The Skills That Poker Can Teach You

Poker is a game of skill and risk. A very small percentage of players break even or win, and a very few achieve extraordinary results. Almost all poker players lose money over the long run, even when they seem to be doing everything right.

The key reason is that there is a short term luck element in poker. This means that even if you are the best player in the world, you will have losing sessions, sometimes very large ones.

Despite this, poker is still a great way to learn a lot about the game of life. Here are some of the skills that it can teach you:

It teaches you to view situations in a cold, detached, mathematical way. This is one of the key differences between those who only ever break even and those who become big winners.

You learn to read other players’ tells (eye movements, idiosyncrasies, hand gestures etc). A player who frequently calls but then raises a huge amount may be holding an amazing hand!

You learn to exercise pot control. This involves raising and calling when you have strong value hands, but checking and folding with mediocre or drawing hands. By controlling the size of the pot, you can make more money when you have a good hand, and avoid getting burned by bluffing. This is a vital skill for improving your overall profit. It also helps you to avoid the trap of trying to outwit other players by assuming they are bluffing.