If You Play Poker, You Have To Improve Your Skills Through Other Games And Here’s Why

Staff Staff


A deck of cards has many uses


When people look at how the gambling industry has evolved over the years, most cite technological changes, such as the number of online casino platforms that have launched. In reality, so much more has happened when it comes to how individuals view, challenge, and play different table games. Poker, in particular, has seen a significant shift. Players no longer rely on experience as their main strategy, but they use quantitative analysis and mathematical approaches as well. It’s the same thing that happened in the mid-1990s, when traders in the bond and options market went from being experienced, old school traders to young professionals that relied on science rather than experience and intuition. For years, the individuals who played high levels of poker were those who had come from the ground up, and over time cultivated a natural intuition for the game. However, over the last five to ten years, a new breed of player has emerged within the poker community. These individuals predominantly use mathematics to play the game, such as calculating probability, while relying on other card games like blackjack and baccarat to test their theories and improve their mental stamina.

Developing Your Poker Game Without Playing Poker

Any poker player knows the main foundation of the game is strategy, just as anyone buying real estate knows to look for location over architectural design. Back in the 1970s, when high levels of poker were played by those in tournaments who learned and mastered the game by playing it for years, the strategy around the game was all about bluffing. Granted, bluffing is still part of today’s strategy, but it is not the only thing poker players focus on anymore. Bluffing is an act of deception where players make their weak hand look stronger than it is, which, when done properly, gets their opponent to fold. Today, the strategy also involves calculating probability, such as counting the number of cards that will improve your hand and then multiplying that number by four to calculate your probability of catching that card. Similarly, to play a good game of poker today requires mental sharpness. Many individuals find that playing other card games helps foster this, especially live casino games, which stream online from casino studios with fully licensed dealers. The fact that these games are online means that they are totally portable so there are no limitations to where you have to be to play them, but as these casino games have a live host they are also immersive experiences. For instance, when you play blackjack, many apply the counting cards strategy, which keeps brain activity at a high level, works on short-term memory, and improves memorization and information recall.

Moreover, for further comparison, some of the most successful business professionals promote playing games like sudoku or crossword puzzles for the same reasons as above. They are portable, and they improve the mental capacities needed for their primary and daily tasks. The gambling industry is huge, and it is forecasted to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of around 11% between 2020 and 2027 after the market hit $53.7 billion in 2019, so an increasing number of people could learn a thing or two by honing other skills.

To Do Well In One Thing, You Have To Do Well In The Other

Often, people have the misconception that to become good at something, you have to focus on that one thing and that alone. We see this mentality in many industries, not just the gambling sector. For instance, in the health and fitness industry, when someone is training for a 10k or half-marathon, they have the impression that they should only be doing cardio. In reality, strength conditioning and cross-training are crucial for anyone who is training for a race, as building strong muscles like your core helps increase stabilization in the torso when running.


A woman holds an upper plank

Poker is similar in this sense. To master the game, you have to tweak and improve every aspect of your playing style, and to do this, you have to engage in games outside of the main one. This idea can also be applied to different industries. For example, English Premier League team Leeds United just announced that it will be selling merchandise through the smartphone application TikTok. While this does not improve performances on the field, it does let them improve their standing from a commercial perspective and continue to build the club as a global brand.

Similarities Between Games Lead To New Insights

Of course, it is not always straightforward going from poker to card games like blackjack, as there are notable differences between the two. For example, the psychology is different. Making decisions in blackjack is a direct reaction to the dealer’s hand, whereas in poker, each player has a different psychology and approach to the game, so it becomes more difficult to predict the outcomes. That said, regardless of the differences in psychology in the two games, success in both still comes down to decision-making; this is perhaps the most important similarity between the two. Playing these games allows for decision-making to become second nature, which is why playing one does not replace the other but instead allows you to hone your skills and see situations from a different perspective.

Hollywood has made it out to seem that poker is an elite club with a foundation different from every other card game. Maybe this is why there are so many movies made about poker but only a handful about other games, and while there is truth in that poker is in a league of its own, there is not as much as people have come to believe. Emphasized by the gambling industry’s transition online and the creation of live casino games, which has attracted a new generation of players into the competitive scene, modern gamblers have picked up on the transparency between poker and card games like blackjack. They have done the same with the transparency between poker and mathematics. When trying to master a game like poker, it is easy to think that you should focus only on that game. However, the modern world has shown us that different card games improve memorization and the recall of information, and games like blackjack can let players see poker from a different but necessary perspective.

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