Poker is a game of strategy, probability and psychology that requires a lot of practice to master. But it’s not just a way to pass the time; poker can also be an excellent way to improve your business and your life. Here are a few ways that poker can boost your brainpower and help you become a better person:
1. Poker helps you develop quick instincts
Every situation in a poker game is different, so you have to learn to read the table on the fly and make decisions quickly. By playing poker regularly and observing other players, you can develop your instincts and become a more effective player.
2. It teaches you how to manage your emotions
In poker, you’re always going to be dealt some bad hands, and it’s important that you know how to deal with them. A good poker player will never try to chase a loss and instead will simply fold, learn from their mistake and move on. This is a skill that can be applied in many situations in life, from running your own business to giving a presentation to an audience.
3. It teaches you to read body language
When playing poker, it’s important to understand the body language of your opponents. This will allow you to see when they’re bluffing and determine their emotions. This is a key component to the game and can be used in many other situations, from negotiating a deal with a client to reading a crowd at a conference.
4. It teaches you to play in position
When you’re in position, it’s often much cheaper to call than to raise when the betting starts. You can use this to your advantage by checking when you have a marginal hand, as it will give your opponent an opportunity to call and put more money into the pot before it’s your turn again.
5. It improves your math skills
One of the most overlooked benefits of poker is that it can actually improve your math skills. This is because poker forces you to think in terms of odds, not just in the typical 1 + 2 = 3 way. You have to be able to work out the probability of a certain card coming up on the next street and compare it to the risk of raising your bet and the amount you can win. This type of thinking can be useful in other areas of your life as well, from investing to figuring out how much to tip your waiter.