Poker Quotes – Best And Most Famous Phrases In History

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9 minutes

Last Updated: October 4, 2023


Some poker phrases left a meaningful impact over the years and now are so famous that almost all poker players have heard it once or twice over their careers. If you are not sure what I am talking about, take a look at the best poker quotes!

  • If you can't spot the sucker in your first half hour at the table, then you are the sucker.” Rounders
  • “Poker is a hard way to make an easy living.” Doyle Brunson
  • “Poker is war. People pretend it is a game.” Doyle Brunson
  • “You will show your poker greatness by the hands you fold, not the hands you play.” Dan Reed
  • “Show me a good loser and I'll show you a loser.” Stu Ungar
  • “My favorite chip trick is to make everyone's chip stack disappear.” Amarillo Slim
  • “In the long run there’s no luck in poker, but the short run is longer than most people know.” Rick Bennet
  • “Going on tilt is not ‘mixing up your play.” Steve Badger
  • “May the flop be with you.” Doyle Brunson
  • “Cards are war in disguise of a sport.” Charles Lamb
  • “Money won is twice as sweet as money earned.” Paul Newman
  • “The smarter you play, the luckier you’ll be.” Mark Pilarski
  • “Texas Hold’em, the game that takes a minute to learn but a lifetime to master.” Mike Sexton
  • “The one who bets the most wins. Cards just break ties.” Sammy Farha
  • “Limit poker is a science, but no-limit is an art.” Jack Strauss
  • “If you’re playing a poker game and you look around the table and can’t tell who the sucker is, it’s you.” Paul Newman


We all need a motivational boost from time to time, and inspirational quotes about poker could be a good start. While it will not help you learn Texas Holdem strategy, wisdom in these words can take you far both at the poker table and away from it.

  • “Life is not always a matter of holding good cards, but sometimes playing a poor hand well.”  Jack London
  • “Everyone gets lucky once in a while, but no one is consistently lucky.” Doyle Brunson
  • “There's no one that ever beat me playing cards, the only one that ever beat me was myself.” Stu Ungar
  • “Don’t get mad that you lost, get mad because you didn’t win.”  Michael Gersitz
  • “The beautiful thing about poker is that everybody thinks they can play.” Chris Moneymaker
  • “Be so good, they can't ignore you” Steve Martin
  • ”If you lose your head you will lose all your chips.” William J. Florence
  • “A man with money is no match against a man on a mission.” Doyle Brunson
  • “Fold and live to fold again.” Stu Ungar
  • “I'd bust my own grandmother if she played poker with me.”  Jack Straus
  • “I learned playing poker that you never count your winnings because that’s when you start to lose.” Kenneth Langone
  • “Poker’s the only game fit for a grown man.” W. Somerset Maugham
  • “Poker is 100% skill and 50% luck.”  Phil Hellmuth
  • “It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to be good at poker.” Phil Gordon
  • “Living in the past is a Jethro Tull album, not a smart poker strategy.” Richard Roeper
  • “The commonest mistake in history is underestimating your opponent; happens at the poker table all the time.” General David Shoup
  • “The majority of players are looking for reasons to fold. I am looking for reasons to play.” Daniel Negreanu
  • “The key to No-Limit is to put a man to a decision for all his chips.” Doyle Brunson
  • “The mark of a top player is not how much he wins when he is winning but how he handles his losses.” Bobby Baldwin
  • “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.” Unknown
  • “It’s not enough to succeed. Others must fail.” Gore Vidal
  • “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
  • “Baseball is like a poker game. Nobody wants to quit when he’s losing; nobody wants you to quit when you’re ahead.” Jackie Robinson
  • “Don’t challenge strong players, challenge weak ones. That’s what they’re there for.” John Vorhaus
  • “I’m absolutely gonna win it, because I’m ruthless. I sit at the poker table and my job is to destroy people.” James Woods
  • “The cardinal sin in poker is becoming emotionally involved.” Katy Lederer
  • “Serious poker is no more about gambling than rock climbing is about taking risks.” Al Alvarez
  • “I believe in poker the way I believe in the American Dream.” Lou Krieger


These funny poker quotes are well known and can be seen in poker books and even movies all around the globe. While some of it is purely entertaining, there is always some truth in all jokes, so it will be worth your time.

