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View Poll Results: Which game requires more Analytical skill ?
Poker 308 46.53%
Chess 354 53.47%
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Old 04-21-2012, 04:01 AM   #1
ILLSIDED
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Poker vs. Chess which game is more complex?

I believe poker is more complex and requires more Analytical skill. More variations of the game, player types etc.
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Old 04-21-2012, 04:43 AM   #2
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Re: Poker vs. Chess which game is more complex?

As a rated Chess player and Poker Player I think that this question is more complicated than it appears.

Its not like you can equate the two games skill wise, Its not like being able to beat 25NL equates to a 1400 rating in Chess.

A lot of poker players like to puff out their chests and say, "Well poker is harder than chess".

BUt truth is, a lot of poker players would never be able to break a 1600 rating in chess no matter how hard they studied the game. Chess requires a certain mental aptitude that a lot of poker players don't have.

Conversely, there are a lot of kick ass chess players that would never be good at poker because poker has mental and psychological factors that aren't present in chess (i.e. impact of money/betting) and requires a certain fortitude that many chess players don't have.

So this is really an apples and oranges question.

Quote:
The number of legal positions in chess is estimated to be between 10^43 and 10^50, with a game-tree complexity of approximately 10^123 possible moves.
I put that up there because I'm kinda annoyed at how poker players are so quick to proclaim poker as "harder" than chess.

Its like proclaiming that swimming is harder than gymnastics.

Or that wrestling is more difficult than basketball.

In order to meaningfully answer the question, you actually have to start quantifying the parameters that you are using to answer the question. You have to figure out a way to equate the two so that you can compare and contrast.

For instance, with the sports, do we determine which is "harder" by the amount of calories burned? Or how about by heart-rate achieved?

Last edited by dgiharris; 04-21-2012 at 04:48 AM.
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Old 04-21-2012, 04:49 AM   #3
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Re: Poker vs. Chess which game is more complex?

The guys who have absolutely crushed chess have been smarter and more dedicated than Ivey (obviously no disrespect to Phil).
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Old 04-21-2012, 06:22 AM   #4
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Re: Poker vs. Chess which game is more complex?

i cant imagine poker being more complex than chess. in poker if u can raise, cbet and then put more money in when ur hand is 2 pair+ ur halfway there.

i wonder how many people go from no chess knowledge to the upper echelons in a short time. many less than in poker i imagine.
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Old 04-21-2012, 06:33 AM   #5
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Re: Poker vs. Chess which game is more complex?

IMO the fact that poker is a game of uncomplete information makes if far less COMPLEX. Many comparisons can be made between these two games, but i think the debate on complexity is pretty black and white.
The factor of randomness in poker forces players to assign certain actions to uncertain situations and approximated ranges. These actions are based on less information than the actions made in a chess game, where all information is known, making it impossible for poker to be more complicated than chess.

Obviously this is just my opinion, and I should maybe note that I have never really played a serious game of chess in my life.
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Old 04-21-2012, 06:46 AM   #6
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Re: Poker vs. Chess which game is more complex?

In chess, having complete information available to you allows for very complex analysis and deep thought process. Poker involves a similar thought process but also includes luck and guess work (based on analysis) so more players are able to develop a style/strategy and become proficient + profitable at the game despite lacking the mental capacity of chess wizards.

At the same time (in poker), the fact that you must analyze up to 8-9 opponents per table and play a strategy best suited to counter each persons play could make poker a more analytical game then chess. Add multi-tabling into that equation and a poker player could potentially need to strategize against 192 simultaneous opponents which would definitely be a strong argument in pokers favor (vs chess with a single opponent).

tl;dr: im really drunk and just trying to sound smart lol, dont actually have any idea but good question OP

edit: was typing this up during bjs post ^^^ but basically same idea. +1

Last edited by Reaper421; 04-21-2012 at 07:12 AM.
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Old 04-21-2012, 06:59 AM   #7
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Re: Poker vs. Chess which game is more complex?

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Originally Posted by bjsmith22 View Post
IMO the fact that poker is a game of uncomplete information makes if far less COMPLEX.
+1
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Old 04-21-2012, 09:02 AM   #8
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Re: Poker vs. Chess which game is more complex?

