Whether it’s playing poker at a casino table or on a live online poker site, poker is an intense game that requires a lot of brain power. And the good news is that it’s also a great way to improve your overall mental wellbeing.
1. Teaches emotional stability in changing situations
A large part of poker is making decisions under uncertainty. For example, you don’t know what cards your opponent is holding or how they will play them. You have to estimate probabilities and make your decision based on the information you do have. This is a valuable skill to have in many different areas of life.
2. Develops quick instincts
The quicker you can make a decision the more profitable you will be. This is because you will be able to take advantage of your opponents’ mistakes and maximise the value of your strong hands. You can do this by practicing and observing experienced players. Try to mimic the way they react to the situation so you can build your own quick instincts.
3. Practices pot control
Being the last player to act gives you more control over the size of the pot. For example, if you have a solid pre-flop hand like AQ, bet big enough to put the rest of the field in a position where they will fold on the flop. This will force weaker hands to call, allowing you to inflate the pot and maximize the value of your hand.