Poker is an incredibly popular game across the world. And for good reason; it is a compelling battle that offers countless opportunities for fun and entertainment.
There are also core life skills that can be heightened through regular poker play.
Not only does poker improve concentration and memory, but it can also be of great benefit to business owners.
As we shall see, poker and business share several key principles. Let’s take a look in detail.
1. The Stats to Win
Studying statistics and making the best use of research is a key factor in building a successful business. Getting comfortable with the statistics in poker can be a great help in this endeavour. Poker is a game of statistics in many ways.
Statistics are also vital in business dealings. The data of what campaigns have been successful in the past will prove invaluable in making decisions on what to do next.
2. Essential Skills
Playing poker regularly could be a valuable activity to bring into your daily routine. The result could be an improvement of essential business skills creating more productivity.
An understanding of probability and odds is vital for both successful poker play and building a start-up business. When to bluff, when to bet big and when to fold are all essential skills in both poker play and business.
3. Risk Management
Making a careful assessment of risks involved in a decision is a key feature of both poker and building a business. Poker is termed as a sport, rather than wholly a game of chance because there is a great deal of skill required. A significant part of this skill is in risk assessment.
Playing poker is not simply a gamble to see which way the cards fall. As with business management, careful decisions need to be made based on the data available. Undoubtedly courage plays a part too, with brave decisions and risk-taking needed to further the game.
Both poker players and business owners need to identify the most opportune time to place a large bet based on the likelihood of winning. A new start-up should always attempt to minimise risk and not gamble. They can then make logical decisions based on an assessment of risk.
4. Probability Theory
There is always risk in every endeavour, but by being aware of basic mathematics and probability it can be minimised.
Judging how likely or probable something is and then acting accordingly is a core principle in poker.
For example, the best poker players will be able to memorise the odds of how likely it is to win with a certain hand. They might have two cards of the same suit in their hand and two more may be on the table. They will then be able to calculate the chance of winning with a flush (five cards from the same suit).
5. Power Plays
In the case of poker, players need to know when to make a bold move. Sometimes this will take the form of a bluff. A clever bluff is usually based on reading the behaviour of your opponents.
By making a surprising move with confidence, a player can reap the rewards.
Similarly, unconventional decisions can shake up the business landscape a start-up is working in. A show of strength, or ‘power play’, can help to establish the business as a serious competitor.
6. Endurance and Hard Work
A long meeting facing the board members of a new business certainly takes some stamina. So too does a poker tournament when the games can stretch out well into the night. A poker contest can teach you many things about endurance and handling pressure.
During a poker tournament, players will drop out of the game after either losing too often or simply from fatigue. The more successful players who have prepared well enough have a better chance of staying the course.
Similarly in business, it is the hardest working and more resilient owners who will find success. Launching a new start-up might mean day after day of long working hours even with the knowledge that you’re taking a risk. Keeping focus on why you are doing it, and the rewards that could come from it, is a huge step.
7. Forward Planning
The ability to stay one step ahead is something that marks out the best poker players. This is also true of successful business owners. Both need to predict what their competitors are likely to do before they do it.
In poker terms, this could mean whether it is a sensible idea to bet or simply check to see what your rivals will do.
In business, it could be judging whether it is likely that your competitors will release a similar product before you. By planning for every eventuality and then making the more profitable choice you will be properly prepared.
Consistent learning of new techniques also comes into this. Effective poker players and business managers both brush up on their skills by reading, meeting practice groups and attending seminars. Both improve their chances of continued success by never stopping learning.
Confidence and belief in your own ability is a key element of good poker play and business. How much you win or lose is ultimately in your hands. A significant draw of investment in start-ups is often down to the confidence of the founders. Investors need to believe in the business, and this is boosted by how well the creators assert themselves.
The founder is the one who is taking the risk, plays the bets, and calls the shots. By being bold and staying motivated a start-up entrepreneur has a better chance of success.
Successful start-ups and poker players have a shared skill-set to boost their potential.
Business owners looking to launch a new project would do well to take note of the core principals of poker.
By taking risks, aiming high and assessing the available data, players in business and poker can improve their odds.