Similarities Between Poker & Sportsbook

For Beginner
Poker and Sports Betting

If you are looking to branch out and take a break from the cards while still keeping your mind sharp, then taking a swing at sports betting. It will not be as much of a stretch as you think and vice versa. This guide is here to show how these two hobbies are not as different as they seem upon first glance. If you consider these activities at the same time, the first thing that should pop into your mind is that they are both forms of gambling. However, this similarity only scratches the surface.

There is nothing like the drama that accompanies a good game of poker. Whether you are sitting among friends or in an intense online match, a good poker game can easily rival your favourite television show. Similarly, the thrill of placing a bet on your chosen team and watching them battle it out while knowing you have a wager riding on the outcome creates a new dimension to the game.

These gamblers may not cross into each other’s territory very often, however, they are not polar opposites when it comes to their tastes in betting. This is because both types of bettors partake in highly skilled games that require extensive study and research. Keep reading to find out more about the commonalities that these gamblers and the activities themselves share.

Phil Hellmuth and Warriors jersey at the poker table.

Hard and Fast Facts About Sports Betting & Poker

  • They are both forms of gambling that can be done professionally
  • Highly skilled hobbies with a lot of study involved
  • Money management is critical
  • Poker and sports betting require patience and level-headedness
  • You need a certain level of risk tolerance to take part in either
  • Both can be done online

The Difference Between Poker and Online Poker

Before we get start, a common mistake is the confusion of these two versions of poker. In order to continue with this guide on the similarities between poker and sportsbook, you need to be aware of which version of the game of poker we are referring to as we go. Whether you play poker in a real-world casino, online, or through live play – it is still the same game. However, any poker player will tell you that online poker plays more like a video game, whereas live poker or a real-world game is more likened to a sport. Basically, one is virtual and the other is more ”real”.

Online poker

On the other hand, online poker is more challenging than playing against other players (both online and offline). It depends on your preferences when it comes to which version of play you prefer, but there are variances even though the same game is played. These differences include the social aspect, the speed of the games, game selection, and more. The key in being successful in either version of the game is knowing the game inside and out, as well as, being aware of these differences. In this guide we will be discussing all versions of poker and the commonalities they share with sports betting.

Both Bets Can be Placed Over the Internet

As you can tell from the above explanation, poker is available online as live casino poker, as well as, online poker. The former being explained in more detail later in this guide. Online sportsbooks allow you to search for odds and place bets anytime, anywhere. This ease of access means that during either of these betting pastimes, you do not have to travel to a specific location. You can instead elect to remain comfortable in your own home while carefully calculating your next move – on either betting platform (sportsbook or online casino).

Mobile Betting vs. Mobile Poker

Before delving into the similarities between sports betting and poker, let us first go through the commonalities that these mobile versions of the activities share. The fact that both have mobile play is a good place to start. Mobile poker may not be as popular as mobile sports betting, but this could be attributed to the smaller screen issue. Poker is a rather complicated game which needs more room than say placing sports bets requires.

Live Casino Poker and Live Betting

Live Sports betting mobile

In-play betting (live betting) is when you can place your bets as the events of the game unfold. This is a rather challenging form of sports betting as you need to be skilled when it comes to predicting what happens next, react quickly to sudden changes, and profit on in-play odds which is no easy feat.

Live casino poker is a version of the game that can be played online and involves a real-life dealer. There is not much difference between live dealer poker and regular poker in terms of gameplay. However, there is the same social aspect as normal poker that is missing from online poker. The commonality between this and live betting lies in the use of live streaming to gamble in real time. This additionally affects the speed of the bets placed.

Knowing More than Just the Rules

Whether you are betting on a sports game or playing in a game of poker, knowledge is the most important skill in a bettor’s arsenal, and this shows when looking at how skilled these activities are. When it comes to either of these gamblers, you will not find them placing unfounded bets. Just like how a sports bettor would not take a tip at face value without doing a little homework before placing a bet. A poker player will not partake in a game that differs in any way from what they know. Researching before you put money down is how these bettors think of long-term profits.

Extensive Study

Young man studying on his laptop.

