Do Pick-Up Artist Techniques Actually Work?

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These days, most old-school pick-up artist techniques are mocked for being corny and ineffective. 

Most modern pick-up coaches aren’t teaching them any more, instead opting to help their students learn ‘natural game’ instead.

Some coaches say that these techniques were never helpful, while others suggest they’re less effective now because women have become more savvy to them. 

But is that true? Should these techniques be labelled as ‘a thing of the past’ and forgotten? Or are they still useful to learn and practice?

In this guide, we’ll explore 12 classic old-school pick-up artist techniques and review how effective they’re likely to be to help men get laid in the modern day.   

12 Old-School Pick-Up Artist Techniques Rated

These old-school pick-up artist techniques have been listed in alphabetical order for your convenience.

For each technique, you’ll find an explanation of what it is, how to use it and a rating for how effective it can be for seducing women.  

Canned Lines

Pick-up artists are perhaps best-known by mainstream society for having pre-prepared ‘pick-up lines’ to seduce women. Any phrase which has been pre-prepared to say at a certain time is a canned line – and they can help guys get a desired result out of a specific situation. If you learn canned lines to overcome shit tests or invite a woman back to your place, that will help you get laid more. It can be comforting to have some canned stories to fall back on if you worry about running out of things to say too. 

However, the idea of having the ‘right thing to say’ is extremely overrated. If you have the right energy about you, it’s possible to hold people’s attention and make them like you, no matter what’s coming out of your mouth.   

Also, women hate the idea that men think they can be seduced by some magical pick-up line. So, if anything you say ever comes across as pre-prepared, it can be a huge turn-off.

At some point in a relationship with a woman, the canned lines are going to run out. Then, she’s going to see the real you. So, you might as well be authentic from the very start. 

Rating: 4/10

Demonstration Of Higher Value (DHV)

A DHV is to demonstrate an attractive quality in a subtle way. 

The idea is that you tell a story, which reveals you have a lot of money, status or power, without directly stating that you have these things. If you brag about your high value with no subtlety, it appears as if you’re trying too hard to impress her and that can be a huge turn-off.

The easiest way to DHV in the modern day is to swap social media contacts instead of phone stories, and to post highlights of your lifestyle on social media for women to see. This doesn’t come across as too try-hard because you’re posting these clips for everyone to see, not just this one special woman. Also, there’s an accepted culture of stunting on social media platforms like Instagram.

Rating: 9/10  

False Time Constraint 

A false time constraint is a lie about how little time you have to talk to a woman. It’s recommended to use this when starting a conversation with a woman, who is standing somewhere she can’t immediately leave. Perhaps she’s waiting for a friend or sitting on the beach with belongings spread all over her towel, for example.

If you open a conversation without a false time constraint in these scenarios, a woman’s mind is likely to be consumed with fears of how long she’s going to be stuck in a conversation with this unknown man. 

When you do use a false time constraint, these fears wash away and the pressure is removed. Now, she can actually be present and hear what you have to say. 

Yes, a false time constraint is a lie. But, if a woman grows to like you, she’ll never mention how you originally said you only had a couple of minutes to talk. If she grows to dislike you, she will mention that and that’s your cue to leave. 

Rating: 8/10   

Hand Of God

The Hand Of God is a technique designed to help you start dancing with one woman who is surrounded by a group of friends on the dancefloor. You hold your hand out towards her so she can grab it, then pull her in towards you when she does.

The idea is that her friends are less likely to cock-block you, because she has communicated that she wants this to happen by grabbing your hand.

The problem is: unless you’re incredibly good-looking or you’ve seen some sort of IOI from her previously, she usually won’t grab your hand and you end up looking stupid.   

Rating: 4/10 

Hard Stops 

This is a technique used in daygame, which gives you the best opportunity to open a conversation without an instant-blowout.

When teaching a hard stop, most coaches will teach students to let a woman walk past him, turn around, catch up to her, place yourself a few yards in front of her, then open.

Critics say that hard stops are unnatural and corny, but they are the most effective way to start a conversation with a woman walking down the street.

If you try to tap her on the back or the arm to start a conversation, you’re usually going to frighten her. If you try to start a conversation immediately as she’s walking towards you, it usually comes across as less spontaneous. She’ll often assume you have some dodgy pre-prepared agenda and keep walking. If you try to walk with her and talk, you won’t have her full attention and can’t make use of eye contact to build a connection.

Rating: 9/10   


A neg is a subtle tease designed to lower a woman’s opinion of herself, so that you appear more worthy in her eyes. This is arguably the most sociopathic and toxic pick-up artist technique to ever exist. It is mentioned in every media hit piece ever written about pick-up artists, and perhaps rightly so. 

