Every poker enthusiast knows that a lot of effort goes into becoming the best online poker player that ever existed. Apart from learning the ins and outs of the game, you have to work on your mental abilities to excel at online poker.
Not surprisingly, a lot of executive functions are involved in mastering the game. We’re talking about the brain skills that help us get things done as efficiently and quickly as possible.
That includes inhibition, flexible thinking, working memory, self-monitoring, and more. So quite understandably, your mental skills have to be rather polished if you want to improve your poker play.
Top Brain Tricks for the Aspiring Poker Pro
Here are a few tips and tricks that will help you become a better player:
- Positive visualisation and meditation – Whenever you have to deal with complex problems, you need to create a stress-free environment to get better results. Remaining calm will allow your brain to focus on what matters the most (aka, winning the game) instead of diverting your attention to minuscule and distracting details.
So before you start playing, you can meditate or try some positive visualisation to calm your nerves. Just imagine yourself smiling, right after you won the game, and your mood should improve straight away!
- A good night’s sleep – According to studies, insomnia or lack of sleep can affect your inhibitory control, cognitive flexibility, and even working memory. Therefore, you can easily deduce that sleeping well is crucial if you want to become a better poker player.
- Memory aids - If you find online poker stressful, you might be struggling with the constant changes in the game. There are a lot of things to pay attention to, especially if you choose to play multiple games at once.
The solution to this problem is quite simple: don’t rely solely on your memory to keep track of the game. You can use various memory aids to make sure you’re not missing any important details. Make lists, create reminders on your phone, and use any memory-improvement technique to follow the game and reduce your stress levels.
- Exercise – Physical activity is known to benefit our health in various ways, but have you ever thought about how it can improve executive functions? According to studies, common types of sports which require minimal thinking, won’t affect your mental abilities. That includes repetitive sports like running, rapid walking, and resistance training.
However, sports that engage your thinking process - like martial arts, yoga, and team sports - proved to quite useful in that regard.
Improving your brain’s ability to perform complex executive functions can help you on your journey to becoming a poker pro. Which tips did you find the most useful?