4 Surprising Benefits to Playing Poker

Poker isn’t just a game that’s played by sleazy degenerates in a dark casino, it’s a strategic game that can teach players a lot of useful lessons. Whether it’s learning how to handle losing or developing better reading skills, there are many surprising benefits to playing poker that can help players in their everyday lives.

1. Improves reading and analytical skills

Poker involves a lot of critical thinking and analysis. This helps to develop and strengthen neural pathways in the brain, which in turn leads to increased memory retention. It also teaches players how to analyze their own actions as well as those of their opponents. This translates into improved ability to read other people’s body language and facial expressions.

2. Boosts math and calculating skills

Poker relies heavily on numbers and calculating probabilities. Players need to quickly calculate odds and probabilities when deciding whether to call, raise, or fold. The more you play, the faster you will become at these calculations. You’ll also develop a better intuition for concepts like frequencies and EV estimation.

3. Teaches patience

Poker is a skill-based game that requires concentration and focus. It teaches players to wait for the right opportunity and then act decisively. This patience will help them in high-pressure situations outside of the poker table as well. It’s also a great way to improve emotional stability and discipline. Poker can be stressful, especially when the stakes are high, but good players know how to keep a level head in any situation.