Negging can work on narcissists or women with low self-esteem. It will usually upset everyone else and make them think you’re an asshole. 

It’s better to work on your own self-esteem so you can see yourself on the same level as a beautiful woman. When you believe this, your body language and overall behavior will communicate that – and most women will give you a chance at this point.

Rating: 1/10 

Opinion Opener

An opinion opener is starting a conversation by asking a woman’s opinion about something. They’re a staple of indirect game and are somewhat effective because most people like to share their opinions.

However, just as with canned lines, they’re unlikely to work when they don’t come across as spontaneous. In this case, a woman can tell you’re just using them as an excuse to start a conversation. This can come across as cowardly and inauthentic, which is a huge turn-off for women.

Rating: 6/10 


Peacocking is the act of dressing outlandishly to get a woman’s attention. The idea is that your wacky attire makes women want to start conversations with you.

This was popularised by Mystery and was the defining pick-up artist technique of the mid-2000s. In this era, you’d see pick-up artists wearing feather boas, fishnet vests and all kinds of other ridiculous clothing  

It’s fair to say that peacocking is the most well-known and ridiculed pick-up artist technique of the modern day, even though it’s barely used by anyone who studies game any more. 

The thing is: it can work. Peacocking will get you more attention in a crowded nightclub. Women who like you will start conversations with you about your clothes. 

However, it will only help you to get laid if you’re completely comfortable with your appearance. If you’re the tiniest bit insecure, peacocking will destroy your chances of getting laid.

Rating: 5/10  


Pre-selection is showing that other women like you. The easiest way to do this is to turn up to a bar with a bunch of your female friends. You post photos and videos with these friends on your social media profiles too.  

This is powerful because it communicates to other women that you’re not a creep (at the very least) and that you’re almost definitely a really cool guy. If you weren’t a cool guy, you wouldn’t be surrounded by all these other hotties.    

It can take a bit more effort to be able to use this pick-up artist technique, but it’s worth it. Pre-selection is one of the most powerful DHVs there is. 

Rating: 9/10


This is the idea that you should balance your indicators of interest with indicators of disinterest.

It’s arguably an essential part of the dance that is flirting.

If you only compliment a woman, it’s going to be too obvious that she can have you. She’ll see that she doesn’t have to work for your affection. That leaves no excitement or intrigue for her.  She’ll also often conclude that she’s too good for you. If you only tease her, that’s unlikely to work out either. 

By balancing your compliments and teases, you create this addictive emotional rollercoaster for a woman, which makes her fight for your affection.

Rating: 9/10

Statement Of Empathy 

This is a statement, which shows that you understand how she might feel about a certain situation. For example, it’s often recommended to say “I know this is a bit out of the blue” when approaching a woman on the street. You might also say “I know this is really spontaneous, but” when trying to pull a woman home from a bar. 

You do this to demonstrate social acuity, which is an attractive quality that makes her feel more safe in your presence.

Rating: 8/10 

Yes Ladder

This is based on the psychological concept that people become more agreeable, the more they’ve agreed with you in the past. Pick-up artists might take advantage of this by asking a woman to comply with very small requests initially, such as moving a couple of steps towards the bar, before trying to isolate her from her friends or pull her home.

Indeed, this is most useful when trying to convince a woman to come home with you from a bar. Perhaps, first you’ll invite her outside to get some fresh air, then to grab some food at a nearby restaurant, then maybe to another bar nearer your house. However, you shouldn’t expect a Yes Ladder to make a woman like you all by itself. 

Rating: 3/10 

Old-School PUA Techniques Vs Natural Game

The biggest crtitique of old-school PUA techniques is that they don’t help those who use them to develop core confidence.

When guys use them to get laid, they end up assuming they’re still losers – and it’s only the  techniques that made the woman like them.

That’s fine if your only goal is to get laid, although it’s true that more women are starting to see through these tricks, considering it’s well over a decade since the publication of ‘The Game’ and the subsequent growth of the pick-up coaching industry.

‘Natural Game’ is the solution to this problem. Instead of teaching you to behave like that stud who all the women want, ‘Natural Game’ focuses on how to actually become that guy.

The result is that your self-esteem grows and you get laid without having to use any clever lines and tricks. 

These PUA techniques are certainly useful for a man to know, but it’s not ideal having to rely on them.

Instead, you should focus on becoming a more confident and attractive guy in general, who can sprinkle in these techniques when he sees fit.

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About Joe Elvin Joe Elvin travels the world working remotely as a lifestyle writer and confidence coach. Throughout 2017, he filmed his entire dating life as part of a national television documentary in the UK. His new book 'The Camera Never Lies' details the brutal truths about dating and relationships learned from this experience. You can learn more about the book and download the first chapter for free by clicking here >>

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