Okay, so the title is misleading. It should really be: Chess AND Poker. But saying “vs” is a little more exciting, don’t you think?
I have a 3 year old son, and I am determined he will learn how to play both of these games. Here’s why:
A board game. 64 squares. 32 white. 32 black. You have an army of 16 pieces. So does your opponent.
The object of the game is to trap and “kill” the other guy’s king.
Checkmate. From the Arabic “Shahmat “– literally, “the king is dead”
Pure logic. No shenanigans. It’s all there, on the board, to see.
The exact opposite of…
Unlike chess, poker has minimal intellectual content, aside from knowing the basic rules. It’s about instinct, bravado, bullshit, and Balls.
And let’s not forget fickle Lady Luck.
Three things you should know about poker:
1) Although it is counter-intuitive, a flush beats a straight. A straight is 5 cards in sequence (2, 3, 4, 5, 6). A flush is 5 cards of the same suit (all 5 cards are hearts, clubs, diamonds, or spades). The odds of getting a flush are 507 to 1. The odds of getting a straight are 293 to 1. Bottom line: having a straight feels good, but it simply isn’t that great. Deal with it.
2) EVERYONE has a “tell.” A twitch in the eye. Talking too much/too little. Leaning forward with a weak hand. Leaning back with a strong hand. As a good poker player, you will learn to read these “tells.”
And, perhaps most importantly…
3) Losing SUCKS. At some point, the guy at the table that you LEAST like, I’m talking the most obnoxious wanker on the planet, will beat you on pure dumb luck. And he will clown you, mercilessly. It will be tough, but you need to keep your cool. Seasoned players know this is simply a “bad beat”. Next time, it will be your turn for Lady Luck to sit with you.
It’s easy to win like a Man.
It’s tougher to lose like a Man.
But that’s What Men Do.