Great Poker Quotes from Poker Players and Writers

These great quotes culled from poker players and writers sum up some of the essential ideas of the game.

01
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David Sklansky on Poker

David Sklansky poker author
David Sklansky on Poker. flipchip / LasVegasVegas.com/Wikipedia

"When we play, we must realize, before anything else, that we are out to make money."

02
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From Big Deal by Anthony Holden

Big Deal by Anthony Holden
Anthony Holder Poker Author. Geraint Lewis

 "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."

03
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David Mamet on Poker

David Mamet
Poker Quotes from David Mamet. Wikimedia Commons

 "Poker reveals to the frank observer something else of import—it will teach him about his own nature. Many bad players do not improve because they cannot bear self-knowledge."

04
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Bobby Baldwin on Poker

Bobby Baldwin on Poker
Bobby Baldwin Poker Quotes. Wikimedia Commons

 "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."

05
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From The Gentleman's Handbook on Poker by William J. Florence

Poker by William J. Florence
William J. Florence. Gebbie & Co./Wikimedia Commons

 "The strong point in poker is never to lose your temper, either with those you are playing with or, more particularly, with the cards. There is no sympathy in poker. Always keep cool. If you lose your head you will lose all your chips."

06
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Pug Pearson on Poker

Pug Pearson on Poker
Pug Pearson Poker Quote. Bettmann/Getty Images

 “The real things to know is that folks will stand to lose more than they will to win. That’s the most important percentage there is. I mean, if they lose, they’re willin’ to lose everything. If they win, they’re usually satisfied to win enough to pay for dinner and a show. The best gamblers know that.”

07
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From A Girlhood Among Gamblers by Katy Lederer

Katy Lederer Poker Quote
A Girlhood Among Gamblers by Katy Lederer. Photo from Amazon

 "The cardinal sin in poker, worse than playing bad cards, worse even than figuring your odds correctly, is becoming emotionally involved."

08
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Amarillo Slim on Poker

Amarillo Slim on Poker
Amarillo Slim Poker Quotes. Harper Entertainment

 “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.”

09
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Chris Moneymaker on Poker
Chris Moneymaker Poker Quotes. flipchip • lasvegasvegas.com/Wikimedia Commons

"The beautiful thing about poker is that everybody thinks they can play."

10
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Benny Binion on Poker and Life

Benny Binion
Benny Binion on Poker. Wikipedia

"Trust everyone, but always cut the cards."

11
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Stu Ungar on Losing

Stu Ungar on Losing
Stu Ungar Poker Great. Creative Commons

"Show me a good loser, and I’ll show you a loser."

12
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From Poker Nation by Andy Bellin

From Poker Nation by Andy Bellin
Poker Quotes by Andy Bellin. Photo from Amazon

"In the absence of any mathematical explanation, one thing is for certain; if you engage in games of chance long enough, the experience is bound to affect the way you see God. Successfully draw to an inside straight three hands in a row, and you’ve got to be blessed. But if you’re the person drawn out on, the one whose trip aces just got snapped for the third time, you will go home feeling cursed."

13
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Lou Krieger on Poker

Lou Krieger on Poker
Lou Krieger on Poker. cardplayer.com

"I believe in poker the way I believe in the American Dream. Poker is good for you. It enriches the soul, sharpens the intellect, heals the spirit, and — when played well, nourishes the wallet."

14
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Somerset Maugham on Poker
Somerset Maugham Poker Quote. Hulton Archive / Stringer/Getty Images

"Is it a reasonable thing, I ask you, for a grown man to run about and hit a ball? Poker's the only game fit for a grown man. Then, your hand is against every man's, and every man's is against yours. Teamwork? Who ever made a fortune by teamwork? There's only one way to make a fortune, and that's to down the fellow who's up against you."

15
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Crandell Addington on Poker

Crandell Addington on Poker
Crandell Addington Poker Quote. flipchip / LasVegasVegas.com

 "Limit poker is a science, but no-limit is an art. In limit, you are shooting at a target. In no-limit, the target comes alive and shoots back at you."