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Poker benefits: How the game amps up thinking ability

The top-most cognitively demanding card games are those that incorporate memory, strategy, and attentiveness.

December 26, 2019 / 12:20 PM IST
Representative image: Pixabay

Representative image: Pixabay

Nitesh Salvi

We exist in a world where it is perfectly normal to have a laptop on your desk, a tablet in your bag and a Smartphone in your hand. When you’re in the flow to play a game, you can — all you have to do is open an app and start playing. However, with the help of poker games, you can end up making a good sum of money as well.

The top-most cognitively demanding card games are those that incorporate memory, strategy, and attentiveness. It may be as simple as playing concentration or match with a partner, or as complex as an evening playing bridge. One of the challenges of a hearty round of poker is perceiving and interpreting the subtle signals others emanate as they try to win the game. This combines an array of both cognitive and complex interpersonal skills that really keep the brain sharp.

The clear answer is YES when it comes to if poker is useful for your brain. Poker game teaches and improves various skills & personal qualities.

Poker develops your logical thinking extensively like no other game. Contrary to what people think about the game, it takes tons of consciousness and alertness while playing, to actually be good at it. You cannot argue logically (even general topics) with a great online poker player (who plays anywhere between 6–15 tables avg. or more at a time ) because his thinking is just straight and to the point, not influenced by any minute emotion.

Medical benefits of playing Poker



Reduces risk of Alzheimer's disease

Alzheimer's is known to be a neurodegenerative disorder that has a genetic predisposition and no certain cure has been recognized as of now. However, it can be prevented with certain cognitive sports and poker is one of them.

Studies have shown that playing poker can actually reduce your chances of developing brain-related diseases like Alzheimer’s by over 50 percent.

Leads to rewiring the brain

Poker acts like Pushups for our brain. It strengthens your brain and shields your nerve cells. Playing poker can help to rewire your brain and help to create myelin for a longer run. When we perform any activity consistently, it leads to the creation of new neural pathways. The nerve fibers are surrounded by a myelin sheath. This protects and nourishes the nerve cell. The more often impulses are transmitted through this network, the thicker the myelin sheath becomes. This is called myelination. Hence, the more poker we play the more myelin our brains create.

Poker also helps in controlling emotions and making quick decisions that increase cognitive capacity, hence improving your chances of keeping a healthy brain.

There are many ways in which poker is useful for the brain. In fact, it develops a host of skills in us. Mentioned below are the key ones:

  • While playing poker players tend to be totally engrossed in the game, trying hard to think about what moves the others are planning. This enhances their concentration, attention, problem-solving skills, etc.

  • Playing online games like poker develops reading skills among players. Poker requires us to read and understand all its concepts, instructions, and find clues. In fact, some people even read blogs and books on poker. The reading skills that are developed in a person benefits them when they read so many things, such as reading helps in the development of the brain.

  • During the game, players come across situations where they have to think and act quickly in a certain manner. Thus, it develops problem-solving and critical thinking skills in a person, which are useful for the brain.

  • Playing poker is a stress buster for many. So it helps in keeping the brain relaxed.

  • Poker also enhances our ability to read situations, and opponents, as the players need to determine the odds and probabilities in any situation if it’s a flopping flush or a full house.

(The author is CEO & Co-founder, Pocket52)
Moneycontrol Contributor
Tags: #Features
first published: Dec 26, 2019 07:44 am

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