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Love Is a Lot Like Poker

Keen Category: Love Advice

A woman at a poker table, holding a royal flush of hearts

The game of poker has never been more popular. Underneath some simple rules are layers of strategy and subtlety. Unlike most casino games, poker is played between gamblers and the outcome is not solely based on luck. The right strategy can deliver a stack of chips to the player who does not necessarily have the best cards. Have you ever noticed the times that the sweetest girl does not get the Mr. Right? He walks off with a woman nobody expected to catch his eye. It happens every day and those women, whether they know it or not, are playing the game of love like it is a round of high stakes poker. When it comes to passion and poker, it is winner take all. The player with the best luck may not be able to beat the opponent with the best skills.

Isn't it time to look at your "love game" and see how your chips stack up? Looking at love as if it were a poker game can give you insight on how you may be losing even though you thought you knew the rules – and try some poker tactics to improve your hand.

How to Tell if What You've Been Dealt Is Good

In poker, high cards rule, but low cards paired up can easily beat an Ace. A guy who says all the right things and drives a nice car might look like an Ace, but a humbler man who treats you right and has a steady job is like a low pair – those cards don't look great right away, but they beat out the flashier card because pairing up creates a strong relationship foundation.

Why Is a King Better Than a Jack?

In love, some guys want to be bachelors making booty calls long after their prime. Other men want to settle down and live a partnership to the fullest, establishing a legacy along the way. No matter how sweet-talking your "open relationship" Jack is, a King is a real man, and ranks higher in the deck because of it.

Know When to Check

In poker, when it is time to bet, you have the option of checking, that is, not betting. In passing the bet to your opponent, you can see how strong or weak her hand is. If you are interested in a guy that another girl likes, instead of being upset about it, pass on pursuing him for a week and watch what happens – perhaps he is a creep and you will get a full report. When your cards are not great, you check and see how others play their hand. When you are not sure about a guy, you can often pass on pursuing him and find out more than you would have had you gone out with him.

Calling a Bet

When your opponent makes a bet based on her cards, you have to examine the strength of what you have been dealt. If she is in hot pursuit of him, you have to measure your desire to be his. Can you match her bet? Do you have as much or more of what he wants in a woman as she does? Is he the best man to come along in a while? Sometimes you can be patient and wait for better cards to be dealt your way later in the game, but when a truly great guy comes along, it may be time to let him know you are better than anything else out there.

Folding

While immediately tossing your cards back to the dealer takes you out of the hand, your losses are smaller because you stopped betting early. When a relationship is showing signs of becoming impossible, there are many forces in our world encouraging us to stick with it. In poker, bad cards are bad cards and they rarely get better. You only bet a little bit to get in the game. Getting out early saves you chips in the game of poker and much grief in the game of love.

Dating the Wild Card

Casinos keep the rules of their poker games stable, but a game over at a friend's house can get interesting when players introduce the wild card. This can make the lowliest deuce more powerful than an Ace. When you are dating the wild card, you see something in him that your friends and family don't see at all. They see some joker with no hope of delivering you the chips. You see someone more powerful and helpful than they all realize. When you are dealt a wild card, it is your greatest source of joy that no one else can understand … until you end up with all the chips because your little joker turned out to be the grand prize in the game of love.

When to Go All-in

There are two times that you should make the all-in bet in poker. When you have the best hand at the table and know that another player is willing to bet as many chips as it takes to stay in the hand, going all-in will force your opponent to bet the most chips you can hope to get. If you do not have the best hand and are beaten, your game is over. You should only do this if you know you have this opponent beat based on the strength of your cards. But if you have a weak hand and have already bet a sizable amount of chips, the all-in bet can be used to bluff strength. Played skillfully, it can make your opponent doubt the strength of their cards and worry about losing more chips. The goal of this all-in bet is to get your opponent to fold, exiting the hand and rewarding you the chips.

In the game of love, your opponent is any woman who is after your man. There are two times to go all-in when facing down an opponent. When you know that he loves you and that she is out of her league, you can announce to her and everyone that he is in love with you. This will force her to either make her move or fold. The only other time to go all-in is if your opponent for this man excels in categories in which you are weak. Is she more attractive? Does she have more money? Does she have a glamorous career and circle of friends? If you really want him, you can go all-in with this man and force her to fold. To go all-in, you bypass her and plead your love straight to him. See where he stands on the idea of you two becoming one. He may have doubts about being able to stay with her long-term and actually appreciate the compatibility he has with you. Her ability to intimidate you out of the picture is her greatest strength, but when you go all-in and confess your undying love for him, she will have to fold if and when he gives his heart to you. They call that a jackpot hand down at the poker room.

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