Friends Central
Friends Central
The One With All The Poker
Season 1, episode 18
18th overall episode of Friends
The friends play poker.
Episode Information

March 2, 1995

Written by

Jeff Astrof & Mike Sikowitz

Directed by

James Burrows

Alternate titles
Episode Guide

The One With Two Parts, Part 2


The One Where The Monkey Gets Away


"The One With All The Poker" is the eighteenth episode of the first season of Friends, which aired on March 2, 1995.

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The guys teach poker (Five-card draw) to the girls, who lose spectacularly. They ask Monica's aunt, Iris, a professional poker player, for help in the game, which makes them improve, albeit slightly, their poker skills. The girls keep playing with the guys in the hope of winning one game over them.

Tired of serving coffee at Central Perk and being called "excuse me" by people, Rachel sends out resumes for job opportunities. She gets an interview at Saks, Fifth Avenue, about a vacancy as a buyer's assistant.

Ross picks up an old subject with Chandler and Joey - his love for Rachel. Ross tries to deny his feelings for Rachel, but the guys are skeptical about this. Determined to prove them wrong, he goes unusually hard on Rachel during the poker games. The two keep on bickering during a poker game, where things start to go well for Rachel when she wins a hand on Ross. In the middle of a dealt hand, she receives a call from Saks informing her that she hasn't been picked for the job.

Instead of abandoning the game, she decides to take it out on Ross, raising the bets over the limit and making everyone fold. Ross decides to fold too, but she reminds him of his comments about not being a nice guy during poker, so he sits out the rest of the hand. The bets keep rising through the roof, and Rachel wins with a full house. Even though Ross accepts the defeat, realizing that it made Rachel happy during a difficult moment, some watchers may think that he had a better hand, and lost to make Rachel happy. Unluckily for him, Joey and Chandler now definitely confirm that he's in love with Rachel.

Cast and Crew

Main Cast

Jennifer Aniston - Rachel Greene
Courteney Cox - Monica Geller
Lisa Kudrow - Phoebe Buffay
Matt LeBlanc - Joey Tribbiani
Matthew Perry - Chandler Bing
David Schwimmer - Ross Geller

Supporting Cast

Beverly Garland - Aunt Iris
James Michael Tyler - Gunther (uncredited)

Janice Davis - Coffee shop patron (uncredited)


Directed By:
James Burrows

Written By:
Jeff Astrof & Mike Sikowitz



  • The cast played Poker in a large dressing room between filming scenes.
  • At the start of the episode, the girls and then the boys use an extended "no". Later this is established as Rachel's catchphrase.
  • During the final poker game, the camera looks down from the ceiling onto Monica's kitchen table. This camera shot was used again when Ross, Phoebe and Susan get locked in the janitor's closet in the "The One With The Birth".
  • The uncut episode features an extra scene when the guys start dancing to The Lion Sleeps Tonight.
  • The gang later sing "The Lion Sleeps Tonight" to Marcel in "The One After The Superbowl, Part 1"
  • The fashion store, Saks Fifth Avenue, where Rachel has her interview is the same store Joey is working at in "The One With The Breast Milk" promoting men's perfume.
  • The song the gang whistle at the beginning of the episode is a march called "Colonel Bogey".
  • Jennifer Aniston described this episode as one of her favorite moments on the show in "The One With All The Other Ones".
  • Ross's hand was either a Four of a Kind, a Straight Flush, or a Royal Flush to have beaten a Full House (or a higher rated Full House).
  • It is revealed that Monica once threw a plate during a game of Pictionary. In "The One In Barbados, Part 2", Chandler refers to a scar that he claims he got during a game of Pictionary.
  • This is the first time Rachel tries to get a job in the fashion industry. Until "The One Where Rachel Quits" , this would also be the last time.
  • Throughout the episode, you do not see many face up cards from hands. When it is time to show cards at the end of each hand, the cast says what they have and place their cards on the table out of frame. This was probably to allow multiple reshoots without a rigged proper deck each take, and to prevent a blooper or inconsistency with each hand. The one of few times you see cards is an important one, talked about below.
  • You can see Ross' final hand before the redraw. He has 3♣ 6♠️ Q♣ K♥ and an unknown card off screen. Given the fact that he only trades in one card, it is actually impossible for him to beat any full house (he would need a straight flush, four of a kind or a superior full house). The production team probably made the mistake of allowing that to be viewed in the episode, unlike all other hands. The ending can be interpreted to be that either Ross bluffed all his money away on a weak hand or folded the winning hand. The first ending is less in tune with the ongoing plot of the episode. Ross would be losing all of his (and his friends' money) on a bluff that Rachel called. Assuming that the writers meant for us to see Ross' hand and he was meant to bluff, his actions make sense up until the final bet. In Jacks or Better, pretending to only need one card swapped is a viable bluffing strategy. After he trades in one card he starts bluffing to pretend he has a good hand. However, if Ross was bluffing, his last action of calling Rachel's final raise makes no sense, calling with a very weak hand wouldn't be bluffing anymore. A lot of viewers thought that this was the second ending with Ross folding a better hand, since it goes along with the ongoing plot of Ross loving Rachel and doing anything for her. At the end of the day, it was probably a blunder on the production team, and the second ending was the original intent.
  • Rachel calls Ross's bluff when he wants to quit saying "were you full of it?" Ross wanting to quit and let Rachel win provides further evidence of his feelings for Rachel.
  • In the uncut version of the episode, Aunt Iris says that Nathan (a cousin of Ross and Monica) thinks he's a man trapped in a woman's body. Years later in "The One With Joey's New Brain", Joey would play Dr. Drake Ramoray as a man with a woman's brain.
  • Chandler tells Rachel "I get my ya-yas from Ikea". Years later Phoebe would call herself "Ikea" when she gives Rachel a massage while pretending to be Swedish.
  • Kristin Davis, who appears late in the series as Erin (The One With Ross' Library Book) and George Clooney (Dr. Michael Mitchell) were filming ER at the time of shooting this episode. ER filmed across the way from the Friends studio. During a break, they went and watched the actors rehearse the scene, sitting in the stands where the live audience would sit for the tapings.[1]
  • The opening titles[on the DVD] call this episode "The One With the poker."


