Other Games of Strategy


#1

Just interested in hearing if players here use other games of strategy to improve their poker skills or their mindset in relation to poker. Or if you utilize your poker skills in other games of strategy. Anything from chess, to brainteaser puzzles, other card/gambling games, to board games of any kind. What do you play? What do you recommend?

For example, I’ve played the board game “Sequence” (hope some of you know it and play it) with the same two friends for a while and have recorded who won every game we’ve played. It’s a fairly close race, but I am in last place. I play slowly and attempt to play very strategically (at least what I feel is, relative to my competition). Sometimes it is methodical and sometimes it is unorthodox. I attempt to adapt to their playing style. At first I thought my “over-strategizing” was backfiring to their aggression, but I’ve gotten used to and can read their playing style, and can spot their bluffs. I doubt they look into it as strategically as I do, and maybe that is what has killed me, but my results are getting better. Of course, there is a lot more “luck of the cards” involved this game than in poker, but it is fairly strategic nonetheless.

Would simply like to hear from you regarding other games of strategy you enjoy that you incorporate into your “way of thinking” to improve the way you look at poker and other strategies in general.


#2

Hello @lad44
I play chess and I love the game. I’m not great at it but I keep trying to improve. However, I can’t say that I apply any skills learned in chess, in poker. The reason being that most board/strategy games, unlike poker, don’t have the bluff element, or the need to read and understand your opponents more than just the game itself.
For example, in chess, the board is all I need to read. Of course I have to try and predict what my opponent is planning to do, but that is done through the analysis of how pieces are placed and how the other player is moving them. Everything is on board, clear for everyone.
In poker, you can’t see the cards, and you don’t know what the others are planning. You have to read them, to guess their intentions, to call their bluffs or die trying lol.
Very few games have that specific element, which is a major one in poker. So in my opinion it’s difficult to improve poker skills using board games. But that’s just me :slight_smile:
Have a great day/evening.
Maya


#3

My grandfather was a chessmaster. He told me there was more to the game than just the pieces on the board. In poker, a bluff is essentially intimidation, a head game. That can be used in chess too (Fischer vs Spassky?). My father smoked cigars while playing. He was not above calmly and slowly blowing the smoke into his opponent’s face while they were concentrating on the next move. He might then ask, “You do realize you’re finished?”

He was a top notch player but he believed there was no harm in having some insurance by rattling the competition a little.


#4

I played on the chess team through high school. Played competitive billiards since I was 16. Played hearts and spades alot and I worked in a Casino for awhile and got pretty good at blackjack.

I was also very heavy into competitive sports in college and still play computer games that require strategy.

I think the more activities you do that require you to think ahead and create a strategy to win helps you with holdem or any competition and in a career to make money or be successful.

If you can think ahead and visualize a strategy and adapt those skills carry over to what ever you are doing.


#5

Hey Daffodil,
I know what you mean. Intimidating your opponent by making them think you’re winning even if you’re not is a form of bluffing. But it’s not the same as bluffing in poker.
In chess, even if your opponent is trying to intimidate you, the pieces are on board and you can see everything in front of you. In poker, you can’t see the cards. There’s always this element of the unknown.
Moreover, the intimidation techniques might work face to face, but if you’re playing against others online, blowing smoke or using intimidating words and actions don’t work anymore. Whilst in online poker, bluffing is always an option through betting and raising etc…


#6

You can sort of bluff in chess. Start reaching for a piece, then pause and say, “It is my move, right?” Of course, the piece you semi-reach for isn’t the one you intend to move.

I used to intimidate my opponent by planning my next move while they were thinking about their current move. They think about their move for a few minutes, then I answer immediately. They would then have to consider what I just did before planning their next move, and this gave me the time to have my next move ready. This flat rattles some players.

Still, there’s really no game like poker.


#7

Only at the pick up game in a bar with a stranger where during the first few moves each player is an unknown. Maya is correct that all the pieces are on the table so if there’s a real difference in skill level it’s immediately apparent. In poker even the worst player can still be holding pocket QQ with QQ on the table …or not and is pretending to.

A chess player with real experience will spot a crap move whether it was made hesitantly or with confidence. I’m not disagreeing, among chess players of equal caliber it can work. But it has limits.


#8

Great question!

I started off in gaming with a game called Magic: The Gathering, which is an immensely popular card strategy game. A lot of the people that I played this game with gravitated towards poker and there are some crossover skills that apply, especially bluffing.

As Magic is a game of incomplete information (just as poker is), then there is room for creativity, if a play can be made, then it needs to be considered when choosing your move.

If I did not play Magic, I would not have learned poker.


