Lessons From Poker


Poker is a card game played by two or more players. The objective is to win a hand by having the highest ranking cards. The player with the highest hand wins the “pot” which is all of the money that has been bet during that particular hand. A player can bet either by checking (passing on betting), raising, or folding.

One of the biggest lessons that poker can teach is how to take risks, even when you think your chances of winning are slim. Building this comfort with risk-taking can be a process, Just says, and you should start small by taking more risks in lower-stakes situations for the learning experience.

The game also teaches how to control your emotions in changing scenarios, a skill that is important for career success. “It’s the ability to stay calm and think clearly in stressful situations,” Just says. It’s a skill she learned as a young options trader, and she sees it being used in her work at the poker table.

Poker can be a social game, too, and it can help players develop their people skills. The social interaction helps improve a person’s self-esteem, and it can help them learn how to read other people more effectively. For example, poker players can get a good feel for when their opponent is bluffing and can gauge how much they are willing to spend to protect their chips. This can be helpful in deciding when to call or fold in other situations.