Premeditated or not, the truth is that there are some reactions that have left phrases for posterity. In order to remember and pay tribute to some legends who are no longer with us, and in order to let you know some of the quotes that have resonated the most among poker fans, we have compiled what are, in our opinion, the 30 most famous poker quotes, many of them said by famous players around the world.
1.- “Only losers and amateurs complain about the cards”. It is one of the most famous poker quotes and, although somewhat pretentious, it was said by the professional poker player Lou Krieger as part of the psychological game that surrounds professional poker. The truth is that chance plays a fundamental role in the dealing of the cards, so you can’t reproach Lou for having said that.
2-. “If luck had no influence on poker, I would always win”. For pretentious this quote from the WSOP champion of the year 89. Little more to add, except that it is a championship surplus. The phrases of poker players are not usually so pretentious, but this one exceeded all limits.
3.- “Limit poker is a science, but no-limit poker is an art”. In limit, you shoot at a target. In no-limit, the target comes to life and shoots back”. This true-to-life definition was said by 1982 WSOP champion Jack Strauss, a comparison that has endured and has caught on among new generations of players.
4.- “The key point in poker is to never lose your head”. If you do, you will lose all your chips”. Wise as few others, this quote was said by William J. Florence, a professional poker player who dedicated his whole life to the tables, and it highlights the importance of discipline and self-control.
5.- “He who invented poker was brilliant, but he who invented chips was a genius”. There is little more we can add to what the professional poker player Julius Weintraub said, except that he is absolutely right. After all, what would poker be without chips? It would lose all the excitement, of course.
6.- “The thought that there will always be another poker game gives you perspective. Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but there will always be another one. Poker is like a constant game to which you dedicate your whole life”. One of the poker phrases shared by many professional players, who have agreed with Jennifer Harman, the author of this quote.
7.- “Learning to play two pair is worth as much as a university education and also costs about the same”. The American writer Mark Twain pronounced these words about poker to reflect the skill necessary to know how to play these hands well in poker. A reflection of the skill required to be a poker professional.
8.- “There are always good and bad streaks, but when frustration sets in, it’s time to stop playing. Knowing when it is time to quit is part of the success of a professional player”. As wise as it is devastating, this quote highlights the ups and downs to which poker players are exposed. And it applies not only to professional players, but also to amateurs and amateurs.
9.- “Aces are bigger than life and grander than mountains”. Mike Caro, one of the best-known professional poker players in the world, said this phrase in one of his breaks between games. And, although there is little, we can refute him and perhaps the comparison is a bit excessive, it is one of the phrases that have appeared most often on poker cards. It was deeply felt by the public, remaining for the memory.
10.- “Don’t blame bad luck when you lose and say that you win thanks to your skill. Believing that you have nothing to learn is the surest way to guarantee that you learn just that: nothing”. Chris Ferguson, winner of the WSOP in 2000, earned the applause of peers and audiences alike when he uttered one of poker’s most lauded mythical phrases. And there is nothing to reproach him for: it is a lesson in humility from which less experienced players can learn.
11.- “Much of the money you win in poker does not come from the brilliance of your game, but from the ineptitude of your opponents”. This is not the first time that Lou Krieger has put the spotlight on somewhat controversial issues. True to his style, this phrase reveals one of the basic rules of poker: that you always win or lose depending on the play of others.
12.- “No one is always a winner, and if someone says otherwise, he is either a liar or does not play poker”. You can’t talk about the ups and downs of luck and expose the “ghosts” in a clearer and more concise way. Our tens.
13.- “Poker is not really about winning money, but about making good decisions. If you make good decisions, you’ll end up making money”. Annie Duke, American professional poker player, summed up the dynamics of poker this way. And the truth is that she was right.
14.- “The only bad luck for a good player is bad health. Any other mishap is a temporary aggravation”. This surprising phrase was said by none other than Benny Binion, the founder of the WSOP. A good example of how all bad streaks pass, as long as you have the ability to continue at the forefront of the game.
15.- “I do not look for a losing opponent to pluck him, but for a champion to make him a loser”. The legendary Amarillo Slim, the American poker legend who passed away in 2012, pronounced these words after having played hundreds of poker games throughout his life. A good summary of an extraordinary trajectory at the tables.
16.- “If in the first half hour you don’t see the fish, then you are the fish”. This phrase was popularized by the actor Paul Newman during the filming of one of his movies, and has been adapted in many ways, but it has not lost its meaning. And it is true: if you have not detected the weak player at the table in the early stages of the game, then the weakest player is you.
17.- “The key is not always to have good cards, but to play a bad hand well”. Said by the famous writer Jack London, it perfectly captures one of the fundamentals of poker: it doesn’t matter if you don’t have good cards, but how you can play them to minimize the damage and not come out badly.
18.- “In poker, the mortal sin is to confuse a bad play with the bad luck”. Ian Fleming, the mythical writer and creator of James Bond, said this about the game. And he was on the right track…
19.- “The house doesn’t beat the player: it only gives him the opportunity to beat himself”. Greek-born professional gambler Nicholas Dandolos, affectionately nicknamed “The Greek”, had this to say about the dynamics of casinos and bookmakers. A nice reflection of how the gambler depends on his ability to win.
20.- “If you’re going to be born with an instinct for gambling, you’d better have a sense of the odds. Otherwise, you’ll be a lousy gambler”. This not very affable phrase was said by Jack Dreyfus, an expert financier of American origin who showed the importance of mathematics and probability in poker. Disciplines that must be mastered to be a master of the poker tables.
