Subourbon Mom


Poker “Tells” Your Faith
August 26, 2019, 6:53 pm
Filed under: Misc. Humor | Tags: , , , , ,

Now before some of you lose your minds and start planning how you’re going to blow up my blog with comments about your faith, your religion or how insensitive I am….

RELAX.

This is an idea I came up with in the middle of a hot flash at 4:00am – not my best work, but that’s what I was thinking about so now you get to think about it, too.

Now that we have the disclaimer out of the way, we need to talk poker.  For those of you who don’t know how to play poker, there comes time in every player’s game that they choose to bluff (or not) about what cards they’re holding. Sometimes this is out of desperation, and sometimes it’s a calculated lie designed to throw others into confusion about when you may or may not be telling the truth later in the game.  Most people have a “tell” or small mannerism that will let others know when they are bluffing.

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I have a theory that how you play poker reflects your spiritual beliefs, or at least where you are on the spectrum of being a believer in something higher than yourself or not.  Over time, your faithfulness will be your “tell.”

Don’t worry, people – I’m not going to call out you Baptists, Episcopalians, Catholics, Bhuddists, Muslims, Jews or anybody else. I’m just going to lay out some completely unfounded observations about the game of poker and who might be more inclined to play one way or another based on their level of faith, no matter what religion they are.

Poker players who often go “all in” (bet their entire wad on one hand) are probably atheists. After all, what have they got to lose? There is no higher being to pray to for help or that is controlling the outcome of the game. It’s harder to bluff an atheist, but heck…miracles happen. When atheists win, they like to point out to the rest of the players that they were bluffing so the faithful (they hope somewhere deep down) will learn that being gullible is bad. And, when atheists are done playing, they simply walk away…or pass out on the couch after watching Ancient Aliens while they wait for everyone else to finish.

The faithful (if they’re playing at all) will bluff too, but for a different reason – they instinctively feel that because the atheists don’t believe in things they can’t prove, atheists won’t believe that others are as good at bluffing as they are. The faithful also tend to fall for the bluff more than other players – they already believe in something they can’t see or prove, so believing another player got the royal straight flush on the river card isn’t that much of a stretch. When the faithful are finished playing, they frequently can be found looking introspective, trying to find the meaning behind the loss.

Agnostics, however, are the biggest losers in poker because they are constantly hedging their bets.  They ante on every play, no matter what they have in their hand, because the flop might just have that magical or miracle combination to make that 7 and 8 worth it. Then, they put in just enough on each betting round to stay in, but won’t commit to the big pots. Eventually they fold somewhere in the middle of the game, having steadily lost their chips out of fear of taking the plunge, one way or the other. Without the freedom of the atheists and the cushion of the faithful, they resolve to play differently next time, even though this never happens.

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But what about people who don’t give religion a second thought…like, ever? Aaahhh…these are the poker players you should fear. Why? Because they aren’t praying or trying to control their own destinies or hedging their bets – they’re thriving on their love of the game. They live in the moment. Do they bluff? Maybe – but what’s more important to them is that they’re playing at all.

Is that how you should go through life? Completely in the moment without a thought to what’s next, or if there’s something bigger out there? I doubt it – but in these uncertain times, being in the moment may be exactly what you need, even if only for a little while.

So deal the cards and play how you play – but just remember to be happy you’re sitting at the table.


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