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Protect Your Cards

If you are going to play poker, real poker, not that fake online crap, then you should read this carefully. At the poker table, it is always obvious who actually cares about their money.

Let me be clear, this is not a strategy guide. How you play your cards is your business. This guide is about giving yourself as much physical advantage as possible.

Rule #1. Pay Attention

Yes, the waitress is gorgeous. Yes, sports are on the TV. Yes, the conversation is engaging. But if you fail to pay attention to the game, kiss your money goodbye. You are the sucker everyone is aiming for.

Rule #2. Protect Your Eyes

We are creatures of habit and of pattern recognition. If I notice that you glance at my chips everytime you have a strong hand, that gives me an advantage over you. Why not hide your eyes and deny me that advantage? Your other option is for you to change your habit, which will cost you a lot more money than a pair of sunglasses, I promise.

Rule #3. Protect Your Cards

This means creating a direct line of sight from your eyes to the corner of the cards, through a peep hole you create with your hands.

If anyone else can see your cards for any reason, you have failed.

Rule #4: Protect Your Bets

Do not throw money directly into the pile! This is called “splashing the pot”. Do not frivolously toss money into other players’ bets or stacks. Place your bets directly in front of you and train yourself to use the same spot on the table and same motion every time you bet. This will leave no doubt as to whose money it is and give you some consistency in body language.