21.- “You have to understand that everything you do at the poker table transmits information. You can’t be eating a sandwich or looking at your cell phone”. The living legend of poker Daniel Negreanu, professional poker player of Canadian origin and considered by many as the best poker player in the world, said this phrase about the attitude of professional players during the game. If someone disagrees, perhaps he has not understood very well how a poker game is played.
22.- “I always play with the players, not with the cards”. Gun Hansen said this about poker games, a maxim that is not only particular to him, but that responds to the maxim that a player never plays with his own cards, he always plays with those of the player in front of him.
An idea that has taken root in popular culture (even James Bond himself utters it in Casino Royale). One of the most famous poker phrases that is also a good summary for any poker fan who is learning to play.
23.- “On a moral level, it’s not good to let an idiot keep his money”. This hilarious and scathing quote was uttered by William “Canada Bill” Jones, one of the best known figures in the history of world poker. In the process, he allowed himself to leave for history what is one of the most telling poker player quotes of all time. That’s it.
24.- “That is not poker”. You have to understand the context in which this answer from Daniel Negreanu took place, as it is one of the most mythical and most talked about answers in the recent history of poker.
Daniel Negreanu was playing the WSOP Main Event when he made a postflop bet of 300 points and an opponent raised all-in to 5,000. Negreanu’s face was a poem. Upon seeing it, the opponent told him “This is poker”. Negreanu’s response was clear: “No, that is not poker. Maybe it’s the way you play poker, but this is certainly not poker. Here, for you.”
It is a common one when making compilations of famous poker phrases not only for the words themselves, but for the attitude with which Negreanu pronounced them and everything they represent.
25.- “You’ve got a problem”. Jack Ury, at 96 years of age, proved to have his sense of humor intact. It all happened in the Main Event of the WSOP in 2009, when he slowrolled Steven Friedlander, who hit a full house of sixes and sevens and put his opponent all-in.
Ury, with a higher full house of sevens and sixes, took it easy and when he saw his opponent’s cards, he replied: “you have a problem”. It is one of the mythical poker phrases that still resonates among fans.
26.- “Bring me more Russians!” Direct confrontations in poker don’t happen very often, but there is always an exception and this is it. The phrase was uttered by Tony G at the 2006 Intercontinental Poker Championship, who was at the time facing Ralph Perry. Tony tried to provoke him throughout the game and managed to get Perry to pay him all-in with KJo.
The rest is history: Tony G became hysterical when he saw the hand he had called him with, and it didn’t get any better when the dealer started to reveal the community cards. In the end, after eliminating Perry, he told him he was a lousy player and asked for more Russians to be brought in. Almost nothing.
27.- “Mathematics are idiots”. Much has been said about this phrase by Barry Greenstein, which not everyone shares, but it is necessary to understand it in context. Greenstein only had a 25% chance of winning the jackpot and he managed to win it. Tom Dwan, in a gesture of extreme sportsmanship, replied “good hand” when he was beaten.
Barry G’s retort is one of the most famous poker quotes of all time: “Math is stupid. If you feel you’re going to win, you have to pay”. We bet these words still resonate in Dwan’s head.
In fact, you can find it written in multiple formats and collector’s items for players, being one of the poker card phrases with the most commercial appeal. Just to get an idea of the repercussion of his answer, the products that incorporated this answer were the best sellers in the following years.
28.- “I thought you had kings”. It is difficult to explain how Jennifer Tilly, the Oscar-nominated actress with a long history in the poker world, made such a reading of the game she was having with Patrik Antonius on the show Poker After Dark.
Tilly is not a rookie, since she holds the WSOP bracelet she won in the 2005 Ladies Event, but no one can explain how she came to that conclusion, let alone understand why she shared that opinion in public. At least he left us one of the most mythical phrases of recent poker for posterity. The face of Phil Ivey, who was also present at the table, was a poem and has been the subject of memes. Priceless.
29.- “I love to see the pros debating about folding a full house of kings on the river”. We don’t leave Poker After Dark and we go back to 2009, when Lederer hit a full house of kings and queens on the river. Tuan had a full house of kings and nines and paid the raise to Lederer, who ended up taking the pot.
At the same table were players like Negreanu, who was considering the option of folding the full house on the river. The reply of Gus Hansen, the “Great Dane”, with his usual overdose of irony, is one of the most famous poker phrases in memory.
30.- “It’s all over, kiddo”. One of the most emblematic poker phrases was pronounced by Scotty Nguyen, a Vietnamese player, in the Main Event of the WSOP in 1998. There was a full house of eights and nines on the table at the time, and faced with the indecision of Kevin McBride, his opponent, Nguyen told him: “Pay up. It’s all over, kid. McBride eventually paid up and Nguyen took the bracelet.
Sebastian Malec recently paid tribute to Nguyen by emulating one of poker’s most famous lines to his opponent on the last hand during EPT Barcelona.
Necessary cookies are absolutely essential for the website to function properly. This category only includes cookies that ensures basic functionalities and security features of the website. These cookies do not store any personal information.
Any cookies that may not be particularly necessary for the website to function and is used specifically to collect user personal data via analytics, ads, other embedded contents are termed as non-necessary cookies. It is mandatory to procure user consent prior to running these cookies on your website.