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Dress for the Game With Poker Face and Fashion Grace

by Gabrielė Meliūnaitė

Poker is the game of the mind; it’s a mental warzone where only the strongest of minds will emerge victorious, unlike other sports that bank on mere physicality and brawn, poker dives deep into a player’s mental and emotional depths.

For this reason, many people are drawn to the game of poker. Poker players come from different backgrounds. Professional poker players come from varying industries, including celebrities, athletes, entrepreneurs, and artists.

The only standard line among all these players is their love for the uncertainty and pressure of poker. There are different strategies to get around, including observing how professional players do their business or just learning the poker rules to start, and then gaining experience in the game.

Here’s a surprise, though: some poker players even capitalize on their clothing to distract their opponents. You may have watched a poker game on television, and you’re probably wondering why the clothing choices of the players are very diverse. Again, everything’s part of the mental warzone in poker, even the smallest of details.

Are you planning to go to a poker game for the first time? If that’s the case, chances are you still do not know the implications of clothing to the game of poker. Don’t worry, though; we have the basics covered for you.


If you are playing with friends and family, chances are there is no dress code in place. You just have to wear whatever you’re comfortable in, slip on your favorite sandals to keep your feet warm and go have a seat at the table.

But if you’re playing in the casino or participating in an official game, it does not matter what you’re wearing if it is against the dress code in the first place. This is particularly true in luxury casinos, whose bouncers will not even let you enter the premises if you don’t follow their dress code. Moreover, you might even be accused of cheating if you’re not careful.

Dress codes in each casino might vary, but it is always a wise option to go for smart casual attire when playing poker.


For the most part, different kinds of sports have various restrictions when it comes to clothing. Take, for example, the contrast between basketball and American football. Due to the varying nature of their gameplay, football players are required to wear helmets, something that basketball players aren’t even allowed to do.

That was a simple comparison, yet it speaks to the importance of adhering to a sports event’s clothing restrictions. Believe it or not, poker has clothing restrictions too. Some players might have some (illegal) tricks up their sleeves, so poker rules tend to negate that possibility.

Most casinos make it a point to disallow poker players from wearing any kind of clothing that would cover them from the neck up. In line with this, poker players might not be allowed to wear hoodies, turtle neck shirts, scarves, and funnel neck shirts. Moreover, hats, caps, and sunglasses that cover the face, most notably the eyes of players, are also not allowed.

The reason why casinos don’t allow these particular clothing or accessories is to give every player the benefit of catching their opponent’s tell. There are various kinds of telling, including the roll of the eyes, a slight smirk, or even a drop of sweat. Poker may not be as physically draining as basketball or football, but a player’s body might give signs that opponents can take advantage of.

On the flip side, some casinos or tournaments allow poker players to wear those mentioned above. These tournaments might be inclined towards the professional side, where players are more capable of hiding their tells. Thus, it does not really make a difference what kind of clothing they are wearing.

As a statement of precaution, try to find out the clothing restrictions in a poker game or tournament before you enter the premises. Along with the possibility that you will be disqualified if you don’t follow the rules, having the right clothing could also be strategic. So play by the rules, and if there are none, then don’t hesitate to get creative.


As we mentioned in the previous section, several poker tournaments don’t pose any restrictions on clothing. Most of these tournaments are in the bigger leagues, where players are more adept at hiding their tells. In a professional poker game, tells don’t usually “tell” the whole story; it becomes a game of probability where you intelligently guess what cards will turn up.

Having said that, you could still get creative if there are no clothing restrictions. It will not only distract your opponents, but it’s also quite the confidence booster on your part. If you’ve been playing poker for a long time, you know by now that controlled confidence is such a big part of the game.

When you feel that urge to get creative, here are some of the accessories that you can wear:

  • SUNGLASSES - If sunglasses are allowed at the table, don’t hesitate to put them on. This will conceal your eyes, preventing your opponents from reading your tells from the sense of sight. Be careful, though; don’t get used to touching or fixing your sunglasses, as this could be one sign of discomfort.

  • CAPS AND HATS - Wearing caps has become a fixture at the poker table. These caps, especially those bigger baseball caps, cover a portion of your face. Most bigger caps and bonnets could cover the side of your face, whereas your veins could show when you’re stressed or uncomfortable.

  • POP CULTURE COSTUMES - Along with sunglasses and caps, you could also opt for costumes that may distract your opponents. Some poker players opt for the jugular and go for pop culture costumes. These could be a form of attire that attests to trending artists, celebrities, politicians, and athletes. This is undoubtedly a great way to make a distraction. While it is true that these accessories and costumes will not guarantee success, it’s worth a try. If you do not win, at least you made a loud statement at the poker table.


We have been going on and on about being creative and wearing all sorts of accessories to hide your tells. On the other hand, there are poker players who have been playing the game for a long time and have become experts in hiding their tells. If you’re one of these players, what kind of outfit would you want to wear?

Instead of wearing caps, hoodies, and sunglasses, you could also opt for simplicity and wear plain shirts on top of normal-looking trousers. This kind of attire is very comfortable, especially since you will be sitting at the table for a long time (if you keep on winning hands).

However, it’s not just about the comfort and convenience. Inexperienced poker players might tend to overlook opponents who are dressed simply and plainly. They might underestimate your capabilities, something that you can use to your advantage.

Related articles: Women in Poker


All of these strategies won’t matter if you’re not comfortable in the first place. It will only mess up your focus, as you’ll be thinking more about how uncomfortable you are in your clothes.


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