We have accumulated a large and varied selection of poker quotations for your entertainment, education and inspiration. We have placed them in categories for ease of reading and to assist you if you are looking for a specific quotation topic. The categories we have chosen are:


So go ahead, read and enjoy. If you have a favorite poker quotation and would like to add it to our website, go to our Blog and submit your quote. We will gladly add it to our quotations page.


“It never hurts for potential opponents to think you’re more than a little stupid and can hardly count all the money in your hip pocket, much less hold on to it.”
– Amarillo Slim Preston (W.S.O.P. Champion 1972)

“The commonest mistake in history is underestimating your opponent; happens at the poker table all the time.”
– General David Shoup

“If you play bridge badly you make your partner suffer, but if you play poker badly you make everybody happy.”
– Joe Laurie Jr

“Most of the money you’ll win at poker comes not from the brilliance of your own play, but from the ineptitude of your opponents.”
– Lou Krieger

“If, after the first twenty minutes, you don’t know who the sucker at the table is, it’s you.”
– Unknown

“Never give a sucker an even break.”
– Anonymous

“When a man with money meets a man with experience, the man with experience leaves with money and the man with money leaves with experience.”
– Anonymous

“Trust everyone, but always cut the cards.”
– Benny Binion

“Avoid people with gold teeth who want to play cards.”
– George Carlin (Comedian)

“The single greatest key to winning is knowing thy enemy — yourself.”
– Andy Glazer

“It’s morally wrong to let a sucker keep money.”
– Canada Bill Jones

“I never saw a poker player’s money that I did not like.”
– Oklahoma Johnny Hale

“You have to learn what kind of hand this guy shows down, what that one’s moves, watch the veins in his neck, watch his eyes, the way he sweats.”
– Johnny Moss (1975 – W.S.O.P. Champion 1970, 1971, 1974))

“Put yourself in their shoes before you decide on the best way to take their shirts”.
– David Sklansky

“I never go looking for a sucker. I look for a Champion and make a sucker of him.”
– Amarillo Slim Preston


“You cannot survive without that intangible quality we call heart. The mark of a top player is not how much he wins when he is winning but how he handles his losses. If you win for thirty days in a row, that makes no difference if on the thirty-first you have a bad night, go crazy, and throw it all away.”
– Bobby Baldwin (W.S.O.P. Campion 1978)

“There is a very easy way to return from a casino with a small fortune: go there with a large one.”
– Jack Yelton

“Nobody is always a winner, and anybody who says he is, is either a liar or doesn’t play poker.”
– Amarillo Slim Preston

“It is better to make people think you are a bad poker player, then to play and remove all doubt. Don’t play to impress, play to win.”
– Michael Gersitz

“Don’t get mad that you lost, get mad because you didn’t win.”
– Michael Gersitz

“A dollar won is twice as sweet as a dollar earned”
– Paul Newman (Actor)

“The next best thing to gambling and winning is gambling and losing.”
– Nick “The Greek” Dandalos

“The winner is not the player who wins the most pots. The winner is the player who wins the most money.”
– Anthony Holden, author of Big Deal (1990)

“Losing is like smoking. It’s habit forming”.
– Puggy Pearson, 1973 WSOP winner (2001)

“Show me a good loser and I’ll show you a loser.”
– Stu Ungar (W.S.O.P. Champion 1980, 1981, 1997)


“Poker may be a branch of psychological warfare, an art form or indeed a way of life – but it is also merely a game, in which money is simply the means of keeping score.”
– Anthony Holden

“Poker is… a fascinating, wonderful, intricate adventure on the high seas of human nature.”
– David A Daniel

“When we play, we must realize, before anything else, that we are out to make money.”
– David Sklansky

“How long does it take to learn poker, Dad? All your life, son.”
– David Spanier

“Poker is alot like sex, everyone thinks they are the best, but most don’t have a clue what they are doing!”
– Dutch Boyd