Tying in with the above, both gamblers go further than just understanding the ins and outs of the activity. A successful sports bettor knows to consider all the facts when it comes to the bets that they plan on making. This can involve information about both teams, outside factors, past results, and more. This extensive research is necessary as one piece of critical information can mean the difference between a profit and a loss.

Poker players need to conduct their own studies and evaluations typically relating to past performance. Like with sports bets, the difference between winning the game and losing can come down to a few errors that could have been avoided if the correct data was collected.

The research can also pertain to searching for the best offers and promotions. Online poker players can find worthwhile bonus offers if they take the time to weight their options. The same goes for sports bettors comparing different bookmakers in order to find the best bonus deals.

The same goes for knowing exactly what you are getting into. We are referring to, of course, reading the fine print before agreeing to anything. Whether you are singing up at an online casino, sportsbook, or online poker room, the same basic rule applies. Read and understand the entire list of terms and conditions before ticking the “accept” box. There are a number of cautionary tales out there so do yourself a favour and always go in with your eyes wide open just as any experienced gambler would.


Sports strategy teacher

These gambling activities are not games of chance like roulette and slot games, with these results, you have an opportunity to get an “edge”. What this means is that you are not completely at the mercy of Lady Luck when it comes to sportsbook and poker. The advantage that both types of bettors can achieve involves finding strategies and systems that work for you and allow you to cultivate and exploit this edge. There is a certain level of chance, however, successful players know not to just sit back, as you have probably gathered at this point in the guide.

The Role of Mathematics

A certain level of calculations and mathematical predictions are used in sportsbook and poker. Sports betting can prove profitable for mathematical wizards. Since sports betting involves predicting trends, understanding stats, and betting according to probability. This is what makes this a potentially profitable hobby (or profession) for anyone with a head for numbers.

Psychology may play a role in live poker; however, math is the key element. While playing a game of poker you will need to be able to calculate probabilities in order to know when it is time to adjust your strategies and tactics during gameplay. For both sportsbook and poker, reaching reasonable expectations of potential outcomes is a way to keep taking part in intelligent and successful bets.

Bankroll Management

Depositing on Internet with card

Anyone that dabbles in either gamble will be tell you that besides looking before you leap (researching), money management is the most important part of being successful. Understanding how to play within your means is crucial as it will not serve either bettor well to make reckless or expensive bets that earn nothing in return. Your wallet would be empty before you saw any profits, and this is how sports bettors and poker players think alike.

The Importance of Control

Keeping a level head and remaining calm while money is on the line is what any successful gambler needs to be able to master. The same way that you would wait for a good hand in poker, it might be a better choice to hold off until a profitable sports betting opportunity shows itself. This is the difference between placing reckless bets due to impatience and a need for fast results. Sports bettors know that sportsbooks are an investment and that long-term profits are the goal. This amount of patience is expressed in poker when waiting for your moves to pan out, especially if you are playing with other players and trying to not give anything away.

These are the basic skills that are needed in both poker and sports betting. Key elements like knowledge and patience can get you into profitable situations, while money management keeps you in these profitable situations for as long as possible.

Risk and Reward

Risk Tolerance

Nothing says that both types of bettors cannot be successful, a certain amount of risk tolerance is something that is needed. There is no 100% guarantee that you are going to win even with the most intricate strategy known to man. There are too many factors in each of these activities that make losing a potential outcome. You are gambling after all which means that you cannot win them all and being able to roll with the punches and handle the presence of inevitable risks.

Conclusion: More similarities than you have thought

There may be a lot of similarities between these two types of gambling, however, it may not be that easy to switch from one to the other. This is due to missing pieces of knowledge when it comes to the intricacies of either activity. Even so, this challenge would not be as difficult for successful bettors on either side. This is because there are certain skills learned from the one activity that can be transferred over to the other. The one requirement would be that the bettor apply the same level of dedication to the new venture that they did to the other. This is how you could garner the same or similar success while trying something new. Not only are the concepts similar, but you could additionally use similar winning strategies and apply similar checklists to your overall strategy. For instance: compare offers, claim bonuses, read terms and conditions, research, strategies, think long-term, etc. These skilled gambling pastimes share more than a few similarities as we have learned, the biggest being the thrill that players get while partaking in either.