Poker is a game that pushes your analytical, mathematical and interpersonal skills to the limit. It also provides a host of benefits that extend well beyond the table.
Improves your critical thinking skills
When you play poker, it forces you to make a series of decisions on the fly. Whether you’re deciding to call a big bet with a bad hand or to raise it, you must assess the situation and then execute the proper decision. This type of situational awareness is a great way to train your brain and help you perform better in all aspects of life.
Teaches you to be a good student of the game
A solid poker player is constantly studying the game and learning from the players around them. They’re not looking for cookie-cutter advice like “always 3bet x hands” or “always check-raise your flush draws”. Instead, they develop their own strategy through detailed self-examination and by reviewing their results with others. They take the best parts of their opponents’ strategies and tweak them to make themselves better.
Teaches you to be resilient
Poker can be a very stressful game, especially when the stakes are high. This can lead to losing sessions, which can knock your confidence and bankroll. A good poker player, however, knows how to keep their cool and never lets the ups and downs get to them.
This helps them maintain a high level of performance throughout the long run and ultimately succeed. This type of resilience can be applied to other areas of life as well, such as work and relationships.
Sharpens your math skills
A lot of people don’t realize that poker is a pretty advanced form of mathematics. When you play regularly, you quickly learn to calculate odds on the fly. This isn’t the standard 1+1=2 kind of math, but rather the ability to figure out the probability that a specific card is coming up on the next street and compare it against your risk. This is a valuable skill to have, and it can help you make smarter decisions at the poker table as well as in your day-to-day life.
Teaches you to be deceptive
Poker is a game of deception, and if your opponent knows what you have, it’s almost impossible for you to win. This is why it’s so important to mix things up at the table. Don’t always continuation bet your strong hands, and don’t just call every time you have a suited ace. Instead, try to mix it up and throw your opponent off guard.
It’s a game of strategy, and the more you practice it, the better you will become. Aside from being a fun and exciting hobby, poker is a fantastic way to improve your mental and physical health. So why not give it a go? You might just find that it’s a lot more fun than you thought! And who knows, you might even become the next world champion.