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Skill & Experience Is An Asset in Poker

David Burgundy | 24 Jan 2018

Why Skill and Experience Is An Asset in PokerFor a lot of players the allure of Poker comes down to its heady combination of chance and strategy. While developing tactics and having a basic plan is very important, it’s also quite easy to get lost in a quagmire of strategy dilemmas.

It’s important to remember that, at the end of the day, Poker is a gambling game. That means that general gambling concepts apply, and that it is important for players to internalise these. Being able to play at any time, from wherever you are, thanks to mobile casinos, can go a long way to helping with this.

The Great Debate: Is Poker Gambling?

The exact elements of what constitutes a true gambling game have come up around other casino games, but never as strongly as with Poker. Skill and insight are obviously used in the game, but random card dealings also play a huge part in the outcome.

The debate about what kind of game Poker is first surfaced with a 2012 trial of a man operating a Poker room out of Staten Island. Lawyers argued for and against Poker being a gambling activity, since operating any gambling operation was a crime. Ultimately, the judge ruled that Poker was more a game of skill than chance, and the conviction was tossed out. While this no doubt made the man on trial very happy, there are still some serious gambling elements to the world’s most popular game of cards.

Build Gambling Concepts into Poker Strategy

The many gambling concepts that are involved in games of Poker include waiting for a better table spot, bankroll management, game selection, consideration of rule selection and the atmosphere of a tournament that is as heady as any casino floor. Understanding the similarities allows you to make them work for you and play a better Poker game.

Another way that Poker is like casino games is that it involves variance that can’t be avoided, though players often dedicate a lot of effort to trying. Strange as it may seem, however, variance can actually be a good thing in a Poker game. Variance provides entertainment, and keeps players alert so that they’re more focused and tend to win more.

Poker tablemates all tend to feel the same way about variance, so the reason you can keep playing at all is down to this important concept too! The best advice is to avoid trying to find every possible way of reducing the variance of a game; this crushes the life out of it. Your fun and winning chances are both massively reduced.

Limits to the Virtues of Variance

As a Poker player making variance work for you, you are basically operating as a kind of mini casino. Your fellow players are your customers, and by adding variance to when they win and lose they’ll develop positive expectations and keep playing. This mindset is pretty advanced, but you also need to be careful.

Your own bankroll limits how much you can play with the variance level. If you get carried away, creating more variance than is needed to keep players interested, you’ll have to bet smaller and win less money. The key here, as with so much in life, is balance; you need to keep your tablemates entertained with enough variance, but you need to keep your betting prospects good with a little moderation.

Over time, this will get easier to understand and manage, and you’ll win more games with this added psychological tactic in your Poker-playing arsenal. Balancing the variance is as important as understanding and interpreting different players’ tells, and is far more rooted in casino games.