The Mental Benefits of Playing Poker


Poker is an exciting and rewarding game that can be played by a wide variety of people. Some enjoy playing it for the fun of it, while others use it to develop their skills and gain experience in order to qualify for tournaments and major events. Regardless of your reasons for playing, you’re in for some good news: the game of poker can also help you build certain mental capabilities that are highly beneficial to your life outside of the game.

Mental arithmetic

Poker involves a lot of calculation and logic, so playing the game will help you become a better decision-maker. This is especially true if you play regularly, as you’ll start to quickly work out the odds of various situations in your head. This can be particularly helpful if you ever find yourself in a situation where you need to make decisions about money or other things that require a high degree of calculation and logical thinking.


One of the biggest benefits of poker is that it helps you to learn to be patient and wait for a favorable outcome. This can be extremely useful in both your professional and personal lives, as it means that you won’t get too frustrated with circumstances that are out of your control.


In poker, players must be able to concentrate on a number of things at once, including their own hands, the cue cards of other players, the dealer, the bets and the community cards that are in play. This helps to develop a longer concentration span, which can be helpful in many aspects of your life.


Poker also teaches you to communicate clearly with your opponents. It’s important to be able to articulate what you think about your hand, how you feel about it, and why you think you should bet or raise. This will help you to build rapport with your peers and improve your game overall.

Learning to take notes on your opponents’ hands is a valuable skill in poker, as it will allow you to identify their patterns and their betting styles. You can then use this information to your advantage when deciding what to bet or raise on.

Reading books and articles about poker is another great way to learn new strategies. These can range from simple guides that cover basic concepts to more in-depth strategies that explore balance, frequency and ranges.

Push-fold charts

A push-fold chart is a tool that poker players can use to guide their decisions when it comes to going all in. It shows a player what the optimal amount to go all in on is based on his position and stack depth, and it will also show him when it is okay to fold if the hand doesn’t fit this range.

Understanding balance

This is a key element of poker strategy, as it can be difficult to determine how strong your hand really is. You should always try to mix up your hands, so you don’t end up with one too strong or too weak.