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Sports betting versus Poker

Posted on | January 27, 2014 | No Comments

There are a lot of differences between sports betting and poker. In this article we take a look at four main areas where these two types of gambling differ significantly.

#1 Uneven odds

Every form of gambling is an art and, some would say, even a science. Poker lends itself easily to some good old math, and an expert at poker can easily calculate the odds for a given hand mentally.

The situation is a bit trickier when it comes to sports betting. You’re hingeing your chances of winning not on cold, impassive cards but on temperamental, easily distractible humans. Or animals. The world of sports betting is a lot messier and less organised than what you’d expect at a poker table, however most would agree that this is what makes it exciting.

In contrast to poker, sports betting requires greater intuition from the player and the ability to spot patterns in the performance of his team, athlete or racing animal. Sports betting is probably more difficult to master for the average player, but it is also more engaging than poker since you have to keep abreast of the latest news on the field constantly.

#2 Betting structures

Another significant difference between sports betting and poker, is that in the former you’ll find a wider variety of betting structures and the ability to bet an amount that suits your bankroll at any time.

Poker tends to have more rigid betting rules; in Texas Hold’em for example, the amount you can bet depends on your position at the table and on the decisions made by the other players. Sports betting, on the other hand grants more autonomy in the betting choices you make. In games like football you can even link your bet to part or all of the game, or to specific outcomes like a particular player scoring first or the number of saves the goalie will make.

The greater complexity of play in sports betting ensures that you can find a bet that fits your gambling style every time. While it may not appear as straightforward to the newcomer, learning the rules associated with sports betting is worth the effort since you’ll be able to enjoy greater control on your play.

#3 Friends and fun

The social aspect of sports betting is mainly related to the fun you’re having with your friends at the pub whilst enjoying a cold one. It’s unlikely that any of your peers will be influencing the amount of money you’ll bet, nor will you be directly competing against any of them.

In poker it’s a completely different affair. The social aspect of poker is inextricably linked to an atmosphere of competition, and in very big tournaments, even deceit and bullying. Whilst this may certainly appeal to some people, sports betting allows you to focus on the game and the only drama you’ll see will be playing on screen.

A related point is that sports betting can be learnt at a more gradual pace than poker. Which works well considering that sports betting is tougher to master than poker. But apart from the difference in difficulty, sports betting doesn’t pit you against competitors who are dying to strip you down to your last penny (or shirt, if you’re into that kind of poker!).

Sports betting is mainly a gamble against yourself, your own knowledge of a particular team, athlete, or race; therefore you can grow your ability at sports betting in tandem with your knowledge about your favourite sport.

#4 Turn a hobby into profit

If you love a particular sport then gambling is a way to cash into your knowledge about it. Poker as a game is pretty much limited to its own culture and casino circles, whereas sports betting taps into a richer tradition that includes fans, feuds, history and a sense of identification with one’s favourite team.

Sports betting differs from poker since it builds upon an existing interest and takes your deeper in the sports you love. There is a sense of commitment which is unlike that you’d feel for a deck of cards. Sports betting comes in all shapes and colours, and there’s plenty of opportunity to share your experience with fellow sports bettors.

Poker on the other hand can get a bit lonelier. It’s tough bonding over a big loss as it is to find fellowship from players you’ve beaten. Sports betting on the other hand ties in nicely with an existing set of social norms that can make winning more fun, and losing an opportunity to commiserate with fellow fans.

Counting cards or running yards?

The differences between sports betting and poker are significant, but many players find themselves at home playing at the tables or the bookies. Involving yourself in both worlds maybe the best way to get a good perspective on both and, why not, increase the ways you make money through your gambling.



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