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4 Skills Online Poker Can Teach You

Online poker has risen considerably in popularity throughout the pandemic. Specifically, PRNewswire.com reports that this part of the gaming industry was worth $72.02 billion in 2021 –– a big leap from its 2020 value of $64.13 billion. And while that’s a fairly dramatic shift, it’s not a difficult one to understand. Online poker provides all of the benefits of playing in a casino, but allows people to play from their own homes, giving them just the sort of simulation of real-life activity so many have craved throughout much of the pandemic.

Another great thing about this hobby is that players can often gain new insights, skills, and philosophies through the game that apply to other aspects of life. Indeed, as our past article on the “Miniature Plants Trend” highlighted, many activities can become both sources of enjoyment and teachers of valuable lessons. Accordingly, for those who have become avid online poker players of late, there are a number of important things that can be learned from the game:

1. Discipline

Individuals who want to truly hone their skills need a lot of hard work and discipline. And as psychologist turned pro poker player Maria Konnikova explained on The New York Times, those who are serious about poker take a lot of time to practice and gain more knowledge of different game styles and tactics. Konnikova’s own dedication to getting better at the game led her to amass numerous poker titles. She is an example of how avid players practice discipline when it comes to their study and practice of the game. This same disciplined approach can then be applied to other aspects of their lives, whether professionally or with regard to personal growth.

2. Resilience

It’s not uncommon for players, and especially beginners, to make mistakes. True enthusiasts will often make a point of learning from these mistakes to become better players, however, essentially becoming more resilient in the process. Poker.org highlights how this mental skill is built over time, and notes that it can easily be applied to other aspects of life (giving the specific example of failing to secure a new job and then brushing it off and moving on to the next opportunity –– rather than dwelling). Indeed, resilience is important in managing countless challenges in life, and poker teaches it about as well as anything.

3. Balancing Finances

Finances are an important part of everyone’s lives and playing online poker can teach you exactly how to handle them. Despite what some may think, it is important to remember that when playing poker, you need to know how to properly manage deposits and game earnings, so as to figure out your next move. Have you spent everything you ought to? Can you afford to deposit more? How much are you winning or losing in your average game? These are all aspects of balancing a poker budget that ultimately imitate real-life financial considerations quite well. To that point, Investopedia.com states that balancing finances in life is necessary for people to ensure they have the resources they need to survive and thrive. Poker will train you in this respect, such that you’re more mindful of your finances in day-to-day life.

4. Weighing Risk vs. Reward

As many people know, poker is at least partially a game of statistics. The math involved helps players weigh the risk of their play vs the rewards they might reap –– another skill that can be applied to more than just the game. Poker players can take what they learn from playing cards and use the same kind of analysis to make big decisions and changes in their lives. The math and specific considerations may not always be the same, but the tendencies and the general feel for assessing risk and reward are valuable regardless of the subject or issue at hand.

It is clear from all of these examples that online poker isn’t just a game of fun –– it is also a great way to learn new things about life. Pros and amateurs alike can take away many skills from the game that they can use every day.

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