How Being a Poker Player Can Improve Your Life

min read
A female poker player takes a blue chip off her stack of poker chips on a green felt table.
BetMGM Apr 18, 2024, 3:12 AM

Aside from mastering the complexities of the rules of poker itself, players of the game develop several other soft skills. These can be applied to everyday life, helping to improve their relationships with others, with money, and even with themselves. So, if you ever consider finding yourself a poker coach, think of them as a life coach, financial advisor, and psychologist, all in one.

Learn More About Yourself

Learning how to play poker teaches a lot of life lessons. Poker requires you to use logic and analyze situations, assessing the best course of action for the best outcome. It also requires that you not be impulsive or respond with knee-jerk reactions. Keeping calm under pressure, even if you’re feeling a sense of rising panic given your hand, is one of the critical poker skills that’ll serve you well in life.

We’re all very different creatures, motivated by different things. Some people are motivated by winning and coming out on top, some by money and material wealth. Being a poker player teaches you to set these impulses and motivations aside. Even if you have set out in online poker tournaments to win at all costs, you can (and should) sometimes adjust your goals and objectives. In a poker game, players must consider their options and relook their game plan. Occasionally, poker players are thrown the same curveballs in life, causing them to review predetermined plans and make decisions to manage new situations.

Every poker player is familiar with the Kenny Rogers song “Know When To Hold ‘Em” about a gambler playing a Texas Hold‘em poker game. Equally, knowing when to fold is a life lesson. Quitting while you’re ahead or knowing when to step away from a potentially dangerous situation is a lesson worth learning from the song and real-life poker.

If you’re forced to fold early on in a game, the next lesson is one of immense patience. You’ll have to sit the rest of the action out and watch from the sidelines, which can be extremely frustrating for some people. If etiquette demands that you wait for the next hand, you simply wait. As the saying goes: patience is a virtue.

If you choose not to fold despite having an average hand, you’re taking a calculated risk, which comes with its consequences. Sometimes, lessons can be challenging, but weighing up the pros and cons of staying in the game is a skill that can also be applied to some of the significant decisions you may be called upon to make in life. It’s all about the stakes.

Whatever your choices and decisions, the main takeaway will always be your confidence in that decision. The poker table is no place for shrinking violets, whether you’re playing online poker or a game among friends at home. Self-confidence (but not arrogance) and the ability to project it are essential for getting through many real-life situations.

Learn More About Others

Watching, listening, and reading other people is as vital in poker as learning to master your own emotions, as poker players learn to give little away. Poker online, in particular, demands close attention to different cues, as you can’t see your opponents’ faces. Still, styles of play or comments in a chat box can give subtle clues about other players during online casino table games. Being attentive and sensitive to what people say (or even sometimes to what they don’t say) and monitoring facial expressions and physical gestures is very important in everyday interactions with people. Poker can help develop solid emotional intelligence (EQ) — an essential lifelong skill.

Learn More About Managing Your Finances

All gamblers, including poker players, should learn to manage their finances using the self-control and discipline they have had to call on during the gameplay. Online casino games often demand a lot of players in terms of their focus and their pocket, but if you’re a good financial manager, you needn’t worry that you might overreach or place risky bets.

Planning and allocating money before joining a game or tournament is an excellent way to establish your limits and mitigate any excessive loss. The risk and reward assessment strategies come into play here since you decide how much to stake on any given hand.

Making important financial decisions like buying a home requires the same financial discipline. Knowing how to budget is an essential life skill. If you stake more than you can afford, you’ll ultimately be the loser.

Lessons For Life

Who knew you could learn so much about yourself, others, and your money while having fun? Discipline, focus, confidence, patience, having a good EQ, and being financially savvy are all part of a poker player’s arsenal of skills. If you’re keen to put your skills to the test, register here to join the BetMGM online casino school of life.

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.