Similarities Between Poker And Sports Betting

On the surface, it may be assumed that Poker and sports betting are completely different propositions. After all, one is based around sets of matched playing cards, and the other around professional teams going head to head. They couldn’t be more different, right?

Not at all. Upon closer inspection it turns out that the activities have very similar aspects. In fact, many argue that being proficient at Poker is the best possible gateway into sports betting. Take a look at what makes these games of chance perfect analogies of one another.

Predicting An Outcome – Poker

When it comes down to it, the game of cards is all about making snap decisions on uncertain information. The player has a hand of cards, and based on the value of the cards, can make certain assumptions about the current position in the game. But, depending on how many opponents are playing, there are also a number of unknown factors in the mix.

The player can make bets based on the known information, and take risks in regards to the unknown factors. Payouts, therefore, aren’t guaranteed. But smarter, more skilled players have a far better chance of coming out on top.

If this isn’t sounding a bit familiar, it really should.

Predicting An Outcome – Sports Betting

In sports betting, there are also known and unknown factors. Extensive research can be done on teams, individual star players, and the recent performance of teams, giving a solid understanding of the situation. Much like hands in Poker, a fairly accurate prediction can be made in regards to potential outcomes. In short; those who are knowledgeable about teams, and the game in general, are far more likely to make successful bets.

There is, however, also a whole ocean of unknown, or uncertain aspects. How will star players perform? Will there be injuries mid-game? Will it rain?

Making Smart Bets

Based on the above, the core of both games of chance is placing smart bets. In Poker, the best players will know that putting down the right bet at the right time can make all the difference. Weak hands can be used to bluff, creating a win out of an almost certain loss. Likewise, a valuable hand can be completely wasted, should the right steps not be taken to secure opponent interest.

In sports betting, the best punters will know that there is no such thing as a guaranteed victory. Underdogs can win against seemingly impossible odds, while favourites can choke and flounder what seems like certain victory. Those who can spot the signs will put down huge wagers at the right moment, snatching up a massive payout. Likewise, those who aren’t paying attention may land up losing, since they failed to identify an important element.


All in all, the two popular games of chance are simply two sides of the same coin. Certainly new skills would have to be learned if a veteran of one activity switched over to the other. But after a brief adjustment, it would soon be discovered that the similarities are more than skin deep.