How Poker Can Help You Make More Fact-Based Decisions

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How Poker Can Help With Fact-Based Decisions
BetMGM Mar 24, 2022, 7:36 AM

Whether you’re making an important call inside the boardroom or a critical choice within your personal life, excellent decision-making skills are a must for success. The good news is there are plenty of ways to boost these skills, and playing online poker is one of them.

Read on to find out why and how you can further benefit from spending some of your free time taking part in online poker tournaments via the best online poker sites available.

Poker revolves around making strategic decisions using limited information

The main reason why making a decision in life or business can prove so difficult is because it’s usually impossible to determine precisely what the outcome will be. The best that you can do is weigh up the odds, and compare the pros and cons associated with either call. 

Poker is very similar. You’re dealt specific cards but have limited information about the cards that your opponents have received and which cards the dealer is likely to reveal as the action continues. This makes poker a wonderful way to practice making sound decisions, and learn when it’s advantageous to take risks and when it’s better to play it safe.

Playing poker games online teaches you how to compare risk vs reward

Poor decision-making usually occurs when someone pays too much attention to either the associated risk or reward. They may be tempted to make an extremely risky move simply because the reward is so impressive, while perhaps overlooking the fact that the chances of success are actually quite low. Or they may waste an opportunity for success because they are too concerned about failure, even though the odds were in their favor.

The cornerstone of offline and online poker is being able to effectively weigh up risk vs reward. You must decide whether to proceed with a game or bow out until the next round begins. When taking part, you’ll learn all about the premise of “expected value,” which means calculating the average cost of all potential “poor” bets to win a hand and comparing this to the profit that would come with such a win, ultimately determining if the decision in question has a positive or a negative value. 

For instance, if it would cost $5 to call a bet and you’re holding a hand with a one-in-12 chance of winning the round, the potential pot would need to be a minimum of $55 to make proceeding worth the risk. This same approach can be applied to business decisions when capital outlay and potential profits are involved.

Poker teaches you to be on the lookout for those ‘never worth it’ risks

In most cases, even when the odds of success are in your favor, it’s important to think about whether you’ll be able to recover from the loss if you decide to “go for it” and the risk doesn’t pay off. For example, betting your entire bankroll when you’ve set strict limits for yourself, and you know you’re not ready to stop playing. (In this case, if you do lose, you must call it a day and not allow yourself to chase your losses.)

In the case of real life, if you’re risking financial ruin or possibly losing the respect or trust of a loved one in your personal life, then obviously the risk simply isn’t worth taking. The only exception in instances like this, which is also true in the case of playing poker online, is when the potential downside of not taking the risk is greater than the potential downside of taking the risk itself. The important thing is to be fully aware of what you’re doing and how much of your bankroll you’re wagering, rather than become swept up in the moment and stay in the game just for bravado or as an elaborate bluff.

Focus on the process instead of the results

Remember, not seeing the results you were aiming for doesn’t necessarily mean you made a bad decision – not in poker or in real life! Poker reveals how important it is to avoid assessing your decisions based on their results. Instead, you should pay more attention to the process you followed in order to arrive at the decision you made. Did you consider all possible outcomes? All possible alternatives? Did you carefully weigh up risk vs reward? If so, you can give yourself a pat on the back and continue to feel confident in your future decisions regardless of what comes (or doesn’t come) of them.

Boost your fact-based decision-making skills with online poker at BetMGM

Ultimately, whether in everyday life or business, the secret to success lies in making the most of the hand you’re dealt and, of course, knowing when to hold ’em and when to fold ’em. What better way to get the hang of making the right calls than by playing online poker and putting your strategies to the test?

If you’re looking to play online poker in the USA and are hoping to work on improving your online poker tournament strategy and your decision-making skills in general, you needn’t look any further than BetMGM. On our website, you’ll find a lot more than just poker tournament tips. You’ll also find plenty of poker games and live dealer tournaments to enjoy at your leisure.

To explore the diverse menu of options, feel free to register via our convenient mobile portal.

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.