How Meditation Can Make You a Better Gamer

min read
A woman sitting on a yoga mat in a meditation posture.
BetMGM Jun 19, 2023, 5:48 AM

If you’re a fan of online casino games, you’ll probably find yourself constantly on the lookout for opportunities to improve your strategy and overall chances of winning. While many of these games, such as online slot machines, depend solely or heavily on chance and luck, there are many others, such as live dealer online casino games, that require plenty of skill, self-awareness and focus.

Believe it or not, one approach to becoming a better gamer is to take an interest in meditation. Read on to discover why you should start meditating and how meditation can have a positive impact on how you play your favorite casino games online or in real life.

Improve Concentration and Avoid Distractions

The main reason why meditation can be so beneficial to your game is that it optimizes your ability to concentrate. When you’re able to stay focused on the game, there’s a much higher chance of snagging a win because you’ll be more attuned to other players’ strategies, nuances and “tells,” and be more in sync with the general flow of the game.

Improved concentration also works to your advantage in that it helps you to control your emotions when in the middle of a winning or losing streak. A great player will always manage to stay neutral and calm, warding off any overwhelming feelings of excitement or frustration as much as possible to prevent them from negatively affecting their strategy.

Reduce Stress and Anxiety

Stress and anxiety can throw you off your game more than you probably realize. You’ll come to find that the vast majority of dedicated players tend to play their best when they’re feeling both physically and emotionally stable.

If you’re able to control your stress and anxiety levels, the odds of enjoying a profitable session are significantly more in your favor than if you log onto your favorite online casino when you’re feeling slightly “on edge.”

Boost Memory

Keeping track of previous hands and outcomes can often shed light on your gameplay strategy and potentially boost your chances of winning. Plus, it’s a bonus if you’re able to recall various important details about other regular players, such as their usual playing style, from one game to the next. Meditation works in your favor as it’s known to improve memory.

Is Gambling a Form of Meditation?

The great news is that not only can meditation make you a better gamer, but there are also experts out there who believe that the very act of gaming or gambling — when carried out responsibly — is a form of meditation in itself. In short, when you’re playing certain casino table games, whether in person or online, you’re potentially already reaping some of the benefits of meditation.

Why? Because many players get wrapped up in their casino games and this often allows them to escape their daily worries for a short period of time. This sense of escapism can help them to cope better with the demands and responsibilities in their life by helping them to unwind after a long, tiring day.

There’s also a strong link between meditation and a new genre of video games, often referred to as “gentle” video games. Many of these video games have been created purely with the intention of helping players relax and destress.

Common features include: 

  • The ability to play at your own pace.
  • Inclusion of soothing music and visuals.
  • Slow, calming, repetitive activities.

Those who feel that meditation isn’t quite “for them” may find that playing a gentle video game like Journey or Proteus between their usual choice of online games is an excellent alternative with similar long-term benefits. 

But don’t knock it until you’ve tried it, right? Here’s a quick guide to trying a bit of meditation for yourself. It may surprise you how good it makes you feel; at the very least, it’ll get you to press “pause” on everything else in your life for a few moments.

How To Get Started

The secret to effective meditation is to be consistent in your practice. Ideally, you should aim to meditate for at least 5-10 minutes every day, but it’s fine to start with less. After all, even two minutes of focused meditation a day is believed to make a difference to your gaming and health in general. From there, you can gradually increase the frequency and duration of each meditation session as you go.

Get Comfortable

Find a peaceful spot in your home that’s free from distractions and get as comfortable as possible. Perhaps open a window for some fresh air, have a quick drink of water or get comfortable on a cushion on the floor or in a supportive chair. It’s a good idea to set a soothing alarm (nothing loud that will startle you) before beginning your session to prevent your mind from constantly wondering when it’s time to stop. This should help you switch off and relax your mind.

Breathe

Start by focusing on your breathing by taking a few deep breaths in and out. Do your best to clear your mind of all other thoughts. When the thoughts come — and they will — simply acknowledge them and then let them go, returning your attention to your breath. Focus on feeling the air going deep into your lungs and allow your rib cage to expand, front, back and sides. When you’re ready and feel in the zone, you can close your eyes, but it’s fine to keep them open if you prefer. You can keep the process as simple as you like.

Be Patient

While it may seem straightforward, it’s a lot more tricky than you may think to maintain this zen state because, inevitably, the worries, challenges or annoyances of the day will keep trying to creep back into your mind. Don’t worry, though; this technique takes time. You’ll discover that the art of meditation takes dedication and practice to master. Keep at it. You can be certain that the results will be well worth it, and your experiences — both day-to-day and during gameplay — will be all the richer for it.

Curb Your Impulses

You can even use meditation as a means to refocus your mind when in the middle of playing your favorite online games. For instance, if you find your thoughts starting to wander, you can bring yourself back into the moment by focusing on the dealer’s hands as they deal the cards, the shuffling sound effects or the feeling of the mouse in your hand every time you click it. Staying in the present and practicing these mindfulness techniques will also leave you free to enjoy your gaming more and fully appreciate the fun factor.

Meditation in Poker

One of the games in which meditation has a huge impact is poker. Poker can be a rollercoaster of emotions, so maintaining a calm and composed state of mind is crucial for making rational choices. Meditation cultivates self-awareness and helps you observe and manage your emotions effectively, preventing tilt and impulsive actions.

Many professionals use meditation to improve their poker game. Prominent players such as Daniel Negreanu, Phil Hellmuth and Liv Boeree have openly spoken about how meditation has positively influenced their poker performance. These players, among others, have found that incorporating meditation into their routine not only enhances their performance on the felt but also contributes to their overall well-being and mental resilience.

Discover the Best Casino Games To Play at BetMGM

Are you looking for a trustworthy and respected online casino that offers a broad selection of popular casino games? Whether you’re hoping to play online slots or have your sights set on an exciting poker game, you’ll find exactly what you’re looking for when you register at BetMGM. Reap the rewards of your dedicated meditation practice when you learn how to play casino games. 

Explore the BetMGM blog to learn all the basics and keep updated on the latest casino news. Browse topics like “Why keno is the ultimate gambling game,” “Why casinos don’t offer online bridge” and more.

Actress Vanessa Hudgens flipping casino chips next to the text "The King of Casinos"
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Our BetMGM editors and authors are casino experts with a wealth of knowledge of the online casino industry at all levels. Their coverage includes company news, game reviews, how-to instructional articles, strategy guides, and editorials showcasing BetMGM’s superior product and game library.

Our BetMGM editors and authors are casino experts with a wealth of knowledge of the online casino industry at all levels. Their coverage includes company news, game reviews, how-to instructional articles, strategy guides, and editorials showcasing BetMGM’s superior product and game library.