On the face of it, poker and sports betting seem almost polar opposites. The bookmakers and online sites offering a seemingly endless choice of markets to bet on seem worlds apart from the structure provided by the game of poker. However, there may be more to it than meets the eye. If you fancy a flutter on the horses or betting on your first accumulator after a life of sitting at the card tables, or vice versa, here are three similarities between poker and sports betting.
1. You must know what you’re betting on
Whatever you choose to gamble on, knowledge is perhaps one of the most important skills in a gambler’s arsenal. You wouldn’t see a Hold’em player suddenly decide to jump straight into a Razz game expecting to turn a quick buck or even to be profitable. Similarly, football punters don’t bet on the Belgian fourth division without knowing at least a little bit about the teams and players within it.
Just because a friend of a friend says a certain horse is a surefire winner, make sure you do your homework first before placing a bet. Someone might advocate a particular poker discipline as the best possible game you should be playing, but if you aren’t familiar with the rules you ought not sit down at the tables to begin with. Researching the game you want to play as well as the sport you are betting on will definitely serve you well in the long term.
2. Bankroll management is critical
Both poker and sports betting aficionados understand the importance of playing within your means. Not only does this mean not betting more money than you can afford to lose, but it also means betting the right amount with regard to the situation that presents itself.
In poker there are often times when you must take a hard look at your bankroll and think about how many buyins you have for a tournament or for a certain stakes. In sports betting you also need to keep an eye on the funds you have, just in case a situation presents itself where you might want to bet a larger amount than usual. Just remember to keep an eye on your overall bankroll at all times.
3. Patience is a virtue
Just like you’d sit and wait for a good hand in poker, sometimes it’s better on certain occasions to wait for a profitable sports bet opportunity to come in, as opposed to jumping straight at the first opportunity someone mentions to you on Twitter. Once you’ve placed the bet, nothing gets the nerves jangling like waiting for your accumulator to come in, just like when you wait with bared breath for your triple-barrel bluff to get through or for someone to call your river bet when you’ve got the nuts.
In conclusion, there are certain skills you can use across both poker and sports betting. Key factors such as knowledge and patience can get you into profitable situations, whilst bankroll management will ensure that you stay in these profitable situations for as long as possible.
If you’ve enjoyed this article, we also recommend that you read our 12 tips for poker beginners.