Four Ways Poker Can Help You Excel Outside of the Poker Table


Poker is more than just a fun pastime, it’s a way to build cognitive skills that have transferable benefits outside the game. Whether it’s learning to read other players’ “tells,” developing patience, or mastering the art of managing chips in the pot, these poker-powered skills can help you excel at work and life.

One of the most important skills a poker player can develop is the ability to stay calm and make decisions based on logic, not emotions. Even the most experienced poker players can experience a whirlwind of emotions while playing, but the best players know how to keep their cool and keep making calculated decisions. Being able to control your emotions is essential in both poker and real life, as it will allow you to make better decisions and avoid costly mistakes.

Another critical skill that poker teaches is the ability to calculate probabilities. This is especially helpful when trying to determine if it’s worth calling a bet for a draw. To do this, you must weigh the pot odds against your chances of improving and decide if it’s worth the risk. This skill is a valuable asset outside of the poker table as well, as it will help you make smart financial decisions in business and in everyday life.

In addition to calculating probabilities, poker also teaches players how to read other players and their body language. The most successful players can pick up on slight changes in posture, facial expressions and the way an opponent moves their hands. Being able to notice these tells can give you a big advantage in the game, as it will allow you to spot when someone is holding an unbeatable hand.

Reading other people’s actions is also useful for practicing bluffing. If you have a strong value hand, it may be worth raising to scare off weaker players and narrow the range of opponents who can call your bets. Alternatively, you can raise to bluff with a mediocre hand and try to catch your opponent by surprise.

Lastly, poker can teach you to be patient and wait for the right strategic opportunity. The patience that poker requires is beneficial in both work and life, as it will allow you to focus on long-term goals rather than short-term gains. It will also teach you to stick with a plan and not chase losses, which is a vital skill for entrepreneurs and business owners alike.