Awful Advice: How To Play Poker And $trike It Ri¢h!

LAS VEGAS, NV - DECEMBER 18: A detail shot of the poker table felt at the third Main Event on the final day of the Epic Poker League Inaugural Season at the Palms Casino Resort on December 18, 2011 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Getty Images for Epic Poker)

It's poker season again, and if you sit down at the World Series full of Poker, you could stand to win up to $50,000. Don't know how to play? Poker enthusiast Jon Bois is here to not help at all.

Heh. You know something, buddy? It's like my pappy always said: poker is like a fine woman. In that it is a human person with arms and legs that is alive.

- Rick Moranis, PokerWarz: The Film

Have you ever wanted to $trike it ri¢h? Well then, pull up a chair (that means drag it away from the table and sit down on top of it (the flat portion)) and try your luck in the World Series full of Poker. In fact, if you enter the Main Event for a $10,000 entry fee, you could win up to $50,000!

You can take my word for it: if you literally play your cards right, you could end up making "big buck$" like I do:

Money_medium

So! Your first step is to go find a poker table at a casino. If you don't know how to play, that's fine: simply sit down at a table and ask for an instruction manual. If you'd like, you can show the cards you're dealt to fellow players and ask them if they're good cards.

But if you'd like to learn ahead of time, and get wise to some of my insider tips, read on.

Rules of the game

The only good poker is poker cards.

- Cardtable Stuart, three-time World Series full of Poker champion

Let's start with the most popular card game in America: Texas Holdthem. Each player is dealt two cards. When the action comes to you, you will typically have these choices:

- Bet. Always do this.

- Call. You match the other player's bet. The other player will often say something like, "you copycat, you're only putting in that many because you saw me do it first!" You are being a copycat, but don't let him rattle you.

- Raise. Always do this.

- Fold. This is boring, never do this.

The trick is to use these moves together as a combo, like in Street Fighter. Try saying something like, "I would like to check ... and RAISE." This pause will let you "read" the other players' demeanors.

How to 'read' other players

Read the man, not the cards. Remember to buy Rounders, on DVD stands today and other days in the future.

- Matt Rounders, Rounders

Let me clue you in on something, m'man. Lots of folks these days are worried about odds, or a player's betting history, or what have you. This is all good if you're some nerd who wants to win like $20 and spend it on store-brand soda and calculators and Pez dispensers so you can go and throw some kind of stupid dork party. But what's that, bro? You want to roll with the big dogs?

Well then, m'man, you gotta look out for "tells." Physical tics or behaviors from your opponents that will clue you in on whether they're nervous. Whether they're bluffing, or if they've really got the goods. You know what I'm saying, bro? You pickin' up what I'm puttin' down? Right on, right on, right on. Here are some "tells" to watch for in your opponent:

  • Crying
  • Barfing everywhere

Types of poker hands

I can't believe this is actually my f***ing name.

- Chris Moneymaker, 2003 World Series full of Poker champion

In Texas Holdthem, you're trying to combine your two pocket cards with the five table cards to form the best five-card hand you can.

High card

Highcard_medium

If you don't have any fancy hands, you're going to have to resort to simply having the highest card. If you bet with this, you'd better at least have a Jack or higher. A good rule of thumb is this: would Gambit set it on fire and throw it at robots? If not, don't play it.

Pair

Pair_medium

A pair of 9s! Now you're in business, baby! If you have a card higher than a 4, it's a good idea to stay in the hand as long as you can and "chase" a pair for that card. There are like 10 of every card in a deck, so your chances of hitting a pair are like 90 percent.

Two pair

Twopair_medium

Your odds of getting two pair in the same hand are roughly two billion to one. If it happens, get red in the face and start gushing to fellow players: "you won't BELIEVE what I have. Oh my God. This is SO. SICK." After that they might fold and you won't win as much, but this poker game isn't important anymore. You have made history.

Straight

Straight_medium

Once you have a straight, you're really in big-kid territory. Just imagine the look on everyone's face when you throw down these five beauties. Count 'em. Seven. Eight. Nine. Jack. Qu-- huh? Heh. Ha, yeah right ... what? Wait, I thought I had ... well I mean it's basically a straight! It's, like, the idea of a straight! Come on, just let me win. It's obvious what I was trying to play.

Flush

Not a real hand. All the old vets at the table talk about it as a joke, but I still don't get what a Flush could even be. If one of these pranksters claims he has a "Flush" and tries to take the pot, rip the nearest thing off the wall and brandish it as a weapon. He'll back down every time, unless your weapon is a Travis tour poster or something.

How to read odds

Playing poker without a grasp of how the odds work is like taking the football field without a playbook. You'd better come prepared. Here's how to read poker odds.

