Monday, July 18, 2005

Boardgames that will make you a better poker player

What happened to boardgames? It could have been video games, but I think it was crappy board games based on movies and the 1000 stoopid versions of monopoly (insert getto-opoly joke here). But in Europe, boardgames never lost their quality. Recently, many of these titles are being enjoyed by a new wave of game players in the states that enjoy a good challenge with friends. After all, not everyone likes poker (really?). But LIKE poker, all these games are easy to learn and focus on making better choices than your opponent. Playing them and learning from them will make you a better poker player.

Medici, possibly the best bidding game ever invented.
This game will really teach you which pots are worth going after and which are worth letting go.

Bootleggers, whiskey running during prohibition.
This game will teach you how to maximize your CHANCE of success by hedging your bets, playing the percentages, and knowing when to come over the top on your competition. The timing of making a move and risk/reward are also big lessons.

Edel, Stein & Reich
This game is a great way to learn to read opponents and know when to bluff and how much you can get away with before you overstep your bounds. Don’t let the cryptic title fool you, this is a very simple and straightforward game that should have been named “bluff and double bluff”.

Turn the Tide
Learning to play what life deals you better than your opponent can. Ever find yourself bitching that you never get cards? Well, what if everyone had to take a turn playing the cards you got. If they did better with them that you did, would you learn anything?

Again the title is unfortunate. It should have been named, “domination”.
It will teach you when to know you’re dominated in a pot before losing all your chips. You protect your cards in this game, must like you protect your chips in poker. It also helps you read your opponents situation. Can he AFFORD to let go of this hand or is he in it for the duration? Can I chase him out of this conflict?

For Sale
Like Medici, this is a bidding game. Simpler and quicker to play, you are simply trying to spend the least amount of chips to win the most amount of chips. Sound familiar?

Balloon Cup
A simple game of that will teach you a very important skill, knowing when to fold.

Perhaps the most unique of the games, this game would have been titled “pirates” had their not already been a dozen titles with that name. Use your cards and PATTERN RECOGNITION to advance further towards then end goal than your opponents. Will definitely teach you to adjust to maximize any opportunities that your opponent makes available to you.

Buy these at or and enjoy learning poker with people who don’t even play poker! What better way to introduce your friends and family to poker strategy without ever saying the word. And best of all, all these games are kid and family friendly.

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