Poker continues to grow in popularity in the UK and other countries, with UK casinos, card rooms, and pubs offering the chance to play Texas Hold’em cash games and tournaments. Unlike other casino games such as blackjack or craps, you’ll see as many (or more) iPods at the poker tables as sunglasses these days; the nature of poker lends itself to bringing along your own tunes as it’s not uncommon to spend 12+ consecutive hours at the poker table, especially if you play in tournaments.
Aside from providing a welcome distraction from some of the banter at the tables that can get to be annoying, there are also practical reasons to listen to music while playing, as it helps many players focus better if they’re in their comfort zone, grooving out to their favorite music. Some players put together different mixes and playlists for different situations at the table, as far as something more upbeat and aggressive when they need to pick up chips or instead something a little more mellow when they’re in good position and just want to maintain their stack.
As far as recommended music, it really boils down to personal preference, with a poll of the players at the table listening to their iPods likely producing plenty of different bands, from The Libertines to Radiohead to Roots Manuva to Chemical Brothers. And many players mix and match different genres as well, so there’s not really a one-size-fits-all guide to great music to listen to when you play casino games like poker.
One thing to be aware of is proper etiquette at the table when it comes to listening to music; it’s fine as long as you don’t slow the game down but if you’re constantly having to be told how much the bet is or that the action is on you, it’s time to turn off your iPod and focus on the game. Slowing down the game unnecessarily is a sure way to piss off players and dealers alike, so if you do listen to music when playing make sure you’re up to the task of rocking out but still paying attention to all the action.