1% = A 1 percent chance of winning at poker's
2% = A 2 percent chance of winning at poker's
3% = A 3 percent chance of winning at poker's
4% = A 4 percent chance of winning at poker's
5% = A 5 percent chance of winning at poker's
6% = A 6 percent chance of winning at poker's
7% = A 7 percent chance of winning at poker's
8% = An 8 percent chance of winning at poker's
9% = A 9 percent chance of winning at poker's
10% = A 10 percent chance of winning at poker's
11% = An 11 percent chance of winning at poker's
12% = A 12 percent chance of winning at poker's
13% = A 13 percent chance of winning at poker's
14% = A 14 percent chance of winning at poker's
15% = A 15 percent chance of winning at poker's
16% = A 16 percent chance of winning at poker's
17% = A 17 percent chance of winning at poker's
18% = An 18 percent chance of winning at poker's
19% = A 19 percent chance of winning at poker's
20% = A 20 percent chance of winning at poker's
21% = A 21 percent chance of winning at poker's
22% = A 22 percent chance of winning at poker's
23% = A 23 percent chance of winning at poker's
24% = A 24 percent chance of winning at poker's
25% = A 25 percent chance of winning at poker's
26% = A 26 percent chance of winning at poker's
27% = A 27 percent chance of winning at poker's
28% = A 28 percent chance of winning at poker's
29% = A 29 percent chance of winning at poker's
30% = A 30 percent chance of winning at poker's
31% = A 31 percent chance of winning at poker's
32% = A 32 percent chance of winning at poker's
33% = A 33 percent chance of winning at poker's
34% = A 34 percent chance of winning at poker's
35% = A 35 percent chance of winning at poker's
36% = A 36 percent chance of winning at poker's
37% = A 37 percent chance of winning at poker's
38% = A 38 percent chance of winning at poker's
39% = A 39 percent chance of winning at poker's
40% = A 40 percent chance of winning at poker's
41% = A 41 percent chance of winning at poker's
42% = A 42 percent chance of winning at poker's
43% = A 43 percent chance of winning at poker's
44% = A 44 percent chance of winning at poker's
45% = A 45 percent chance of winning at poker's
46% = A 46 percent chance of winning at poker's
47% = A 47 percent chance of winning at poker's
48% = A 48 percent chance of winning at poker's
49% = A 49 percent chance of winning at poker's
50% = A 50 percent chance of winning at poker's
51% = A 51 percent chance of winning at poker's
52% = A 52 percent chance of winning at poker's
53% = A 53 percent chance of winning at poker's
54% = A 54 percent chance of winning at poker's
55% = A 55 percent chance of winning at poker's
56% = A 56 percent chance of winning at poker's
57% = A 57 percent chance of winning at poker's
58% = A 58 percent chance of winning at poker's
59% = A 59 percent chance of winning at poker's
60% = A 60 percent chance of winning at poker's
61% = A 61 percent chance of winning at poker's
62% = A 62 percent chance of winning at poker's
63% = A 63 percent chance of winning at poker's
64% = A 64 percent chance of winning at poker's
65% = A 65 percent chance of winning at poker's
66% = A 66 percent chance of winning at poker's
67% = A 67 percent chance of winning at poker's
68% = A 68 percent chance of winning at poker's
69% = A 69 percent chance of winning at poker's
70% = A 70 percent chance of winning at poker's
71% = A 71 percent chance of winning at poker's
72% = A 72 percent chance of winning at poker's
73% = A 73 percent chance of winning at poker's
74% = A 74 percent chance of winning at POKER!
75% = A 75 percent chance of winning at poker's
76% = A 76 percent chance of winning at poker's
77% = A 77 percent chance of winning at poker's
78% = A 78 percent chance of winning at poker's
79% = A 79 percent chance of winning at poker's
80% = An 80 percent chance of winning at poker's
81% = An 81 percent chance of winning at poker's
82% = An 82 percent chance of winning at poker's
83% = An 83 percent chance of winning at poker's
84% = An 84 percent chance of winning at poker's
85% = An 85 percent chance of winning at poker's
86% = An 86 percent chance of winning at poker's
87% = An 87 percent chance of winning at poker's
88% = An 88 percent chance of winning at poker's
89% = An 89 percent chance of winning at poker's
90% = A 90 percent chance of winning at poker's
90% = A 90 percent chance of winning at poker's
91% = A 91 percent chance of winning at poker's
92% = A 92 percent chance of winning at poker's
93% = A 93 percent chance of winning at poker's
94% = A 94 percent chance of winning at poker's
95% = A 95 percent chance of winning at poker's
96% = A 96 percent chance of winning at poker's
97% = A 97 percent chance of winning at poker's
98% = A 98 percent chance of winning at poker's
99% = A 99 percent chance of winning at poker's
100% = A 100 percent chance of winning at poker's
101% = A 101 percent chance of winning at poker's
102% = A 102 percent chance of winning at poker's
103% = A 103 percent chance of winning at poker's
104% = A 104 percent chance of winning at poker's
105% = A 105 percent chance of winning at poker's
106% = A 106 percent chance of winning at poker's
107% = A 107 percent chance of winning at poker's
108% = A 108 percent chance of winning at poker's
109% = A 109 percent chance of winning at poker's
110% = A 110 percent chance of winning at poker's

Final thoughts

Poker has been around for over 10 years. By this point, plenty of pros have offered many a word of wisdom about this fine game. Here are some of my favorite poker quotes.

You gotta think of the poker table as a dinner table. Come hungry. Steaks rhymes with stakes. I am writing this book inside of a Waffle House.

- Why To Win At Poker, a why-to guide by Enrique dos Shuffle

Left, right, front, back. I have got a poker stack!

- Rapping Stephen, The Poker Player

Make some noooiiise!

- Rapping Stephen, The Poker Player

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.