Can Your IQ Affect How You Play Poker Online?
By Bob Garcia
It’s no secret that winning at online poker requires a whole lot of skill, as well as a healthy dose of luck. In fact, stick around the poker chat rooms long enough and you’re sure to see some comments stating that luck is everything when it comes to beating online poker.
Of course, if poker was based mostly on luck, there would be a whole lot more recreational players playing high stakes as frequently as the professionals, which is definitely not the case. That’s because although luck can affect short term results in becoming a winning online poker player, you need both luck and skill to succeed long-term.
But what about intelligence quotient, otherwise known as IQ? Does IQ play a role in winning online poker play? And if so, in what way? Let’s dive in and take a look:
Poker & IQ
One of the interesting things about IQ is that many studies have now proven beyond a doubt that higher IQ is directly correlated with more career success and higher income. Does this relate to poker playing as well? We might not yet have the scientific studies to prove that, but thinking about the skills needed to become a successful online poker player (problem solving, logical reasoning, quick decision-making), it would seem that anyone who excelled at these traits – as most high-IQ individuals do – is likely to have an easier time at the poker table.
Why IQ Matters At The Poker Table
As we all know, poker is a game of incomplete information. Your job is to piece together clues as to the strength of your opponents’ hands and make informed decisions about the most profitable (or least unprofitable) ways to approach each one of your hands. Additionally, many poker players rely heavily on the math side of the game – constantly taking drawing odds and pots odds into account. And while not all high-IQ people are necessarily great at math, they are much more likely to possess the qualities that will allow them to study and excel at the basics of the game.
Can IQ Be A Detriment At The Poker Table?
Although a high IQ has its obvious upsides, it’s important to keep in mind the potential pitfalls as well. For example, it has been shown that people at the upper ranges of intelligence are much more prone to overthinking, an attribute that could potentially lead to indecisiveness and less trust in one’s instincts. There is also the possibility that these individuals, who may be used to success in other areas of their lives, will not have the emotional control necessary to handle the inherent swings of the game. This leads us to our last point, that while a high IQ may be valuable at the poker table, emotional quotient – or EQ – is equally as important, and maybe even more so. That’s because having a high EQ enables players not just to manage their own emotions and reactions, but be able to interpret and respond to the emotions of their opponents as well.
With scientific research showing that a high IQ is undoubtedly beneficial to greater professional earnings, when it comes to the action on the felt, there is a lot more that plays into whether a player will have long-term success. So regardless of what your IQ might be, it’s important to keep in mind that working on your emotional quotient, gaining lots of first-hand experience at the table, and perhaps even saying a prayer to the poker gods every now and again can all make a difference to your long-term bottom line.