Poker and video games. When these two things are said in the same sentence, when comes to mind? Do they have anything in common?

Perhaps the most obvious one is the fact that both of them are games. They are both played by people to pass the time and as hobbies.

However, would it surprise you to know that these two activities share way more than just their nature as games? They actually share several cognitive and health benefits between the two of them.

Let’s check out several surprising benefits that poker and video games share with one another.

Keeps the Brain Healthy

The first benefit we’ll be looking at is how both poker and video games improve the brain’s function and keep it healthy.

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With video games, it is not hard to imagine it keeping the brain active and healthy. If the game were creative, like say taking place in a faroff fantastical land, this is enough to keep the brain active as it pushes people’s creativity.

In terms of gameplay though, it also helps by making people think. No matter if it is an adventure game, a sports game, or a strategy game, the level of difficulty for games these days can be set pretty high.

For those who want a challenge, they will need to outthink their opponents or the game in order to move forward.

It is the same way with poker. Poker is a game of skill and strategy. There are so many more facets in the game that relate to winning. It is more than just relying on your luck as you hope for good cards, and in the case of Texas hold ‘em, waiting for good draws from the river.

Poker requires you to bet well. It requires that you think whether or not it is a good time to bet big, bluff, or just back off.

Seeing the different cards on the river also allows you to anticipate what cards and combinations your opponents might have. The strategy in poker is quintessential to winning.

Coordination

Next, there is coordination. Whether you are on a controller, a mouse and keyboard, or with chips in hand, coordination is improved for each action.

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For video games it isn’t hard to imagine why. Hand-eye coordination is required for you to act based on what you see on the video game. Some games require you to react faster, thereby increasing the coordination more.

For poker, it is the chips. If you’ve seen tournament play, you’ve seen people playing with their chips by stacking it up. This act is not a random one. Doing so actually improves the coordination of the people who do it. Just be sure not to be playing online poker, because you wouldn’t have chips nearby.

These are only a few benefits that both poker and video games share. This only scratches the surface. For instance, games can help teach you other skills too. Doing one may help you succeed in another.  

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