Playing poker has become super popular in the last 15 years or so. I love it. I know you love it too because playing poker is exciting; it is a fun way to make some cash; and you get to meet all sorts of interesting people. But, as it turns out, you should love it for a number of other reasons too. In cognitive and social terms, poker is one of the games that are going to help you become a sharper and more focused individual. Let me explain why:
1. Poker teaches you to value and process feedback effectively: Although theory books might help you along the way, nothing beats experience to become a good poker player. When you play poker, you are constantly learning upon the feedback or results you get from your playing choices. This is one of the bases of behavioral psychology; learning to repeat actions that bring compensation and to expect punishment from those actions that are consider reckless or impulsive.
Therefore, poker teaches you to apply logic to your way of playing so you can analyze every aspect of your play and not act ignoring the odds or any other disadvantaging factor. And since poker players receive feedback on every play they make, they get used to learning faster. When they extrapolate this risk management skill to other aspects of their life and start weighing the odds of their other decisions (like choosing a job or buying a house), they usually make better life choices.
2. Poker improves your everyday math skills: The moment you sit down to play poker, you start thinking in mathematical terms. You take into account the table limits to calculate how many hands you can play, you start calculating possible jackpot outcomes and more importantly, you start thinking in terms of probability. The ability to calculate the possibilities of winning a hand is essential to know when to bet and when to fold. Furthermore, poker teaches you the basics of accounting. As you play, you learn to quickly balance out your losses and wins so you can manage your bankroll effectively.
In addition, it teaches you economic concepts like “opportunity costs” and why sometimes it is important to play aggressively. When you play, you need to discern when to fold and lose your ante and when to keep fighting until the end. In poker, lost profits are seen and losses and vice versa. Therefore, players understand that they sometimes need to risk a loss in order to make a big profit. These math skills can be applied when you make money investments or when you are presented with new business ventures.
3. Poker reins in your emotions through logical thinking: In life, we usually make bad choices because we are either blinded by hot-headedness of clouded by sentimentality. If you do that in poker, you will find yourself out of the table and broke in a matter of hands. Experience poker players see every hand of poker as a new riddle to solve. Having no access to the other players’ hands, they need to predict their moves by using logical thinking and rejecting fickle notions like intuition. Logical thinking is a muscle that Westerners do not usually exercise, but poker players learn to apply this critical thinking to all aspects of their life. Whether it is business, romance, or career opportunities, they have a better chance of knowing when to go all in and when to fold.
So, as it turns out, playing poker at Slots of Vegas not only makes you wealthier, but more successful in all aspects of your life! Not to mention how incredibly fun it actually is! Certainly, it is proven to be an excellent use of your spare time! Stay tuned for part 2 and 3 of these series so you can discover even more surprising factors about the game we all love to play!