Why Do Some Poker Players Wear Sunglasses?

Why Do Some Poker Players Wear Sunglasses?

Look around any poker room, and there’s a decent chance you’ll find a few players wearing sunglasses at the table. While wearing sunglasses indoors might strike a certain stigma in most situations, it actually makes sense in some ways at the poker table.

If you’ve seen a poker player wear sunglasses at the table, and wondered why, this article is for you.

Why Do Poker Players Wear Sunglasses?

Poker players that wear sunglasses are likely doing so in an attempt to disguise physical tells. Sunglasses conceal the areas right around the eyes, along with the eyes themselves.

Eye twitches, glancing at your chips, or looking away from an opponent’s stare can all signal certain things at a poker table. With sunglasses on, you don’t have to worry about your opponent’s picking up any tells you might have from your eyes.

Other reasons poker players wear sunglasses might include:

  • To scan other players for tells without them knowing
  • To look cool or portray a table image
  • To shield from bright lights around the table
  • To improve mental focus

Why Do Poker Players Wear Hoodies and Headphones?

Hoodies provide many of the same perceived advantages as sunglasses do at the poker table. Hoodies conceal part of your face, and when paired with sunglasses can be an effective way to conceal your emotions at the poker table. 

Some players wear scarves around their neck while they play, and wrap the scarf over their mouth when involved in a hand. The COVID-19 pandemic normalized wearing masks at the poker table, and masks accomplish the same level of facial concealing as scarves.

Headphones and earbuds are a longstanding tradition in poker. Blocking out the noise at a poker table can be an effective way to focus, but it also can lead to situations where players don’t hear verbal cues from the dealer and other players.

WSOT Summer 2024
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About the Author
Patrick Harvey

Patrick Harvey

Graduate student trying to make money in poker so that I don't end up having to drive Knish's truck.

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