Poker is a game of skill and strategy, but it can also have many positive impacts on your mental health. It can help you build certain mental traits, improve your ability to deal with stressful situations and even prevent the onset of diseases like Alzheimer’s.
1. Poker can improve your math skills
The odds of a hand are constantly changing, and you need to be able to calculate the probability that you’ll have the winning hand in the right moment. This will help you make better decisions in life and in your career.
2. Poker can boost your alertness
Being able to stay on top of the cards and know what’s going on around you is essential in playing poker. It also makes you more observant, which is helpful when it comes to your other hobbies and careers.
3. Poker can teach you to control your emotions
Having the right mindset is crucial in poker, as well as in life in general. People often get caught up in their emotions, and if they start to boil over, negative consequences can arise. Playing poker can help you learn to control your emotions so that they don’t get the best of you, which will benefit your professional and personal lives in the long run.
4. Poker can help you improve your ability to read other players
The ability to read other people’s hand signals is a key part of being a good poker player. By learning how to spot their idiosyncrasies, betting patterns, and eye movements, you can predict what kind of hands they have and what they might be bluffing with.
5. Poker can teach you to take a loss without losing your cool
The biggest mistake that most novice poker players make is trying to outwit their opponents. They try to play their strong value hands slowly and trap them, but this can backfire more frequently than you might expect.
6. Poker can teach you to be more patient
The poker game is all about calculations and logic, so it’s no surprise that it can help you develop a strong ability to stay more patient than you might have before. This is incredibly beneficial in your professional and personal life, where you might encounter complex situations that require the ability to be patient.
7. Poker can help you learn to accept losses
Getting beaten by other players is a natural part of the poker game, but it’s important not to get too down on yourself. It’s a common misconception that bad beats are the norm, but they’re not. They happen to everyone and you shouldn’t be too down on yourself over it.
8. Poker can help you improve your memory
A study has shown that regular poker players are less likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease than people who don’t play. This could be because the game can encourage a person to pay attention to details, which is said to reduce symptoms of dementia and Alzheimer’s.