There has been a meteoric shift in recent times when it comes to the typecast of the modern poker player. Today’s stars of the felt have access to hundreds of alternatives to the card game, and many of them use these options as a way to develop their skills. Some have found that mastering different games has enabled them to become better all-rounders, as the attributes they have learnt elsewhere can be applied at the poker table.

Fantasy Card Games

The list of poker players that play fantasy card games to a high level is extensive, with there being too many succeeding at both games for it to be a coincidence. The top two players in the poker all-time money list, Bryn Kenney and Justin Bonomo, both played Magic: The Gathering professionally before excelling at the felt. Bertrand Grospellier has played a variety of eSports, including Hearthstone. Daniel Negreanu has been known to dabble in the Blizzard Entertainment title as well.

There are plenty of fantasy card games to choose from, with Gwent another popular option along with the ones already mentioned. All of these games require players to go into a match with a clear strategy and to make sure they play their cards in the right order. They gain a strong understanding of value and know that the higher value cards should be saved for later rounds when they can have a bigger impact. All of these skills can be applied to poker.

Slots

Slot games and poker have a long and rich history. Some of the earliest forms of slot machines were actually video poker games, which is why slots are known as pokies in places such as Australia. Over the last few decades, the games have evolved, and now there are exciting and colourful themes to attract players. Rainbow Riches is an example of an award-winning slot that displays how far the genre has come over the years. It has bonus features and attractive symbols, which help to draw players in.

You may be wondering how slots help to improve poker players. The main way that they can be beneficial is if players use them as an outlet to reset by blowing off steam. By playing games of chance for thrills outside of poker games, players are less likely to take risks at the felt.

Chess

Chess has long been regarded as one of the ultimate strategy games, and it is one that poker players should look to master if they want to become better strategists. The classic board game forces players to think a few moves ahead, and they have to assess every eventuality when doing so. Playing it makes people slow down in their thinking, and they have to activate their system 2 brain to make the best decisions. In poker, emotions can often take over, and players need to call on this logical thinking when it matters.

Modern poker is all about being an all-round player. Yes, you need to practice the card game as much as possible but playing other games is also hugely beneficial when it comes to developing the necessary skillset to cut it with the best.