Cognitive Benefits of Playing Poker


Poker is a fun, challenging and often lucrative game that is enjoyed by a variety of people. Some play it as a hobby and enjoy the social aspect of the game, while others use it to develop their skills and compete in major tournaments. Regardless of why you play, poker is an excellent way to exercise your brain and improve mental health and well-being.

The cognitive benefits of playing poker can be found in many areas, including:

Emotion Control

Poker players need to control their emotions and not let them get out of hand. This can be a difficult skill to learn, but it is an important one that will serve you well in both your personal and professional life.

Learning to read hands

The best poker players know how to identify the smallest tells of their opponents’ holdings. This can include a player’s body language, their tone of voice and any other involuntary reaction that identifies an emotion or feeling.


The first thing a player should do when they sit down at a poker table is pick their position. Choosing the correct spot in the game will allow you to make more accurate decisions and increase your odds of winning.

Being in a good position will also allow you to be more aggressive and bluff more easily. If your opponent calls you pre-flop with a weak hand, it is often a good idea to raise to a larger amount when the flop comes up so that they can’t fold their hand on the turn or river.

Knowing when to fold is another crucial skill that poker players must learn. This is because, even if you are a strong player, it is still likely that you will lose money in a game of poker. Keeping your emotions under control and knowing when to fold will help you to avoid losing too much money in the game.

Making friends

Poker is a great way to meet new people and socialise. This is especially true for older players who may be having a harder time finding new friends. This is because poker is an incredibly social game, with players often taking turns to congratulate each other on good hands or bluff each other.

Having friends is an essential part of any successful lifestyle, and the best poker players are known for being able to meet and play with new people regularly.

It is very important for poker players to be able to make friends with their opponents, because this can help them develop a more comfortable and friendly environment at the table. It is also an excellent way to pick up on any tells that they might be giving off, which will make it easier for them to win at the poker table.

Mental Strength

The mental strength of poker players can be seen in their ability to overcome adversity and handle stressful situations. This is especially true for older players who are struggling with depression, anxiety or other psychological issues that might be keeping them from enjoying life.