5 Life Lessons From Playing Poker

Poker is a game that puts an individual’s analytical, mathematical and interpersonal skills to the test. But what many people don’t realize is that poker also indirectly teaches them a number of valuable life lessons.

1. Learn How To Read People

Poker players have to spend a lot of time reading their opponents. They need to assess their body language and facial expressions in order to make the best call in a given situation. In doing so, they learn how to better understand the motivations of other players and anticipate their actions. This skill translates well outside of the poker table, as it allows them to deal with situations that may not be entirely clear-cut in real-life.

2. Improve Your Maths

Playing poker regularly will teach you how to determine odds in your head. This isn’t the typical 1+1=2 type of math that we learn in school; rather, it involves figuring out how to put your opponent in a particular range of hands based on their betting patterns. This will help you determine whether or not they have a good hand, and allow you to make the most informed decision possible.

3. Practice Being Patient

Being able to take your time and wait for your turn is an important skill in poker, but it’s one that can be useful in any setting. When you’re at the poker table, it can be frustrating to have to sit around while other players make decisions without you. But once you apply this skill to your everyday life, you’ll find it much easier to stay calm and patient in situations that you can’t control.

4. Don’t Get Too Attached To Good Hands

Being good at poker means knowing when to put your ego aside and act accordingly. This is especially true when it comes to betting. A lot of people think that pocket kings or queens are strong hands, but they can quickly fade when an ace hits the flop. This is why it’s important to keep your ego in check and only call or raise when you have the absolute best chance of winning.

5. Build Resiliency

Inevitably, you’ll lose at the poker table from time to time. However, a good player will learn to embrace their losses and view them as learning opportunities. If you’re unable to handle your defeats, you could end up losing more money than you win in the long run. However, if you can develop resilience by learning from your mistakes, you’ll be able to overcome tough moments in your life and come out on top.

6. Decrease Your Risk of Alzheimer’s

Not only does playing poker improve your short-term memory and cognitive abilities, but it can also delay degenerative neurological diseases like Alzheimer’s and dementia. A study conducted by Dr. Jeffrey Cummings found that consistent poker playing can cause your brain to rewire itself by creating new neural pathways and nerve fibers. As a result, it can reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s by up to 50%!