Edward Norton was once quoted as saying, “Life, like poker, has an element of risk. It shouldn’t be avoided. It should be faced.” More than 23 million adults in the USA play poker on a regular basis, some competitively and some purely for recreational purposes. Despite poker being such a popular game, it is still often unfairly labelled as a senseless gambling past-time that relies solely on luck. The time has undoubtedly come or people to acknowledge that poker can be of great benefit to our health and well-being, improving our mental welfare and making us overall happier and even smarter individuals.
Poker teaches you acceptance of diverse individuals
People are inherently prejudiced, much to their own demise, and tend to only associate with people that are very similar to themselves. Whether you play poker online or in a casino, you are basically forced to play with whoever sits down at the table with you. There is no space for gender, racial and religious prejudices around a poker table. These prejudices are not only unkind but can also be detrimental to your game, causing you to underestimate your opposition. To play at your best you need to set aside all your prejudices and focus solely on the matter at hand, a skill that can serve you well away from the poker table in your daily life as well.
Poker ensures your mind stays active
Poker is a game that requires a lot of skill, necessitating players to play and practice often. When you are required to engage in an activity at regular intervals, your mental ability is driven to new heights. Due to the mathematical nature of poker, it can also aid players to become swifter and more accurate at mental math. Apart from keeping the mind active, poker can also boost concentration levels and patience while teaching players the importance of goal-setting and perseverance.
Poker teaches you how to better cope with losses
Most people are not naturally very good when it comes to handling losses, whether it revolves around a job, a relationship or a poker game. The longer you play poker though, the better you become at handling losses with poise. Regardless of how good a poker player you are, losses are inevitable. In reality, you will probably find yourself losing a lot more hands than what you win. These losing streaks will not only teach you acceptance but also determination. We can never win at everything in life, including poker, and that is one of the biggest things you will take away from the game.
Poker can give your social life a boost
Poker is a very social game, regardless of where you play. The game doesn’t only initiate improved communication and other social skills but it also paves the way for new friendships to be formed. Spending time around like-minded people is very beneficial as it is known to relieve stress and anxiety and even boost your confidence. As competitive a game as what poker is, you can end up learning valuable tricks from other players as you talk about the game, sharing your own personal knowledge and experiences.
Playing poker on a regular basis can do a lot more for your overall well-being than simply boost your bank balance. As long as you play poker responsibly, you will find yourself more relaxed and happy while enjoying improved mental clarity, and better coping skills to apply to your everyday life.