Online gambling has received some real flak over the years. Of course, the perils of becoming addicted to gambling are clear for all to see, but the same is true of a whole host of other vices. The phrase “all things in moderation” comes to mind as Young Academic has recently discovered – poker as a pastime can actually have a positive effect on the student psyche.
Now, let’s be clear. As the national student news website, Young Academic is in no way advocating gambling as a recommended staple of student life – but it has recently been suggested that similarly to chess, poker can help with cognitive skills and pragmatism; traits that can surely only help boost your grey matter and help your studies.
Indeed, poker is a game that can also be enjoyed and a very cheap night with the girls or boys when the student loan or wages start to run worryingly low. The key is only spending what you can afford to lose, whether this is a quid or perhaps a fiver. There is no need to start gambling stupid money; this is where the problems tend to start. Set your limit and stick to it and online poker can become an enjoyable experience and something you can treat yourself to if you find yourself with few extra readies. We hear all the horror stories of people losing vast amounts of money but people often forget that it is actually pretty easy to turn that few quid into some serious wedge. Crucially though, we only recommend that you play online poker with ethical and respected providers such as 888 Poker and gamble as frugally as possible.
So, what about this concept of poker improving cognitive skills? Well, it is actually metacognition that could well be boosted by the regular playing of poker. In short, this is the practice of ‘thinking about thinking’ and formulating different strategies for certain scenarios or situations. These metacognitive skills are regarded to be good indicators or academic success and educational prowess. It has long been thought that chess helps to develop these very skills so it makes sense that the very same ethos can apply to a tactical and strategic game such as online poker.
Similarly, poker can improve one’s ability to be able to switch between tasks at will (so, if you partner or mother keep saying that you can’t multi-task – it could well be that poker helps you to combat this). So, when you change your hand or strategy mid-round and find yourself more able to do this – you know poker is having the desired effect on your cognitive skills. Many people think that this skill is becoming ever more important as the demands of technology on our attention increase.
It is important to reiterate that we are in no way suggesting that any students in the UK or indeed beyond start to make online poker a big part of their lives. Gambling is a dangerous concept when abused, but there is most certainly a case for it boosting your mental prowess when approached appropriately.