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Old 10-31-2015, 03:48 AM   #1
Mason Malmuth
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Women and the Form of Poker

Hi Everyone:

I thought I would throw this out there just to see what others would think. When I first began to play a lot of poker in the card rooms of South California in the early 1980s, only forms of draw poker were legal and lots of women played. My estimate is 30 percent.

Then in 1987, I moved to Las Vegas and my estimate is 40 percent women in the stud games and 30 percent in the limit hold 'em games.

But then in 2004 no-limit hold 'em came along and today there are very few women playing this game, but my guess is still 15 percent women in the limit hold 'em games.

I also think the increased rake has something to do with this.

All comments welcome.

Best wishes,
Mason
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Old 10-31-2015, 04:22 AM   #2
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Re: Women and the Form of Poker

NLHE is a terrible game
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Old 10-31-2015, 05:53 AM   #3
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Re: Women and the Form of Poker

It's probably due to fact that males can say "I'm going to go play poker" and its unambiguous, whereas for females it might have more risque connotations.

Just my 2 cents.
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Old 10-31-2015, 06:06 AM   #4
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Re: Women and the Form of Poker

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NLHE is a terrible game
True that
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Old 10-31-2015, 06:13 AM   #5
Mason Malmuth
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Re: Women and the Form of Poker

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Originally Posted by Tumaterminator View Post
NLHE is a terrible game
Hi Tumaterminator:

It just might be that's it's a poor game for women. And if this is the case, I don't know why.

During the past year or so, there has been a fair amount of discussion in the industry along the lines of what can we do to get more women playing poker. That's why I put this post up.

Also, in the discussion in the other thread, one point that comes out a lot is how poorly some men behave towards women. I'm not going to dispute this, but I guarantee that the behavior towards women in public poker rooms was worse 30 years ago than it is today.

And finally, in my opinion, women seemed to like seven-card stud the best. But today in Las Vegas the stud games are almost all gone, and I'm wondering how much this has to do with the decline of women poker players.

Best wishes,
Mason
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Old 10-31-2015, 09:07 AM   #6
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Re: Women and the Form of Poker

Maybe due to the fact that fixed limit games demands less aggressive play. You can keep calling your TPGK in a wet board without having to make a decision that compromise your entire stack in a river jam.
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Old 10-31-2015, 09:16 AM   #7
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Re: Women and the Form of Poker

Suggesting that women are more sensitive to rake than men is sexist
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Old 10-31-2015, 10:26 AM   #8
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Re: Women and the Form of Poker

where in the **** is south california

edit: when I started playing poker in 2004, a lot of women still played NL lowball, as well the 7 card stud H/L games and limit hold em games that were the norm at my local card room.

Last edited by OGKUSH88; 10-31-2015 at 10:32 AM.
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Old 10-31-2015, 10:29 AM   #9
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Re: Women and the Form of Poker

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Originally Posted by CryMeARiver_ View Post
Maybe due to the fact that fixed limit games demands less aggressive play.
This is incorrect. Correct strategy in limit games is more aggressive. For example, an average LHE game compared to NLHE game should have more pre-flop 3 bets and 4 bets, more flop raises and 3 bets, more turn raises and 3 bets and more river raises and 3 bets.

Not sure about actual question in op. It could be that TV poker appeals more to male viewers and thus drew more men into NLHE games.
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Old 10-31-2015, 11:13 AM   #10
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Re: Women and the Form of Poker

I assume Mason meant "increased rake" instead of increased take?
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Old 10-31-2015, 11:23 AM   #11
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Re: Women and the Form of Poker

B&M ist just a terrible place for Women. Lots of sexism, bad mood , the guys dress horrible etc..
In the end all women i know like a night at a 'real' casino but the dislike cardrooms. And i really can understand.

Just have a look in this very message board whenever the topic is vanessa selbst some other female poker player, it is emarassing.
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Old 10-31-2015, 11:33 AM   #12
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Re: Women and the Form of Poker

FWIW, my wife and her friends when playing in a home game play no-limit. It is mixed gender game since spouses also play. However when at the casino, they only play limit. So I'd say that atmosphere plays a huge role in that decision. People are friendlier because the stakes of making a decision are smaller making the game more relaxed. Chasing a draw is more often a good decision on later streets. You don't see the super serious looking players staring down or commenting on other players.

Rake is far less important. The rake on a slot machine is far worse than poker that hasn't discouraged people of both sexes play.
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Old 10-31-2015, 11:33 AM   #13
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Re: Women and the Form of Poker

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Originally Posted by GermanGambler View Post
B&M ist just a terrible place for Women. Lots of sexism, bad mood , the guys dress horrible etc..
In the end all women i know like a night at a 'real' casino but the dislike cardrooms. And i really can understand.

Just have a look in this very message board whenever the topic is vanessa selbst some other female poker player, it is emarassing.
This, exactly. The unfortunate truth is that we won't be seeing an outpour of women playing poker anytime soon due to the very nature of live poker: that it a.) attracts scum and lowlives in a way that the vast majority of other subcultures never do, and b.) said scum and lowlives will always be allowed at the table as long as they have the monetary buy-in and their behavior/derogatory comments will never truly be policed. Even cutting out the lowest common denominator, it's still kind of a 'the triumph of evil is contingent on good people doing nothing' type of deal that's probably going to let poker stay male-dominated for a very long time.
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Old 10-31-2015, 11:36 AM   #14
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Re: Women and the Form of Poker

The very first time I played live poker in a casino (Taj in AC), there were a couple of women at the table talking about which types of poker they preferred. The general theme seemed to be that they preferred the games which could allow a small stake to last as long as possible, and I assume this also meant while playing lots of hands, not just folding every time and paying the blinds. They were treating it like a table game, only cheaper, as for example at prime times then it was hard to find BJ tables with less than $15 minimum bets, but they could get on a low limit poker table and get a decent amount of play for only a few hundred dollars.
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Old 10-31-2015, 11:56 AM   #15
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Re: Women and the Form of Poker

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I assume Mason meant "increased rake" instead of increased take?
Since I can't edit the above, upon thinking about it some more, take=rake.

