Tag Archives: pickup

Texas Hold ‘Em Pick Up Strategies

Getting a good hand might take luck, but it takes skill to play a good game.

  1. Know what’s in your hand

    There is no absolute formula for a good pickup. It’s probability. Like estimating the probability of a winning hand from your pocket cards, your chances for a good pickup can be determined from your target’s position relative to yours and the person’s body language.

    If your target is right next to you and his or her body turns toward you, it’s like having a pair of aces. But that doesn’t mean you’ll win the hand. There might be an opponent on the dealer/target’s other side who’s already been dealt a straight. Sometimes you have to maneuver for a better position – e.g., consider the other player’s bet, call, wait for the dealer, then raise.

    Sometimes maneuvering gives you a better perspective of your odds. You can bluff your opponent, wait for the river card, and win the hand.

  2. You can’t judge a pokerface

    An experienced poker player probably won’t hint what’s in his or her hand when the flop is dealt. But if you look at the player’s feet, according to Joe Navarro’s What Every Body is Saying, it’s easier to tell if he or she is nervous. Active feet are happy. Feet pointed toward the door speak nerves.

    Similarly, your date might not reveal true feelings in his or her face. For example, if he or she looks away after you’ve made eye contact, he/she might be shy or simply unprepared. But if his/her feet are turned toward you, chances are there’s interest.

  3. “If you ‘buy-in’ cheap, don’t expect a big ‘pay-out.’”

    This one, applying to the guys more than women, comes from The Winner’s Guide to Dating (What I Learned about Love and Sex from Playing Texas Hold ’em), a cool illustrated book of one-liners by New Yorker Randall Klitz. This particular tip refers to going on a date. Dinner at Mickey D’s probably won’t seduce a girl as much as Au-Trendy-Hot-Spot.

    But if you’re a really good pickup artist, you don’t even have to plan a date to get laid. Sometimes, one drink at a bar is enough. Though, if you want beauty and brains, don’t go to dives unless you want to lower your probability for a win.

Get responses online

Meeting people online has its issues, but they are not impossible to deal with. You need tactics, as if you were an online pickup artist.

I met my boyfriend, Jason, on plentyoffish.com. I swore to myself it would be the last dating site I would ever join. Since I was still working on my book, and writing about personality types based on the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), I decided to test myself. I wanted to see if I could find my perfect personality match through a person’s online profile.

Of course, I had to know about personality matching. I had read Dr. Alex Avila’s LoveTypes book. I learned my type, ENTP, aka “The Innovator,” is romantically compatible with ENTJ, aka “The General.”

It’s difficult to order a book, read it, and put it into practice in a matter of a few days. So, I’ll try to give a bared down tip…

  • Think about 3 things about your mind/life that are distinct to you compared to other people you know. For example, for me: 1. I dislike set schedules; 2. I love to be silly; 3. I’m very analytical and have to think to know my feelings.
  • Next, go to the dating site, and as you peruse people’s profiles, look for things that jump out at you that you think or know would work with you. For example, I know for myself it has always helped me to have someone in my life who was better at living by a schedule than me; so, in that sense I look for my opposite. Plus, since I’m analytical, smart people interest me. Funny, ’cause the initial impression of Jason’s photo was, “This guy is arrogant!” Sure enough, he’s arrogant because he’s smart–and I like him that way.
  • When you find something distinct about the person you can relate to, write a message that caters to that distinction without getting too personal. For me, I realized that Jason likes to debate. So, in my first message, I challenged him on his profile’s headline.

    Note: The more attention you pay to details, the more a person senses genuineness. For example, if a girl writes something like, “I love to go out for good food…” Don’t just write, “What kind of food?” Dig deeper. Assume “good food” is the difference between dining on the Baja peninsula and Taco Bell. Instead you could say something like, “Have you been to the Bistro on Main Street?” or whatever; you get the point, I hope.

In the meantime, check out Avila’s LoveTypes book. For a generalization on what that’s about, you can also read Parts IV and V in my AlphaDog book, also available on Kindle.

Good luck!

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This post was inspired by @YouWishYouWere on Twitter.

Playing the Wing

There’s nothing like going out on a Saturday night with a bunch of friends. Especially if you’re all single, you’ve got each other’s backs whenever there’s an opportunity to approach a hot guy or girl. But what does it take to be a good wing?

In a game of soccer, or field hockey, the wing is the player on the edge of the field playing offense. He often is the one doing the most running when his team has the ball. He makes himself available for a pass, sometimes immediately passing the ball back to get it down the field. Once his teammate has control of the ball, he often goes back to his position towards the edge of the field to make himself available as a wing– ready for a pass, or to prevent the ball from going out of bounds.

In the game of dating, the wing plays a similar role. He is seemingly on the “edge of the field” looking out for possible passes. (Pun intended.) If he sees an opportunity he might “take control of the ball” and approach the target (a girl) to see if making a play is possible. Having a wing can make scoring easier.