“I’ve often thought, if I got really hungry for a good milk shake, how much would I pay for one? People will pay a hundred dollars for a bottle of wine; to me that’s not worth it. But I’m not going to say it is foolish or wrong to spend that kind of money, if that’s what you want. So if a guy wants to bet twenty or thirty thousand dollars in a poker game, that is his privilege.”
– Jack Binion

“Hold’em – like life itself – has its defining moment. It’s the flop. When you see the flop, you’re looking at 71 percent of your hand, and the cost is only a single round of betting.”
– Lou Krieger

“There are few things that are so unpardonably neglected in our country as poker. The upper class knows very little about it. Now and then you find ambassadors who have sort of a general knowledge of the game, but the ignorance of the people is fearful. Why, I have known clergymen, good men, kind-hearted, liberal, sincere, and all that, who did not know the meaning of a “flush”. It is enough to make one ashamed of the species.”
– Mark Twain (Author, Humorist)

“No matter how much you may want to think of Holdém as a card game played by people, in many respects it is even more valid to think of it as a game about people that happens to be played with cards.”
– Phil Hellmuth (W.S.O.P. Champion 1989)

“It’s hard work. Gambling. Playing poker. Don’t let anyone tell you different. Think about what it’s like sitting at a poker table with people whose only goal is to cut your throat, take your money, and leave you out back talking to yourself about what went wrong inside. That probably sounds harsh. But that’s the way it is at the poker table. If you don’t believe me, then you’re the lamb that’s going off to the slaughter.”
– Stu Ungar

“See, in my world – the world of high-stakes gin and poker – we play for cold, hard cash. It’s all business, pure and simple. Anyone who thinks cardplaying is a ‘game’ – I’ll show you a loser. Money… M-O-N-E-Y. That’s how you measure success. One dollar at a time. One chip at a time. That’s how you keep score.”
– Stu Ungar

“Poker is a microcosm of all we admire and disdain about capitalism and democracy. Poker can be rough-hewn or polished, warm or cold, charitable and caring, or hard and impersonal, fickle and elusive, but ultimately poker is fair, and right, and just.”
– Lou Krieger

“Poker is the game closest to the western conception of life, where life and thought are recognized as intimately combined, where free will prevails over philosophies of fate or of chance, where men are considered moral agents and where – at least in the short run – the important thing is not what happens but what people think happens.”
– Johnny Luckacs (1963)

Life is like a game of poker: If you don’t put any in the pot, there won’t be any to take out.
– Jackie “Moms” Mabley, Dirty old lady comedian

There is more to poker than life.
– Tom McEvoy (W.S.O.P. Champion 1983)

“There’s opportunity in poker…. If Horace Greeley were alive today, his advice wouldn’t be “Go West, young man, and grow up with the country.” Instead, he’d point to that deck of cards on table and say, Shuffle up and deal.”
– Lou Krieger

“Cards are war, in disguise of a sport.”
– Charles Lamb

“Life is too long to play bad cards.”
– Frank Di Elsi

“Aces are larger than life and greater than mountains.”
– Mike Caro

“Egotism is the anesthetic provided by nature to dull the pain of being a damn fool.”
– Chuck Humphrey

“If you know poker, you know people; and if you know people, you got the whole dang world lined up in your sights.”
– Brett Maverick

“Industry executives and analysts often mistakenly talk about strategy as if it were some kind of chess match. But in chess, you have just two opponents, each with identical resources, and with luck playing a minimal role. The real world is much more like a poker game, with multiple players trying to make the best of whatever hand fortune has dealt them. In our industry, Bill Gates owns the poker table until someone proves otherwise.”
– David Moschella

“In poker, money is power.”
– Alvin Clarence “Titanic” Thomson, A legand of hustles & cons, 1892-1974 (1982


“Poker is a combination of luck and skill. People think mastering the skill part is hard, but they’re wrong. The trick to poker is mastering the luck.”
– Jesse May (Shut up and Deal)

“Luck never gives; it only lends.”
– Unknown

“In the long run there’s no luck in poker, but the short run is longer than most people know.”
– Rick Bennet

“It’s unlucky to be superstitious.”
– Dave Enteles (Professional Poker Player)

