There are many things that poker can teach kids that they just cannot learn in school. In fact, the experience of playing poker is not just about life lessons, but also about learning how to interact and connect with others and how to survive difficult situations in life. I have often heard parents debating whether or not poker is a viable game to teach to children, and I personally believe that it is.
Today, I am going to share with you a few of the reasons why I believe your kids should be learning to play poker.
12 reasons why your kids should play poker:
- Poker helps kids develop friendships,
- Learning poker develops good memory,
- Learning poker provides common ground to connect with others,
- When playing poker, kids learn about risks,
- Poker teaches children how to manage their own money,
- Kids learn to be a bit more cautious and assess situations when playing poker,
- Poker helps develop critical thinking skills,
- Learning poker teaches kids to be analytical in their approach,
- Anyone can play poker, which means kids are not left out,
- Poker teaches children how to handle good and bad emotions,
- Playing poker provides a great way for families to bond,
- Poker could provide a lucrative career path for your child.
You probably did not even realize that poker playing could be so beneficial to your child, did you?
It’s natural to be skeptical, especially with the worry of turning your kid into a gambler, but that’s the beauty of teaching kids to play poker from a young age. You can help them develop a healthy attitude and thought-process around playing poker, and you could even help to deter a life of gambling addiction.
That being said, let’s unpack each of these benefits for your kids so that you can decide for yourself if you want to introduce your child to the game of poker.
12 Ways Playing Poker Will Benefit Your Child
Keep an open mind, read through each proposed benefit, and then you decide if poker is a good thing for your kids or not!
1. Poker helps kids develop friendships.
First off, not all kids struggle to make friends, but some do. As it turns out, on certain occasions, kids who are the most analytical and of a mathematical mindset seem to struggle more than others when it comes to making friends. Poker is a game that is based on luck as well as a bit of mathematical skill. If you want to introduce your kids to likeminded people, a game of poker is a good place to start.
2. Learning poker develops good memory.
Playing a game of poker is nothing like playing a game of snap. There are rules to remember, cards to memorize, and people’s ‘tells’ to keep in mind. There is no denying that poker gives a little person’s brain a complete workout. The more kids exercise their brains, the better it is for their memory and overall brain power.
3. Learning poker provides common ground to connect with others.
Kids, when learning how to interact in a social setting, need to learn how to communicate and connect with people. Common ground is one of the first things that people look for as a conversation starter. Kids that are learning about poker together have common ground and something to talk about not just right now, but possibly for years to come.
Kids will also learn the benefit of having a group/club/team to belong to. For some kids, the need to belong is a desire that they struggle to satisfy. Simply meeting up as a group for regular games of poker could help to minimize the stress felt by a child that doesn’t feel he/she fits in anywhere.
4. When playing poker, kids learn about risks.
Taking risks is a part of life. Some parents try to teach kids to avoid risks, but wouldn’t it be more beneficial to teach kids to determine which risks are better to take than others?
Kids need to learn that some risks are worth taking, and others are not. In the game of poker, losses can be big, and that is one of the first things that kids learn when playing. Risky gameplay and not considering the possible outcomes could result in significant losses. This teaches kids to approach risks with caution, but not to avoid taking risks at all.
5. Poker teaches children how to manage their own money.
While kids learning poker do not have to play with real money, they will certainly learn the value of currency.
Being careful and strategic with their currency is something that the various risks of poker can teach kids. Children will learn how to only play their winnings and not squander their capital – if they don’t learn this rule, they will end up losing and very soon cotton on to the idea. It is a great financial life lesson taught by one of the world’s most ‘lucrative’ games.
6. Kids learn to be a bit more cautious and assess situations when playing poker.
For kids, learning to control impulses is generally hard. When a child wants something, they go for it without realizing the possible risks and implications. Sometimes it is hard for children to learn about these risks without having something upsetting happen in life. Poker makes it a bit easier to teach children to assess the possible outcomes of a situation before taking action. Cautious behavior is something that kids can benefit from in all walks of life.
7. Poker helps develop critical thinking skills.
Critical thinking is something that most schools desire to teach children, but sometimes struggle with. Critical thinking is defined as “the objective analysis and evaluation of an issue in order to form a judgment”. If children learn from a young age to judge situations and form opinions of their own, they will be able to handle life situations with a mature approach and be able to avoid situations that could be unpleasant or dangerous for them.
8. Learning poker teaches kids to be analytical in their approach.
9. Anyone can play poker, which means kids are not left out.
We all know that on the playground, some kids get left out. Maybe they are not one of the “cool kids”, or perhaps they are not as physically able as other kids; but the reality is that certain children simply are not included. Poker is the type of game that completely eliminates that problem. It is not a team sport, so kids can’t get picked last, and it is a game that anyone can participate in regardless of who they are, their physical fitness, or their background.
10. Poker teaches children how to handle good and bad emotions.
Poker will teach your kids about handling good and bad emotions. No one likes to see a sore loser throwing his cards, just as much as nobody wants to watch a winner rub it in the face of the losers. In poker, children learn to handle their emotions with grace and self-control. Both wins and losses need to be handled with an even temper and courteousness to other players. Your child’s first win and first loss will be the starting point to this very great and useful life lesson.
11. Playing poker provides a great way for families to bond.
Ever wondered why the kids avoid family board game night? It is probably because they get bored.
Why not be a modern family that incorporates an exciting game of poker on family night? Imagine granny being a high roller and losing to her favorite sweeties, and dad winning all the chores for the week. Poker can be a fun way for the family to bond, but first, the kids actually need to know how to play. You never know; family poker night might just become your family’s next tradition.
12. Poker could provide a lucrative career path for your child.
Most parents try to push their kids into careers that will pay them well and provide a lifelong income. Poker could be that career. No, you should not encourage your kids to gamble, but being a career poker player certainly has merit. Just look at the quite wealthy poker players that already do it!
To sum up
These are just a few of the many reasons why your kids should be playing poker. Add a few valuable life lessons to your kids’ life by teaching him/her to play poker. If nothing else, you will have a lot of fun, and your kids will have learned a skill that they can use on their first trip to a real casino.