Playing poker is more than just a fun pastime, it’s actually been proven to have some significant benefits for your mental health. Studies have shown that playing the game regularly can help to rewire your brain, resulting in new neural pathways and nerve fibers. This has been credited with improving your memory and cognitive abilities. It can also delay degenerative neurological diseases such as Alzheimer’s.
Poker teaches you how to think on your feet. You never know what other players will do and you must quickly make decisions to achieve your goals. This kind of thinking is useful in all aspects of life, including business.
Another important skill poker teaches you is how to read other people. You must watch their body language and be aware of their tells. These aren’t just the subtle physical ones like scratching your nose or fiddling with your chips, but also their betting patterns. If someone is calling a lot of pots and then suddenly raises their bet size, you can assume they are holding a strong hand.
Poker is also a great way to learn how to control your emotions. A good poker player will rarely let their anger or frustration get out of hand. If they do lose a big pot then they will just accept it and move on, instead of chasing their loss and potentially making it worse. This kind of self-control is a valuable skill that can be used in all areas of life.