Life Lessons From Poker


Poker is a game of strategy and chance that puts a player’s analytical, mathematical and interpersonal skills to the test. It also indirectly teaches many life lessons that can be applied to other areas of our lives.

One of the most important lessons is learning how to control your emotions under pressure. This is especially true when you’re playing against tough opponents. They’re waiting for any sign of weakness that they can exploit, so it’s imperative to remain calm and think clearly under these types of conditions. This type of emotional control is a skill that can be used in all facets of your life.

Another important lesson is learning how to read other players. There are entire books dedicated to this topic, and everyone from psychologists to law enforcement officials have touted the importance of reading facial expressions and body language. But poker requires a more specific level of reading, such as observing the way that a player moves their chips and cards to disguise the strength of their hand.

When you’re dealing with uncertainty, poker (and life) is about estimating probabilities and making decisions accordingly. A player will only place a bet into the pot if they believe it has positive expected value or if they’re trying to bluff other players for strategic reasons. The other players will either call or raise the bet. Players may also check, which means that they will not put any money into the pot.