4 lessons PR pros can learn from Texas Hold ’em

Communicators can glean some helpful insights by watching when poker players choose to bet, call, raise or fold.

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There’s a lot to love about the game. My favorite part was how it would bring people from all walks of life together. In a dingy basement in Limerick, Ireland, I’d walk in once a week to find men (it was mostly men) young and old, rich and poor, from all over the place sitting around the table.

It didn’t matter who you were once the cards were dealt.

Some people play the math and spend the evening calculating the odds; others prefer the psychology, intensely staring down and analyzing their opponents.

The way a person plays a hand of poker can tell you a lot about them.

Here are three things PR pros can learn from the game:

1. It’s crucial to build suspense.

The cards are dealt. The first round of betting takes place. Then the dealer turns three cards (the flop) and there’s another round of betting. The dealer reveals a fourth card (the turn), and a third round of betting happens. The final card (the river) is revealed, and a final round of betting takes place. Each turn, players have the option to bet, call, raise or fold.

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