Want to succeed in life? Then sharpen up your online poker skills.

online poker all in

Have you played in a poker tournament? Or better yet, have you ever watched a poker tournament? In every poker game there is a winner and there is a loser, but what separates the two isn’t just luck, it’s strategy. And to take it one step further, the same techniques you use in a poker tournament can be used to succeed in life. Here’s what I learned from playing poker:

  • Put on your poker face – you never want others to know what you are thinking. Just like in poker, the expressions on your face can give away your thoughts. In the real world if you seem desperate you are less likely to succeed, but if you seem confident you are more likely to succeed.
  • Look for tell signs – people unknowingly do things that give away what they’re thinking. Although you don’t want others to know what you are thinking, you want to study your opponents so you can figure out what they are thinking. By doing this you will have a better understanding of how to react to their actions so that you can benefit from them.
  • Place smart bets – in poker, if you have a shitty hand you probably want to fold. And if you have a royal flush you should go all in. The same goes in life because if the cards you are dealt suck, then you probably want to quit and call it a day.
  • Use your head – it may be difficult to count cards, but it isn’t difficult to learn from your mistakes. Don’t forget about the mistakes you made in the past or else you may make them again.

Although the tips mentioned above will help you succeed in life, there is nothing like firsthand experience. So to help you with the your poker skills I Can Has Cheezburger and I are doing a contest to help you succeed in life. One person will win a two-night trip to Las Vegas with $500 in spending cash and free airfare for 2 individuals to and from Las Vegas in the continental US.

If you want to learn more about the contest, feel free to visit I Can Has Cheezburger. And if you have any other poker strategy tips, feel free to leave a comment.

Update: Kimberly N. Biniak from Cleveland, Ohio is the lucky winner of the ICHC online poker contest.

P.S. Want help with strategy for your business? go here.


  1. I can see where you are going with this post, but I have to disagree — to a certain extent — with the third point. When you have a royal flush, you may not necessarily want to go all-in right away. The goal there is to get as many of your opponent’s chips into play as possible and part of that strategy could be playing “weak”, inducing them to bet and stay involved in the game. If you go all-in, you’re giving away your hand (point #1). The same can be said about succeeding in life. You might not always want to be obvious with your strength, because modesty might pay off in spades.

    • Henry Dorsett Case :

      While I agree that one might not want to immediately go all-in just because one has a strong hand, Neil’s point above seems more bogged down in poor semantics than in poor strategy. When one has such a strong hand as a royal flush, one’s eventual goal should be to get all the chips in the pot. It seems like you and Neil are making the same point from different angles, rather than completely disagreeing on the subject.

      • I couldn’t have said it better. There are many different things that you need to consider along the way, but the overall goal is to go all in.

    • You make a valid point. You do want your opponent to bet more money so you can gain more winnings. If you go all in from the beginning, chances are you will not win much.

      • Net Age | Web Design :

        The trick with poker is to bluff, and bluff, and bluff some more, without ever blinking. I’ve got a good friend who regularly enters tournaments, and have pulled of some big money wins, and you just never know with this man. Reading him is impossible. This is an inherent character trait though, so I do maintain certain personality types are more suited to the game than others, same as in business and especially sales and marketing.

        • Even though you can’t read someones face online, it’s easy to get lucky and win some significant pots without skill.

  2. This is a great contest. I’ve created a few – let me know what you think.

  3. Tanner Christensen :

    Some great points Neil, but I’m not sure about applying these poker techniques are useful ALL of the time – just most of the time.

    And thanks for pointing me to the contest. I just got back from a vacation in Vegas, and definitely wouldn’t mind going again.

  4. Neil you have great writing skills, its nothing new which you told above in your post but the way you explains the thing is amazing.

  5. Hustle Strategy :

    knowing when to quit is extremely important in life and in cards. you can not win every hand.

    • In heads up I guess theoretically you will have a 50% chance of winning a hand when the chips are stacked the same. You have the opportunity to improve your skill set and increase those odds.

    • I think that is the biggest mistake people make. If you don’t quit when you should have, you’ll end up with a sour taste in your mouth. And worst part about that is, you will be more hesitant in the future to take risks.

  6. I created a fantastic “lolcat” image using a mix of images and adding my own caption. Shame I can’t upload it here.

  7. Fundamental Theorem of Poker
    Every time you play a hand differently from the way you would have played it if you could see all your opponents’ cards, they gain; and every time you play your hand the same way you would have played it if you could see all their cards, they lose. Conversely, every time opponents play their hands differently from the way they would have if they could see all your cards, you gain; and every time they play their hands the same way they would have played if they could see all your cards, you lose. — David Sklansky

    Theoretical profit regardless of outcome.

