Is Learning Poker Worth It? (Explained)

learning poker worth it

If you are thinking of learning poker you are probably wondering if it is really worth it, and how long it will actually take you. So, is learning poker worth it? We will find out!

Is it worth it to learn poker?

Yes, learning poker is definitely worth it! It is one of the most complicated and complex card games around that has a strong psychological component that is based more on skill than on actual luck.

Researchers Michael A. DeDonno and Douglas Detterman have concluded that poker is a game of skill. And it can be a valuable tool for you to develop strategic thinking skills, decision-making abilities, and financial literacy.

It can also be an exciting hobby and a way to develop your probability thinking, and this can help you in your financial and personal life.

However, you also need to consider what are your goals in learning poker. 

Do you want to just learn how to play so you can try your luck at a casino, or do you have a tremendous passion for the game and want to become a professional poker player? This will also help you to determine how much time and effort you want to dedicate to learning and perfecting your poker-playing skills.

How hard is it to learn poker?

Poker can be extremely difficult to master, especially when you are playing with semi and professional players. This is because to be a winning poker player, you really need to develop your decision-making process. Since professionals have played millions of hands, their experience allows them to make better decisions. 

Beginners will struggle with understanding some of the most fundamental concepts of the game, such as position, when to bet and when not to bet, and understanding when to bluff and when someone is bluffing.

Although you can play poker without bluffing, to become a well-rounded player, you will need to become good at telling bluffs, and also bluffing yourself.

How long does it take to learn poker?

Any beginner should not take more than a week to learn the basic rules of the game and to start to understand the dynamics of playing. However, to truly become an exceptional poker player you will have to dedicate a lot of time, and it can take up to a year before you become a respectable player.

There is a lot more to poker than just luck, and to master poker, you need to study, and constantly focus on your gameplay, while acquiring enough experience by playing thousands of hands. 

Does poker actually require skill?

Yes, as we have mentioned researchers have concluded that poker is actually a game of skill. But there are still plenty of people who actually think poker is a game just based on luck. Is that true?

Why do most people think that poker is a game of luck?

The human brain has a hard time understanding probabilities, statistics, and the law of large numbers. We tend to put too much emphasis on the short-term and draw general conclusions based on just a few events. 

Unfortunately, these are the reasons why most individuals actually think poker is a game of luck, because they see an unexpected card, and lose so they think it’s luck. Well, some would say the sample size is too small!

So what is a sample size, and why is it too small you may ask?! 

Well, the sample size is the number of statistical observations, and it is a common statistical notion that is used to draw conclusions. When you watch a single hand of poker you are just watching one glimpse of the total amount of possible combinations the game has. 

It is a random event. 

But when you put all of the other pieces of the puzzle together you start to realize that the game is actually based on skill.

There are 2,598,960 possible draw combinations in poker, so watching a few hands and trying to draw conclusions is a futile attempt to explain something far larger and complex with a simple justification (BTW we humans also tend to find simple justifications for complicated problems)

Although poker players may lose in the short-term, due to bad luck, or what some call poker variance, over time winning players will win more than they lose.

Just think about it, if there are poker professionals is because they win far more games than the other players right? They are able to do it over a large number of observations or hands.

Why poker is a game of skill

Poker is a game of skill because over time you need to make more good decisions than your opponents. Just think about it, if there was no bluffing or betting, poker players would not win or lose over the long term. They would just even out and keep pretty much the same money.

However, over time making the right decisions, against players that make wrong decisions will be profitable.

Is it still profitable to play poker?

Poker is still profitable today, both online and in live games. This is another reason why learning poker is worth it. There are still plenty of games happening, and chances for beginners players to make a career playing one of the most challenging games in the world.

Is poker still popular?

Although poker is not as popular as it once was during the poker boom, it is still one of the most popular card games. The reason is that there is a psychological aspect to poker that is hardly found in any other game.

This makes it constantly challenging, exciting and unpredictable, which are the reasons that make poker so fun and exciting.

Is learning poker still worth it?

Yes, learning poker is still worth it today, even if the game’s popularity is not the same as it used to be, the game remains the same. Whether you want to learn just as a hobby or a pastime, or to try to make a living playing poker, you should definitely consider learning and mastering this iconic game.

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