Can Playing Poker Make You Better At Making Decisions?

Many Poker players would describe the game as a thrilling venture involving casino nights and high-stakes competitions, and they’d be correct. However, this seemingly unrelated game of cards holds valuable insights that can improve your decision-making ability.

Let’s examine how luck plays a role in decision-making and how turning probabilities into percentages can make risky endeavors easier to handle.  

The Unseen Variable: Luck Shapes The Result Of Our Decision

Contrary to belief, like poker and the online pokies NZ offers, life is a game of skill and chance. The outcomes of life’s most treasured elements, like family, health, and fortune, are not always set in stone. We can be absolutely certain of our choices, but we can never guarantee a specific result. 

We might exercise and eat healthily daily but still pick up cancer along the way. There are nicotine addicts who far outlive those who don’t smoke.

This kind of ambiguity can make it challenging to measure our strategies accurately. This is especially true when we experience consecutive successes in all areas of our life. 

In terms of poker, a highly successful poker player who wins the world championship after a year of playing might overestimate their skill for future games. They’ll spend less time learning the game and even make riskier plays.

It’s vital that when we experience success, we take a step back and see how much of it was our own contribution. Our egos tend to underestimate the influence of luck when we find ourselves in a winning position.

Unlocking Certainty: Probability To Percentages

Poker players who loosely estimate their opponent’s bluff will likely have a bad game. A successful bluff requires a certain level of socializing expertise, like how an online game pushes interactions between players.

It’s also a game of precision and probabilities, and therefore thinking in numbers will be to your advantage. If you were to visit a foreign country, speaking their language would be a tremendous boon.

Poker puts words like probably, likely, and sometimes into perspective by assigning them percentages. If you asked someone whether they were planning to attend your event, and they replied with “probably,” how likely would they be to go?

Does “probably” mean 10, 30, or 70%? If they said there’s a 70% probability, it would be much easier to gauge the situation. Try it next time you feel tempted to use a word with probability. It helps immensely with planning, especially for things far into the future.

Playing The Odds: Poker Sharpens Risk Assessment Skills

Poker is a game where you’ll need to gather information to win. This fact allows you to abandon the desire to be in control and take a risk when the opportunity arises. Most importantly, you can justify your reasons for taking the risk, leading to smart risk-taking.

Be intentional and bet only when you can substantiate your actions with X, Y, and Z. This process works well for all areas of your life and highlights the importance of using available information.

After making your decision, disconnect yourself from any attachment, even if the outcome is undesirable.


Luck plays an undeniable role in our decisions, and recognizing its influence can help us approach our choices with a more balanced perspective. Probabilities pair well with percentages, enhancing our understanding of potential outcomes. Poker also serves as a remarkable training ground for mastering risk assessment.