#9

nice topic :slight_smile:

poker is absolutely my favorite game. but i defenitely like to play all kinds of strategical games:
i play chess, checkers, perudo, yugioh, catan, risk, and much more i can’t think of right now.

to answer your question: since i play poker the most of em by far, i rarely put strategies i learned from other games into poker. however, i absolutely do the other way around. poker strategies even help in real life situations sometimes. to name a few examples: it helps to make better mathematical decisions. it helps to look at things more realisticly. it helps to get a better knowledge of people and much more.

as for strategies in other games, it’s probably dependant which game and which strategy, but in almost all cases at least some parts can be used in other games as well. here a fun example: i played perudo about an hour ago, with 2 people and both of us holding all 5 dice, i had 3 fours and 2 other numbers, she started with 3’s. after that she said 3 fours eventually i said there are 4, my opponent said 5. i was facing a tough decision if i should say 6 or not. i was thinking a while and eventually did say 6, my opponent didn’t believed it and it turned out she actually did had 3 4’s as well and i won that round, i was explaining that after i was raising with 3’s she moved to the 4’s i recognised she hestitated a little about saying 5. the thing is, i didn’t though she bluffed with the 3’s as it would not be a logical opening, and even if she did i assume it would either get raised or siad it’s not true. but since she could say 5 fours, it’s just next to certain she wasn’t bluffing that either, even more so, assuming she didn’t raised the 3’s but got further with the 4’s means she had most of teh dice being 4’s. so i was hestitating a little if she had 2 or 3 4’s (as the 1 is a joker and counts as 4 as well). but like i said i figured she had most of the dice being 4’s making 3 of them the most logical decision. the reason i wasn’t assuming there weren’t 4 or 5 fours was because of the small hestitation by raising to 5. with 4 or 5 there wouls be almost no hestitation at all. all this meant she had to have 3 fours. it was fun to see the person next to me that was watching us play was was really like huh how do you know all that?
the point i’m trying to make is that this is a similar deductive reasoning that’s used when you try to put your opponent on a hand when playing poker.

long story short: i like all kinds of strategical games but poker is my favorite, i also like to use poker strategies in other games as they would fit in there as well.


#10

Anything you can do to keep your mind sharp and questioning is great. I’ve played chess since about the time I learned to walk and that’s been fantastic. Many chess players move over to poker for the added complexity. One game I highly recommend to help with abstract thought is Go. Wonderful low-tech game but incredibly complex. I find that if I’m a bit worn out on poker or in a rut, playing Go for a while helps clear my mind.


#11

I play hi level cribbage and scrabble. Love competing in both as well as poker. Cribbage is very good for your math skills, strategic and some bluffing. Scrabble is good for your memory.


#12

Thanks for the reply! Definitely aimed more at improving other games of strategy through poker more so than the other way around. Although I don’t play or understand chess (maybe some day), I know that the element of the unknown does not exist in chess like (to the extent) it does in poker. It is cool to use the skills acquired in poker in other games of strategy (and countless other things). Poker would be such a good way to teach aspects of math/strategic thinking (among many other things) to kids. Probability, ratios, percentages, and statistics are such an integral part of the game. Kids could learn these things and not even realize they’re learning them! I’ll talk more about other games below lol


#13

Cribbage is a fun game but tough to learn.

Took me 3 months to finally beat the guy that taught me to play.


#14

Poker has definitely changed my approach to 8ball pool. I’m quite bad at both (haha), but poker has improved my 8ball game. It taught me to think more about what happens after each shot. What is my opponent good at? What shot will he/she look to first. Since I believe I’ll miss, is this shot worth attempting…will I still stand in a good enough position after missing this shot that it’ll be worth risking the shot based on where my opponent sits with my miss? And countless other things. Playing for fun is fun. Playing to win is a lot of work! (But definitely is fun or can be, too!)


#15

This is great. Even if it became heated enough and you went on tilt and wanted to, even if you could physically “take him if it came to blows”, it would be near impossible to punch somebody who did something that bad ass! Despite possibly being considered contemptible, a good player would almost have to respect his efforts! Like “part of the game”! :slight_smile:


#16

:slight_smile:


#17

As far as other games go, here’s one that not many people know about and it’s a blast.

It’s called Y. It’s fast moving, each game is usually decided in 10-15 mins or less.
It requires dense pattern recognition, strategic planning and the mental agility to abandon a strategy and find a new one at any moment. Experienced players might put down only a few tokens then see ahead that the game has been won.


#18

I’ll have to check it out!


#19

There are a lot of pro poker players that gravitated to poker from Magic: The Gathering, or that currently still play both. I remember watching a WPT event, I thought maybe an Alpha 8 event, and one of the players at the time was formerly ranked #1 at Magic: The Gathering. I can’t remember who that was. I was thinking maybe Brian Rast, but I can’t find anything on him playing Magic: The Gathering. During down time during back shifts at work we used to sometimes play games, and a friend/co-worker introduced Magic: The Gathering. We didn’t get very far! Haha. It seemed WAY too complex to attempt to continue during the small window we had. Never tried it since. Maybe will check it out again someday.


#20

It really does big time. Another reason why poker is a valuable game of which, at the very least, to learn the basics. I play baseball and do a little coaching with kids. I try to teach the new ones that if you have a little bit of physical athletic ability, but not necessarily a lot, you can still go a long way as to put together a winning team by playing percentages and strategically. Your team is like a machine and every part plays a role in its successful operation.

Risk was my favorite board game as a kid/teenager! Snowstorms cancelled school a lot where I lived, and most times we’d get together for hockey on the pond/lake or play board games. We loved playing Risk and/or having Risk tournaments.

Your story sounds interesting. I’ll have to check out perudo, as I don’t know it. I enjoy playing Sorry! and Sequence. Some other ones will be nice to check out.