The Best Poker Quotes Ever

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A Royal Flush with five red and white poker chips on top of the cards.
BetMGM Dec 05, 2023, 12:46 PM

There are many beloved gambling quotes, including sayings on knowing the difference between luck and skill, when to call it quits and go home, or how luck can quickly turn against you. 

But if you’re someone who likes to play poker online, are there any quotes that you should keep in mind? Thankfully, there are plenty of quotes about poker from funny and insightful professional players and other insightful minds.

Funny Poker Quotes

Interested in some poker quotes that will put a smile on your face? Enjoy a chuckle or two with these five funny poker quotes.

”May the flop be with you.” – Doyle Brunson

Doyle Brunson was nicknamed the “Godfather of poker” and was the first person to win $1 million playing professional poker. He might have also been a Star Wars fan, or at least appreciated a good play on words since he turned the iconic line “May the Force be with you” into this amusing joke.

“The beautiful thing about poker is that everybody thinks they can play.” – Chris Moneymaker

This line from Chris Moneymaker, an online poker player who shot to stardom when he managed to secure a place at the World Series of Poker 2003 and win it, is both funny and insightful. Poker is a game that is relatively easy to get into, and since it offers a healthy balance of luck and skill, it opens the door for even the worst players to get the occasional win. This sometimes leads to weak or average players thinking they have a good grasp of the game, but this doesn’t mean they have a good understanding of the skills and strategies needed to be truly successful.

“No-limit hold’em: Hours of boredom followed by moments of sheer terror.” – Tom McEvoy

At the highest levels of play, poker professionals know which hands are worth their time and money and which hands aren’t. This means there’s a lot of time spent folding and getting bored while waiting for the right hand to arrive. 

But can you imagine folding hand after hand, getting dealt cards, and thinking you have the nuts only for another player to go toe-to-toe with you? There’s absolutely no doubt that facing down against another highly skilled poker player could cause some players to go weak at the knees, especially when there are tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars on the line. 

“The object of poker is to keep your money away from Phil Ivey for as long as possible.” – Gus Hansen

Gus Hansen is a Danish poker player who is no slouch at the game, having earned over $10 million on the professional poker scene. However, as impressive as this is, he knows that Phil Ivey is an absolute monster at the game. When he sees Ivey in one of his games, he knows there are only a handful of players who can face off against this poker titan, which is why the goal of the game changes from winning to delaying when Ivey gets your chips, because he will, sooner or later, get your chips.

“Poker has the feeling of a sport, but you don’t have to do push-ups.” – Penn Gillette

When the stakes are high, your body might have all the signs that you’re pushing it to its limit. You’ll feel the rush of adrenaline and the sweat dripping down your face, and time will probably start to feel different. 

While this is undoubtedly normal on the sports field when people push their bodies to their limits, it definitely says something about the intensity of poker since you can enter this state without even getting out of your chair, let alone getting onto the floor just to do some push-ups.

“If there weren’t luck involved, I would win every time.” – Phil Hellmuth

Unsurprisingly, this quote comes from a player who has earned himself the nickname “the poker brat.” Yes, while this does come across as a brag, there’s also no denying that Phil Hellmuth is one of the best. However, even he knows that sometimes another player might just get lucky and beat him at the game, no matter how well he played. It’s just the nature of the game.

Insightful Poker Quotes

These insightful poker quotes will undoubtedly get you thinking about the game.

”Ninety percent of the hands aren’t shown in a poker game” – Doyle Brunson

While this fact about the game may not change the way you play, this observation from Doyle Brunson is one of those “obvious” things that most players probably don’t even notice. Whether it’s due to players folding because they have weak hands or a player winning a game of poker because everyone else gave up, you’ll never see the cards that most players hold. It may even be that Brunson’s estimation of 90% is a bit too low.

“You can shear a sheep a hundred times, but you can skin it only once.” – Amarillo Slim

Amarillo Slim was one of the best poker players in the world in his prime, and one of the best insights he left into the game was this quote that likely means that you shouldn’t go too hard when playing against fishes (weak players) in poker. If you do, you might scare them away from the game, and any opportunity to win against them again in the future goes with them. Smaller wins over a longer time mean you’re able to reap more benefits from these less-skilled players, rather than going for one big win, which could ruin the game for them.

”’Life is not always a matter of holding good cards, but sometimes, playing a poor hand well.” – Jack London

Jack London, born John Griffith Chaney, was a novel writer, journalist, and activist. He found great success through his words and his passion for writing, and while he may not have been a poker player, this quote is absolutely applicable to the game. In poker, just as in life, you may find that you aren’t starting off in the best circumstances. However, this doesn’t mean that you should automatically give up, as even those with a weak hand may be able to turn things around and achieve success.

“The commonest mistake in history is underestimating your opponent; happens at the poker table all the time.” – General David Shoup

David Shoup was a retired General who served in the Marines from 1926 to 1963. While he may not have been a professional poker player, this quote highlights an important idea that all players should remember: never underestimate your opponent. This is especially important in poker, where a single stroke of luck could change a player’s fortunes entirely. A player on a winning streak could suddenly lose it all while a player on a bad run could suddenly find themselves on top of the world.

“The name of the game is no-limit Texas hold’em, the game that takes a minute to learn but a lifetime to master.” – Mike Sexton

A simple quote from a man who loved poker so much he didn’t only play, but also made a career commentating. Mike Sexton reminds us all that Texas hold’em, more than any other poker variant, offers the perfect balance of skill and luck, which is why it’s so easy for anyone to play, but also extremely difficult to become one of the best.

Play Exciting Poker Games at BetMGM

Did you find a fun quote from our many quotes on poker? You might enjoy some other inspiring playing card quotes from famous personalities too, but when you’re done and have had your fill of sayings about your favorite card game, it’s time to join in all the poker excitement at BetMGM.

BetMGM is an online casino and poker site that offers players thrilling cash games and poker tournaments, ensuring that both casual and serious poker players can have a great time. Online cash games and daily and weekly online poker tournaments can be played in multiple poker variants, with poker games available in the Texas hold’em, Omaha, and seven-card stud variants.

Register at BetMGM (with your favorite poker quote ready) to create some truly unforgettable memories when you play.

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Our BetMGM editors and authors are sports experts with a wealth of knowledge of the sports industry at all levels. Their coverage includes sports news, previews and predictions, fun facts, and betting.

Our BetMGM editors and authors are sports experts with a wealth of knowledge of the sports industry at all levels. Their coverage includes sports news, previews and predictions, fun facts, and betting.