5 Ways Playing Poker Can Help You Develop Cognitive Skills


Poker is a card game that can be played by almost anyone, regardless of their skill level. It’s easy to learn and has a good balance of luck and strategy, making it an ideal choice for beginners and professionals alike.

Whether you’re playing for fun or to win money, poker is an exciting way to unwind after a long day and build mental fitness. Studies have shown that poker can help you develop certain cognitive skills, including critical thinking and analysis.

Understanding your opponents

The game of poker teaches you to read other players’ bodies and signals. You can look for tells – things like whether someone is stressed, bluffing, or very happy with their hand – and use that information to your advantage. This skill can be very useful in your everyday life, from dealing with customers to giving a presentation or leading a group.

Knowing your odds

The best poker players know how to calculate their odds and use that knowledge to their advantage. This is important because it helps them decide when to call, raise, or fold. It also helps them determine whether or not they have a made hand or if they should draw to a better one.

Understanding how to deal with failure

A good poker player isn’t afraid of losing. They understand that failure is an opportunity to improve and that it can lead them to become a better player in the future.

Being disciplined

Discipline is a crucial part of being a successful poker player. It means being able to control your emotions, not acting rashly, and being courteous to other players.

Being able to cope with failure

Being able to handle failure is one of the most important qualities for a poker player to have. If you can’t, you’ll likely throw a tantrum over a loss and never get back on track.

Developing mental strength

The brain develops and strengthens neural pathways when you process information, which is why poker is such an effective brain-building activity. Developing these pathways can help you keep your mind sharp, even as you’re getting older.

Playing poker can help you develop quick math skills

Being a good poker player requires a lot of quick math. You’ll need to calculate your pot odds, implied odds, and other probability statistics in order to make informed decisions on the fly.

This can be challenging at first, but it’s an excellent way to strengthen your math skills and help you develop critical thinking abilities. If you’re new to the game, there are plenty of resources for learning how to play well and developing your skills at the same time.

Poker is a great way to exercise your brain

A study published in the journal Neuropsychologia found that poker players who were experts at the game used different parts of their brain than amateurs. The expert players had higher brain-functioning areas, including those responsible for analyzing information and controlling their emotions.