5 Life Lessons From Playing Poker


Poker is a game that can be played by people of all ages, backgrounds, and skills. This card game puts an individual’s analytical, mathematical and interpersonal skills to the test. It also teaches valuable life lessons that are applicable to other areas of one’s life.

Teaches decision making under uncertainty

Poker requires players to make decisions when they don’t have all the information. This is a necessary skill for many financial and work-related situations. To do so, poker players must first estimate probabilities for different scenarios and then choose the best action based on those estimates.

Improves reading skills

Learning how to read other poker players is a critical component to becoming an expert at the game. This involves paying attention to a player’s betting behavior, assessing their body language and facial expressions, and identifying tells (unusual bluffing techniques). Having strong reading skills can help players make better decisions at the table.

Instills discipline

Poker teaches the value of self-discipline and how to manage risk. It teaches players to only bet with money they can afford to lose. It also teaches players to avoid chasing their losses and throwing temper tantrums over bad hands. Having the ability to control one’s emotions and stay disciplined are essential qualities in life, both in and out of the poker room. This skill is especially important when dealing with stressful situations. The ability to remain calm and confident under pressure can make or break a poker session—and in some cases, a person’s career.