Poker is a game of excitement, amazement, thrill, marvel and tremor. Poker may seem to be just a game of cards in its essence, but it can give you much more than that. Becoming a successful Poker player requires more than being able to count outs and calculate pot odds. The real value of this fascinating casino game comes in the invaluable life lessons it teaches people to win in life too. With so many potential skills to learn and grow, Poker serves as a useful form of training for a wide variety of people wanting to improve these capabilities. There are lessons you can learn from the game which you can practice and apply in real life. Here are some incredibly valuable skills that can bring about a positive transformation in your personality.
Making decisions under pressure
Almost every decision you make during the play can have significant consequences, and you even cannot take a break. Sometimes, you will have to play several really tough hands in a row, and you will need to make the best decisions every single time without taking a timeout or ask help from a friend. While this can be very hard and draining, it will help you learn how to deal with high-pressure situations in a relatively safe environment. Once you learn this process of making decisions under pressure, you will be much better at making high-pressured decisions in other areas of your life. This is why many Poker players move to sectors such as finance and investments after they finish playing.
Dealing with failure
It is not uncommon for a Poker player to have several negative sessions come one after another, and this can be quite a blow on your confidence and your bankroll. It will make you feel powerless and even question your Poker playing abilities. But, if and when you get over these feelings, you will come out on the other side much stronger. Most people do not have to deal with this daily, so when they have to face a loss of any kind, they are likely to overreact. But on the other hand, a Poker player will understand that losing is just one side of the coin, and will be much better equipped to deal with these situations as they inevitably occur in your life.
Learn reading minds
Poker is a game played with and against other people. It involves understanding your opponents, their motivation, and their reasoning. After a while, you will become much better at understanding people and their motivations, and not just at the tables. By playing regularly, a player not only gets an insight into the thoughts of the opponent but also gets to know himself better. You will start to recognize his strengths and weaknesses in terms of his playing styles. Poker certainly does a good job of imitating life in certain aspects, and it will teach you to recognize emotions such as fear, anxiety, excitement and more in others. Being able to recognize these emotions is a valuable skill to have in personal life but can also be quite an asset in business when you have to decide on someone you don’t know that well.
Helps in developing emotional maturity
A person who plays a significant amount of Poker learns how to recognize and avoid emotional traps. Anybody who has played Poker for a considerable amount of time knows that life is all about winning some and losing some. A game of Poker gives plenty of opportunities to deal with both good luck and bad luck. Handling swings in fortune is crucial to success at the table and is an important life skill as well. Poker, in its style, teaches one about emotional stability and control.
Poker makes you disciplined
Poker by design trains your brain to focus on the end goals and ignore all the obstacles. The more you practice Poker, the better you get in controlling your impulses. The same goes for your decisions in life. The most successful people in the game are those who know which games to select as per their abilities, control their emotions and not give in to external obstacles.
Handling your finances
There are very few skills in Poker as vital as the ability to manage your money. Poor bankroll management, playing higher than you can afford, or taking too many shots, are the fastest ways to lose all your money. This is a lesson many Poker players have to learn on their own before realizing there is simply no way around it. On the bright side, learning to handle your bankroll in Poker will help you prepare for other life situations. You will learn key aspects of planning and distributing the funds most efficiently, and even taking necessary risks. Whether in business or on a personal level, this is a very good skill to have.
Analyzing situations logically
One of the best things about playing Poker habitually is that you learn how to evaluate situations logically. Poker trains your brain to start thinking critically and favour decisions that are based on the kind of data or situation you have at hand. It helps you always go for the logical option, or at least, helps you weigh your options and go ahead with a logical, informed decision.
Poker teaches the virtues of patience
A good Poker player always waits for a good hand and then plays aggressively. He is patient for the right time to play the right move. If a player is anxious and lets down by defeat quickly, he becomes impulsive and strays from his goal. Hence it is important to have patience. In the real world, patience helps a person succeed through difficult times without losing his confidence.
Poker players learn to manage time efficiently
Time management is an important part of every Poker player’s strategy. Because of that, proper time management is crucial and every Poker player knows the importance of time. You can never force things at the table even if you are too good at the game. You will often have to sit around for long periods doing virtually nothing but folding and waiting for good cards or a good situation to appear. Trying to force things may work here and there, but it is not a winning strategy in the long run. Anyone who has played Poker for a while has learned to be patient. Once you develop to be patient at the tables, you will be better equipped to apply it in other life situations.
Making the most of the hand you are dealt
Unlike most people who never played the game, a Poker player will learn full well what this means. Sometimes at the tables, you will not get that big hand you are waiting for, and you will be forced to find the best possible scenario with a mediocre holding and go with it. This skill of taking charge of things and making your stand can be quite an asset in many life situations. Instead of accepting things are bad and can’t be changed, you will be looking for ways to make the best out of bad situations, be it on a professional or personal level.
Understanding of risk vs reward ratio
There are very few environments that are as good as Poker in teaching you what you need to know about the risk vs reward principle. While you may have heard the saying that “tight is right” countless times, the fact of the matter is that you need to take calculated risks to make money at the tables. Every decision you make while playing Poker has certain financial consequences. Understanding and developing this skill is invaluable in business. Instead of being reluctant to take any risks, or blindly jumping to an unknown situation, you will learn to calculate your possible rewards. Poker will teach you how to assess such situations and make them as profitable as you possibly can.
Improving your focus
Poker can be a great training field for your focus. Most players tend to zone out when not involved in a hand and do something else while waiting for the new deal. If you want to excel, though, you should not be one of those players. Instead, you should stay focused on what is going on at all times. Learning how to keep your focus at the tables will translate well into other life situations. It will teach you to ignore distractions and keep your attention on whatever you are doing at the moment. It will take some time, practice, and effort, but developing this skill is almost guaranteed to make you much better at any job.
There are not many games like Poker that can help you develop so many real-life skills. Because it involves so many strategic, mathematical, and psychological elements. Poker provides countless opportunities to improve various skills, many of which can come in handy in other personal and professional situations. This is what makes Poker so hard in the first place, but it is also what makes it one of the most valuable and useful games to learn. You do not even have to become a professional Poker player to take advantage of the game. Even if you play casually but think about your decisions and work on improving, you will develop many of the skills. So, on top of having a lot of fun when playing, you will also reap other benefits that will help you succeed in your day-to-day life.