Normally I don’t like using terms like “game” and “score” when it comes to dating. The pickup process is a game in which getting a girl to kiss you or getting her phone number is a score. But the actual dating process, to me, is not really a game. Rather, dating is the way two people get to know each other in which there is intent. The intent might be to see how far the date will go, or it might be to see if the other person is a viable prospect for a long-term relationship. Either way, there are steps to this process beginning with the game itself: The pickup.

The pickup is where being a wing comes in. For me, since I’m a girl, playing wing for guys is easy. I can go up to another girl, talk about shoes or how pretty her dress is and where she got it etc. etc. then change the subject to find out something about her. At the appropriate moment, I might say, “Oh, my friend Mike is into that. Let me introduce you.” And there goes the introduction.

Now, I’ve been approached before by a wing guy before. It went something like, “Hey, my buddy thinks you’re hot. What do you think of him?” while he points with a head jerk towards some seemingly unassuming character. Automatically, my guard goes up. “Right,” I think. I might smile cordially and say, “No, thanks.” Or I might take a chance and have a usually boring conversation with the wing’s buddy. Judging by the winging line, it’s pretty easy for me to foresee how far a conversation will go.

A smart wing, however, should be pretty good at pickups himself. (Okay, so I’m not bad at picking up guys, though I AM a girl.) Anyone who can start a conversation with a stranger can get good at pickups. The key is keeping it natural. I usually say the first thing that pops into my head. (For guys, I know that can be difficult if the first thing is, “Wow, you’re hot.”) I try to be considerate and think about the person as a human being. She is a person. She has feelings. She gets happy, sad, angry, afraid, and embarrassed. Sometimes, a simple, “Hi. Are you having fun?” gets the talking going.

If you are a considerate person, you won’t look at the girl your friend wants to meet and just think, “She’s hot.” You would consider whether or not the girl would be someone your buddy actually likes. Being considerate will help you come up with something purposeful or meaningful to say. The goal is to find out if the girl is worth pursuing. Of course if you’re a wing man, there’s a risk of liking the girl for yourself. In that case, take a shot to score. Hopefully your buddy won’t be jealous. Or he can get himself a wing girl instead.

Starting the conversation

There she is. She walked by and your heart skipped a beat. You really, really want to talk to you but you can’t for the life of you imagine what you’d say. A lot of guys have trouble initiating conversations with girls which is why so many revert to stupid pickup lines that, in almost all cases, won’t work. And let’s face it, even though we’re in the new millennium, we’re not yet at a place and time where all women are comfortable approaching men. It’s still our job to initiate communication. And here’s a few ways to do it.

One of my working theories about girls is that they’re always wearing something that they’d love to tell you about. Most girls put a lot of thought into their clothes, jewelry, and accessories. I know some that like to make sure their underwear matches their outerwear. Girls think a lot about their appearance, a lot more than us guys who hang around in old sweats and holey t-shirts do. If you can pick out something about her appearance that’s unique, you have your first topic.

Now, you absolutely should not go up and say you couldn’t help noticing how beautiful she is. This typically brings up her defenses and you run the risk of coming off as insincere. Things to notice and comment on include unique jewelry, an interesting hat, a nice watch, a shirt with a unique design, sunglasses, and tattoos. I actually met one of my girlfriends by asking her about the tattoo she had behind her ear. As it turned out, she loved telling people about her tattoos and we had an extended conversation. The rest is history.

Phrasing is important too. Use something along the lines of, “I’m sorry for interrupting, I just couldn’t help but notice your ______. It’s really interesting and I was wondering what it means/where you got it/what the story behind it is?” Most girls will be excited that you noticed something that means a lot to her or that she spent a lot of time considering. Don’t worry about formal introductions at this point, just let the conversation flow.

Another good way to start the conversation is to mention something that’s related to where you are or what’s going on. For instance, if you’re standing in line waiting to order food, you can ask if she’s been there before and if she could recommend anything. If you’re at a sports bar and she’s sitting by the TV, you can ask if she knows the score or if so-and-so has played well. Again, introductions aren’t as important as getting the conversation going. You can even make exclamations into conversation starters. Taking the sports bar example, standing close to the girl of your interest and just proclaiming out loud something like, “oh wow, that was an incredible shot” may be enough to get a response.

The last easy way to start a conversation involves a bit of evesdropping. If you can position yourself close to the girl of your interest and overhear what she’s talking about, you can wait to hear about something that you know about and then interject. “I’m sorry, I couldn’t help but overhear you talking about Chinese food. I know this great little place nearby to here that you may enjoy.” It’s very important that you not stalk the girl in order to overhear the conversation, just move yourself or your group close to her, keep your back turned towards her and just listen for an opportunity.

The goal for all of these approaches is to get the conversation started. Make sure to talk to her as if she’s someone you’ve known for a while, not as someone you just met. Don’t pepper her with questions about her life that she may not feel comfortable sharing with you yet. Questions about work, family, and home should be left for a date. Focus on interesting things, let the conversation flow from the initial topic to the next one. Don’t be afraid to make jokes (though watch the sarcasm) and tease a bit. And most of all, have fun.