5 Skills Poker Teach


Poker is a card game where players put up money to participate in a hand and then bet according to their individual strategy. The outcome of any given hand involves significant chance, but the long-term expectations of players are determined by a combination of probability, psychology, and game theory. In addition to being fun and rewarding, poker can also help develop several important skills.

1. Teaches quick math skills

The game of poker requires a lot of quick thinking and analysis, which helps to build and strengthen neural pathways in the brain. These pathways are then covered with myelin, a protein that protects them. The more you play poker, the better these pathways become and the faster your thinking and analysis will be.

2. Improves observation skills

The ability to observe other players’ body language and facial expressions is crucial in poker. This allows players to spot tells and identify the strength of their opponents’ hands. It is also helpful in determining the likelihood of an opponent bluffing. In addition, good observation skills can be used in many other areas of life, including work and social situations.

3. Teaches discipline

Poker teaches players to be disciplined, which can be a useful skill in many areas of life. This means that they don’t make rash decisions based on emotion and take calculated risks. It also teaches them to be courteous to other players and remain calm in stressful situations. It can be easy to lose your temper in the heat of the moment, but a good poker player keeps their emotions under control and makes sound decisions.

4. Teaches the value of patience

One of the most important lessons poker can teach is that sometimes it’s best to be patient and not act until you have a strong enough hand to justify doing so. This is especially true when playing against weaker players, as you can often win pots by simply calling their bets. Moreover, it’s always best to bet as the last player in position, since this gives you the opportunity to make your decision based on what other players have done before you.

5. Helps build critical thinking skills

Poker is a game of odds and probability, so it helps to have some basic mathematical skills. This is particularly important for beginners, as it can be difficult to understand the odds of making a particular hand without some basic mathematical knowledge. The more you play, the more these concepts will be ingrained in your brain and you will find yourself naturally considering things like frequencies and EV estimations during a hand.

6. Teach you how to read people

Reading people is an important part of any game, but it’s especially crucial in poker. If you’re not able to read your opponents, you will struggle to beat them. Luckily, there are plenty of books and resources available online to help you improve your reading skills. In addition, you can join poker forums or Discord groups to learn from other players.