5 Ways Poker Can Teach You

Poker is a game that requires a lot of thinking and strategy. The best players are able to read their opponents and make decisions based on probabilities rather than guesses. Poker can also teach you to manage risk, which is important in many areas of life. For example, you might need to be able to calculate the probability of winning in a job interview or when buying a house.

1. Teaches patience and the value of hard work

Playing poker can teach you how to be patient and how to keep working towards a goal even if it isn’t immediately evident. There will be times when you don’t have the best cards but if you stick with your plan and work hard, you can still achieve success. The same principle applies to other pursuits in life such as education, sport or career.

2. Improves observational skills

A big part of poker is observing your opponents and picking up on tells such as scratches on the nose or nervousness. Observing the way they move, how they play and how they bet can help you predict their likely actions. Using this information can give you an edge over your opponent. It is the same process of estimating probabilities that is used in finance, business and many other areas of life.

3. Teaches logical thinking

Poker is not a game for the emotionally unstable. It is a card game involving betting and there are many different strategies to win. The difference between a break-even beginner player and a serious winner has often only been a few adjustments to their mindset and the way they view the game. Poker teaches players to think critically and logically about the game which can benefit them in other areas of their lives such as work or studying.

4. Teach to read other players

Poker teaches you how to analyse your opponents and see through their bluffs. To do this you must know the strength of your own hand. For example, you can make a strong hand by having 3 of the same rank or a straight with 5 consecutive cards. You can also win by making a pair of 2 matching cards or a full house which consists of 3 matching cards of one rank and two matching cards of another.

5. Teach to be objective

Poker teaches you to be objective about your own play and to learn from the mistakes of others. A good poker player is always looking for ways to improve their game. This can be through self-examination, studying their own results or talking with other players about their style of play. It is this type of critical thinking that can help you be successful in any area of your life. This is also the key to staying ahead of the competition in a job interview or in a business venture. The same is true of any competitive sport. In poker this is called ‘reading the game’.