How Playing Poker Can Make You Smarter

Poker isn’t just a fun way to pass the time – playing it regularly can actually make you smarter. The strategic thinking and decision-making required to excel at the game can help you in other areas of your life too, from work to personal relationships. Studies also show that consistent poker play can improve your memory and cognitive function, and even delay degenerative neurological diseases like Alzheimer’s.

In addition to learning poker strategy from winning and losing, there are a number of excellent poker books and resources that will help you understand the game better. There are poker blogs, expert advice from professional players, and poker videos from the greats of the game who want to teach you how to win.

The ante is the first amount of money that all players must put up before being dealt in to the hand. The button indicates who has the action and moves one spot clockwise after each hand. Blind bets occur before the flop and are either an alternative to the ante or in addition to it.

Saying “call” means that you’re putting up the same amount of money as the last player, to match his or her bet. You can also say “raise” to bet more than the previous player.

When it comes to drawing hands, don’t be afraid to raise. Instead of limping and hoping that you’ll hit, bet more money into the pot to force weaker hands out of it. This way you’ll increase your chances of making a good hand.