Casino Games That Double as Brain Training

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Close up of a person’s hands shuffling cards in the air above a green felt poker table with poker chips stacked on the in the background.
BetMGM Sep 11, 2023, 3:36 AM

What is brain training? The concept is relatively new. Games designed for the brain, training regimens, diets to support your exercise, apps, and nootropics are all efforts in the drive to improve cognitive function.

There is increasing empirical and anecdotal evidence that it works. The downside is that all of these “solutions” can come at a cost. 

Did you know that playing old-school casino games can have a similar effect in exercising the gray matter? This is especially true when it comes to games of skill. Below are some examples of classic casino games and how they double as brain-training games. 

The Brain Benefits of Poker

Some play poker purely for its entertainment value; others approach it with a more serious mindset and see it as a way to not only make money but also to hone their strategy and decision-making skills. This makes poker one of the best casino games to play if you want to train your brain.

Keeping your mind active also reduces the probability of developing progressive age-related neurological disorders like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. If you continue to train your brain, improve your memory, and practice analytical thinking, you’ll be less susceptible to these conditions. 

Improves Attention Skills

Card games are mostly strategy games. Playing strategy games is an excellent way to sharpen your mind. Poker tests your ability to focus, analyze, and strategically respond to various situations.

There are different variations of poker with slightly different rules. To play these variants, you need to be able to concentrate and use your memory to implement the correct strategies at the right time.

As you weigh the odds, analyze community cards, or anticipate your opponents’ moves, your brain is working overtime to strategize and make informed decisions. The mental gymnastics involved in poker can also enhance your strategic thinking, emotional intelligence, and observation skills.

Enhancing Your Intuition

Poker really is like getting a full-body workout for your brain. Not only do you need to be quick with your decision-making and critical thinking, but you also need to be able to read the body language and behavior of other players. 

This is perhaps a more powerful tool than anything else. You’ll need to read the subtleties of facial expressions, emotions, and phrasing. Being able to recognize variations in intonation and pitch is a valuable skill. Detecting when someone is being untruthful is an asset, both at the poker table and in everyday life. 

Memory Training in Blackjack

Interestingly enough, prime spots to engage your brain are casino table games. That said, even though brains love card counting, casinos hate it. In fact, card counting is probably the most notorious strategy out there.

The reason gamblers aren’t all winning millions with blackjack and card counting is that it requires a high degree of problem-solving, quick decision-making, and exceptional levels of critical thinking. You need to think several steps ahead and analyze each possible outcome in a short space of time. 

If you take up card counting, you might think you need to be some sort of genius to be able to pull it off. With enough practice, it’s not impossible, and over time you’ll realize that all you need is a little bit of brain training. These are skills that you can apply to other areas of your life.

Card Games To Help You Relax

Life is hectic and the daily grind of to-do lists, work, exercise, and family and social commitments can be stressful. Playing card games like solitaire, bridge and Rummi are great ways to relax, just like online slots. A relaxed mind will also find it easier to concentrate.

Card games divert your attention from your everyday worries, improving your focus. Although the tension of the day won’t magically disappear, playing cards will help you unwind and re-energize, allowing you to concentrate better on tasks.

Roulette Speeds Up Decision-Making

Roulette is mostly a game of chance, but it also involves quick decision-making as you need to place your bets within a limited timeframe. 

You’ll need to assess the odds, consider different betting options, and make decisions swiftly. When you engage in this fast-paced decision-making process, you can enhance your mental agility and your ability to make calculated choices under pressure.

Put Your Thinking to the Test With BetMGM

Next time you register to play online casino games, remember that you’re likely doing more than just killing time. Thinking of the right winning strategies and learning how to respond quickly to the fast-changing events in a game is also a great way to sharpen your decision-making, improve your attention skills, and train your memory.

Actress Vanessa Hudgens flipping casino chips next to the text "The King of Casinos"
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Our BetMGM editors and authors are sports experts with a wealth of knowledge of the sports industry at all levels. Their coverage includes sports news, previews and predictions, fun facts, and betting.

Our BetMGM editors and authors are sports experts with a wealth of knowledge of the sports industry at all levels. Their coverage includes sports news, previews and predictions, fun facts, and betting.