Poker is a game of skill and luck. But it’s possible to learn enough skills over time to overcome that luck factor and start winning more often than you lose. Many times, the difference between break-even beginner players and big-time winners is just a few little adjustments to the way they approach the game. The key to those changes is learning to view the game in a cold, detached, mathematical way instead of letting your emotions and superstition get in the way.
1. Teaches emotional control
Poker forces you to manage your feelings and emotions at the table. It’s easy to get a little too excited or upset at the table, especially in heads-up situations. But good players know to keep those emotions in check and play their hands.
2. Improves critical thinking skills
Poker is all about making the right decision at the right time, and that’s a big part of what makes it so challenging for newbies. It takes time to develop a solid poker strategy, and you can even work on your mental math skills while playing (not just in the basic 1+1=2 kind of way).
3. Sharpens analytical thinking
Good poker players are always analyzing their hands, their opponents’ actions, and the game’s overall flow. They also look for ways to improve their strategies, based on the experience they’ve gained over time. And they’re not afraid to discuss their games with other players for a more objective look at the strengths and weaknesses of their play.