Poker and Chess

Have you ever played chess? Do you play both chess and poker? You are not the only one. Did you know several chess players, for example Jeff Sarwer, play poker and have been quite successful in the poker world as well? Poker and Chess are two games with different game play. Poker is a game of incomplete information that uses cards to generate randomness while chess is a game of complete information with no elements of chance. But both the games share some key similarities that makes chess players good candidates play poker, and equivalently, poker players suited to play chess.

How do Poker and Chess Correlate?

  • Both the games – poker and chess require the right frame of mind to understand the effort it takes to become successful in complex mind games.
  • Like poker players have to consistently study about poker strategies, similarly chess players read chess books to keep themselves updated on the latest game theories. Moreover, chess players have to analyze their game moves with other players in the same way as poker players have to analyze their opponents play.
  • Hand analysis play a key role in both poker and chess. Poker players and chess players have to use mathematical calculations and logical reasoning to plan their moves
  • Players have to maintain discipline throughout the game that may last for several hours or days in both poker and chess.
  • Chess players have to think ahead during their games in order to avoid their knockout because of any single bad move. On the other hand, poker players have to plan ahead while playing a hand because any given hand can be their last hand played in the game.

Thus, both games require players to employ similar thought processes in order to be successful, and time and effort to perfecting their craft as poker player or chess player.

How does Poker and Chess Differ?

Besides similarities, players should also be aware of key differences between Poker and Chess before switching the games.

  • The game rules of poker and chess do not relate at all, for instance, chess board vs poker table, 32 pieces vs deck of 52 cards.
  • Chess is a two-player game while poker is played with up to ten players at the same table. This results in different dynamics- strategically and psychologically- in both the games.
  • In chess, good play is always rewarded if you outplay an opponent. But in poker you are rewarded for knocking our opponents only in bounty tournaments. Moreover, poker players at times face consistent losing streaks because of bad run of cards and lose hands to different opponents on the table.

To conclude, poker and chess correlate well because ultimate goal in both the games is to goal is to play, win and improve yourself. Rather both the games are similar to war battle – study opponents, strategize, use your skills and win the war. It makes no difference if you play poker online or live, you play texas hold’em or omaha


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