Poker is an amazing game to play and while it’s not typically a game filled with quests to a draugr temple or with 13 year olds obsessed with 360 no scopes, it is a game that you can have an amazing amount of fun playing with a few good friends.
While it may seem that a typical game of Texas Hold’em may not involve a lot of necessary skills, the truth of what lays behind the luck and chance is quite the opposite. Between mastering the knowledge of the odds of your hand and knowing how to tell if one of your opponents is bluffing there is a lot to the game, and mastering it could in fact come in use when playing other games.
While not exactly considered a skill, I believe that in this case perseverance should be considered so. Many professional poker players have stated that it often takes a lot of time and a lot of playing for a players skill to arise above the knockback that is luck. There’s a great article on the subject over on the telegraph site, they say that it’s very difficult to understand a players skill based on just one game and that the skill doesn’t really matter in comparison to the luck for just one game. But once you play a few 1000 hands then skill will really become a much more important factor.
In the same way, any game with an element of luck involved will share some of these traits. A fantastic but very different example of this would be a good old game of D&D, in which the rolling of dice is a very important element. You may be great at D&D, but when it comes to luck, you may have a single game in which you do terribly simply because you never rolled well. But when looking at it from a broader perspective, skill becomes a hell of alot more relevant. That is why, being good at playing poker through the skill of perseverance may improve your skill in many other games.
Spotting a Tell
Most of you will have heard of ‘tells’. In poker a tell is something that an opponent does subconsciously either when they have good cards, bad cards or are bluffing. Being able to spot a tell when playing poker is an invaluable skill and it may even help you when it comes to gaming.
More and more games are incorporating much more realistic human interaction in to the gameplay and LA Noire by rockstar games is probably the most renowned for this. In LA Noire, being able to tell if someone is lying purely based on their body language is just as important as it is when playing poker.
Being able to calculate what odds your cards have of winning is another extremely valuable poker skill to have. While you don’t need to learn how to count cards, it can be useful to understand a few basic mathematical concepts regarding how good your hand is.
Going back to the example of D&D, being able to calculate the rough odds of exactly what chances you have when fighting a massive troll or whether you can sneak past the guards, can be extremely useful. It’s not just D&D either, just think of using the VATS in one of the newer fallout game, that was all about odds, and I’m sure that there are many more games like it.
I’ve barely touched the surface of the possible skill set you can gain from playing poker, but as you can see from the brief examples I’ve given, such a skill set can be a great use in most if not all other games. So find a poker site like allfactualpoker.com and start learning poker or head out, buy yourself a pack of cards, gather up a few friends and get playing some poker… You may even have some fun too!