Some of our readers sometimes ask themselves the question: which gambling game to choose? Forex or Poker
The turf repels neophytes because it requires long expertise. However, players often enjoy gambling games for pleasure and entertainment more than for their lucrative nature. Even if you are not familiar with the rules, you can start by trying the free games first to get a feel for the gameplay. Also, non GamStop casinos offer you a lot of bonuses to entice you to try out the available games and give you more chances of winning. On the other hand, forex requires a university degree, a deep study of the markets, technical and financial analysis skills, and the ability to predict.
Despite this fundamental difference, both forex and casino are similar in the ultimate goal, which is risk to make profits!
Despite this similarity, online poker remains regulated and remains a much wiser choice. Conversely, forex sites, due to the non-regulation of the sector, are still to be discouraged. Below is a conceptual comparison between the stock market and poker.
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Table of contents
What Is Forex?
Forex is the abbreviation of “Foreign Exchange”.
With a daily turnover of more than 5 trillion dollars (that’s a 5 with no less than 12 zeros!) Forex is the largest trading place in the world. Yet the Forex does not have a physical trading place or trading floor as stock exchanges do have (including Wall Street, The London Stock Exchange (LSE) the Amsterdam Stock Exchange, etc.). Currency trading only takes place digitally.
Currency trading is basically gambling on an increase in the value of a currency. You hope that the value of the currency you purchase will increase soon. It is useful to have some knowledge of currency markets, but also to keep an eye on world politics. For example, the vote for Brexit and its aftermath has had an impact on the value of the British pound.
The Forex is open from Sunday 23:00 to Friday 23:00, so you can trade 24 hours a day during the week. This is also different from the stock exchange, where trading is only possible during office hours when the stock exchange is open.
The most traded currencies on the Forex are:
- USD – US Dollar
- AUD – Australian Dollar
- GBP – British Pound
- CAD – Canadian Dollar
- JPY – Japanese Yen
- CHF – Swiss Franc
These 7 together account for about 85% of the trade.
Currency trading always takes place in pairs. The first chosen currency is the base currency and the second is the counter or quote. The main currency pairs are AUD/USD, EUR/USD, GBP/USD, USD/CAD, USD/CHF, and USD/JPY. The counter or quote indicates how much of that currency you can buy for 1 base currency. So for 1 EUR, you get 1.1 USD Euro.
Then you have to deal with bid and ask prices. You can also see this if you want to exchange money, for example. The bid price is the price for which you can sell a currency, the asking price is your purchase price. The difference between the two is the “spread”.
The Pips (Percentage in point) show the fluctuations in the price of a currency pair. One Pip is a currency difference of 0.0001, except in currency pairs with the Yen, then it equals 0.01. There is now an even smaller value that can be traded: the Pipette. This is one-tenth of a Pip, so 0.00001 or 0.001.
Let or Offer
We already saw that there is an asking price and a bid price. So, traders work with this, and the trade is therefore called let or bid. Suppose a trader is on the GBP/USD currency pair. If he expects the Dollar to fall in value against the Pound, he will not: ask for GBP and/or offer USD. Conversely, if the dollar gets stronger, it will start bidding: offering GBP and/or asking USD.
Trading in currencies, or Forex, can also take place with leverage. Sometimes they can go up to 100 or even 400x. This means that a lot of money can be made with small differences, but also lost.
The Common Features Between Poker & Forex
Trading and playing cards are two activities that don’t seem to have anything in common. However, it is interesting to note that they have similar features:
- Managing emotions and self-control: whether it’s bluffing, coping with losses, or sticking to a strategy, these are considerable assets in both poker and forex.
- Analysis: in poker, you will finely analyze the adversaries, while in forex, it will be the markets. Without taking the time for this, failure is almost guaranteed!
- Risk calculation: in one case, you will calculate your odds to know if you have to commit to a pot to be a winner in the long term; in another, you will assess the risks of your positions, in particular by setting yourself loss limits.
- Strategy: this will be one of the keys to success. In poker, there are many strategies for amassing chips: stealing blinds, continuation betting… In forex, it’s mainly about managing position times.
Also, effective budget management is a must!
- In poker, where we talk about “bankroll”, you must know how to set limits and not play beyond your means (for example, do not pay buy-ins corresponding to more than 5% of your bankroll in sit-and-go).
- As for forex, you will, above all, have to assess the maximum possible losses of money on your positions without melting your budget like snow in the sun.
Finally, the beginner must know how to show lucidity so as not to be (too) deluded. Bonuses and promises should not overshadow one thing: almost 90% of players lose more money than they win in the long term in both cases. Moreover, becoming a good winning player takes time, often around 2 or 3 years of regular practice.
The Peculiarities of Forex
Chance usually takes precedence over analysis!
First of all, even if an element of chance exists in poker, it remains relatively easy to blur it, at least in part. On the other hand, forex consists of taking positions on the evolution of currencies which can be short and about minute fluctuations.
Also, even if you analyze an upward trend of a low volatility value (varying only very little), it is possible that over one or two hours of position, there is a downward variation. Unless you are an expert trader, such a bet will almost be a coin toss … The whole thing is to balance the different positions so that overall, the gains remain greater than the losses. Only a tiny number of individuals achieve this…
Playing With Virtual Money?
If you want to get into poker, we do not recommend playing for virtual money, unless you are a complete beginner and simply want to assimilate the rules. Indeed, the opponents bet anyhow and deliver the game to chance and fury. Players, therefore, play “Real” poker with real money, even at low limits.
On the other hand, playing forex for 6 months in “play money” seems to be an essential step to clearly understanding the behavior of the different markets, assimilating a new vocabulary, and testing different strategies.
Once they start earning, some consider moving to real money. Indeed, in theory, they were exercised in exactly the same markets. The practice is however quite different: emotions are more difficult to manage and the illusion of knowing how to trade from winnings in play money can quickly turn into bankruptcy. We recommend our readers not to take the plunge.
However, if you cross it, check that you have trained on position times and types of bets equivalent to those offered in real money. Indeed, some unscrupulous sites facilitate play money gains (favorable position times offered, less volatile assets, etc.) and leave apprentice traders on their own as soon as they bet their savings. And in general, most users are not prepared for that high volatile investment. In short, it is better to leave the stock market to the professionals and preserve the nest egg!
A Different Business Model
A few basics on how sites earn will help you understand their deep philosophy.
Poker rooms make money by taking commissions on games they host:
- In a cash game, an amount is defined according to the limits and the size of the pots.
- In a tournament or sit-and-go, a percentage of the entry fees or buy-in.
Consequently, they remain as neutral vis-à-vis the losses and gains of the players.
A forex site, on the other hand, takes commissions on the earnings of “traders”. It, therefore, has a certain interest in training the best, if possible those who bet the most money. This explains why forex brokers usually offer training sessions. But one wonders if they are not simply used to give people the illusion of “becoming pros” and depositing more money.