Cricket Betting & Poker: Examining The Psychological Effects & CrossoverHayden Horniman |
Many unique features set cricket aside from many other professional team sports. Cricket, in a test match, original format, is the longest professional game in the world. Matches will regularly span over five days, and although other shorter forms of cricket have generated hysteria in countries that love the sport, such as India, for many ardent cricket fans, the purists, test matches are the pinnacle of the sport.
Cricket betting falls into a unique category of sports betting. While games like soccer, American football, and hockey (NHL) all fall into short segments where games conclude within a couple of hours, a cricket bet can last for days. Although soccer betting has outright markets where you can bet on the outcome of a tournament that can last over a similar length, the unique features of test match cricket mean that you are betting on the development of one game over a specific length of time. Playing over several sessions that can last for hours at a time draws more similarities to casino games like poker than to other sports betting markets.
Cricket matches can go hours without a significant game-changing moment, and there are multiple parallels and crossovers between a long poker game and a 5-day test match. Former cricketers Phil Tufnell and legendary Aussie Shane Warne are two players who took to the poker tables after they retired. With both games consisting of high-level strategy, psychological stamina, and prowess, it’s easy to see how these top cricketers made the switch, and there aren’t many sports that host top-level games that last for almost a week.
As we alluded to in the above section, there are similarities between poker strategy and cricket, and you can draw parallels between both. Cricket strategy envelops hundreds of different approaches, but for fielders, batsmen, and women who stay out on the crease for hours, a significant component amongst the top players is psychological and mental fortitude. This characteristic is mutually inclusive at the top end of both sports. If you enjoy playing poker online, you might know that poker strategy has elements that focus on understanding the quality of your opponent’s hand, keeping yourself level and psychologically sharp can channel peak performance in both sports.
It is the length of the game that draws the most similarities. Sit-and-go poker tournaments have recently found a big audience and are much shorter versions of the iconic card-based game. Likewise, cricket has found an audience with one-day international cricket, which is a more concise 50-over format. It has birthed the immense global popularity of shorter cricket forms, such as the Indian Premier League, which hundreds of millions of Indians watch every season.
You could argue that other casino games, such as blackjack and slot machines, involve quick fire and short bursts of betting. However, poker and cricket crossover in a strategic sense, and the long-term drawn-out strategic element is a considerable feature of both.
The online gambling industry has used technology and the immense development of mobile devices to create a whole host of new markets that were previously unavailable. It has changed the landscape for cricket fans globally, where you can seek out the best equipment online, read blogs about upcoming games, check out the latest injury news, and find a vast new wave of betting markets that were previously unavailable.
Some sports betting companies allow you to bet on individual runs, whether a bowler will get a certain amount of wickets in the game or whether one or more batters will score a century. Test cricket has hundreds of markets that cover outright and in-play, so there are plenty of avenues for gamblers looking to place a bet over a shorter period.
Without the Internet, the rise of these markets would have been complicated. The cricket industry has adapted to gamblers’ changing attitudes and behavior, resulting in an expansion in profitability and more visibility for types of cricket, aiming to bring more fans on board in the same way the IPL has.
One common criticism cricket fans have to put up with from people who don’t enjoy the sport is that it is too dull or long-winded. This is something that many poker players and fans can relate to as well. The brutal truth is that many people don’t have the attention span to understand and watch either of these games because they last longer than a couple of hours. Personal preference comes into play, and we’re not saying this is the case for everyone. But the bottom line is that the psychological crossover and approach to cricket and poker have much in common. Hence, the crossover exists not just on the pitch but with the gambling mentality that interweaves both off the pitch too.