    • Your point related to going all is, is working backwards from the result you desire. Which is a valid concept, yet when considering the “Fundamental Theorem of Poker”, if going all in causes them to instantly fold, they “win” because that is the same action they would have taken in the event that they saw your hand.

      • I totally agree with you. I should have clarified in the blog post, but what I meant is eventually you want to go all in. The trick as you already know is to get them to put as much money in the pot when you have a perfect hand.

    • Thanks for sharing the fundamental theorem of poker. I’ll try it out the next time I go to Vegas. πŸ™‚

  8. Always go all in with pocket rockets. No point trying to slo-play ’em, someone could develop a better hand. In order to get the royal, you’re going to have to gamble a little, unless you hit it on the flop, but pocket rockets are a great bet. You want to get folks in or out. You don’t want to give anyone a chance to develop a straight or a flush or a set. How this applies to life, I haven’t a clue. I don’t do “life”.


    • It applies to life in the same way it applies to poker. Selfishly we usually don’t want others to succeed when it could have been us. For this reason we take small gambles here and there.

  9. Darrell Long :

    Hey Niel, Saw you at SMX West but really didnt get to talk to you. One strategy that I use a lot of the time is to let the other guy bet into me. Making him feel like I have a crappy hand when infact im in a position of strength. This will cause him to lose the pot but more importantly make him feel like his read was totally off and cause him to re-evaluate his skill as a player.

    Next conference we should get together and play some cards, maybe we can do an seo’s Poker Tournament.


    • I’ll have to try out the “let the other guy bet into you” strategy when I go to Vegas this month.

      Next time you see me, make sure you hit me up. I would love to play in a poker tournament with you.

  10. Any idea who won the contest? The contest is over but no winner has been announced.

    • Sorry for the delays in announcing the winner. I just updated the post to announce that Kimberly N. Biniak won the contest.

  11. I have been hearing lot about from john cow and shoe money now a days. so you are an indian attraction now. by the way cool blog and awesome content.


  12. It is very few that internet marketer like you will talk about poker in their post. This is very neat post and cool picture. Hope to learn more about marketing from you. Cheers.

  13. That’s a nice little analogy that you’ve established there!

    Well done to Kimberly for winning that amazing night away.

  14. Online poker has nothing to do with poker skills just you know the specific site you are playing on you can win every time i mean every time so dont change site just play a lot on that one site you decided to play on

    • I get what you are saying. It is more so poker skills than online poker.

      I think I’ll remove the word “online” from the blog post.

  15. My preferred reference is from Siddhartha, were ultimately our hero learns everything he needs to know from the river. Life from Poker, Chess, Checkers, or Shoots & Ladders, will teach us much if we pay attention. That is why anyone can write the “everything i need to know i learned…” books. Be that learning from kindergarten, star trek, cats, etc. Also, why there was a fad of management books from Genghis Khan, Sopranos, etc.

    Still enjoyed your points, and figure we are still the students and you are the teacher until we can reach your levels of success.

  16. Very good. Before I found this article I already had the same line of thinking.
    Some poker tips that relate to life:
    There are categories of types of players in poker (as in life).
    The people that constantly BS/scam/bluff. They trick a lot of people, but eventually you learn they are constantly lying, and can avoid/take advantage.
    All the way down to people who will never bluff, and can be too easily pushed around.
    The pros are the ones who recognise these traits in others, and adjust accordingly.

    • ROFL! I never thought of it that way. Funny enough the “honest” people I know tend to be the ones who BS/scam/bluff in poker.

    • LOL i dont know how I ended up bumping into this old article, But i have to admit I had a nice laugh at this Network 21 =) .

  17. Articles Spinning :

    Since I just recently found your blog, I can’t help digging up your old interesting posts. Very well written, AGAIN, Neil. The tip that made it for me is the last one – “Use your head ΓƒΒ’Γ’β€šΒ¬Γ’β‚¬Ε“ it may be difficult to count cards, but it isn’t difficult to learn from your mistakes. Don’t forget about the mistakes you made in the past or else you may make them again.” Many people don’t use their heads. I played a lot of chess back in high school, so I know the incredibly value of using your head and the awesome result that can come out of it. Thanks for sharing this, Neil.

  18. Motorcycles for sale :

    Some great points Neil, but I’m not sure about applying these poker techniques..
    Knowing when to quit is extremely important in life and in cards. you can not win every hand..

    Anyways,Thanks for sharing the fundamental theorem of poker..:D

  19. Putting a poker face on is something I really need to learn. Since I am majoring in Finance, and business in general, I feel like I really need to learn how to carry myself when talking to someone and show the correct emotions, and not giving away the wrong emotions when I don’t want to.

