5 Mental Skills You Can Develop While Playing Poker


Poker is a game that many people play for fun, to unwind after a hard day at work, or even to earn money by winning big tournaments. But a lot of people don’t realize that poker is actually good for your mental health and helps you develop certain cognitive skills.

Discipline and Self-Control

One of the most important things that you can learn while playing poker is discipline. Whether you’re playing online or at a land-based casino, you need to be able to control your impulses and make decisions that are based on logic rather than emotion. This is an important skill that will benefit you in your life outside of the poker table as well.

Social Interaction

The act of interacting with other players is one of the most crucial aspects of poker. Whether it’s chatting about your hand or trying to pick up on their bluffs, you’ll find that poker is an excellent way to socialise with others and build friendships.

Learning to Deal with Failure

Developing a healthy relationship with failure is a huge part of being successful at poker, as well as in your personal and professional life. When you lose a hand, it’s important to be able to accept the fact that it happened and take it as a lesson. This will help you to improve in the future and avoid making a mistake next time.


Being able to stay patient during difficult situations is an essential trait for many people. This is especially true for players who are new to the game, as they may need to take their time in order to become successful.

Reading Other Players

Poker is a game that requires you to read other players’ cards and betting patterns. This can be difficult for beginner players, but it’s worth the effort to improve your poker reading skills.

Knowing when a player is bluffing or not can make all the difference in determining whether you should call their bets. You’ll also be able to pick up on their idiosyncrasies and hand gestures so that you can better understand what they’re trying to do.

Gambling and Risk Management

Managing your risk is an essential part of poker, as it can mean losing a lot of money if you’re not careful. While gambling isn’t always legal, it is an important skill to have if you’re serious about becoming a successful poker player.

Math and Critical Thinking

As you learn to become a better poker player, you’ll gain more advanced mental skills. This includes quick math skills like calculating probabilities and implied odds. This will help you to make more informed decisions at the poker table and in your everyday life.

In addition, poker also helps you to develop critical thinking and analysis skills. These skills are essential for a variety of jobs, from business to law enforcement and more. They will keep you sharp and help you to solve problems more quickly.