4 Areas Where Business Skills & Poker Skills Overlap

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2021-11-07

Ethan Tremblay

The business world and the poker world have much in common. Succeeding in either requires a combination of perseverance, strategy, skill, and of course don’t forget - a little luck.

4 Areas Where Business Skills & Poker Skills Overlap

Here are the four things that overlap business and poker.

The Poker Mindset & The Business Mindset Overlap

Poker is all about the moves you make, the way you manage risk, understandability and of course your strategy. It requires a whole raft of conceptual skills: mental agility, focus, discipline, emotional control, and calculated risk.

Focusing your mind before the start of each day, each meeting, and every important decision is crucial in business too.

Think about a broader interest in strategy and risk taking. The mindset is everything.

Both In Business & In Poker Reading People Is Very Important

Reading people leans into negotiation. These are two factors that are helped by an ability to function well in business and poker. Reading people. When you play poker online or with a land-based casino, to be able to stay one step ahead, you must be able to anticipate the other players’ moves,tells, and weaknesses.

With business, whether it’s colleagues, customers, or competitors, reading people is undoubtedly an essential skill.

Understanding people and being able to assess the situation clearly allows you to engage in a meaningful way, get through to people, motivate and inspire, and respond in the best way – whether it’s seeing the potential of an employee and placing them in the right position, selling to a potential client, or responding to a competitor’s campaign.

The Most Important - The Ability To Calculate Risk

Whether it’s in poker or in business, it’s important to get good at calculating and managing risk.

Do you understand the trade offs? Would you bet all your money on a bad hand? You shouldn’t – and you wouldn’t in business either. Both poker and business are unpredictable, which makes measuring potential gains and losses, factoring in every possibility, and reflecting on the types of risk involved key to making the right move – whether that has to do with a bluff, raise, or fold, or with marketing decisions, budgeting allocations or project plans.

Both at the poker table and in the boardroom, risk calculation involves performing some quick math, making assessments and using your instinct.

The Infamous Poker Face

The ability to take huge risks and keep you emotions under complete control is crucial in both the business and the poker world.

The poker face refers to a face that does not display any emotion, good or bad, so as not to give anything away. Whether a player is excited about a hand or in a desperate position, they should not flinch or give any hint or information away to their opponents.

The lesson, here, is the importance of controlling your emotions and remaining level-headed. In business, while it may not be necessary to keep a poker face 100% of the time, good leadership skills include the ability to remain cool, calm, and collected, no matter the situation, as well as not basing important decisions on intense emotions.

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