Many poker players choose to play game professionally and pursue a career in it. As such, they spend most of their time studying and playing poker, so they always have to keep focused and concentrate on the fine details of the game, which can be quite exhausting.
Of course, one of the pluses of being a professional poker player is that you set your own work hours, which means there’s plenty of time to kick back and relax, and engage in other activities. Like many people, poker players find entertainment in and enjoy a number of other card games. Here are three of the top card games poker players like to play when they just feel like gambling a bit and not having to devote their full and undivided attention to the tables. Of course, these games aren’t just for professionals, so you might want to give them a try after your next poker session.
One of the oldest and most popular casino table games, blackjack is one of the top choices for poker players looking to have fun. Blackjack is also fast-paced and can be quite exciting. This is especially true if you catch a good run of cards on a few consecutive hands.
But what usually attracts poker players to blackjack is the fact that, unlike most other casino games, it actually involves a certain amount of skill. Although the house always has a small edge, most poker players are aware they can create close to a level playing field by learning and applying fairly straightforward blackjack basic strategy.
It may not seem like it at first glance, but playing with vs. without understanding basic strategy can mean all the difference in the world. Those who don’t know what they are doing and are just trying to play it “by feel” usually lose way more often than those who employ basic blackjack strategy, so keep that in mind; your bankroll will thank you!
Although it has the word “poker” in the name, Chinese Poker doesn’t particularly feel or play like any other form of the game, be it Texas Hold’em, Seven Card Stud, or Omaha. The game uses poker hand rankings to determine the winners and it does involve some strategy but it is not nearly as demanding as other forms of poker.
There are several variations of the game but the one that has grown popular with the poker players over the past few years is Open Face Chinese Poker. You’ve probably had a chance to hear some well-known pros mention it during their interviews as one of their favorite pastimes, or perhaps needling one another on Twitter.
Dear @scott_seiver ,
Please start playing open face Chinese again! Please oh god please!
— Jason Mercier (@JasonMercier) January 8, 2013
There isn’t really as much skill to Chinese Poker as in other poker formats because you simply cannot bluff or make any other “standard” poker moves; this is a points game, after all. That being said, knowing the odds and some basic math can drastically boost your results compared to players without this knowledge.
The game is quite entertaining and fast-paced so it certainly appeals to many poker players. It can be played purely for fun or for real money, all the way up to high stakes, so you always can find action that fits your bankroll.
Spin & Gos
Spin & Gos are a legitimate poker format offered online by PokerStars – though some people might disagree – that some pros actually play as their primary game. That being said, they provide the perfect opportunity to have some fun and gamble it up a little if it’s not your main game, and rest from serious grinding.
There are a couple of reasons for this. The first one has to do with the game’s jackpot format, where any particular Spin & Go can result in a huge prize relative to your buy-in. As such, Spin & Gos feature a big element of luck, which adds to the excitement and creates an additional incentive to play them.
The second reason has to do with the fast and shallow structure of these tournaments, which means that most poker players have a decent idea of how to play them. The recreational and amateur players might not be as good as those who take the game really seriously, but they aren’t at a big disadvantage either, as the shallow structure makes it harder to make huge mistakes.
Of course, the fact that many poker players don’t take the time to learn Spin & Go strategy creates an excellent opportunity for those who have the patience and are willing to commit some time to studying. Otherwise, just enjoy this format and you’re practically guaranteed to have some fun.