“To master poker and make it profitable, you must first master patience and discipline, as a lack of either is a sure disaster regardless of all other talents, or lucky streaks.”
– Freddie Gasperian

“I won my ticket on Titanic in a lucky hand of poker…a very lucky hand.”
– Jack, in the Movie Titanic

“A person should gamble every day, because think of how bad it would be to walk around being lucky and not know it.”
– Robert Turner

“In the long run thre’s no luck in poker, but the short run is longer than most people know.”
– Rick Bennet

“The only bad luck for a good gambler is bad health. Any other setbacks a temporary aggravation.”
– Benny Binion

“To master poker and make it profitable, yoou must first master patience and discipline, as a lack og either is sure disaster regardless of other talents, or lucky streaks.”
– Freddie Gasperian
“I recently watched a rank novice win $10,000 in an hour-long poker session at the Dunes Hotel Casino in Las Vegas from five men who are considered to be among the twenty best Poker players in Las Vegas. That was chance, a momentary aberration in the probabilities. They are inevitable in any gambling game. If it weren’t for them – and the long-odds winning they make possible – gambling would be barren of what makes it gambling. Certainly luck operates, to this limited extent, within the theory of probability. All that theory guarantees is that ultimately each player will have been dealt an approximately equal number of opportunities to win, an approximately equal number of good, bad, and indifferent hands.”

– John Scarne, legendary gambling author


“I must complain the cards are ill shuffled till I have a good hand.”
– Jonathan Swift

“Last night I stayed up late playing poker with Tarot cards. I got a full house and four people died.”
– Steven Wright

“Is that the game where one receives five cards? And if there’s two alike that’s pretty good, but if there’s three alike, that’s much better?”
– W C Fields

“All I know is, if the cards ever break even — I’m screwed.”
– Rich Korbin

“If the shoe fits, steal it.”
– Lou Krieger

“Opportunity may knock, but it seldom nags.”
– David Mamet

“To be a poker champion, you must have a strong bladder.”
– Jack McClelland

“Everybody blows their first money.”
– Lorne Michaels

“Gambling, the sure way of getting nothing for something.”
– Wilson Mizner, Con man and promoter

“Everything is mental in life. The butt was made to lug the mind around.”
– Puggy Pearson, 1973 WSOP winner (1975)

“They say poker is a zero-sum game. It must be, because every time I play my sum ends up zero.”
– Max Shapiro

“Omaha is a game that was invented by a Sadist and is played by Masochists.”
– Shane Smith

“Poker… I hardly even know her!”
– Jack Styles


“Sometimes you’ll miss a bet, sure, but it’s OK to miss a bet. Poker is an art form, of course, but sometimes you have to sacrifice art in favour of making a profit.”
– Mike Caro

“If it were easy, everyone would do it.”
– Bonnie Damiano

“Play like a champ. Win like a champ. Act like a champ”
– Henderson, Frank

“Whether he likes it or not, a man’s character is stripped bare at the poker table; if the other poker players read him better than he does, he has only himself to blame. Unless he is both able and prepared to see himself as others do, flaws and all, he will be a loser in poker, as in life.”
– Anthony Holden, author of Big Deal (1990)

“The good news is that in every deck of fifty-two cards there are 2,598,960 possible hands. The bad news is that you are only going to be dealt one of them.”
– Anthony Holden, author of Big Deal (1990)

“Sir, I really like poker. Every hand has its different problems”
– Henry Fonda, playing Wyatt Earp in My Darling Clementine

“Forget about a chip and a chair; give me a hand and I’ll stand.”
– Warren Karp

“Poker is the game closest to the western conception of life, where life and thought are recognized as intimately combined, where free will prevails over philosophies of fate or of chance, where men are considered moral agents and where – at least in the short run – the important thing is not what happens but what people think happens.”
– Johnny Luckacs (1963)

“Hold’em is to stud and draw what chess is to checkers.”
– Johnny Moss, 3x World Champion

“Fear is the basis of all mankind. In cards, you psyche ’em out, you shark ’em, you put the fear of God in ’em.”
– Puggy Pearson, 1973 WSOP winner (1975)

