Good makeup can be your weapon against the world, wherever you are.

It can make you feel confident, self-assured and mask the insecurities you have. Some women discuss putting on their makeup as ‘putting on their war paint’ as if it alters their state of mind. One brand even seized upon that and brought out makeup for men labelled as war paint. Whatever your thoughts are on that, the suggestion is makeup makes you someone different, or at the very least can be a catalyst for confidence.

Does that mean that wearing makeup can give a female poker player an edge over her rivals? There have been some high-profile female poker players at the World Series of Poker, including Shannon Elizabeth, who rose to fame in the American Pie moves. Sure, her poker skills ensured she placed well in competition, but could makeup have been a reason she beat some of her opponents?

In any sport or competition, looking for marginal gains is hugely important. There is no suggestion a good makeup routine will guarantee you win at poker, but if it gives you that 1% gain that others do not have, it must be worth considering.

Poker is undoubtedly a game where makeup can help you. Before we look at that, it is important to realize it is not the sole reason you will succeed. Playing poker is challenging and requires skills such as stamina, strong decision-making and self-confidence. Understanding how to play poker for real money and handle the pressure that comes with that is important first and foremost. The makeup aspect, and those marginal gains, comes once you understand the game’s intricacies, both online and in person. Once you have grasped that, makeup can certainly help.

Firstly, the feeling of power and confidence is hugely important in poker, and writer Kate Carraway believes that simply putting on mascara helps her become more confident. “When I put on mascara, I feel right in a way that I’ve never felt in, or about, any other individual product. It makes me feel confident because it exaggerates my best features, and powerful because it makes me feel like I have my whole look handled.” One key aspect of poker is you must feel confident in yourself. It would be best if you gave off the impression of someone in control, calm and collected. Male players are likely not to be wearing their makeup and perhaps don’t have that extra gain in their arsenal.

There is also an element of misdirection in poker, making people believe something that may not be true. By focusing on your beauty, you can misdirect a player from your small tells when a good hand comes up. If you indulge in a good skincare routine, perhaps accentuate your features with a subtle blusher and become the confident vision of beauty that makes you feel confident, all eyes will be on you, but will they really see you? Writer Anne Donahue believes that you can trick yourself with good makeup too. “I find that the bigger risks I’ve taken with makeup, like green or blue lipstick, the more able I’ve been to take more risks, or at least be seen as someone who takes more risks in life.”

Think about why you put makeup on for a night out; for many, it is to mask their insecurities, to become a version of themselves that they want people to see. Applying the same technique to the poker table is common sense when you break down why many like to wear makeup.

Remember, playing poker is not all about how you look. As Shannon Elizabeth did, you must master the game first, but once you do, it doesn’t hurt to make yourself as beautiful as possible and use that to your advantage. Who knows, it might be you around the tables in Vegas one day, and having that 1% advantage might be the difference between folding or winning big.