Are there any similarities between poker players and slot players?

By Sarah Thomas
July 25, 2018

Poker and slots are both among the most popular games in the gambling word. Naturally, the two games have their loyal fan bases that are at times not mutually exclusive. On the surface, the two pastimes of poker and slots don’t seem to have too much in common. The biggest similarity is obviously that they can both be played at brick and mortar casino establishments throughout the world, as well as played online at Unibet and other popular, quality online casino sites. Each game tends to appeal to different groups of people though. One might say that poker is a game where — while there certainly is a luck factor — one has to think and incorporate a high level of skill, whereas slots is a game based off of pure luck.

poker and slots

Another obvious similarity between the two games is that no matter how skilled (or lucky) a player may or may not be, anyone who plays the games has some level of tolerance for risk and the understanding that they may lose (or win) money while playing. Skilled poker players, however, usually have a good idea of how likely they are to fare against their competitors, whether in tournaments of cash games. Studying, practicing good game selection, and other skills can come in handy at the poker table and minimize the luck factor. With slots, by contrast, all you can really do is pick a game with a good paytable, press/click buttons, let the reels spin, and hope for the most favorable possible outcome. Slot play often gets repetitive, although some popular slots offer bonus games that help to keep things interesting. In poker, however, you’re always on your toes, always being challenged to think and make the most optimal plays. Mathematics aside, there’s also the element, when playing live poker, of getting physical reads and tells on your opponents to try and outplay them.

READ MORE: Our review of the Reading Poker Tells video series

When playing slots you don’t have any control of the outcome, although you could stand a chance of winning a life changing amount of money especially in games with progressive jackpots. Poker does offer the opportunity to win amounts of cash, but not nearly as much as in slots. Sure, you might get really lucky and be in the right place at the right time for a five- or six-figure bad beat jackpot. Also, of course WSOP Main Event winners and high roller professionals can win millions, but they’re also risking five-, six- and sometimes even seven-figure buy-ins to make those huge scores. The majority of people who play slots are low-rollers, often dreamers or hopeful that maybe they’ll be lucky enough to hit a giant jackpot and win that large amount of prize money. So, while both poker and slots offer lots of of excitement, the upsides of winning are different depending on the game you’re playing.

As mentioned earlier, many slot games offer bonus features. These include free spins and extra min-games to play that could net players extra cash. Even with all these extras, however, slot thrills are relatively short lived and players lose interest a lot more quickly than in poker. Frankly, they stand a higher chance of being disappointed and getting bored more quickly. By contrast, poker sessions can regularly last for hours upon hours. Every hand is different from the previous one. Some hands will forever remain etched in players memories, and they’ll tell bad beat (or big win) stories even years after a hand will have occurred. In poker, players need a lot of patience and emotional temperament because they have to follow a strategy, especially when they are facing a lot of pressure.

In summary, then, slots and poker are very different games, which ultimately means that the similarities between slot game players and poker players are relatively limited.



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Sarah Thomas poker author
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Sarah Thomas

Sarah Thomas is a content writer for entertainment websites. In her free time she enjoys playing all sorts of games, both live and online.


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