Poker is a game that many people play for fun, while others use it as a way to make money. Some people even go as far as to compete in major tournaments. It might not seem like poker could teach you anything about life, but research shows that it can provide some cognitive benefits.
1. Teaches how to assess risks
One of the most important skills that poker teaches you is how to properly assess risks in various situations. This is an essential skill to have in business and in other aspects of life, as it will help you avoid bad events that can negatively impact your life. Poker also helps you learn how to deal with failure, which is something that all people will encounter at some point in their lives. It will teach you how to accept losses and learn from them, rather than giving up and throwing a temper tantrum.
2. Improves your ability to read people
Poker requires a great deal of observation. Good players will notice tells, changes in body language and other subtle aspects of their opponents’ behavior. They will also be able to discern how much money other players are putting into the pot. This is a crucial aspect of the game, as it will help you decide whether to call or raise a bet.
3. Teaches how to manage emotions
Poker is often a stressful and exciting game, especially when the stakes are high. Regardless of how intense the game may be, it is important to remain calm and to not show your emotions publicly. This will allow you to think clearly in the heat of the moment and avoid making mistakes that can cost you a lot of money. Moreover, it will teach you how to manage your emotions, which is an important part of life.
4. Teach you how to make decisions under uncertainty
There is a lot of uncertainty in poker, just as there is in other areas of life. However, there are ways to mitigate the amount of uncertainty by making sound decisions and by learning how to estimate probabilities. Poker will help you develop these skills, so that you can make the best decisions in any situation.
5. Improves your mathematical skills
Poker involves a lot of math. The most obvious skills are dealing and betting, but there are a lot of other skills that will help you when it comes to calculating odds and EVs. Over time, you will find that you’ll be able to calculate these odds naturally and will have an intuitive understanding of them.
6. Boosts your social skills
Most people who play poker will interact with other players, either at their home games or at live ones. This interaction will teach you how to engage with different types of people and how to make friends. It will also teach you how to interact with people of all ages and backgrounds, which can be beneficial in the real world.