Poker players are no more gambling addicts: let’s compare poker and casino gamblers

In layman’s terms, poker and casino are one and the same. But this is not exactly so. There’s a huge difference between casino and poker players.

Of course, you can find gambling addicts even among those sitting at poker tables. Even Phil Ivey puts really huge sums at risk when making bets in craps and sport bets from time to time. But we’ll try to convince you that poker and casino players are from completely different poles.


From the point of view of a poker player, mathematics is a Queen of Science. If you take poker, this statement is a fundamental truth. Why do you need to “call” when you have no proper cards for that? Why do you need to pick up push/fold strategy? Why do we need to steal blinds from some players in 95% of cases, whereas the other players make us fold? As far as poker is concerned, each single hand with seeming random cut of cards is hiding a complex mathematical problem with incomplete information. Those players who can solve this problem or already know a typical solution for this kind of problems will win the game. By the way, talented mathematicians will never go to a casino.

From the point of view of a casino player, the fact that people generally have very poor knowledge of mathematics is very beneficial for casinos. All the games you find in gambling facilities are basically mathematical algorithms – carefully calculated and though out. In 99% of cases the house (e.g. the owner of these games) will always be a winner. For example, the beauty of the roulette is not only put down to the origin (according to one of the legends, Blaise Pascal invented this game while he was thinking of the mechanism of the perpetuum mobile) or to the mystical sum of all roulette numbers, which is 666, but also to the fact, that mathematical expectation will always play to the advantage of the casino due to the existence of “0”. This 1% can be reached with the help of no deposit casino bonuses, for example. The full list can be found on one of the trusted resources.



Poker player: it would be very unfair to say that poker player do not believe in luck. Of course, luck is very important, in fact, it’s an integral part of the game. However, one day Chris Ferguson one day made a comment, that one day of a poker game consists of 90% luck and 10% skill, whereas one year is 90% of skill and only 10% of luck. But professional players don’t believe in luck or coincidences. They believe in dispersion, EV (expected value) and distance. If you lost one hand, your opponent has just “had the moment” and nothing else, providing that your EV is positive. You just need to continue playing – in the long run you’ll get everything back.

Casino player: the cornerstone of the casino game is your strong belief in luck. Because the casino will never harm its wellbeing. Only the owner of the casino is a winner – any poker player will tell you that judging by the EV of the bet. So, the casino game is based on the assumption, that today is your lucky day and the dispersion will stand for you.



Poker player: every player has its own strategy for bankroll managing. For someone it’s 100 buy-ins till a limit, for the other this limit is 10. Anyways, poker players put their family’s last pennies at risk very rarely. The statistics of wins and defeats is distributed equally to a degree. Each professional player has a bankroll – the sum he can afford to spend for the game.

Casino player: casino players also have a bankroll, but usually, it accounts for only one evening.

The main rule of the bankroll management for a casino player is the following: to the casino you should take only the money you can afford to leave at the facility. Not a penny more. Of course, the internet is full of advice on the preferable size of the bankroll for roulette, slots and etc. Video slots’ goers know which slots are higher in dispersion and choose the number of spins according to this information. In fact, both these bankrolls – the casino and the poker ones – are totally different in terms of their importance and rationale.



Poker player: any poker player will tell you that the lack of personal and professional growth will lead you to nowhere in the long run. Of course, there’ve been some time throughout history, when players managed to win their first live tourney at once. Or signed up for a tourney with game they barely knew and won it. But these are minor cases. When it comes to a poker game, both amateurs and professionals try to upgrade their skills, which includes reading poker articles, watching VODs, analyzing hands with the help of another software or using poker calculators for better strategy. Poker is the game, which becomes more and more complex each single year so it will be a fateful mistake to think that you already know everything about it. Which leads us to the following conclusion: a persistent and monotonous job is the key to success.

Casino player: it’s hard to imagine, what it is like to improve your casino performance. In most cases the analyses of the gambling sessions come down to the only assumption: “I shouldn’t have gone to the casino today”. Casino players are still looking for hidden patterns like, after 4 red sectors, the probability of the black sector to appear is 80%. Or, if you make 5 spins in the same video slot for the same bet, then increase the bet, you’ll be rewarded a bonus game and etc. Casino players always collect their own legends and superstitions. The “crisis” of common sense and deduction reaches its peak, when a player at the roulette table covers almost all the sectors with bets and loses everything. Then he would rise from a table (with a hint of a sophisticated mental process on his face), strike hands together in disappointment and say: “Of course, I should have chosen 22!”.


Poker player: poker players usually visit conferences to discuss spots. It’s quite usual for poker players to meet at one of the sessions and maintain relationship afterwards: go on vacation together, rent an apartment, share airport transfer and etc. Sometimes, you can even run into such notion as “hosting”, when, for example, 3 players share the same flat and use one account for the final table of some tourney and even share the bankroll. Not to mention the discussions about hands and etc.

Casino players: usually, all the acquaintances, which take place at casino tables or in slot halls, stay within these walls and never go anywhere further. Sometimes gamblers come together, but only to discuss their defeats and wins. Of course, poker players also love to complain on their misfortunes, but when it comes to a casino, 80% of all conversations are like that. The other 20% – are conversions on the topic of fraudsters, tourneys and “happy hours”.


Games with negative expected payoff – should we consider them suitable for gambling?

Poker and casino games are from totally different poles. Of course, professional gamblers will feel comfortable at any gambling table. But we cannot equate poker with roulette or craps or video slots or whatsoever. There’s nothing bad about making bets on the victory of your favorite sports team, before the start of the match or buying plastic lottery cards with your friends to see, who’s going to pay for the bill tonight. But unlike poker, casino and gambling games in general should not be treated like any kind of income source. Mind your measure and choose poker.

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