Poker Comment: Why Speed Reading is Good for Your Hands

“[Classical] might seem an inflated word for a shady pastime, but it is wholly appropriate, for there is a kind of strict beauty in the game when it is played by experts, when every detail is accounted for and every nuance recognized” – from Poker, Bets, Bluffs and Bad Beats, by Al Alvarez and even pkv games online.

“Strict beauty” isn’t perhaps the term that automatically springs to mind when most of us attempt the multiple calculations involved in establishing just where we are in a hand of poker:

  • Assessing the value of our hand…
  • Assessing the odds of it becoming unbeatable…
  • Assessing the value of our opponent’s hand by asking ourselves how he’s played so far…
  • Assessing whether he’s smart enough to change tack…
  • Assessing whether he knows that we know what he’s holding…
  • Assessing whether he knows that we know that he knows that we know what he’s holding…

Which is why the game that takes you minutes to learn then takes a lifetime to master. And yet the best poker players can make these deliberations look so easy, swiftly whittling down their list of options like a company accountant deciding how much can be blown on the office party, sometimes with a crowd of tournament railbirds hollering all around them.

Just one more remarkable quality that separates us from the experts. Now Tourney Blog’s Michael Thomas thinks we can narrow the gap.

He believes that the spin-off benefits from learning to speed read will help us as much in reading poker opponents at the table as it will in digesting tuition books away from the table…

“The skills you develop from speed reading practice do a few things for you,” he writes, “for example, strengthening your ability to absorb information without losing meaning. This, in turn, builds your natural ability in processing information and recognizing and distilling it into the most relevant facts”

As our skills grow in this way, he suggests, so multi-tabling becomes a more realistic proposition.

The idea got me looking around to find out how the improving poker player goes about adding speed reading credentials to his resume.

Holdem Tight looks to speed reading, for example, with this article on learning to read pips on cards, instead of their numbers:

“The point of this article is to teach some speed reading tricks, so you can read the board as a sentence, not sounding out each individual card. It reduces your mental strain, and frees up neurons to think strategically”

They also include a chart to help you brush up on your ‘pip perception’ here…

Onto speed reading generally, Rock Town blog has a meaty list of tips that should getting you skimming through War  amp; Peace in a weekend, even if it doesn’t make comfortable reading for anyone in the publishing industry (“Some publishers say (off the record, of course) ‘A book is simply one great chapter with a dozen other filler chapters.'”).

AskMen.com weighs in with How to Speed Read, meanwhile, which introduces the concept of reading a page diagonally.

Of course, if we all had Derren Brown to help us out, the whole ‘reading’ thing would be a lot easier to start with…

About the author /


Ryan

Ryan Morris is a technology writer and is really intrigued by the ways technology revolutionized the casino industry. In his free time, he tries to learn more about the different strategies that are used in poker games.

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