5 Ways Poker Can Make You Smarter


Poker is a game of strategy and odds that puts your analytical and mathematical skills to the test. In fact, playing poker can make you smarter without even realizing it as you develop critical thinking skills, improve your decision-making and learn how to handle wins and losses. But that’s not all—poker can also be beneficial to your brain and help you become a better person in general.

1. Improves Math Skills

A lot of people think poker is just a game of luck, but it’s not. You’re constantly assessing odds and evaluating probabilities in your head when you play. This skill translates into real-world applications, such as when you’re looking to invest in something and need to know the likelihood of negative outcomes.

2. Increases Working Memory

The mental process of retaining information for short periods of time is known as working memory. This ability is essential to learning and memory in general, and playing poker can help you improve your working memory. Whether you’re trying to remember the order of your cards in a hand or trying to figure out what card might land on the river, you need to be able to hold onto the information for a few minutes.

3. Teaches You How to Lie

The ability to deceive is an essential skill in poker, and it’s a crucial life skill as well. It can be used in sports, business, or any other situation where you’re making a decision without all the information at your disposal. Poker can help you develop this skill by teaching you how to read other players’ actions and decipher their tells.

4. Improves Critical Thinking Skills

It’s not easy to be a good poker player, but it’s one of the most rewarding things you can do for your mind. You have to be able to analyze the game and think critically about your decisions, which helps you in any aspect of life. In addition, you must be able to take risks and understand when it’s appropriate to bluff. This can also be useful for career development.

5. Builds Self-Belief

While some games might destroy an individual, poker builds self-belief and confidence. This is because the game demands that you have a high level of discipline and commitment to overcome bad luck and terrible beats. This is the same type of mindset that successful entrepreneurs and athletes must have. This will give you a sense of confidence in your own decisions, and it will help you make them better when the stakes are high.

The most important thing to keep in mind when you’re playing poker is that you should never lose faith in your ability to improve. Be patient and commit to your goals, and you’ll see results in the long run. Just don’t forget to mix up your game so that opponents can’t guess what you have in a given hand! Otherwise, you’ll never get paid off on your big hands or be able to bluff effectively.