There is nothing quite as thrilling a laying down cold hard cash for the chance at big prizes. The bigger the risk the bigger, the thrills when it come to the glitz and glamour of casino games. When it comes to the exciting array of games of chance, however, one game stands apart.
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What makes Poker different from other casino games?
Poker can be every bit as thrilling and exciting as slots, craps or blackjack, but there is much controversy about how different it is from the other games found on the casino floor. The controversy circles around the question, “Is poker a game of chance or a game of skill?”
The experts at webxcon have presented a list of the biggest differences you will notice between poker and other casino games. This is essential information to anyone who is interested in testing their mettle at this classic game. Here are the main points:
Biggest Differences Between Poker and Casino Games
1. Chance or Skill
The biggest difference between poker and the other games you will find in a casino is the list of champions: Why is it that there are consistent poker champions while games like blackjack or roulette see no such fortunes? Why is it that novice players and those with no talent lose over time while some go from victory to victory? Is this all luck?
If it were simply luck, why is it that names like Phil Ivey, Patrik Antonius and Daniel Negreanu have become so famous? These big time players make an appearance at the championship finales consistently. They don’t even need professional careers, unless you consider the skills they apply to their game a career.
It is a deeper understanding of the poker games that allows these professionals to make it to the top again and again. There is no such deeper understanding of craps or slots that would allow such a consistent victory.
Pokers deeper strategies and dynamics can be studied and applied with deft skill for many consecutive wins, making this activity a game of skill and less a game of chance.
2. Bad Hands Can Still Win
Another aspect of poker that makes it unique in comparison with the other games on the casino floor, is that the hand you are presented is not what decides victory. In poker you can be dealt the worst hand imaginable and still come out on top through skillful execution of strategy and deception. This is another place where the skill, rather than chance, determines the winner.
You simply can’t approach any other casino game with skill and deception and hope for a win. If the symbols don’t line up, if the cards are bad or if the dice rolls snake eyes you lose, you lose. Unless you are playing real poker.
The University of Denver published a report in 2012 that proved the vast majority (82%) of online poker games were decided without a showdown. This means that the way bets are handled and the cards are played that decides who comes out a winner.
(Click here to find some helpful information on coming out on top in a poker match by understanding the basics of bluffing)
3. No House Edge
House edge is what ensures the casino makes some cash off the services they provide. It could be said that games like blackjack, roulette and even slots are all “rigged”. It is necessary to beat the house edge in the short term, if you hope for success.
Without the house edge, casinos would hardly have a chance at making the fortunes they do. But, poker has no such “house edge”, instead the casino takes a portion from each “pot” that is created. The game is played against other visiting gamers rather than the house itself, as other games are. This means that deciding factor in poker is the capacity to “outplay” the other poker players at your table.
4. Chance VS. Risk and Uncertainty
The thrills of gambling come from the possibility of losing all that cash juxtaposed with the possibility of making a big win. But the chance of winning at the roll of the dice, is not the same risk involved in playing a hand of poker.
Imagine you have been dealt a two-pair hand in a game of Texas Hold'em and have convinced you partner to go all in. As you and your opponent reveal your cards you might feel confident when you see he is holding a flush draw, a flush without the final card.
Tension builds as the first card is turned, but it’s a brick (not the card he wanted). Then comes the river and with it the final card your opponent needed for the flush. You have lost to an underdog and many would consider this luck and chance determining the game.
But a skillful poker player knows the individual hand is not what matters when winning in poker, but the way the game is played in the long term. It may not be possible to guarantee the hands that are dealt, but it is possible to change the underlying strategy being applied to the game to ensure more individual wins than losses.
When you look at the game from this perspective, you can see that winning is not based on blind chance but on a mathematical certainty that is being decided by the most skilled person at the table.
In this sense, poker is as much a game of gambling as playing the stock market. While there is an extraordinary amount of uncertainty involved with the practice, winning comes from consistently clever decisions rather than fortune’s smile.
There are plenty of factors that differentiate poker from the other games of chance found on the casino floor. Nevertheless, if you hope to be successful in the game of poker you will need to know why this game is so different and what the best approaches and strategies that bring domination in this highly competitive game of wits are.