While there are versions of poker present on most casino gaming floors–notably three-card poker and virtual poker machines–the true game of poker that we all know and love is drastically different to the most popular casino games: blackjack and roulette.
For one thing, poker cardrooms are usually separate from the main gaming floor and have their own room or corner within the casino. But most importantly, we play poker against other people rather than the casino itself, i.e. the house. This means that when you sit down at a poker table, the odds aren’t instantly stacked against you like they are in blackjack and roulette.
Of course, just because the odds are against you, that doesn’t mean you can’t win at these games. But it certainly takes luck, and sometimes, a few skills can help too.
There are a bunch of attributes that experienced poker players possess which can help them when playing in the pits. Here’s a look at some poker skills that can be transferred to other casino games.
Knowing the odds
One of the first lessons a poker professor would teach you is how to calculate your pot odds in any given situation. Having a firm grasp on poker probabilities, how many outs you have, what percentage you are to win the pot etc. is essential for making correct decisions at the poker table.
But these skills can also be transferred to help you play other casino games better. While those sitting around the blackjack table with you might simply be hoping for the best, poker players can use their mathematical calculation skills to determine whether they should hit or stick based on the dealer’s hand and the cards in front of the other players.
Similarly, while some roulette players pick their lucky numbers and bet everything they have on one spin, poker players can use their ability to make quick calculations to know what chances they have to win and use this to inform how they spread their bets.
It’s not uncommon to see people playing table games get upset and frustrated when their wagers don’t win. But you’re far less likely to see this happen if it’s an experienced poker player playing.
This is because–if you’ve played poker long enough–you understand the importance of patience and have built up a level of endurance and composure to see you through the losing bets. Think about all the hours you’ve spent at the poker table completely card dead. Did you become impatient and go all-in with a terrible hand just to get it over with? No. You waited and eventually, a good spot emerged.
Another skill that poker players acquire through experience is understanding variance, and enduring it. Some people believe they have a “system” to always win at roulette. Some people think they’re a sure thing to beat blackjack because they know the perfect strategy. But not poker players.
In our game, we know that you can play absolutely perfectly and still lose. Sometimes it’s a bad session, a bad few days, a bad week, or a bad month.
When dabbling in roulette or blackjack, poker players know that the odds are against them and that long stretches of bad luck can and will happen. It’s just variance.
But because we’ve been through the wringer in poker, poker players are often much better at handling their emotions well when taking bad beats and big losses. While other players in a casino might get upset when their roulette bets don’t come in, poker players understand that losing is a part of the game.
If you practice a healthy bankroll management strategy in poker, you’re also far more likely to play within your means and not lose your head when playing other casino games.