Not All Fun and Games: Life Skills that Playing Poker can teach You



Poker is a game of math, chance and skill. Many tend to overlook the game and the lessons one can learn from taking part in it. Over the years, poker has increased significantly in popularity as its complex and exciting setup appeals to many.

Poker is a mind game that will require a person to engage the analytical, mathematical, and interpersonal parts of their brain to find success.

Some games will even push your physical endurance to the limit as you’ll have to sit still for a long time while keeping your body language and facial expressions as neutral as possible.

Many are unaware of the underlying life lessons learning how to play poker will teach you.

Here are a few lessons that might interest you.

Concentration Booster

Poker requires outstanding levels of concentration. The cards are not random and need a mathematical analysis for you to make any headway. Not only must you focus on the cards, but your opponents’ faces, too.

An essential part of the play is analyzing how they deal with the cards, body movements, and other telltale signs about their hand.

In poker, losing focus could lead to a player making a significant loss. Training the mind to focus for long periods will help you win more games and assist you in other aspects of life where you need to concentrate.

Emotional Maturity

Poker can take you on a ride when it comes to the emotions you’ll feel during the game. You may start off feeling excited, feel stressed halfway through and end up feeling anxious because you have to go home and tell the wife what happened.

You have to keep a straight face the entire time while feeling these emotions; otherwise, you may give something away and lose the game. You cannot reveal your hands via your facial expression, so maintaining a strict level of control is vital.

Poker will teach you emotional control and will help you manage any feeling you may be having.

Decision-Making Skills

In poker, there must be no indecisiveness. Struggling or stuttering when making a move could be what loses you the game. Players are required to approach any poker problem in a probabilistic manner.

This outlook will help players analyze the game from several different viewpoints while exercising their options and eventually making the best possible decision.

Poker is a game that will constantly require you to make complex decisions, and after a while, you will grow accustomed to this and be able to use the skill in other aspects of life.

Observation Skills

Playing poker will help you improve your memory and will help you learn to observe people efficiently. During gameplay, you will have to watch your opponents as well as your cards. Watching your opponents and categorizing them will help you in future games as you’ll slowly start to pick up their tells.

Healthy Competition

Online poker is unique because it provides you with an opportunity to play against the best. Playing online will enable you to consult with and learn from some of the top poker players in the world.

By playing against well-known poker players, you’ll start to gain more confidence and improve your skill when it comes to the game. You’ll learn to analyze their play and pick up specific skills from them.

Poker teaches you to push yourself and learn from others. You’ll soon start to notice yourself analyzing others’ actions in everyday life, picking up in-depth skills in the process.

Just Deal With It

Luck certainly plays a role when playing Poker, but the most important part of poker is learning to deal with the cards you have been given. Winning or losing in any game is often associated with the cards you were dealt, but ultimately it comes down to skill when determining the game’s outcome.

These scenarios teach you to deal with whatever cards you are dealt with in life and make the most of any situation. In poker, you accept the challenge; you don’t fold immediately. Players can use the same for any day-to-day situation in life.

Never Be Biased

Perhaps the most challenging part of Poker is not allowing preconceived opinions or beliefs to cloud your judgment. You need to go into every game clear-headed and free from any biases.

In poker, if you are dealt a bad hand, you’ll find yourself wanting to believe that your opponents are bluffing. Don’t allow the panic of a lousy hand to determine your fate in the game.

You can say the same in many life scenarios; don’t let your emotions or fear convince you of something you know that rationally is not the case. Remain level-headed and look for signs that may indicate something different.

Poker requires extreme emotional intelligence as well as physical and mental endurance. You need to train your brain to do well in the game, inadvertently helping yourself with other daily tasks.

Guest Contributor

Guest Contributor