Poker is a great game to take up, since, like a lot of hobbies it has a social element you can take advantage of. But did you know poker comes with a whole roster of other benefits that are less talked about, including improving your brain and social skills. Read on to find out more about the benefits of playing poker.
Poker improves your learning ability
Poker provides an incentive for people to learn, which homework is often lacking, and as you play you gain a lot of brain-building skills. For one thing, your math skills will improve with playing No-Limit Hold’em poker since you will constantly be using gambling math and probability math to win. You will be thinking logically and quickly through every step of the process by tracking and guessing what the other players are doing and then deciding what to do with the information.
Your observation skills will improve, alongside your focus, learning to block out everything going on around you.
Poker teaches social skills
Poker is a social game. People play it at parties or get-togethers for a relaxing good time. A lot of social skills will come with playing poker, since it is a game that will force you to learn to read people. We aren’t taught to be too analytical of people’s behavioral habits in everyday life, however we do naturally pick up on it. Unless they’re good at it, you will know when someone is lying to you, but you won’t know why. At the poker table, reading people is vital. You need to assess your opponents’ behavior and what to do with the information, so it’s important not to skip that middle area of why.
You can read up on body language, which is only about 70-80% effective, but then, there is no way to be sure of someone telling the truth or not. Body language experts can give you pointers to physical ticks that are mostly universal when we are lying. No one hits them all, and you need a combination to be sure, but they can be helpful when trying to decipher if a player is bluffing or not.
But ultimately, all the books won’t mean a thing if you don’t get to practice. The way to make these lessons are second nature is to practice at the table. Observe everyone around you and you will soon pick up on the little hints that they are or are not so confident in their cards.
Alongside this, you will learn impulse control. Yes, there’s the big things like flipping the table over when you lose, which is easy to know not to do, but you also don’t want to be caught lying. Throughout your time at the table, you will find you need to keep your composure. Be aware of any little movements that are giving you away and try to manage those impulses.
There is also knowing when to fold and how not to fold for the sole reason of seeing if you could have won.
Conflict resolution is also a valuable skill gained in poker. A lot of bluffing and sandbagging other players can lead to an opponent taking it personally. Players will eventually win through playing that it is never personal and apply it to other aspects of life.
Poker teaches strategy and problem solving
Poker, like chess, is a game of strategy. If you are good at poker, you are constantly making small calculations and trying to decipher the next move of your opponents.
It does take a level of math. You will be calculating odds on every hand, trying to determine if you should call or not. Ultimately, trying to decipher odds will take nothing but study and practice. There is no simple rule to help you remember it and you will only understand it better with use.
On top of that, you are often trying to use the evidence you have to make a decision. What style of player are your opponents? What next move will that indicate? What hands do you suspect they have? All this can add up to some strategic thinking, allowing you to develop a mind that is thinking five steps ahead of the rest.
If you’re new to poker, or thinking about switching your online poker room, you should hit Online Casinos to find the best deals and reviews on the best sites. You can’t see anyone in the chatroom, so you won’t be able to work on your poker face, or spotting one, but you can make sure the games you enter are trustworthy!
Poker teaches behavioral skills
Poker can do a lot for behavioral skills that can be taken into the real world. It is not a fast game, but a slow and sometimes stressful game, which will teach you to keep a calm mind in stressful situations. You won’t have the brain space to panic when you’re strategizing, teaching you to make plans and move forward when things go wrong beyond the poker table.
This slow game can also teach patience. You want to win, and you’ll want to win more the longer you go on, but you only will win if you have the patience to get through the sometimes hours-long game. It is a matter of being the last man standing and watching the rest of them slowly lose.
As the anticipation rises, you will get more impatient, but you will be able to control it for the sake of the win. After a few rounds at the poker table, you might find biting your tongue a lot easier, or the queue around the driv-thru isn’t that long after all.
You will also learn to lose graciously after a long game. Poker is an extremely quiet game for the most part since players don’t tend to want to give anything away. Flipping tables and getting loud will only embarrass yourself. You won’t see any professional players losing their cool. It’s called a poker face for a reason.