  • “Just play every hand, you can’t miss them all.” Sammy Farha
  • “A pair of balls beats everything!” Unknown
  • “It's morally wrong to let a sucker keep his money.” Bill Jones
  • “Depend on the rabbit’s foot if you will, but remember it didn’t work for the rabbit.” R. E. Shay
  • “A fool and his money are soon parted.” Thomas Tusser
  • “Avoid people with gold teeth who want to play cards.” George Carlin
  • “If you always start with the worse hand, you never have a bad beat story to tell.” Chuck Thompson
  • “Poker is a skill game pretending to be a chance game.” James Altucher
  • “I never saw a poker player’s money that I did not like.” Oklahoma Johnny Hale
  • ” Sex is good, they say, but poker lasts longer.”  Al Alvarez
  • “Money isn’t everything unless you’re playing a rebuy tournament.” Unknown
  • “To be a poker champion you must have a strong bladder.”  Jack McClelland
  • “Whoever coined the phrase ‘a man’s got to play the hand that was dealt him’ was most certainly one piss-poor bluffer.” Jeannette Walls
  • “I had to make a choice between being a lawyer or a professional gambler. I chose the more honorable of the two.” Chip Reese
  • “Poker is a lot like sex. Everyone thinks they are the best, but most don’t have a clue what they are doing.” Dutch Boyd
  • “Last night I stayed up late playing poker with Tarot cards. I got a full house and four people died.” Steven Wright
  • “People would be surprised to know how much I learned about prayer from playing poker.” Mary Austin
  • “The next best thing about gambling and winning is gambling and losing.” Nick Dandalos
  • “A person should gamble every day, because think of how bad it would be to be walking around lucky and not know it.” Robert Turner
  • “They say poker is a zero-sum game. It must be, because every time I play my sum ends up zero.” Max Shapiro
  • “I must complain the cards are ill-shuffled till I have a good hand.” Jonathan Swift
  • “Old card players never die, they just shuffle away.” Unknown
  • “I don’t play any two suited cards. I play any two non-suited cards. That way I’m drawing at two different flushes.” Amarillo Slim
  • “The rule is this: you spot a man's tell, you don't say a f**king word.” Rounders


Either you are trying to play better or just following your favorite players, some of these saying about poker will put the smile on your face.

  • “In order to live, you must be willing to die.”  Amir Vahedi
  • “Life, like poker, has an element of risk. It shouldn’t be avoided. It should be faced.” Edward Norton
  • “Trust everyone but always cut the cards.” Benny Binion
  • “There is more to poker than life.” Tom McEvoy
  • “It's hard to convince a winner that he is losing” Mike Caro
  • “Life is too long to play bad cards.” Frank DiElsi
  • “Nobody is always a winner, and anybody who says he is, is either a liar or doesn’t play poker.” Amarillo Slim
  • “What’s true of the poker game is true of life. Most people are suckers and don’t realise it.” Michael Faust
  • “In order to be a successful gambler you have to have a complete disregard for money.” Doyle Brunson
  • “Life is like a game of cards. The hand that is dealt you is determinism; though the way you play it is free will.” Jawaharlal Nehru
  • “Play like a champ. Win like a champ. Act like a champ.” Frank Henderson
  • “Bad beats will, from time to time, still rob you like a crack addict with an empty pipe.” Rick Dacey
  • “It’s not whether you won or lost, but how many bad beat stories you were able to tell.” Grantland Rice
  • “It's hard work. Gambling. Playing poker. Don't let anyone tell you different.” Stu Ungar
  • “Poker is a fascinating, wonderful, intricate adventure on the high seas of human nature.” David A. Daniel
  • “Poker is a microcosm of all we admire and disdain about capitalism and democracy.”  Lou Kreiger
  • “Forget about a chip and a chair; give me a hand and I’ll stand.” Warren Karp
  • “The only bad luck for a good gambler is bad health. Any other setbacks are temporary aggravation.” Benny Binion
  • “No wife can endure a gambling husband unless he is a steady winner.”  Lord Dewar
  • “A faint heart never filled a spade flush.”  Unknown


  • “If there weren’t luck involved, I would win every time.”  Phil Hellmuth
  • “Poker has the feeling of a sport, but you don’t have to do push-ups.”  Penn Gillette
  • “No river, no fish.” Amarillo Slim
  • “The guy who invented poker was bright, but the guy who invented the chip was a genius.” Julius Weintraub
  • “Hold em is to stud what chess is to checkers.” Johnny Moss
  • “If you play bridge badly, you make your partner suffer, but if you play poker badly you make everybody happy.” Joe Laurie, Jr.
  • “Omaha is a game that was invented by a Sadist and is played by Masochists.” Shane Smith
  • “Dogs are lousy poker players. When they get a good hand, they wag their tails.” Unknown
  • “Aces are larger than life and greater than mountains.” Mike Caro
  • “Poker is not simply a game of odds, moves and calculations.“ Steven Lubet
  • “A Smith & Wesson beats four aces.” Unknown
  • “If a player is looking to have you fund their poker career, you need to look at why they are broke.”  James Guill
  • “Is it really not possible to touch the gaming table without being instantly infected by superstition?” Fyodor Dostoyevsky
  • “I can dodge bullets, baby.”  Phil Hellmuth
  • “Tight is not right.” Antonio Esfandiari
  • “Poker is like sex – it’s more fun when you go all-in.” Anonymous
  • “Show me your eyes and you may as well show me your cards.” Doyle Brunson
  • “You've got to know when to hold'em, know when to fold'em” Kenny Rogers
  • “Look at the game from opponent's perspective” Gus Hansen
  • “One day a chump, the next day a champion. What a difference a day makes in tournament poker!” Mike Sexton
  • “No-limit holdem: Hours of boredom followed by moments of sheer terror.” Tom McEvoy
  • “I think one of the interesting things about poker is that once you let your ego in, you’re done for.” Al Alvarez
  • “What I know about poker you can fit into a thimble with room left over, but I’m learning.” Wilford Brimley

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