Just 6% of competitive poker players are women — that means about 1 in 17 poker players don’t have a Y-chromosome.
I honestly don’t know why this is, but I do know that the disproportionate ratio means that a woman’s experience playing poker is completely different than a man’s, for better and for worse. It also means that if you play poker competently and you’re a woman, you’re a bad bitch in Glam + Gamble’s book — and here’s why.
Make Bank on the Soft Play
Pissed off that you don’t make as much as men in the workplace? Well, granddaughter of Rosie the Riveter, step into the poker room and watch that statistic turn on its head. Women in poker rooms are rare in Vegas — it’s mostly a bunch of boys and men having a good time, and they don’t want to chase off any unicorns. That means that men will often “soft play” a woman; in small-stakes games, he’ll take it easy on her, and that’ll make you more money.
He either assumes that you aren’t that good, so he doesn’t play as hard as he might against another man (the pity factor, make him pay), or he thinks he’s being a gentleman by going easy on you (thanks, Mister! You bought my next drink without even realizing it). I’m not saying a man will purposely lose, but if he knows he has the nuts — the best possible hand given the cards in play — and he figures you’ve got the second or third nuts (the next best hands possible) by the way you’re betting, he may back off sooner with raising than if he were trying to pull out every possible dollar. He’s a nice guy; eventually he’ll extend mercy by calling rather than re-raising. For you, that means saving a few bets, which at the end of the day is just as good as making money.
Finally, We Get to Call Men “Loose”
Men also tend to play ‘looser’ against a woman, meaning that they more frequently play and hold on to weaker hands. Maybe it’s because they think that a woman doesn’t play as well, maybe it’s because they just want to have fun and mix it up with a lady. When you’re the one stacking chips, who cares?
Low-stakes poker in Vegas is full of people who want to have a good time, and guys are pretty friendly to women at the table. No matter why a man is soft playing or playing looser, it means more money in your pocket if you’re a good, solid player. SLAY, BITCH.
You’re Treated Like a VIP
Players at the table, the dealer and the cocktail waitresses all want you to have an awesome time. Because you are a rare, beautiful unicorn in the poker room, they all want you to stick around and have fun. You’re treated like the queen you know you really are.
The players and the dealer will usually be pretty nice to you, and the table will basically take their social cues from you. In a nutshell, Regina George’s “On Wednesdays we wear pink” sort of mentality totally flies when you’re the only woman at the table. People want you to enjoy yourself and you’ll be the center of attention. Take full advantage.
Also, since the cocktail waitresses are typically the only women in the room, they understand. They’re more than happy to give you more attention than the men they catch staring at their ass. There’s a sense of camaraderie, you know kind of a YaYa sisterhood of the traveling besties and all that jazz. You won’t have to charm her and overly tip her like the men who are trying to get consistent service (although obvi you want to tip her like the boss she is).
You’re Underestimated (and that’s a good thing)
Since girls are few and far between in poker, your skills will probably be underestimated. Yes, it’s kind of sexist, but who cares? Use it to your advantage. People will generally think you just decided to come in and try your luck and play for fun and that you don’t really know what you’re doing. If you’re a girl who likes the glam life, beat your face and lay your hair for the Gods, because it will only make them underestimate you more. This is all beneficial because it will take guys a while to realize that you actually good and know what you’re doing. When they do realize it, you’ll have racked up some winnings and some major respect like the bad bitch you truly are.
Overall, being able to play poker as a woman is not just awesome because of the perks listed above, but it will connect you to a whole world of people you’ll instantly have something in common with and opens up more options for you in Vegas — more people, more places, more experiences. And isn’t that what Vegas is all about?