What Business Skills Can You Learn by Playing Poker?

Images internally provided

You’re in it to win it — this rings particularly true in playing poker. Each poker player has their own tendencies and techniques, but it all boils down to making the most of their situations and raking in as much money as they can. 

Whether you’re playing in person or getting in the heat of a video poker online battle, you learn a lot of stuff just by being at the table. Along with the technical skills, you’re also gaining new competencies that could help you in life outside of poker. For some, it could be skills that could translate to being a leader. 

For others, it could be skills that they could use to become successful in business. Did you know that some of the world’s most famous poker players are also businessmen? You have Cirque de Soleil owner Guy Laliberté, who finished in the Top 4 during the 2007 World Poker Tour Championship in Bellagio, Las Vegas. 

Laliberté may have lost quite a fortune in poker, but it doesn’t take away that he had lots of success in the game and even more so in his businesses. So you see, there is quite a correlation between playing poker and having a successful business. Having said that, let’s look at the business skills you can gain while playing poker. 

  1. Paying Attention to Detail

To win at poker, you need to be more focused than ever. There’s little to no margin for error; missing even the most minor details could cost you a misplay. The key in poker is always to stay attentive and make sure that you’re on top of every scenario. 

Practicing this high level of focus could also help you become successful in business. While it’s true that there could be detours and pit stops, great entrepreneurs don’t take their eyes away from their priorities. 

  1. Dealing with Pressure and Uncertainty

Nothing is ever sure in the world of poker; there will always be surprising scenarios that could prop up in any hand. You may think that you have the cards to win a hand, but a sudden turn of events could dramatically decrease your win probability. We have seen these twists and turns in poker one too many times. 

On top of all the uncertainties, you’ll also feel every bit of pressure in each decision that you will make. Professional poker players may not feel that pressure anymore, but the thing is, every player goes through that stage. You’re alone at the table, and everybody’s eyes are on you. 

Uncertainty and pressure both go hand-in-hand in poker. That is also the same case in business, as your decisions could make or break your position in the market. Making quick decisions and staying unwithered in the midst of high pressure are marks of a great entrepreneur.  

  1. Managing Your Resources

Obviously, you can’t go all-in on your every hand at poker. There are times that you can take a bit of risk, but there are also instances when you have to fold. In these moments, you learn how to manage your resources and not let your greedy desire get in the way. 

How will you take on this risky path? Is your emotion getting ahead of your logic? Handling your chips in poker is a very crucial factor in winning. You must stay patient throughout the process, knowing how uncertain a hand could get. 

Resource management is also a valuable skill in business. Not all opportunities are for the better, and there are times when you just have to stay the course. We’ve seen businesses fail because they made the wrong investments. 

If you’re good at managing your chips in poker, have the assurance that this skill is also translatable to your business ventures. 

  1. Getting Ahead of Your Competition

Competition is right at the heart of poker. It’s nothing like basketball as far as physicality is concerned, but it does not mean that competition here is shabby. It’s quite the opposite, in fact. 

Poker is a warfare of all sorts, from having that mental fortitude to psyching out your opponents. From your own perspective, you can’t show any signs of emotions. If you have a good set of cards in your hands, your face should not show any kind of excitement. You can’t be frustrated if you have a disappointing set so your opponents won’t see through a potential bluff. 

Learning how to deal with competition is a fixture in poker as much as it is a staple in business. In poker, you need to research the tendencies, ticks, and gestures of your opponents. In entrepreneurship, you learn what your competitors are offering, and then you develop a unique product that will get you ahead. 

Assuming that you’re doing it the right way, your skills in playing poker can easily translate to managing your business.