Poker. Long thought to be a quiet gentleman’s game, it has changed significantly over the past decades. Whether it’s a formal, professional, casino game, or your home-based friends only game, poker is as much a social experience as it is a way of exchanging money amongst gamblers.
When a bunch of guys get together to play Poker, the competition extends beyond the playing table. Besides trying to beat each other out of money, the players often engage in a battle of wits, which manifests itself in a series of put-downs and one-ups-manship efforts. Guys spend as much time razzing each other as they do in trying to produce the best Poker hand. The point being, if a guy can knock you down a few pegs during the game, he feels like he’s won a little even if he doesn’t collect any pots.
In addition, if your opponent can be thrown off by a few off-handed quips, he sometimes tries to get back at you by trying to beat you with a hand that he probably shouldn’t have tried to play. It’s a great science of give and take, with which most women don’t get involved. Not that they can’t; it’s just that women tend to be more direct. Men like to use the backdoor to attack you at the poker table. They like to crawl into your brain and make you feel like you are not a real man. Guys will taunt you while you are trying to decide to whether or not to call the raise. And any guy will tell you that it’s all in fun. But it’s really a sinister thing that guys do to one another in order to gain the upper hand.
Most women tend to act more seriously at the Poker table. There are still good times being had during the game; but women normally don’t throw barbs at their opponents just for the sake of their reaction. Guys do. The better a guy knows his opponent, the more personal the jibes become. It’s wonderful fodder for an in-depth sociological study. But don’t hold your breath waiting for this study to become a reality. The results could really change the way Poker is played; and what fun would that be?
Let’s face it. Fun is what Poker is really all about. After all, it is called a Poker “game,” isn’t it?