Playing poker is mainly about having fun and trying to earn some money in the process. But this game also improves the way the players’ minds work. In fact, playing poker can indeed make you smarter, because it improves the mental focus and the cognitive skills.
Then, there are the mental awareness and alertness which are sharpened. Poker stimulates the brain and this acts like a mental exercise, which in the end will help strengthen your mind.
And if we are talking about either Jacks or Better, Hold’em, Omaha, or even Mississippi Stud Online, they all require certain skills, focus and attention.
While we can agree that luck plays an important role in poker, you too have to be smart to win big. Here are six ways in which playing poker can make you smarter:
It improves logical thinking, mental calculus and math
Poker makes you take the logical decisions instead of just follow your heart, as in life. You have to know and see the strategies, think of the best logical move, and make a raise if it is actually worth the risk.
Those who play poker have the ability to count, multiply, divide and so on, at the highest frequency needed. There is a continuous mental math and calculus, and thus a continuous mental training.
You can improve your cognitive abilities, and make use (and also strengthen) your odds and probabilities skills.
It reduces stress
University studies have shown that playing poker can reduce the stress. Actually, it doesn’t work just with decreasing the effects of stress, but also those of anxiety and depression.
How it does that? Well, the players are kind of forced to create the time to relax and unwind. They know that their mental state has to be perfect to play at their best, so they deter the most possible any negative influences on the mind.
It develops patience, discipline and performing under pressure
Poker is one of those games where waiting and timing are essential. So, you have to master patience and discipline. You have to remain calm and controlled in order to have a better chance of dominating the others at the table.
The game helps you become more calculative, take better decisions, teach yourself self-discipline, keep the emotions in check, and ultimately perform and thrive under pressure.
It teaches you how to cope with losses
In poker you will lose, sooner or later, more or less. And sometimes more. If you keep on playing after loses and retain the ability to rebound from defeats, this will teach you important lessons to learn from.
If you accept the loss or failure, then learn from it and improve yourself, that is a way to deal with poker games, but also with everyday life. Some of the biggest successes came after big fails – and that applies in poker as well as in life.
It improves concentration and stimulates the brain
Poker players need big concentration in the game, even at their maximum. This stimulates the brain, making you think all the possible ways of playing and attacking.
You get to analyze the table, the opponents, and think ahead. Without focus and concentration, is kind of difficult to win a hand in poker.
It helps reading other people and develop a poker face
An important part of poker is also reading the other peoples’ gestures and facial expressions, which stimulates the brain cells in the prefrontal cortex. This also improves your cognitive capabilities.
In life, these skills will help a lot, especially if you are a business person. You will improve at telling when somebody is dishonest or not, but also keep the upper hand and lock your true intentions with a straight poker face.