Telling a Story with your raise, what's the narrative?

I think of betting during a hand, the folds, checks and raises, as players wordlessly telling a story. Sometimes they are being honest and sometimes they are fibbing but they are always spinning a narrative for the others at the table.

There’s an art to it, with a good player it can almost be poetry. They can turn crap hands into winners by convincing others with the story, “This hand is mine!” and having them fold. Or with patience, finesse and nuance to pull off, they’ll create a persona at the table over many hands- ‘The Reckless Bingo’, ‘The Prudent Mom’, ‘The Cavalier Bon Vivant’- and act the roll out for a bit. Until the moment arrives, the climax scene, when they win a big hand and remove the mask.

I see my cards and the flop and instantly think, “What’s the story I want to tell and can I get away with it?”


Think there was a pro player who said each deal gives a player three hands. The hand they actually have, the one their opponent thinks they have, and the one they try convincing you they have.


That’s a perfect quote, thanks. Exactly what I was trying to say but with fewer words.

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That’s a nice quote that does a good job of capturing the state of poker about two decades ago. A more modern interpretation is that you’re telling a set of stories with your action, whether you’re calling, betting, checking, or re-raising. The key is to figure out how many hands fit your “bluff” story, how many fit your “value” story, and to calibrate the size of your bets so that you’re balanced between the two.

For example, if you have twice as many “value” hands as “bluff” hands in a particular spot compared to your opponent’s range of hands, you should be betting the size of the pot, because then your opponent will be getting the correct odds to either call or fold indifferently. If your bet size is smaller than that, you’re bluffing too much in that spot, since you’re giving your opponent odds to good to fold to your bet. Similarly, if your bet size is bigger than that, you’re not bluffing enough.

Building a balanced range and appropriately calibrating your bet sizes is key to becoming a solid, profitable poker player.

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And I have developed a Really?-Fondness for the AI Maniacs who seem to say “I’m a Gunslinger - Back Off! This is MINE!!” LOL

Not a truer comment has been made regarding poker in my opinion .


i like this quote as well.

considering all the positive reactions and all the likes on it, perhaps it’s a great one to add on the daily quotes here @fizzymint @wordy1


That would be nice though now I wish I knew who said it.

also curious now :slight_smile:.
perhaps someone on the forums would know?