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Are Women Bad at Poker?

Some women are bad at poker in the same way some men are bad at poker. For either gender there is a bell curve from 'terrible' to 'excellent'. Women may be bad at poker for different, gender based, reasons than men, and it is true that less women play poker than men, but that is all that can really be said.

My view however is that women have two distinct advantages playing against men, namely:

Poker is a game where you are trying to deceive your opponents in to thinking your hand is different to what it is. You want your opponents to think your hand is stronger than theirs if it is weaker, and weaker than theirs if it is stronger. The advantage for women is that they are better than men at detecting deception in men. (I admit I have no empirical proof of this, but I am pretty sure it is true).

Second; My observation is women playing against men will tend to get their bets and raises called much more than a man would, even if that man is a known loose player. Men just don't seem to like laying down a hand to a woman - this is especially true if the woman is young and/or good looking. While it means a woman will get her bluffs called more frequently, it also means she will get paid out on her good hands more often. If the female player knows this, she has a distinct advantage over her male opponents.


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