Talking the Talk in Poker
The colorful quotations you hear in poker can be based on real events or just made up from long ago. Here is a list of some popular quotations along with an explanation of what a person really means when he uses the quote.
"I'd rather be lucky than good."
Typically said by a player who is neither lucky nor good. This player often believes that he should play more hands than reasonable and that he can get on a lucky streak by doing so. In the long haul, when all the luck is bled out of the equation, it's skill that separates winning players from losing players.
"You've got to know when to hold 'em, know when to fold 'em."
Typically said by a Kenny Rogers fan or someone who has no clue as to whether he should continue playing the hand or fold.
"Sheesh, what a bad beat."
This refers to when a player loses a hand where, mathematically, she was a big favorite. Most players have a bad beat story.
"If you can't spot the fish at the poker table, then it's you."
This refers to the fact that, if you can't read players or their abilities very well, you will probably be the sucker at the table.
"Hey Joe, bring us a live one."
Often said by a player at a card club, asking for a new sucker player to be brought to the table.
"I'm down a little."
I'm down a lot.
"Boy, he is a tight player."
Boy, is he anal-retentive and conservative.
"Read 'em and weep."
Look at my big hand that beats all of your puny hands, suckers.
"I was drawing to a double belly buster."
This is a draw to two different straights, such as 3-5-6-7-9. A single belly buster is drawing to an inside straight.
"Sheesh, things can't get any worse."
Usually said by a poker player who has gone on a losing streak, and the streak is about to get worse.
"Trust everyone, but cut the cards."
Means trust no one, and cut the cards as a way to try to prevent cheating.
"Any two will do."
Refers to the concept that any two cards in Hold'em can theoretically win the hand. Used as a justification to play truly wretched starting cards. However, we all know that good starting hands are the key to winning at poker in the long run.