Mental Health Benefits of Poker


Poker is a game that can be enjoyed by many different people, from casual players who play to relax after a long day to high rollers who compete in tournaments. Regardless of the reason you play, poker can have some serious mental health benefits.

Improve your body language

A big part of playing poker is being able to read other people’s body language. You need to be able to spot tells, such as whether someone is stressed or is bluffing. This helps you make more informed decisions about your strategy, and also lets you know when to play tight or aggressive.

Learn to bet sizing correctly

Bet sizing is a skill that takes time and practice to master, but it’s crucial in helping you win the most money from your poker hand. It involves balancing the amount you want to win, compared to how much it costs to call, and taking into account previous action, stack depth, pot odds and more.

Develop your own poker strategy

There are many books on the market that are dedicated to specific poker strategies, but a good player always tweaks their approach from experience. Developing your own strategy, and then using it in other games, is one of the most important ways to improve your game.

Use deception to gain a competitive edge

A great poker player is skilled at deception. They understand when to play bluffs and when to fold, and they can use the correct body language to convince other opponents that their hand is stronger than it actually is.

Don’t be afraid to mix up your hands

It’s very common for new players to focus on their own hand, without thinking about what their opponent might have. This is not the best strategy for the long run. It’s much more profitable to mix up your strong and weak hands in order to keep your opponents guessing.

Boost your social skills

It is often said that the best way to improve your social skills is through regular interaction with people. The poker table is a great place to practice these skills, since you’ll be interacting with other players from all walks of life and backgrounds.

Chatting at the poker table can help you connect with other people, and can even lower anxiety levels. It can also teach you the art of polite communication, which is an important skill for anyone who wants to work in a team.

Be patient and enjoy the ride

The short term luck element of poker can be frustrating, but if you are disciplined and play responsibly, you will get the most out of the game. Having patience and enjoying the game will not only make it more enjoyable for you, but will also help you increase your chances of winning over time.

Learn to be happy and not let your emotions control you

In a fast-paced world, it’s easy for your emotions to get out of control. A lot of us get angry, frustrated or even irritated when we aren’t feeling our best, and poker can teach you to keep those emotions under control.