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Originally Posted by Reaper421 View Post

At the same time (in poker), the fact that you must analyze up to 8-9 opponents per table and play a strategy best suited to counter each persons play could make poker a more analytical game then chess. Add multi-tabling into that equation and a poker player could potentially need to strategize against 192 simultaneous opponents which would definitely be a strong argument in pokers favor (vs chess with a single opponent).
this is pretty laughable. there r only like 4-5 player styles, in chess u have to respond to many more with their different openings and what not. and i mean if u have AA it doesnt matter who ur playing against u shovel the money in.
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Old 04-21-2012, 09:33 AM   #9
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Re: Poker vs. Chess which game is more complex?

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Originally Posted by bjsmith22 View Post
The factor of randomness in poker forces players to assign certain actions to uncertain situations and approximated ranges. These actions are based on less information than the actions made in a chess game, where all information is known, making it impossible for poker to be more complicated than chess.
Incomplete information makes it more complicated as several eventualities need to be weighed up against each other. Having said that in practice there is less analysis in poker because the players are not given enough time to analyse very deeply.
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Old 04-21-2012, 09:49 AM   #10
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Re: Poker vs. Chess which game is more complex?

I'd have to go with chess.

Poker is still an extremely hard game that does not get the respect it deserves. Pity that chess is considered as a game of intellectuals and poker as a game of anti-social degenerate gambler immoral type of person.
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Old 04-21-2012, 10:55 AM   #11
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Re: Poker vs. Chess which game is more complex?

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Originally Posted by jcl View Post
and i mean if u have AA it doesnt matter who ur playing against u shovel the money in.
This mindset is missing a huge part of the complexity of a game of poker. It does matter who you're playing against.

In chess, a game between two grandmasters has the same complexity (albeit a much higher strategic standard) as a game between two amateurs.

A NLHE game full of nits and fish is probably less complex than a game full of highly skilled players. The reasons for this is that at each decision point in a hand, the highly skilled players playing against other highly skilled players more often have all three options to weigh (bet/raise/fold) and actually have to think about bet sizing as well. More different possible decisions a player might make on his turn leads to a more complex game tree.

Note, of course, that the nits and fish have the same possibilities in theory as the highly skilled players, but since they generally play a set strategy that they never deviate from, your strategic thinking about how to play a hand against those players is less complex than it would be against a skilled player -- who might employ a set strategy n% of the time and deviate 100-n (or play even better than that.)

Post rambling? Ideas making sense?
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Old 04-21-2012, 11:35 AM   #12
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Re: Poker vs. Chess which game is more complex?

Computer's can beat the best chess players in the world by brute force calculation. There is no computer with the computing power necessary to take a similar approach to poker. It's too complex.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TCKWIzmauQE
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Old 04-21-2012, 02:19 PM   #13
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Re: Poker vs. Chess which game is more complex?

If a great chess player at the peak of his career is considered a "genius", like Bobby Fisher.


Then shouldn't I guy like Phil Galfond be considered a "genius" too.



Or this guy.
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Old 04-21-2012, 02:35 PM   #14
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Re: Poker vs. Chess which game is more complex?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Valente View Post
Computer's can beat the best chess players in the world by brute force calculation. There is no computer with the computing power necessary to take a similar approach to poker. It's too complex.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TCKWIzmauQE
I think this is a really good point, although generally surprised I must admit. I expected to see a very biased opinion in favour of poker (this being a poker forum and all) but pleasantly surprised to see it isn't. As said though, Valente makes a solid point, sure it's not as mathematically complex, but there is an element to it that requires more than just maths and calculations. Which in a strange kind of way, makes it more layered and I guess, more "complex".
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Old 04-21-2012, 02:42 PM   #15
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Re: Poker vs. Chess which game is more complex?

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Originally Posted by wtfpwnage View Post
I'd have to go with chess.

Poker is still an extremely hard game that does not get the respect it deserves. Pity that chess is considered as a game of intellectuals and poker as a game of anti-social degenerate gambler immoral type of person.
I think it's a pity that so many people are trying so hard to make poker appear to be a game of intellectuals. It's killing action. They should have all just took real jobs or pursued more education if they need respect so much imo. I prefer money.
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Old 04-21-2012, 04:35 PM   #16
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Re: Poker vs. Chess which game is more complex?

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Originally Posted by ILLSIDED View Post
I believe poker is more complex and requires more Analytical skill. More variations of the game, player types etc.
First off. Only people who have taken up both chess and poker seriously should even be taking part in this poll. Anybody else is just being a retard. Why would they think their opinion could be meaningful otherwise?

