What Are the Benefits of Playing Poker?


It’s always important to look at how we spend our time and see what benefit we’re getting from our actions. In some cases, we’ll get nothing at all, or the effects will be negative. But sometimes we find that our actions have positive implications we hadn’t considered before. They’ve found, for instance, that playing video games can bring a host of unintended benefits. And the same can be said of poker. If you’re playing regularly, then you might just be acquiring some of the advantages that we outline below.

It Develops Patience

Patience is a virtue. Alas, there aren’t too many opportunities to develop a patient mindset in this fast-paced world of ours. But poker is different. Perhaps because it’s a “classic game” from back when the pace of life was slower, the strategy game teaches players the art of taking their time. Play poker online and you might just find that you’re patient in other areas of your life too, and that can bring a whole host of positive impacts. Indeed, research suggests that cultivating a more patent mindset can lead to increased happiness.

Social Skills

You can play poker against a computer, but more often than not, you’ll be playing against other people. And while there will be times when you’re sitting silently studying your cards, there will also be plenty of opportunities to interact with other players. In much the same way as video games, playing poker helps to improve a person’s social skills. Poker draws people from all walks of life and backgrounds, too, which helps to turbocharge a person’s social capabilities.

Critical Thinking

Some games bring physical benefits. Poker brings mental benefits. When you’re playing, your brain is switched on, continually trying to figure out the next move. In the process, you’ll be improving your critical thinking skills. A player’s poker success depends on how well they can assess the quality of their hand. Away from the table, you can use these skills in any number of ways. A big chunk of life depends on your ability to make the right decision — and that’s just what poker teaches you. You’ll also be pushing your mathematical skills in the right direction. And the best part? You might just be getting smarter without even realizing it as you’ll be too busy having fun.


You Win Some, You Lose Some

No one goes through life just racking up victory after victory. At some point or another, everyone hits a rough patch and gets a couple of losses under their belt. Playing poker can help to teach you that the good times will come back around. Even on a player’s most successful night, they still lose a lot of hands. Through playing poker, you’ll learn that failure is a bruise, not a tattoo. Plus, there’s always a chance to turn things around — and that principle can apply to life as much as it applies to poker.

Emotion Control

There are moments in life when an unfiltered expression of emotion is entirely justified. But there are many more moments when it’s best to keep things under check. In this fast-paced world of ours, it’s easy for stress and anger levels to rise uncontrollably. And if they boil over then negative consequences could follow. Nobody wants to be a slave to their emotions, even the positive ones. Poker helps teach people how to rein in their emotions. You can’t get carried away every time you get a good hand, after all!

So, the next time you’re playing poker, remember that it’s more than just a way to pass the time. You’ll actually be giving yourself a whole host of benefits!

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The views expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of The World Financial Review.