Spider-Man Kicks Ass at Poker

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As we’ve discussed before, Spider-Man is kind of a badass, what with his ability to punch faces clean off and stick to the Hulk’s biceps. But did you know he’s also pretty frickin’ good at poker, as long he faces the right opponent. 

Spider-Man, as you probably know, can dodge almost anything from a punch to a point blank shotgun blast thanks to his Spider-Sense, an ability the wall-crawler has that lets him perceive danger a moment before it occurs, which combined with his superior spider-like reflexes lets him react near instantly to any threat.

SpideySensePeter
“Did I leave the stove on?”

The exact limits of this power are poorly defined, but a general rule of thumb is that if it poses a tangible threat to Spider-Man, his Spider-Sense will generally help him avoid it. Along with helping Spider-Man avoid physical threats like knives and punches to the dick, it also warns him about potential threats, like a concealed weapon or a planned punch to the dick.

In fact, Spider-Man’s ability to detect danger is so abstract and nebulous that it even warns him about injuries to his wallet or reputation, helping him detect when someone is bluffing while playing games like poker or warning him about cameras when he’s changing out of his costume. This actually came in useful during one comic when a superhero poker game is interrupted by the Kingpin and Spider-Man is able to beat him by using his Spider-Sense to predict when he’s bluffing.
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However, there is a limit to this power because, you see, Spider-Man’s Spider-Sense only works against someone he considers a threat. So for example, it won’t warn him if Aunt May is about cold-cock him across the jaw because he has no reason to expect her to pose any kind of threat to him. Similarly, Spidey’s Spider-Sense won’t warn him about danger posed by anyone he deems a friend or ally, making it possible for heroes like Wolverine to get the drop on him and punch him in the dick.

This is important because in one comic, after temporarily losing his Spider-Sense, Spider-Man is invited to a card game by the Avengers. During that game, Spider-Man innocently asks why he’s never been invited to one before, prompting Iron Fist to tell him that they never invited him because they were worried he could use his Spider-Sense to see their cards and also because he talks too much.

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Which means that, for years, Spider-Man wasn’t invited to a weekly get together involving some of his closest friends because they were worried he’d cheat, even though his powers wouldn’t let him.

In other words, Spider-Man spent many a night alone, doing nothing, wondering why he’s friends wouldn’t hang out with him, because he never told them how his powers worked. Which kind of makes you feel bad for the guy.