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Poker and Chess: How Similar Are They?


You can compare the incomparable. Leading grandmasters talked about the similarities and differences between chess and poker.
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  • 2021-04-27 15:32:01
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Poker and Chess: How Similar Are They?

Numerous chess players start playing poker sooner or later. The most successful of these players was the former world youth chess champion, Jeff Sarver. He also made the final tables in the European Poker Tour and World Series of Poker tournaments. Other notable chess players in the poker world are Grandmasters Jennifer Shahade and Maxime Vachier-Lagrave.

What drives these people to embody the skills of a chess player behind streak poker? Many people find it difficult to compare chess and poker, but in fact, chess and poker have a lot in common.

Similarities

The person who can best tell us about the similarities between chess and poker is a chess grandmaster and poker-pro Jennifer Shahad. Shahade is a board member of the World Chess Hall of Fame. She also participated in the joint chess and poker tournament.

Jennifer believes that chess and poker are a game of skill, she also believes that playing poker can improve the game of chess: “I think that poker can help a chess player become more pragmatic. Poker players are taught to practice. It's not about making the best theoretical game, but the best game against a particular opponent. "

Michael Chiamarra is a certified instructor of the International Chess Federation. He calls chess and poker "the classic mind sports." Chiamarra considers it important that children learn to play poker and chess from an early age: "I think that children should be introduced to these games little by little from the very childhood. First, the adoption of the family, and then chess. Thanks to classic intellectual sports, children's cognitive abilities are strengthened and developed."

Today's poker players put as much time and effort into their poker games as chess players put into theirs. According to poker player Sam Grafton, "Hand ranges, hand analysis, tactics and odds calculations are all key points for learning about poker." Instinct, along with theoretical knowledge, are key factors in poker. Chess grandmaster Ramachandran Ramesh also believes that poker and chess have similarities: "Logical thinking, planning, anticipating the future course, self-confidence, calculation and willingness to bluff." Planning is also important for chess players and poker players alike. Poker players know that any combination in a tournament can be their last; chess players plan their games and know that any unsuccessful move can end in a loss.

Differences

Of course, not all chess players agree that poker should be on par with chess. Norwegian chess reporter and journalist Tarjei Svensen believes that chess players are switching to poker just for the sake of "money." Swensen added: "While there are many similarities between chess and poker, very few poker players receive large cash prizes. In chess, the percentage of skill and luck is close to zero, and in poker, I guess it is about 10-20%."

Jennifer Shahade also noted the differences between the two games: "They are very similar in the way a good player approaches learning the game in the same way. But poker and chess are different in that chess involves more spatial thinking, while poker requires a greater understanding of people and psychology. Both games require skill, although poker brings a lot of luck in the short term."

Poker relies more on luck than chess. According to professionals, top-level chess requires more skill than top-level poker. But obviously, both games require similar thinking and tactics to win.

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