Batman – whether it be the games, the old school 1960s TV series, the many variations of film (with any of the Batmans: Val Kilmer, George Clooney, Christian Bale, Ben Affleck…) or the comics – is a game of wits. Batman is called to stop a plot by a nefarious villain, and while brawn and gadgetry does come in handy, ultimately he uses his ability to think logically and laterally in order to stop the threat. In some ways, Batman is a lot like poker.
The Venn diagram of Batman and poker fans would likely only allow a small segment in the middle to be occupied. Many fans of poker aren’t interested in Batman (for some bizarre reason!) and many fans of Batman don’t care for poker. But, perhaps the lack of integration of something they like paired with something they are unfamiliar with is the reason why.
It can help non-fans of the game to learn how to play by framing the talk of poker around the talk of something they are familiar with. For example, a Game of Thrones fan could learn the game based on knowing what kind of poker players their favorite characters are, with Jon Snow being way too obvious and impulsive to be a good player and Grey Worm a great bluffer thanks to possessing “the ultimate poker face”. So, here is a rundown of your favorite (and least favorite) Batman characters as poker players.
The Joker would be great at poker. The Joker is a calculated man, and therefore a calculated player. He would ensure that he had planned for all eventualities and he’d definitely keep these plans close to his chest. The Joker’s poker face would work to instill fear and doubt into his opponents, which is equally important in poker as considered moves are. If we’re talking about an earlier incarnation of The Joker, sure, they may have been more amusing than scary but hey, that can still help hide your true intentions.
Catwoman would play her cards right, but her cockiness may get the better of her. Catwoman is a formidable ally/opponent, and her fighting spirit may just get in the way of thoroughly thinking through her hands. As the game wages on, Catwoman’s sureness would become her own downfall.
Batman would likely win. While he does have an impulsive side, he would ensure it only keeps him in the game through well-thought out maneuvers and no recklessness. Recklessness can be a poker player’s best friend or worst enemy, and Batman would be able to walk the fine line between the two.
Robin would be terrible at poker. Robin is already a polarizing character, and his hero worship of Batman would cloud his judgment. He would also become a thorn in Batman’s side as a staunch ally. Batman can handle himself and with Robin being knocked out of the competition early, Batman wouldn’t have to worry about Robin. Sorry, Robin.
Bane would also be a terrible poker player. He is incredibly impulsive and would lack the forethought to plan out his moves without a committee helping him. While he is a formidable opponent, Bane would lose his main assets at the poker table. His fury and aggression would lose the clear head needed to be a top poker player.
So, there we have it. By understanding how familiar characters would fare with poker may indeed help a non-fan’s understanding – or it may even help them understand their favorite character better.
Indeed, based on a popular animated series episode in which a group of villains have to identify which one is secretly Batman, a card game even exists that comes across as a Who’s Who of Batman characters. The key to the game is maintaining a poker face and using your head to identify which one is Batman.