Some casino games revolve primarily around an element of pure chance, where your luck is either in or out. A great example of this is roulette, where although you can increase your chances of winning by placing a less risky bet, the roulette wheel is out of your control once it starts spinning.
Poker, though, is a completely different kettle of fish. Not only are you firmly in charge of how you play, but you can actually increase your chances of winning using your social skills, using strength of personality and observation skills to help you win, even when your luck is out with the cards that crop up. It still always helps to have your luck coming in, of course, but there is no denying that how you present yourself, the manner in which you interact, and how you can get a read on other people in sociable situations can really make you an unbeatable (or almost unbeatable!) player.
The Queen of Hearts: Do You Even Need To Observe?!
Of course, anyone who is a fan of competitive poker will be more than familiar with the incredible tale of the 888poker -sponsored Annette Obrestad, who is otherwise known as “the Queen of Hearts”. Her blind tournament win has gone down in poker history. Having confessed that she looked at her cards once during the whole tournament (weighing up whether to call when she had been given an ‘all in’ situation), Annette shows that if you can see the tell-tale signs of a good hand or a bluff then you don’t even need to look at your cards to stand a chance of success.
Mom and I playing the ladies event 😄pic.twitter.com/Ye4XP5BmZg
— Annette Obrestad (@Annette_15) March 15, 2016
While Annette of course pioneered this idea, when looking back at the tournament it is clear that had she looked at her cards then she could have played better, but as a tactic of getting your instincts fine-tuned and making sure that you play the person in front of you in a social context rather than your cards, skills can be hugely improved.
Why Can’t We Be Friends?
While Annette takes poker to a professional level, having earned over $2million from WSOP events alone, many people play poker with the main intention of meeting new people and making friends while experiencing the chance to make some money. It is easier than ever before to set up a home poker game, with several ideas regarding how to do it right here. What is clear is that the social side of poker doesn’t have to just be about winning big but about having fun as well.
After all, mixing skill with fun goes hand in hand with playing poker; learning to make sure your social interactions include picking up on whether your opponent likes to take a big swig of beer before they bluff or need to stretch every time they get good cards can still help you to win big, even if it is just a big win in the context of a home poker game.