THE WEEKLY SHUFFLE, 2013-11-03, by TwoGunWith luck such a major factor in poker in the short term, it's only natural that poker players (especially the fishy ones) can be superstitious at times. Let's review five common poker superstitions.
The Hot Seat
One common superstition, especially in land-based casinos, is the hot seat. If someone in seat 4 is getting lucky, hitting draw after draw, you can bet that once that person leaves that seat, there'll be a rush of guys trying to get his seat.
IF you're particularly sharky and have a good run at a seat, you can consider 'selling' your seat to another player. If there's some superstitious guys at the table, offer to swap your seat with them if they'll pay for the privilege. Just hope that this is in fact a silly superstition and there isn't some truth behind it!
Poker Aces Never Win
This may not be so much of a superstition as a constant whine among poker players. Very few people will fold pocket aces, even if they think they won't win. However, there'll be an occasional story of a person folding aces preflop during a big hand due to their belief that they won't hold for whatever reason.
Most often, the case isn't so much that people act on the superstition as much as they whine about it. So if someone whose aces gets cracked says "they never hold," you can always remind him that he's free to fold them preflop.
The Lucky Card Protector
It's common to have a card protector on your hand in a live game, so the dealer does not accidentally muck your hand. Some poker players believe they have one that brings them good luck at the table.
It's not a harmful superstition, so if you're going to be superstition, it might as well be this one. There's also nothing wrong with just having a fancy card protector to make yourself look like a badass.
You Can't Beat Bad Players
This is a particularly odd superstition that's generally common among bad players themselves. The idea is that you can't bluff bad players, and they'll always draw and beat you somehow. In a lot of these cases, people shouldn't be trying to bluff bad players, so doing so is a leak in their game. Also, if the person is not making large enough bets so that the bad players don't have the pot odds to draw, then it's actually a good play for them to draw.
In the long-term, good players will win money off of the bad players, and it's generally the bad players that will start whining that they can't somehow win because of all the bad players at the table.
Don't your chips at the table
In Kenny Roger's famous song "The Gambler," there's a line "You never count your money when your sitting at the table." Novice poker players may take this to mean it's uncouth to constantly count your stack.
This is a particularly annoying superstition since it is very important to know your stack size when playing poker, especially when playing no limit. If anyone barks this superstition at you while you are counting your stack, you can feel reassured that there is some dumb money at the table.
The Weekly Shuffle is our Sunday column with our observations and commentary on the poker world. Have an idea for an article? Leave a suggestion on the feedback page.
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