Sports betting and casino games have a lot in common. For strategy games like poker, this is doubly true. Both punters and poker players must contend with unknowns, developing strategies that balance skill, chance, and mental fortitude. Unsurprisingly, these challenges can be extremely rewarding.
Though betting on Cheltenham is quite different from entering online poker tournaments, the skills and disciplines used to succeed in either go hand in hand. For one, there’s quite a bit of variation in both cases—which participants will need to carefully balance when hedging their bets. Second, both require various strategies depending on how things are unraveling live across the different events.
Despite the number of similarities, adapting tactics from one field to the next takes time. If you’re entering a poker tournament anytime soon, then consider adopting these tips from the world of sports betting.
Tip #1: Mix & Match Your Strategies
Poker beginners entering tournaments have probably heard dueling advice: be aggressive—but don’t be too loose managing your bankroll. Well, which is it? Just like a sports bettor should adapt to each circumstance, so should a poker player. The best strategy is often a mixed and dynamic one.
If you’re new to tournament play, then keep an eye on factors like the number of opponents, playing style, pot size, and the tournament stage. These factors should directly inform your strategy at any given time.
Tip #2: Start Slow & Steady
That being said, if you’re ever uncertain whether to go all-in or stay conservative, then consider starting slow and steady. Unless you have a great hand that warrants aggressive play, then be patient. Jumping into too many hands at the start of a tournament is often folly.
Keep in mind that punters who are facing a longer stretch of competition, such as March Madness or the FIFA World Cup, are more likely to hedge their bets at the start.
Tip #3: Learn How to Deal with Variance
Punters know that even the most hopeless underdog can defy the odds. The same is true in poker. Even beginners are likely aware of a bad beat, which is when a normally killer hand comes up short.
If you’re new to tournament play, then you’ll be happy to hear that they’re ideal for handling variance. This means that it’s possible to make a comeback by playing in a large tournament with low buy-ins. In other words, even if you start off rough, you can still make up for it as the tournament advances.
Tip #4: Know Your Options
Punters have incredibly varied options when it comes to choosing a sportsbook and which markets to wager on. Some of the best punters are known for playing the field and studying odds to find offers with a high value. Savvy poker players should also do the same. For example, most platforms offer different options for tournament play.
If you’re not a fan of Texas Hold’em, then join an Omaha tournament. If you’re not enthused by the idea of spending hours at the virtual tables, then opt for a Zoom session, which shortens the game’s running time. Some platforms even offer tournaments just for female players. Regardless of which you choose, you should always study your options.
Tip #5: Look for the Gap
Here’s the thing about poker and punting advice: there’s always an exception. And oftentimes, these ‘gaps’ can offer a chance to win big. For a punter, this might mean exploiting a live betting scenario when the tide shifts in favor of the underdog. For a poker player, it might mean looking for those pots that other players seem to be nervous about.
Above, we mentioned that poker players need to understand when to go all in and when to be patient. Keep in mind that most other beginner players are also aware of this—and they’ve also been advised to play it safe. That means that there will be uncontested pots that offer a high-value opportunity, letting you win a pot with a smaller bet.