Poker is a game of cards that puts an individual’s analytical, mathematical and interpersonal skills to the test. While there is a stigma attached to the game, it can be played for fun and even serve as a lucrative hobby or career. Regardless of the reason, there are a host of cognitive benefits that come with playing poker.

1. Learn to Think Strategically

Poker teaches players how to analyze the game and its opponents. It requires a certain level of objectivity, which is beneficial for any life situation. In addition, it teaches people to stay focused on what is happening in the moment. This can be a difficult trait to develop, but it is a necessary component of successful poker play.

2. Don’t Get Attached to Good Hands

It is easy to become results-oriented in poker, which can lead to a lot of frustration and feelings of failure. For example, pocket kings or queens may seem like strong hands at the beginning of a session. However, an ace on the flop can spell disaster for those types of hands.

Poker teaches players how to analyze the table dynamics and to make sound decisions on a regular basis. Moreover, it teaches them to manage their bankroll and avoid making bad decisions based on emotion or ego. Lastly, it teaches them to read their opponents’ actions and body language in order to make better decisions. These are all important skills to have in the real world, whether it is at work or at home.