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Can your IQ affect your poker abilities?

Since poker is generally considered a game of skill (mixed in with a decent amount of luck), it is believed that plenty of practice can turn you into a success story. But is it truly enough if you want to play poker online and win constantly?

Some people believe that with enough effort, you can achieve anything you put your mind to. But others might claim that at the end of the day, your genetic predispositions outweigh all other factors when it comes to success.

Now, the question is, which of the two approaches is correct? Can your IQ determine the outcome of your poker sessions, or can you beat the odds with loads of practice? Let's try to find out the answers to those questions!

The Impact of IQ on Success

Your IQ - or Intelligence Quotient – is a score derived from a series of standardized tests which measure your intellectual potential. Over the years, multiple studies set out to test the accuracy and relevancy of those tests, as there are various opinions on the matter.

In 2012, a group of psychology researchers from Vanderbilt University found that people with higher IQs tend to have more successful careers and earn a higher income than those with lower IQs. Psychologist John Antonakis explained that your IQ can predict how much success you might have when it comes to academics, job performance, creativity, and more.

However, Antonakis emphasized that your IQ is not everything, and there are other factors that can affect your success in any career path you choose, professional poker included. In fact, your EQ (aka Emotional Quotient) is just as important if you want to succeed.

Your ability to connect with your peers and fellow players, self-confidence and an open mind can all help you move forward in life.

Other experts also doubt whether your IQ scores truly reflect your intelligence. Yes, statistically speaking, higher IQ scores correlate with higher annual incomes and so on, but a person is more complex than a bunch of numbers. Moreover, what do IQ tests measure anyway? Who can determine what intelligence really is? And at the end of the day, does it really matter?

Another study published in 2015 followed the lives of adolescents born in 1955 for decades. The researchers found that the only significant predictor of career outcomes is motivation and educational aspirations. That means that even people with lower IQ scores can succeed in life – as long as they have the drive for it.

That serves to show that IQ tests aren't enough to predict whether you have what it takes to turn into a poker pro. Those tests only cover a fraction of what is really needed to help your career thrive. Therefore, IQ scores might not be all that reliable.

In Conclusion: Do You Need a High IQ to Win at Poker?

Let's review the facts: yes, IQ scores can predict how successful your poker career can be. But at the end of the day, it's not the only thing that can affect your performance at the poker table.

If you practice and learn the rules and approach the game with plenty of motivation and determination, you are bound to have a blast – no matter what your IQ score is! Are you ready to place some bets?