5 Ways Poker Can Improve Your Social Skills


Poker is a game that requires both luck and skill to win. It can be a very frustrating game at times because you aren’t always going to get the cards you want but it can also be very rewarding. Poker is a very social game too as you interact with people from different backgrounds and cultures which helps to improve your social skills.

The game begins with the players putting two mandatory bets called blinds into the pot. This money represents their buy-in for the hand and they are placed by the player to the left of the dealer. After this the dealer deals everyone 2 hole cards and a round of betting occurs. When the betting is over a third card is dealt to the table called the flop. Once again there is another round of betting and if you have the best hand at this point then you can raise or call based on what other players do.

A fourth card is then dealt to the table which everyone can use called the turn. This is followed by a final betting round and then one more card is dealt face up on the board which is known as the river. The player with the best 5 card poker hand wins the pot which contains all of the bets made during each round of betting.

1. Teach you how to control your emotions

Poker can be a very stressful game especially when the stakes are high. This is because your opponents will be waiting to exploit any sign of weakness that you may show. This is why it’s important to conceal your emotions and maintain a “poker face” at all times.

2. Develop your observational skills

A good poker player is able to pick up on tells and changes in their opponent’s behavior. This requires concentration because it is easy to lose track of the action at the table. Poker also teaches you how to observe your own behavior and make changes if needed.

3. Teach you about odds

The twin elements of chance and skill are critical in poker but there is no doubt that the application of your knowledge of odds can virtually eliminate luck’s variance over time. Understanding how to calculate your odds and how they relate to other players’ odds will significantly increase your winnings.

4. Boosts your concentration level

The ability to concentrate is vital in poker. Being distracted by your surroundings or the people at the table can have disastrous results in this game. It is important to keep your focus on the game and ignore any distractions such as chatting, phone calls or food while playing poker.

5. Develops your social skills

Although you’ll spend most of your poker sessions alone studying your cards, it can be a great way to socialize with other people and build strong friendships. The social interaction and communication skills you’ll develop while playing poker will carry over to your regular life and will be useful in a variety of situations.