The world’s very best poker players are able to win millions of dollars in prize money every year. That’s because, over time, they have invested the time and money to reach a level of expertise that means they have the skills to win more often than they lose. But many of these skills have a far wider use than simply winning at a game of cards. In fact, they can even be transferred into areas like gaming, even though it might not seem obvious how this could be possible. But, as these 7 examples will show, it very much is.
Yes, dealing playing cards needs a certain level on manual dexterity, and so does using a mouse and keyboard when playing the online version of the game. These are both great training for the sort of fine motor skills needed when you’re wielding a game controller. In online poker, particularly, the action can be coming thick and fast so being able to hit the right button at the right time is critical. We don’t need to say just how relevant that is when you’re at a key moment in a favorite game and can’t risk putting a finger wrong.
Calculating the odds
Behind the impassive exterior of every poker player, they are constantly calculating the odds of success given their own particular set of cards. This is also true of those who also like to dabble in online blackjack, another card game that relies on a knowledge of the law of probability for success. In gaming in which a number of possible courses of action often present themselves, a very similar sort of mental calculation is needed to see which one stands the best chance of success.
Understanding your opponents
In poker, it’s as much a question of being able to second-guess what your opponents will do as it is of deciding how to play your own hand. This means it’s vital to study them closely to look for patterns of behavior as well as spotting certain “tells” which can indicate just how strong their position may be. Whether you’re playing against others, or just against the game itself, it’s similarly important to understand where they, or it, are coming from. This helps with anticipation and means you need never be taken completely by surprise.
Knowing when to attack
Alongside the tip above, knowing when to show a burst of controlled aggression is something that comes naturally to the accomplished poker player. They also know that this is a tactic that has to be used sparingly and with discretion. While video games may offer more natural outlets to go on rampages, they still need players to know when to be cautious too. After call, reckless play, or “loose” play as it’s called in poker, may work for a little while, but the longer-term prospects of it being successful aren’t very great.
Controlling your emotions
It’s easy to get swept up in any game so that you start to let your heart rule your head. But if you want to be in full control of your game, whether it’s poker, DOTA or CoD, then keeping a close hold on your emotions is going to be essential. It’s the only way that rational decisions are possible and, without these, no game is going to be won. It’s difficult at first but the more that you practice, the greater the control you start to have over your natural inclinations – and that’s how logical decisions are made.
Get involved in a serious game of poker and it may be that you’re at the table for hours, or even days. That’s going to mean that you’re developing some pretty serious concentration skills. Your gaming experience may not go on for quite as long but it’s going to make some major demands on your ability to focus. But if you’re equipped with the mental stamina to keep on going while others are wilting away, the potential benefits are obvious and will result in some pretty impressive results.
Learning how to lose
Having said all this, there are always going to be times when you come off second best. The valuable lesson that poker can teach you here is that you can dust yourself down, put it behind you and concentrate on the next hand or game. It’s this kind of resilience that separates the great from the merely good and has many benefits not just in poker and gaming but in all other areas of life too.
So now it’s time to get to work on perfecting all of these skills. Then, before you know it, you could become an even better gamer and a great poker player too.