7 Skills You Need to Make a Living From Poker


Poker is often seen as a game of pure chance, but it actually involves quite a bit of skill and psychology. Many people are surprised to learn that it’s possible to make a living from the game, but the truth is that successful poker players put a lot of thought into their decisions and take calculated risks. This is a crucial skill that will carry over into other areas of life.

1. Improve your patience

If you’re just starting out in poker, you may find yourself sitting around for long periods of time while your opponents call raises after raise. Over time, this will force you to hone your patience and learn how to wait for the right moment to make a play. This will benefit you in many aspects of your life, from work to personal relationships.

2. Learn how to read other players

Poker requires a lot of reading between the lines, and it’s important to understand your opponents and their reasoning. This isn’t always about making movie-like “tells” (like scratching your nose or playing nervously with your chips), but rather assessing what type of hand they’re holding and what they might be thinking about based on their betting pattern.

3. Develop a solid understanding of probability

A good poker player knows how to calculate the odds of winning a hand before they place their bets. This is vital in deciding how much to bet and when to call or fold. It’s also helpful in learning about the nuances of different hands, such as straights and flushes.

4. Master the risk vs. reward concept

Poker teaches players the importance of understanding the risk vs. reward of each decision they make. It’s important to remember that no matter how lucky you are in a hand, you can still lose if you make the wrong decision. By practicing this principle, you’ll become more confident in your decision-making and will be able to make smarter gambles.

5. Develop your social skills

As mentioned above, poker is a highly social game that draws people from all walks of life. This can help you build a network of friends and expand your professional opportunities in the future. It’s also a great way to get out of your comfort zone and challenge yourself.

6. Develop a strong sense of self-control

A big part of success in poker is being able to control your emotions. It’s easy to let your anger and stress boil over in a tight spot, but if you can keep these emotions in check, then you’re far more likely to make good decisions. This is a crucial skill that will come in handy in your daily life, both at home and at the office.

7. Learn to manage pressure

Poker isn’t for everyone, and if you’re not used to taking on a lot of risk, it can be extremely difficult to adjust. However, those who can endure countless losing sessions will eventually find their groove and be rewarded with consistent profits.