I'll see myself out.
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Old 10-31-2015, 12:11 PM   #16
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Re: Women and the Form of Poker

In the game of life, take is the rake, even for women.
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Old 10-31-2015, 12:36 PM   #17
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Re: Women and the Form of Poker

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Originally Posted by King_of_NYC View Post
Suggesting that women are more sensitive to rake than men is sexist
LOL get out of here vanessa 1 ruined thread is enough
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Old 10-31-2015, 12:57 PM   #18
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Re: Women and the Form of Poker

If people care about the take they would refrain from tipping. But idiots still tip red birds so I really *doubt* the extra dollar a hand matters
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Old 10-31-2015, 01:01 PM   #19
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Re: Women and the Form of Poker

If the form of poker is a selection factor for women in poker, we might expect to see some similar selection factors at work in other activities. Something like a high incidence of women "shopping", but a lower incidence of women participating in auctions, for example. If a poker game resembled shopping more than a cattle auction it might appeal more to them.

So repeatedly calling (a limited) bet might be emotionally acceptable to many women, but shoving in an entire stack and saying "all in", or even calling in such a situation might be more aggression than many are prepared to do in front of relative strangers.

A "maximum bet" token might make it more tolerable, along with other symbolic changes.

Or we could just be satisfied with a few thick-skinned women playing.
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Old 10-31-2015, 01:01 PM   #20
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Re: Women and the Form of Poker

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Originally Posted by RelentlessDoubt View Post
If people care about the take they would refrain from tipping. But idiots still tip red birds so I really *doubt* the extra dollar a hand matters
I don't think I have ever seen a woman tip a red bird that wasn't an off duty dealer. That leaves the men in your "idiot" category.
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Old 10-31-2015, 01:13 PM   #21
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Re: Women and the Form of Poker

NL has more bluffing. And you know the saying, "a pair of balls beats anything".
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Old 10-31-2015, 01:15 PM   #22
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Re: Women and the Form of Poker

Quote:
Originally Posted by venice10 View Post
FWIW, my wife and her friends when playing in a home game play no-limit. It is mixed gender game since spouses also play. However when at the casino, they only play limit. So I'd say that atmosphere plays a huge role in that decision. People are friendlier because the stakes of making a decision are smaller making the game more relaxed. Chasing a draw is more often a good decision on later streets. You don't see the super serious looking players staring down or commenting on other players.

Rake is far less important. The rake on a slot machine is far worse than poker that hasn't discouraged people of both sexes play.
This is the point that I was going to make, esp w/ regards to the 'super serious looking players.' I mostly play limit and there are times that women outnumber men at the table and I think the total female limit player pool is higher than MM's 15% but I could be wrong.

I've never thought about MM's observation but now I'm going to start taking a look at CAZ's spread limit games and report back if this thread's still going after a while.
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Old 10-31-2015, 01:20 PM   #23
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Re: Women and the Form of Poker

I think the average female REC player is naturaly better at poker than the average male, i dont see the same ego in women as men its rare to see a women smelling like crap with their hair greasy and matted stuck 12 buyins pulling 13 hour sessions.
With the introduction of Big Bet games I think it affects the comfort level of women they rather not loose $200 vs 10bets in one hand because someone is on tilt and auto shoving,

The other games mason mentioned are more forgiving if a mistake is made or if a opponents sucks out. Rather than spend hours studying GTO or blowing $100's to learn the game in a trial by fire they do the smart thing and quit playing poker saving them tons.

and before you chime in with 2 or 3 examples of women behaving like degens keep in mind i can walk to the bellagio venetian and wynn and spot 20 unkept men reaking of booze in the midst of a 6 hour session(a idea environment for woman btw)

Speaking of is there anything conducive about a poker enviornment for women, almost every time i play a live session there is at least one person that smells like ass at the table, i cant think of any other place or situation other than the gym where that is the norm...
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Old 10-31-2015, 01:31 PM   #24
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Re: Women and the Form of Poker

Quote:
Originally Posted by RelentlessDoubt View Post
If people care about the take they would refrain from tipping. But idiots still tip red birds so I really *doubt* the extra dollar a hand matters
True iv started to judge how good a player is by how much they tip, if you see 3 red chips go to a dealer on any sized pot you may be at a good table,if you see someone tip when taking down the blinds you may be at a good table if you see someone stuck and still tipping you may be at a good table
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Old 10-31-2015, 02:29 PM   #25
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Re: Women and the Form of Poker

Any game, hobby or pursuit that rewards raw all-out aggression and punishes anything less will never become popular with women in general. Those who do have what it takes like Vanessa are going to play no matter what, but they're in the minority. And good luck trying to make the average socially retarded male poker player become more socially acceptable to women who are reluctant to play poker in the first place.

Last edited by Uh*Oh; 10-31-2015 at 02:48 PM.
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