The Cognitive Benefits of Playing Poker


Poker is a game that puts one’s analytical, mathematical and interpersonal skills to the test. It is also a game that indirectly teaches a lot of important life lessons. Some people play poker for fun, others for the money, and still others use it to gain experience and skills before competing in larger tournaments. However, many players are unaware that the game actually has a host of cognitive benefits as well. Some of these benefits are surprising and unexpected.

1. It helps improve math skills.

Poker requires a good understanding of probability. As a player, you must be able to calculate odds in your head quickly, and this skill can help you make better decisions at the table. Additionally, you’ll have a stronger grasp on things like frequencies and EV estimation. This will help you make more informed betting and fold decisions.

2. It teaches you to be a more disciplined and focused player.

To be successful at poker, you must learn to control your emotions and be a self-controlled player. This will help you manage your bankroll and play smartly at the tables. It’s also a great way to learn about how to read your opponents and make more profitable decisions.

3. It teaches you to be patient and stick to your plans.

Poker is a strategic game that requires you to plan your actions and stick to your plans. This can be a difficult skill to learn in everyday life, but it’s one that will benefit you both at the poker table and in other areas of your life.

4. It teaches you to be resilient in the face of failure.

It’s not uncommon for players to lose a large amount of money in a single session. As a result, they may be upset and frustrated. A good poker player will know how to handle these losses and will learn from their mistakes. This will allow them to bounce back and remain confident in their abilities.

5. It teaches you to set and stick to goals.

Poker involves a lot of planning and budgeting. You must create a bankroll for every session and determine how much you want to win in the long run. This will keep you from making foolish bets and chasing your losses. Additionally, you’ll develop the ability to set and stick to goals in other aspects of your life.

6. It teaches you to classify your opponents by type and exploit them.

One of the most important skills to develop in poker is the ability to classify your opponents by their playing style. There are four basic types of players: LAG’s, TAG’s, LP Fish and super tight Nits. Knowing how to spot these types of players will help you make better betting and folding decisions at the table. You’ll be able to make more money and have more fun at the tables!