Secondly, I'm not sure everyone taking part in this poll is interpreting the question being asked in the same way. Is poker more complicated? Probably. But that is not the poll question. Does poker require more analytical skill at the table? Certainly not! It is not even close.

I'm a chess master. I've played 2 chess games blindfolded—without sight of board and pieces. I did not find this too difficult and felt I could handle playing 3 blindfold games.

Now you think about that for a minute. Consider that most people have trouble recalling a new telephone number. That's just 7 digits. And yet I'm able to play 2 chess games blindfolded keeping track of the locations of 32 pieces on 64 squares in each of those 2 games. How am I able to do this? I have no idea. I have about as much trouble as the next guy in remembering a new telephone number.

My working memory, when it comes to chess is ginormous. In other things, it is fairly normal. And that disparity is pretty incredible even to me.

Actually. The size of my working memory when it comes to chess is far greater than I've let on. Because if you had asked me right after I played those 2 blindfold games, to reproduce both games from start to finish, I would have been able to do so. Now the average length of a game is 50 moves from each of the 2 players. That's 100 ply or equivalently 100 positions total. When you factor in the number of pieces and number of squares involved,... I'll let you do the math. How does that compare to recalling a new telephone number? Obviously, there is a huge difference.

Does poker have anything closely resembling this? No way!

In poker, good players do make extensive use of their memory. They recall a lot of information, but this is mostly long term memory stuff they use for pattern recognition. Chess players do plenty of this too. But what I'm talking about is working memory. You need a lot of working memory to do a lot of analytical thinking.

When I think about chess, I need to move the pieces around on the board in my minds eye to explore a tree of variations in order to decide on what move to play. In a particularly difficult position I might explore a tree of variations 20 moves (40 ply) deep with a dozen branches. That isn't extraordinary for a chess master. There simply isn't anything remotely like this in poker.

So how can poker be perhaps a more complicated game and yet require less analytical skill? The element of chance in poker blows up the number of possibilities to consider too much for the type of thinking used in chess to be useful. Unlike chess, this complexity can be tamed to a certain degree with mathematics, but few players including many top players do all that much of this while actually playing a hand. They rely heavily on their experience instead, which they mostly tap through their intuition. This is not analytical thinking. It's the opposite.

So to sum it up, anybody voting for poker: clueless. Most people here voting for chess: lucky guess.
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Old 04-21-2012, 04:44 PM   #17
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Re: Poker vs. Chess which game is more complex?

The answer to the actual poll question is clearly chess, and the fact that computers are so good at it is evidence supporting this point.

The question posed by the thread's title is perhaps more interesting, and depends on what you mean by "complex." I suppose you could make a case for poker due to the inherent complexity of human psychology.
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Old 04-21-2012, 04:45 PM   #18
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Re: Poker vs. Chess which game is more complex?

There is one aspect of the two games where I think there is a big difference that’s not often mentioned. Both games involve thinking ahead and thinking back. But chess is much more thinking ahead IMO.

‘If I move my queen to xy then he will probably move his rook to yz; then I can move my etc. etc.’

In poker, more thinking is about what happened IMO.

‘He limped in pre-flop, called my raise then went all-in when an Ace hit the flop. Why would he do that if he did not have an ace? Etc. etc.’

Which implies a more "complex" game is still up for grabs
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Old 04-21-2012, 05:58 PM   #19
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Re: Poker vs. Chess which game is more complex?

After some thought chess. Chess is very self contained, needed deep analysis of a single situation. Poker needs a much broader ranger of skills, but none in anywhere near the level of detail or accurateness needed in chess.

In poker your calculations can be a little off without too much damage. Odds and pot calculations do not need to be exact approximate is fine. If you forgot a hand your opponent showed down yesterday it likely does not matter much. Your range estimates do not have to be exact as long as they are roughly in the right ball park. You do not need to memorise various push and call tables for close to all in situations, just have a rough feel. There is so much to think about, but none in endless detail.

Chess you just need to analyse a single position to death. As deeply as accurately as possible. Basically as long as you have not finished you can not analyse a chess potion too deeply. While with poker diminishing returns quickly sets in.
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Old 04-21-2012, 06:13 PM   #20
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Re: Poker vs. Chess which game is more complex?

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Originally Posted by Piers View Post
After some thought chess. Chess is very self contained, needed deep analysis of a single situation. Poker needs a much broader ranger of skills, but none in anywhere near the level of detail or accurateness needed in chess.

