is most appropriately used when getting lucky in a big pot or inflicting a bad beat on an opponent.

“If You Can’t Spot the Sucker at the Table, It’s You”

This well-known phrase was coined by Paul Newman and used beautifully by Matt Damon intro to the movie Rounders. No further explanation needed, no matter what table and the players on it, there will always be weaker players than others. If you look around and feel like there are none weaker than you, stands to reason you are the weak link. The saying is harsh in a way, you may be the weakest at the table without being a fish but there is still truth to this one. This is not a saying to be said as such, unless it is a friend that is detailing his bad luck the night before with sharks.

“Everyone’s a Winner”

My favourite of all phrases as it always makes me chuckle. In short, if you ask any poker player how they are doing, they will always tell you they are up and winning. The reality is, most players actually lose, and we can’t all be winning right? Yet, I promise you, next time you go to the local poker room, ask a few players how they are doing for the year and you will soon find out that everybody is winning!

If everybody is winning, who is losing? This saying can be used in response to a player who say’s they are up. It will usually be received by a laugh if the player is winning or defensiveness if the player loses.

Narciso Baldo is the Director and Head Coach of Texas Hold'em Questions. He has been playing poker for over 16 years. After spending many years as a professional, he now runs UK poker training site Texas Hold'em Questions. Narciso regularly writes poker articles sharing tips, strategy, news and experience with gambling enthusiasts. Narciso also writes for reputable gambling portal Casino City Times, (bio here). Contact: info@texasholdemquestions.com