What Are the Similarities between Chess and Poker?

Nowadays, it is safe to say that there are many chess players that are taking up poker. Jeff Sarwer, a former World Youth Chess winner, is the most successful so far as he has made it to the final of the World Series of Poker as well as the European Poker Tour. So, why can chess players be successful at poker? Well, it is because the two games have many similarities.

Similarities Between Chess and Poker

Below we will explain the similarities between these two games that many people think are worlds apart.

The Importance of Strategies

Both of these games require a lot of strategy, which is probably why they are appealing for the same type of people. In order to succeed in either of these games, you need to have the ability to anticipate what your opponent is going to do next.

In chess, like in poker, your next move is determined by previous moves that you made. If you don’t use any strategies, you might get lucky and win a couple of games or hands, but more often than not you will end up losing.

Both Are Very Complex Games

To say that chess and poker are complex games would be a bit of an understatement. There are many different moves that you can make in chess and very few games of chess are ever the same. Similarly, in poker, the cards can come out in any order, meaning that no games are the same and the poker players have to adapt to different situations, just like chess players.

The Importance of Bluffing

Everyone knows that bluffing is a fundamental part of poker, but if you tell them that bluffing can also be useful when playing a game of chess, they will probably turn around and call you crazy. However, if you watch enough chess matches, you will often hear the commentators talk about bluffing. For example, there are times when a chess player will make an inferior move in the hope that it confuses their opponent and forces them into making a mistake that will cost them the game.

This is more effective in speed chess, where both players only have a specific amount of time to think about and make their move. This helps to show chess’ psychological element – it isn’t really just a battle of moves; it is a battle of brains. This is exactly the same as poker.

Both Are Fun to Play

A great similarity between the two games is that they are both extremely entertaining to play. Dedicated chess players devote a lot of their time to the game, but they always end up learning something new. This means that it is a game that never ends up getting boring.

Poker players also dedicate a lot of time to the game that they love, but they are also always learning, and the action never stops because there are millions of poker players all over the world.

Learning How to Play Both Games

Many people consider chess to be an extremely difficult game to learn, but it really is no more difficult than trying to learn how to play poker. Learning the basic chess moves is just as complex as learning the different poker hand rankings.

However, if you want to become a master in either game, it will take years of dedication as there are so many different strategies. If you want to learn more about either game, there are a number of great strategy books that you should read.