In poker your calculations can be a little off without too much damage. Odds and pot calculations do not need to be exact approximate is fine. If you forgot a hand your opponent showed down yesterday it likely does not matter much. Your range estimates do not have to be exact as long as they are roughly in the right ball park. You do not need to memorise various push and call tables for close to all in situations, just have a rough feel. There is so much to think about, but none in endless detail.

Chess you just need to analyse a single position to death. As deeply as accurately as possible. Basically as long as you have not finished you can not analyse a chess potion too deeply. While with poker diminishing returns quickly sets in.
You summed it up very well.
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Old 04-21-2012, 07:58 PM   #21
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Re: Poker vs. Chess which game is more complex?

Tbh, I think chess is a more complex game.

If we were to compare the 2 games, then it's clearly chess vs HU poker. You can't compare for example 6max or mtts vs chess.

So, HU poker vs chess

- in poker, your opponent has 3 strategies to start: fold, limp, raise(when he's on the BTN); fold, call, 3bet when he's OOP
- in chess you have way more than 3 opening strategies

The flop(poker), after the first moves(chess)
- in poker again, you have 3 strategies: call, fold, raise.
-in chess, let's assume your opponent's opening strategy is N. Depending on the variety of opponent's opening strategies you have at least N defending strategies which you can employ. Also if N is his opening strategy, that leads to n*y battle strategies. By battle strategies I am talking about the lines he takes. This is waaaaaay more combinatorically complex than poker, because in chess you have more pieces of different strengths. In poker you have 2 cards against opponent's range which on average is in 7 states in term of equity(rounded off) : 80/20, 70/30, 60/40, 50/50 and vice-versa. You have more choices in chess to adapt, by applying n+X strategies, in which X is a multitude of strategies+experience gained over z number of games or strategies known. In poker you have a limited number of combinatoric situations( for ex: if you call flop you have 3 other variants for turn: fold, call, raise and so on.. Don't know or want to calculate the numbers now because I am drunk.$
In chess you have way more combinatoric situations that can be applied if we give all pieces and moves a mathematical vlue times(x) strategies.

Sorry to drunk to explain further but I think you get the idea...if not, we can surely deliberate on it further...

Tl;dr: chess is a more complex game than poker, because in chess you can apply more strategies than in poker, taling into consideration a mathematical value for a strategy.

Hope it makes sense. If it does not, english is not my first language, and I am drunk

Peace
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Old 04-21-2012, 08:05 PM   #22
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Re: Poker vs. Chess which game is more complex?

I personally vote for poker...

How about this question:
"Which is more complex: chess or understanding facial expressions". On the surface, some of us might consider chess to be more complex because there's so much more analytical depth and thinking required, whereas we process a person's facial expression in an instant... But from a computational perspective, I think everybody who has worked on these types of problems would say that understanding human expression is a much more complex problem.

Similarly, poker is a much much more difficult problem than chess from a computational perspective. It *seems* to have a much smaller "state space" (e.g., the number of different states you need to reason about in order to make any particular decision), but in reality, this just isn't the case. Because of the incomplete information and random aspect of the game, the state space in poker is ginormous. However, humans just happen to be really really good at bundling variables together efficiently in order to work and reason well in games like poker; just as humans are well adapted to understanding other people's expressions.

Poker is more complex. It just doesn't necessarily seem that way...
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Old 04-21-2012, 08:53 PM   #23
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Re: Poker vs. Chess which game is more complex?

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Originally Posted by R Gibert View Post
stuff he said
/thread

Wow, great post. Also shocked to learn that ginormous is a real word. mind blown x2
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Old 04-21-2012, 09:08 PM   #24
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Re: Poker vs. Chess which game is more complex?

i go for chess,

cause for every move u have to be thinking like 5 or 10 moves ahead, and have a clear strategy abou it
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Old 04-21-2012, 09:28 PM   #25
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Re: Poker vs. Chess which game is more complex?

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i go for chess,

cause for every move u have to be thinking like 5 or 10 moves ahead, and have a clear strategy abou it
this is a misconception and is only really true if you are a computer and really depends on the position. there are plenty of times when you will not look forwards much at all just because the move or plan is natural and obviously correct, to a human anyway

also just to contradict what i just said i'm pretty sure if you scanned the brains of successful chess players vs successful poker players the chess players would show more activity in the areas responsible for analysis.
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