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Posted by on Jul 28, 2014 in Blog, General Poker | 6 comments

Will Kenny Rogers Please Learn How to Play Hold’em?


Kenny Rogers

Despite being the game’s most iconic marketeer, apparently, Kenny Rogers has no clue how to play Texas Hold’em.


After so many years, one would expect Kenny Rogers to knows how to play Texas Hold’em.

But the singer of “The Gambler” apparently still has no idea Hold’em is a poker game where each player holds two cards.

Not five cards.  Two.


Rogers appears in a Geico (auto insurance) commercial which is quite funny.¬† He sings the familiar chorus every poker player knows — “You got to know when to hold ’em, and when to fold’em….” — much to the annoyance of everyone else sitting¬†at the table who has already heard this croner¬†a thousand times.¬† Credit the creative writer of the spot, in which Rogers parodies¬†himself for what’s probably a much-needed paycheck after countless divorces all whilst his chicken franchises ended up in the deep fryer.

What’s pull-your-hair-out disturbing about the TV commercial is that — yet once again — whoever filmed the advertisement obviously didn’t know jack shit about poker.¬† Couldn’t the producer hire a special consultant for a couple of hundred dollars off of Craig’s List to instruct the actors how to properly hold their cards?¬† Just look at them!¬† The way these clowns are holding their hands so casually, anyone in the room can peak at the cards and destroy the clueless victim.

Moreover, what’s with five cards being dealt out?¬† The only major game played in casual circles¬†I can think of there players start with five cards is so far gone that it’s become the dinosaur of poker (I seriously doubt the boys here are playing Triple-Draw Lowball).¬†¬†Please tell me,¬†who in the hell plays¬†Five-Card Draw these days?¬† If Rogers is going to sing about knowing “when to hold ’em,”¬†shouldn’t that be the game that’s being dealt?

During this fiasco, what did Rogers do while on the set?¬†¬†Apparently, nothing.¬† Instead, shouldn’t he have refused to go along with what amounts to a total fucking farce?¬† Why didn’t Rogers jump up and say, “Hey, my reputation is on the line here — let’s play Hold’em,” since that’s the game I’m singing about.¬† Not five-card draw which is about irrelevant as another book by Bill O’Reilly.

But that’s not the worst part of it.¬† Nothing screams FAKE!!! worse than seeing the clueless Rogers and the other player-actors¬†competing for what amounts to absolutely¬†nothing.¬† Except for pretzels, perhaps.¬† Did anyone notice something strange about this game?¬† Where’s the cash?¬† Where are the poker chips?¬† Couldn’t someone from the spoof run over to the nearest CVS before shooting, and buy a $15 set of poker chips?¬† Where is Rogers’ stack?¬† He doesn’t even have any chips.¬† He has pretzels.

“I’ll see your two pretzels, and raise you a Slim Jim.”

Obviously, poor Kenny Rogers apparently doesn’t know when to hold’em, nor when to fold’em.¬† Nevertheless, here’s some solid advice:¬† He should just walk away.¬† And, he should run.


Where are the chips?




  1. it was Big o – of course!

  2. I think the pretzels are supposed to take the place of poker chips, Nolan (noticed the other players all had pretzels around them…God forbid we actually show poker chips on the table!). And, for the record, I did play Five Card Draw back in April with my wife and four over-60 types (with wilds, the cruelty!). But you’re spot on with the analysis, otherwise!

  3. isnt deuce-to-seven a 5-card game? i know the people doing the tv spot werent thinking that, they were setting up something 99% of the viewers could relate to since they probably played something like ‘draw’ around a kitchen table in their lifetime….and similar to ‘casino royale’ where the majority of the poker scenes wreaked of inaccuracies, this is also ‘wrong’…let it go.

  4. Nolan, you are hammering these guys and Kenny in this Blog but have you read the All In Magazine article on Poker Night America that you are involved in?

    YOU guys should have done much better as YOUR the professionals of the game. I would rather see a rebutal of the article on here.

    Off to Famous Daves for lunch (best bbq in Las Vegas) then to PF Changs for dinner!

  5. The song was written in 1976 in Nashville (by a guy who rarely played poker). It’s quite possible the game he had in mind when writing the song was 5-card-draw. Texas-hold-em wasnt yet nearly as popular as it is today. Furthermore, “know when to hold em”, merely means hold on to your cards (i.e. call / raise)… juxtaposed by the line following “know when to fold em” (i.e. ..or fold). Nothing to do with what game is being played. This the greatness- it applies to all of poker. And p.s.- if you ever end up playing against me… you better know when to run. ;.p


      Excellent point I had not considered. Thanks for the added perspective.

      — ND


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