It’s time for Part 2 of the Ace Who’s Full of It’s Top 10 Worst Mistakes a Poker Player Can Make. Today I’ll again be covering at least two of the items on the list, though I’m going to try for three. And if you’re wondering how I put these in order, it’s mostly in order of how passionate I am about this being a thing you do not bloody well do. Yes, this does mean I will be waxing increasingly melodramatic as we go on.
#8: Showing cards when asked
This is where we transition from “only kind of stupid but I needed 10 items because you don’t darn well put your first ever top list on the internet without it having 10 things on it” to “actually genuinely stupid things to do that make me facepalm internally when I realize someone’s doing them, especially me.”
Showing a hand you don’t have to when someone asks you to instead of mucking is like lending money to the cliché unreliable brother: even if he really does get you back later this time, and thus no true harm is done, you’ve gained nothing. At the poker table, you do not want to take any arbitrary actions. Showing hands is only acceptable to produce an effect in the other players, whether that effect is cultivation of a table image, trying to get someone heated by showing a bluff, or what have you.
Or if you made 4 of a kind or better. Because seriously, what’s the POINT of getting that lucky if people don’t even know it? What I’m trying to say is, some people show hands to be “polite” or so that the other people at the table will like them or something, and this is bad thinking. Unless you play regularly with a tight-knit group, getting the people you’re playing with to like you isn’t worth giving away information that they should be paying through the nose for. Besides, like Machiavelli said, it’s better to be feared than loved. At least when it comes to poker.
#7: Playing on an empty stomach
And here, the second verse really is much the same as the first. However, this is further up the list because there is much less possible excuse for neglecting this. Even the backwater poker rooms found in dog tracks have food on offer. It’s far better to just order a dang burger or whatever and be down $10 than to keep your hunger gnawing away at your concentration and be down your entire buy-in as a result. Plus, it endears you to the establishment you’re playing at. That thing about better feared than loved? It most definitely does not apply to the casino/poker room staff. Being scary to them only means making it easier to piss people like that off, and that’s the fast track to not being able to play at all.
Buy snacks and stuff while you play. It’ll keep hunger from distracting you at the tables, and you’ll be seen as a good customer by the people running the place even if you don’t do any true gambling. Like say, if you only play poker.