    I am not sure if you’ve seen the show called “Burn Notice” but I definitely want to act like the character Michael Westen, that guy plays the right poker face in every situation he is in.

    Till then,


    • You should go to your local casino and play the small tournaments and learn the poker face from actual poker players. Plus you might be able to cash in πŸ˜‰

  20. My friend Benson turned 18 last march and after that he went down to the local poker room where you pay 26 dollars to enter the tournement and the wininer gets 500$ and over 50 people enter daily. 100 for second and your money back for third. He won his first few tournements and makes extra money to invest with. Also it teaches statisitics. My teachers would tell him not to do it but now he is making more then they make!

    • Wow, success stories like those are what really get me going! It’s always fun to hear about people making money online.

  21. Neil, this sentence looks so true:
    In the real world if you seem desperate you are less likely to succeed, but if you seem confident you are more likely to succeed.
    You are really good in writing.

    • Thanks bud… the more confident you are, the better you will do… there is no doubt about that. By being more desperate or too desperate, you aren’t giving your clients enough reason as to why they should trust you or your judgment.

  22. Free CNA Training :

    Hey Neil,

    I can usually use my head and place smart bets pretty well, but as for putting on a good poker face, let’s just say it’s not really my strong suit. I seem to show emotion very easily in situations where I don’t want it shown, which in the business world definitely doesn’t go too far.


    • You should also pay attention to “tell” signs. You’d be surprised to see how many people are unable to control certain movements that give away their hand.

  23. I agree that feeling confident will improve your chances of succeeding in whatever you do. I like the way you compare poker skills to succeeding. Some good advice Neil.

  24. Alexa Nathaniel :

    Howdy, useful web site. All of the posts were very interesting. I attempted to plug your RSS feed to my feed reader and it produced some errors.

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  26. it reminds me of one short-story of allan poe, he made a character very similar to sherlock holmes in fact the guy that wrote sherlock holmes was based on that character, he was a genious and his favorite game was poker, people often asked if he was so smart why did he prefer poker to chess and he answered the chess is simply a math game, but poker was a life game, you really had to be on your oponents mind and hide your oun to win, and that was far more chalenging

    by the way lol cats rules

  27. used stationary bikes :

    for me i think to be successfully one also needs to have luck in life. Without that whatever strategy you may use… you understand

  28. wow,someone on Yahoo Answers referred me here and I love it.
    Great information! Very useful for me. Thanks a lot.

  29. Buy Property :

    Actually i have no much knowledge about the Poker but now i have get some information about this game.i think your article much informative.

  30. roulette bookies :

    Poker is an external brain resource within mind kinetics, it is therefore something that requires self discipline to master and because gamblers naturally lack self control, the casinos and their rakes make a whole lot of money.

    If you want to win against the casino, you must learn to master yourself first.

  31. the same rules of the casino makes the house always win, you cauld get lucky and get a a few towsands, or in an extraordinary case millions , but thats just one times luck, the will win in the long run

  32. sell textbooks :

    You can tell a lot from a person facial expressions. That what i hate about instant messaging its only 2 dimensional.

  33. copper cookware :

    These are some great tips for my next poker game I am going to play. I will win for sure. Maybe I can earn enough money to buy some copper cookware because copper cookware is the best kind of cookware anyone can buy. It cooks your food to perfection.

  34. Calgary Rip Off :

    Yes, poker is a lot like life because you can choose not to play. One of the smartest things to do is to decide NOT to play real money in poker. The statistics are stacked against you, and the smarter player does not always win. Those are FACTS. Poker is NOT chess or go game, and you cannot always determine outcome like in those games. Poker should be seen for what it is, a game with some strategy but unknown variables which cannot be accounted for.

    The interesting thing about poker especially in casinos is that the winner generally will be banned from playing there. Some game, this poker.

    It’s funny because ultimately the smart player chooses NOT to play at all, and then whatever you think or he thinks or she thinks is totally irrelevant.

  35. College textbooks :

    Great post, you have to play the game in order to win, and sometimes you gotta go all in. But certainly know when to fold as well.

  36. Poker is a lot like business since in order to succeed you need a good strategy, work in order to learn the game and develop skills and a bit of luck

  37. Neil you have great writing skills, you explains the thing is amazing

  38. So Neil, have you accumulated loads of bucks from winning the tourney? πŸ˜‰

  39. It is very few that internet marketer like you will talk about poker in their post. This is very neat post and cool picture. Hope to learn more about marketing from you. Cheers.

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  41. thanks for the article Neil

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  43. Thanks for teaching me business skills. Lots of learning again. I will visit your blog site again and again. thank you so much.

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