Sure, playing poker online isn’t exactly the first place you would turn to if you want to improve your personal decision-making skills. After all, many people who aren’t so familiar with the game will insist that as a gambling game, you would only win based on luck. However, that’s not entirely true. In fact, poker involves a whole lot of skill, knowledge, practice, and yes: decision-making.
So how exactly does playing poker online help us to improve our decision-making skills? Let’s take a look.
A bad outcome doesn’t mean a bad decision
Most of the time – in online poker and in real life – we equate the result of a decision to the quality of the decision itself but in reality, that’s not always the case. For example, if your cards are a pair and the flop contains another pair, chances are you’re going to keep calling or raising your bet. All this time, you’re going to think that’s a good decision because, well, it’s a two pair.
However, luck can sometimes look the other way and when the turn and river card come along, your opponent could have a full house or even four of a kind. Because you lost, you’ll think that betting big on your two-pair hand was a bad decision. In hindsight, however, it actually made more sense over folding.
Because of situations like this, you’ll learn to make decisions based on the overall context of the game instead of what resulted from your decision.
Thinking in Probabilities
Since we can’t see anyone else when playing online poker, you can’t make decisions based on slips in your opponents’ poker faces. Because of this, it’s more beneficial to think in probabilities instead of black-and-white hypotheticals. This leads to a more open-minded mind set and will teach online poker players to treat information and outcomes more objectively. With this, along with the time pressure in online poker, it sharpens your ability to think on your feet as well.