Whether you’re a poker fanatic or simply a casual observer, there’s no doubt about it – playing the game can teach you a whole lot about life, and even about yourself.

Are There Any Transferrable Skills?

Playing poker might seem like just a hobby, but there’s a lot you can pick up from it, particularly to apply into the world of business. At work, many of the things you’re used to doing in the game can go an awful long way in helping you to succeed. You learn how to calculate risks, and you only take a chance on something when things are looking completely in your favour. That’s often essential in business.

Dealing with pressure is essential in any workplace or even when you’re still studying, and it’s something that you have to learn to cope with very early on in a poker game. If you can’t handle this, you’re likely to fold – which has financial consequences whether you’re playing a game of poker or the game of life.

You’re also likely to be using your assessment skills to the max in the game, which is clearly also really important ‘in real life’. Psychology also comes massively into play here; you need to be able to read other players, just like you would hope to be taking an interest in your colleagues. In this respect, a good poker player can actually be a really good boss.

Just Look At Yourself

As with anything in life, you can only learn a lesson when (and if) you’re ready to. If you’re playing poker recklessly or without much of a mental investment, it’s likely that you actually won’t learn that much that can be transferred at all. However, no matter your type of playing style, if you’re able to analyse it, there’s always a lesson in there somewhere.

Not sure what yours is? Well, there’s now a quiz to help you figure out your poker personality. Whether you’re a ‘fish’ (someone who gives away a little too much and relies mainly on luck), a ‘maniac’ (someone who’s a little overconfident in the part their skills play), or anything in between, the quiz can teach you a lot about your attitude to the game, and indeed, to how you conduct your life.

What Can We Learn?

Well, depending on how you play poker, there are clues in your traits that probably apply to other aspects of your life as well; including the workplace, university and at home.

For example, if you’re always bluffing in poker, perhaps that ‘poker face’ is translating into real life a little too much for comfort. When lying becomes easy for you, it can become a problem. In the business world – just like in politics – lying can sometimes have long-term consequences which affect the trust relationship between you and other stakeholders.

Likewise, if you’re overconfident in poker, you’re forgetting the limits of your skills and not calculating chance and external factors. But at the same time, if you take too many risks, this can be detrimental. And if you think everything is down to chance, you may not be willing to push yourself to achieve more. It’s clearly all about balance, and poker helps you learn that for sure.

Whether you’re looking to educate yourself, push ahead in business, or simply get to know yourself better, we can learn something from all kinds of poker players, and accept that in life some things are up to chance, and others are up to hard work – you just need to find that happy medium.


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