Cognitive Benefits of Poker


Poker is not just a fun way to pass the time, it also has a number of cognitive benefits. The strategic thinking and decision-making skills required to succeed at the game can help you in a variety of different areas of your life, from work to personal relationships.

For beginners, poker can improve observational skills by teaching players to watch their opponents for tells. These tells aren’t just the classics like fiddling with their chips or a ring, but can also include patterns in how a player plays. For example, if someone is calling all night and then makes a big raise it could be an indication that they’re holding a strong hand.

Poker also improves the ability to make decisions under uncertainty. In the game, as in real life, you can’t know the exact cards that will be played and how other players will bet on them. This requires estimating probabilities, which helps you to avoid making bad decisions under pressure. Developing this skill can help you in high-pressure situations in other areas of your life, such as financial trading or even negotiating a business deal.

The game of poker can also improve patience by teaching players to remain calm and focused even when facing defeat. This is a vital trait in all areas of life, from work to relationships.