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Life Lessons From Poker

Poker is a game that puts an individual’s analytical, mathematical and interpersonal skills to the test. It is also a game that indirectly teaches many life lessons.

One of the first lessons that most poker players learn is that their success is largely dependent on how well they can assess the strength of their hand. This is a skill that will translate to other aspects of their lives as it improves their critical thinking abilities.

Another important lesson poker teaches is how to read the game’s opponents. Whether they are subtle physical tells or their betting patterns, learning how to identify and exploit these little chinks in the armor of your opponents will improve your win rate at the table.

Finally, poker teaches players how to control their emotions and not let their anger or stress boil over. It is easy for a player’s emotions to get out of control and there are plenty of situations in poker where the consequences can be very costly, both financially and mentally. Experienced poker players know how to keep their emotions under control and how to take a step back from the table when they are not in a good place mentally.

Lastly, poker players also learn the importance of playing in position and how to maximize their value bets when holding strong hands. It is much easier to put your opponent on a weak or drawing hand when you are in late position than when you have already placed 2 mandatory bets into the pot (the blinds) before you have even seen their cards.