Poker is a game that pushes your analytical, mathematical and interpersonal skills to the limit. But the game does more than that, it also teaches you valuable lessons that you can apply to life outside of the poker table.
It improves math skills
Not in the standard 1+1=2 kind of way, but in a different sort of way: poker players learn to quickly calculate odds on the fly. They see a card in the deck and can instantly work out the probability of it hitting their hand (for example, a flush is made up of five cards of consecutive rank, a straight of five unmatched cards and three of a kind is two matching cards of one rank plus another pair of matching cards).
Teaches emotional stability
Poker can be stressful, and this teaches players how to control their emotions. There will be times when an unfiltered expression of emotion is justified, but in most situations it’s better to keep your cool and make the best decision possible.
Teaches the importance of playing in position
The most basic winning poker strategy is to play the pots you’re in position for. This is because you can see your opponent’s actions before you have to act, and this gives you key insights into their hand strength. It also means you can control the size of the pot by checking rather than betting. This is important for keeping your winnings high. It also teaches you that, even when things aren’t going your way, it’s important to stay calm and keep trying.