“One day a chump, the next day a champion. What a difference a day makes in tournament poker.”
– Mike Sexton (Poker Professional, TV Broadcaster)

“The odds are merely a framework for play, like the lines of a tennis court.”
– David Spanier (1901)

“Learning to play two pairs is worth about as much as a college education, and about as costly.”
– Mark Twain

“The two things you need to be successful in poker are, first, find the muck, and second, don’t play your own money.”
– David “Devilfish” Ulliott

“A card player should learn that once the money is in the pot, it isn’t his any longer.”
– Herbert Yardley (1957)

“The problem with making bets that look like they want to get called is that they usually do.”
– Unknown


“Bad beats only happen to good players.”
– Joe Crow (1998)

“You have it in your power to turn a bad-beat around simply by realizing this simple truth: The more bad beats you encounter, the luckier you are. It’s a sign that you are playing against opponents who continually take the worst of it, and if you can’t beat someone who always takes the worst of it, you can’t beat anyone.”
– Lou Krieger

“It’s not whether you won or lost, but how many bad-beat stories you were able to tell.”
– Grantland Rice, Sportswriter

“If you always start with the worst hand, you never have a bad-beat story to tell.”
– Chuck Thompson

“Those that can… play
Those that can’t… teach
Those that think they can… play and then complain about their terrific bad beats.”
– Unknown


Basic Texas Holdem Poker Table Talk

All-in – Texas Holdem Poker’s trademark phrase – A bet that puts all a players chips into the pot.

Bad Beat – A situation where a player with a strong hand is beaten by a lucky draw usually on the River.

Belly-Buster – An inside straight draw or gut shot where an inside card is required to make the straight. e.g. You hold 10, Jack , King and Ace so require a Queen to complete the straight.

Big Slick – A hand that contains an A-K.

Call – To match the last bet made.
Check – A non-betting option that allows a player to wait to see what the other players at the table will do.
Community Cards – The five cards that are dealt onto the table in the Flop, Turn and River, for use by all players.

Dominated – A situation in which one hand has another in bad shape. For example, AK dominates AQ.

Donkey/Donk – A very bad poker player.

Drawing Dead – A situation where an opponent cannot improve his hand enough to win the pot.
Fifth Street – Also known as the River card. In flop games, this represents the fifth community card on the table and the final round of betting

Final Table/FT – The last table of a large multi-table tournament … where the big money is.

Flop – The first three Community cards that are turn over for use by all players.

Fold – To discard your hand or to quit the game.

Fourth Street – Also known as the Turn card. In flop games, this represents the fourth community card that is turned over for use by all players.

Grinding – Playing in a style with minimal risk and modest gains over a long period of time.

Heads-Up – One on one play, usually the final two at the end of a tournament.

Hole Cards – Player’s cards which are dealt face down and cannot be seen by the other players.

Kicker – The highest unpaired side card in a player’s hand that is used as a tie breaker.

Kill Game/Pot – In fixed limit games a kill pot occurs after the same player wins consecutive pots. The player is given the kill button, which forces them to either post 1.5 or 2.0 Big Blinds, thus raising the betting limits for the current game.

Limper -The first player who makes a call the Big Blind bet.

Limp in – To call the Big Blind bet.

Long Shot – Making a hand despite having few outs and/or poor odds.

Maniac – A player who plays ultra-aggressively, making big bets on poor cards.

On the Button – Being the last player to act in a betting round, the Dealer Position.

Monster – A strong hand e.g. Pair of Aces, Pair of Kings, Ace King, etc.

Muck – Folding the hand without showing your cards.

Nuts – The best hand a player can have during that round of play
Playing the Board – In flop games, when your best five card hand is all five of the community cards.

Pot – The total amount of money being bet in a game, available for the players to win.
Raise – To raise the bet that another player at the game has placed

River – The last, fifth card of the five Community Cards.

Turn – The fourth card of the five Community Cards.
Under the Gun – (UTG) Being the first person to act, being in the “Earliest Position”.