  • When the gang are sitting around the table in Monica's apartment playing poker, Monica is making something to eat. When she puts it on the table and sits back, we can see a pile of plates on the table on her right side. But in the next shot, the plates are gone.
  • In the cold opening a long shot shows Rachel turning an envelope over to look at the address. Then we get a close up of the kitchen table and Rachel repeats the movement. The shot changes to show the rest of the apartment and Rachel repeats the movement again.
  • Just before Ross asks Rachel if she wants him to shuffle the cards, several studio lights can be seen reflected in the serving dish on the kitchen table.
  • After everybody folds and Rachel wins her second on-screen poker hand, she starts to deal while Phoebe is still holding her cards from the previous game. The ones dealt by Rachel are from a different pack to those held by Phoebe.
  • Just after Ross folds his hand to Rachel in the final game, his wallet disappears from the table instantly in between shots, as well as Monica's purse switching from Rachel's right side to her left.
  • Chandler says he already claimed Jamestown and King George gave them the land. Jamestown was established 60 years before George I became King and indeed was abandoned the year after.
  • In the uncut version, when Chandler talks about Jamestown Rachel folds her arms, then Chandler says "King George is giving us the land" and Rachel folds her arms again. Then Ross says "the game" and Rachel's arms are at her sides and she folds them again.
  • While Rachel is on the phone, studio lights can be seen reflected in the pans behind her.
  • At the end of the cold opening, Ross screws up one of Rachel's CVs and throws it over his shoulder. Knowing how fastidious Monica is about keeping the apartment tidy, it seems strange she didn't say anything. However it's possible she said something after the scene ended.
  • When Rachel is excitedly reading about her interview, which hand is over her mouth or on her chest changes between shots.
  • The box of poker chips nearest Chandler's beer changes from open to closed between long and close shots during the first game of serious poker.
  • After Rachel shows the winning hand at the end of the final poker game, there are two loose face down cards in front of her but when the shot changes to show Monica and Phoebe dancing, the cards have disappeared instantly.
  • When the gang are sitting in Ross's apartment ready to play poker, Rachel pretends to shuffle the cards but if you look carefully, the cards are joined together meaning a trick pack was used.
  • When Rachel claims that she has the 10 of spades and passes her card to Phoebe, she actually passes the 10 of hearts.

Memorable Quotes

  • Monica: Do you really want a job with Popular Mechanics?
    Chandler: Well, if you're going to work for mechanics, those are the ones to work for.
  • Chandler: Could you want her more?
    Ross: Who?
    Chandler: Dee, the sarcastic sister from What's Happening.
  • Rachel: How come you guys have never played poker with us?
    Phoebe: Yeah, what is that, like some kind of guy thing? Like some kind of sexist guy thing? Like it's poker, so only guys can play?
    Ross: No, women are welcome to play.
    Phoebe: Oh, okay, so then what is it? Some kind of, you know, like some kind of, you know, like... All right, what is it?
  • Monica: He can get really competitive.
    [Phoebe laughs.]
    Monica: What?
    Phoebe [on imaginary phone]: Hello, kettle? This is Monica. You're black.
  • Rachel: Guys! Guess what? Guess what? Guess what?
    Chandler: Okay, uh... The fifth dentist caved and now they're all recommending Trident?
  • Rachel: And then she told the funniest story...
    Monica: Okay, great. You'll tell us and we'll laugh. Let's play poker!
  • Rachel: It's so typical. Ooh, I am a man. Ooh, I have a penis. Ooh, I have to win money to exert my power over women.
    Monica: You know what? This is not over. We will play you again, and we will win, and you will lose, and you will beg, and we will laugh, and we will take every last dime you have, and you will hate yourselves forever.
    Rachel: Kinda stepped on my point, there, Mon.
  • Ross: Your money's mine, Greene!
    Rachel: Your fly is open, Geller!
  • Rachel (singing): Well, I have got your money. And you'll never see it. And your fly's still open. Ha, I made you look!
  • Monica [after Joey guesses movie name]: You get that?

External links

Episode Navigation

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24
Preceded by
"The One With Two Parts, Part 2"
"The One With All The Poker" Followed by
"The One Where The Monkey Gets Away"

Notes and references