Real Business Lessons You Can Learn from Poker!

Poker is a fun and exciting game to play with your friends, but with years of playing Texas Hold’em Poker, this game can teach anyone many valuable skills that can be easily applied to the business world.

Here are a few rules of thumb that everyone should implement:

·       Respect and study your opponents

More than a game of cards, Poker is a social game. A good player does not play his cards as much as he plays his opponents. This strategy, often seen in professional Poker, requires you to carefully study your opponent, his behavior, his tells and then find and exploit his weaknesses. This requires you to be humble, observant and patient. When applied in the business world these skills lead you towards carefully studying your opponents, seizing them correctly and then patiently waiting for a time in which they can be defeated.

·      Don’t fear to change your play

A good Poker player knows how to read the situation he is in and change his strategy according to many different variables (the opponents, the cards, his image etc.). This allows the player to maintain the element of surprise on one hand while adjusting to changing circumstances of the game on the other hand. This rule of thumb can be easily applied to the world of business. In order to excel, you must be able to maintain flexibility and always be prepared to change and adapt.

·       Know when to fold a good hand

No Poker hand is too good to lose. Folding a hand is not a sign of weakness. A good player must know when his hand is strong and when his hand is beat. There is no stronger move than correctly folding a strong hand. Like in Poker, in business you might have great idea or position, but the circumstances are simply not right for it. Understanding the situation might indicate that the right move would be to let it go. Every good Poker player had to fold many times in his life.

·       It’s not a sprint – it’s a marathon!

Success in Poker is not measured based on specific hands but on the overall performance overtime. The same applies to business. Every successful businessman had his share of failures (for example, Steve Jobs was fired from Apple, Brian Acton was rejected from Facebook before founding WhatsApp, Donald Trump went bankrupt…just to name a few) but managed to recollect and rise up again. It is the overall score that matters!

In conclusion, apply some of the skills you have picked up playing Poker in the business world, you will be amazed at how useful they are!