Strategy games are known to us since the 6th century CE. Take a game of Chess, credited to India for its origin, the game of skill and strategy forced players to think two or three steps ahead of their opponents. A player’s autonomous decision-making skills have a high significance in determining the outcome. Just like a game of live or online poker, strategy games require an internal decision tree thinking coupled with very high situational awareness.
Pop culture has only reiterated situational awareness with this famous quote by Matt Damon in the movie, Rounders “If you can’t spot the sucker in the first half hour at the table, then you are the sucker.” Rising up in a game of online poker is not about the hours you spend playing the game but to also be able to outsmart or out-think your opponent by staying one step ahead at all times.
Most players starting off playing poker online often struggle to piece together the different information they experience on the felts and are unable to see the bigger picture of the actual way the hand is being played out.
The skill-based mind sport requires ‘Multiple levels of thinking’ which translates to being able to think in levels and not decide in a vacuum. Thinking in levels helps expose our own flaws in our decision-making process that in turn help us minimize our blind spots. This wires our brains to develop a refined thought process that saves a player from making bad decisions repeatedly!
“A mind that is stretched by a new experience can never go back to its old dimensions” – Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. Let’s give your online poker brains a nice stretch with this illustration that depicts the different levels of thinking in poker!