5 Reasons Why You Should Play Poker


Poker is a game that puts your analytical, mathematical and interpersonal skills to the test. It also tests your patience and ability to stay calm under pressure, which are important life skills to have. But many people don’t realize that the game has a lot more to offer than just entertainment and financial gain. Poker has been shown to help improve cognitive abilities and even boost your physical health. So whether you’re a novice or an experienced player, here are a few reasons why it’s worth trying your hand at the table.

1. Quick Math Skills

Poker requires a lot of quick math to determine odds and pot odds, and it’s an excellent way to exercise your brain. The more you play poker, the better you’ll become at calculating these probabilities. And each time you process information, your brain builds and strengthens neural pathways. This is how myelin is created, and the more myelin you have, the faster and better your brain functions.

2. Reading People

Poker players must be able to read the body language of their opponents, as well as their tells. This is important to know because it will help you detect their emotions and figure out if they’re stressed, bluffing or really happy with their hand. It’s also a great skill to have in other situations, like when you’re selling something or leading a group.

3. Emotional Control

Poker can be a rollercoaster of emotions, from stress and anxiety to excitement and anticipation. And the best poker players are able to keep their cool and conceal these feelings at the table. This is a huge sign of emotional stability and maturity.

4. Learning From Failure

Being a good poker player means that you’ll have to deal with failure from time to time. However, the most successful players view every loss as a lesson that they can learn from and apply to future hands. This is an excellent way to build resiliency and improve your mental health, both in poker and in everyday life.

5. Developing Instincts

A strong poker instinct comes from experience and observation. Observe experienced players and learn their tendencies, and try to understand how they make certain decisions. Watch for the way they handle their chips and how they bluff, and imagine how you’d react in their shoes. This will help you develop your own poker instincts and improve your decision-making.