Saturday 30th May 2015,
Comic Booked

Going All in with Superheroes

David Vandervliet 10/01/2011 Features

Superheroes are known for taking risks, the stakes are always high.  Lives are on the line, and anything could happen in the heat of battle with a Super villain or Criminal Mastermind.    Heroes are going have take chances and gamble with those lives.

But does that make them good gamblers?

What beats a Royal Flush? The Justice League

How would Superheroes do around a poker table?  Can the skills and attributes that make a successful costumed adventurer help in a game of Texas Hold’em?  A game where wits, guile, and nerves of steel are all needed and risky behavior can be greatly rewarded, or punished.  How would say, a Green Lantern Hal Jordan, or Iron Man, both known for their gutsy style do up against  Mr. Fantastic, who’s methodic genius would not only allow them to easily track the cards as played, and observe their opponents’ tells, the subtle signs all people give that can reveal whether they are bluffing, or have a hot hand?

Would we have to worry about Superman using his X-ray vision or the Scarlet Witch using her probability changing powers to guarantee herself a winning hand?  Would the Flash super-speed around the table to see everyone’s hand?  Would the Invisible Woman whisper to her husband who’s got pocket Aces?  Are Superheroes likely to cheat their friends and fellow caped and masked comrades?  Or will the honor system prevail?  It seems likely that trust wouldn’t be an issue.  But there are other ways, that someone could use their personal assets to their advantage.  Could a Tony Stark or Bruce Wayne use his wealth to buy the pot?  He’d be hard pressed to raise enough to scare off men and women who could crush coal into diamonds right at the table, let alone sovereign leaders of wealthy nations like Atlantis or Wakanda.   Or could a Power Girl or She-Hulk try to pull a Jennifer TIlly, and distract their male competitors?  Why Wolverine may not be thrown off by a great pair, the technique may be somewhat effective at flustering some of the more conservative players, (Captain America, Superman).

Can you beat a pair?

Ultimately though, there is only obvious winner at this table, and that is the Batman.  Never mind the fact that his greatest enemy, the Joker, is a playing card based gimmick.  There are three reason why the Caped Crusader walks away with the pot at the end of the night. First, Years of battle with some of the most deranged psychopaths and criminal geniuses has made him a master of the mind, able to read the slightest emotion on someone’s face, while having perfected his own stone visage, Secondly, preparation is the key, and knowing your opponents.  No one prepares better than Batman.   And Thirdly and most importantly, the Batman cheats!  Don’t be surprised to discover that the cards where printed and distributed by Wayne Corp subsidiaries, and marked with a fractal design known only to him.   Oh and the cards just happen to be printed with ink laced with just enough Kryptonite to weak the resolve of any Kryptonians at the table.   It may seem unethical, but when you are fighting a never ending one man war against the forces of evil, losing is not an option.

Then of course, there is always the more modern option to avoid cheats- they could play video poker. The usual ‘tells’ would be immediately less noticeable and the only real thing a player would have to worry about are telepaths like Professor Xavier, technopaths like Static Shock, and of course computer geniuses like Tony Stark! Even against the best of the best, as long as a player uses the right poker strategy then even someone like Aquaman stands a chance to win!

A Hero's code of honor means this would be highly unlikely

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About The Author

David "The Exile" Vandervliet, I write about what ever has me Geeking out at the moment. Among my areas of expertise: DC Comics, Doctor Who, Star Wars, Star Trek, Musical Theatre, M Theory, Chess, Stellar Cartography, and Gardening. If you like what you read here, you can check out more about me at Exiled in Geeksville

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