Casino Poker

Why Do Poker Players Wear Hoodies?

Poker chips and playing cards on a green felt poker table.

If you’ve ever watched professional poker tournaments, you’ll probably have noticed at least one player at the table wearing a hoodie. While many casinos have a more formal dress code, things are much more relaxed when it comes to poker tournaments. 

Many casino table games rely on luck and chance, but poker is more about strategy. So, unlike having a night out at the casino with friends where you might dress to impress, many professional poker players have adopted the hoodie and other unusual items of clothing as part of their poker tournament strategy. It can help players feel more comfortable and hide visual cues they might give away subconsciously. 

Read on to find out more about why poker players choose to wear hoodies and other clothing not typically associated with a night out at a casino. 

Benefits of wearing a hoodie when playing poker

A poker player wearing a navy blue hoodie and sunglasses at the poker table.

Many of us like to wear hoodies when going to the gym or relaxing at home, but why would a professional poker player wear one to play casino games? Here are some of the most common reasons.

Hide physical tells

We all know about keeping a “poker face” – you don’t want to give your opponents any clues as to what cards you might have in your hand. Wearing a hoodie can help conceal some of these physical signs you might accidentally give away. 

If you touch your arms or hair when feeling nervous, hiding them with a hoodie is a good way to stop yourself from subconsciously making these movements. The hood will also help hide your face, preventing opponents from reading into cues that might be showing in your expression. 

Intimidate opponents

There’s something quite intimidating about seeing someone in a dark-colored hoodie with the hood pulled over their face. Staring at your opponent with your hood up is a great way to pressure them into making a decision quickly or betting more than they were planning to. 

However, serious players might take this as an amateur move and see right through your strategy. 

Comfort

If you’ve ever owned a great hoodie, you’ll know how comfortable they are! Poker tournaments can go on for hours, so it’s important to be comfortable. Wearing loose-fitting clothing will also help players to relax and feel at ease, helping them focus on the game and avoid making costly mistakes. 

Many casinos have air conditioning running, meaning the environment is often on the cooler side. Add to this the fact that players are sitting still at the table for hour after hour, and they’re bound to feel chilly. Wearing a hoodie helps poker players to stay warm and, therefore, relax and enjoy the game. 

What else do famous poker players wear?

Hoodies aren’t the only thing you might see professional poker players wearing during an important tournament. Here are some of the other unusual items you can often find the pros wearing. 

Sunglasses

Unlike when playing online poker, playing in a physical tournament means the opposition can see every movement you make. Unfortunately, our eyes can give away a lot whether we want them to or not. So, like hoodies, sunglasses are a great way to avoid giving other players an idea of how strong our hand is. 

Many poker players will subconsciously look in a certain direction depending on what they intend to do next. And, they might want to look around the table at other players to see if they can figure out what kind of hand they might have. Wearing sunglasses stops other players from noticing your tells and allows you to keep an eye on theirs! 

Baseball caps

Like hoodies and sunglasses, hats can help players conceal their true intentions during a game. In addition, baseball caps can help keep out bright lights without making it too difficult to see, like sunglasses sometimes can. Caps can also allow players to focus on the game by blocking out distractions slightly. 

Headphones

Poker games can go on for hours, so wearing headphones allows players to ease the boredom a little. Listening to music can also help block out background distractions like chatter around the table. 

Whether you are playing online casino games or visiting a casino, there’s no reason why you can’t wear headphones if they will help you focus and avoid getting distracted or bored. 

How to hide your tells in a tournament

A poker player wearing a hoodie raising his fist in victory at the poker table.

As well as wearing some of the items mentioned above, what else can you do to help conceal your tells from your opponents around the table? Here are a few tips.

Ask a friend to watch you play

It can be helpful to ask a friend to watch you play your next game and keep an eye out for any tells you might be giving away. Of course, this doesn’t apply if you play at an online casino, but if they can come to your next event at a physical casino, you are sure to get some useful advice. 

Have your friend carefully watch your movements, so you know what to avoid next time. It’s best not to wear a hoodie or sunglasses to let your friend see your cues more easily. 

Try to take the same time to play each hand

This is important if you play poker online as well as in the casino. In online poker, your opponents won’t be able to see what your body is doing, but they will notice how long you take to decide what to do when it’s your turn to play. 

You don’t have to spend exactly the same amount of time with every hand, but if you play almost instantly sometimes, then take much longer to decide at others, your opponents may notice a pattern forming and learn to predict whether you have a strong hand or not. 

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