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What Poker Can Teach Us About Business 

Read on to find out what poker can teach you about business

Poker and business have a lot more in common than most people realise. Both are games, where strategy, luck, knowing how to read your opponents and multiple other factors play a part in being successful.

Understanding the game and what it takes to win will most definitely give you an edge in the world of business. Here are the lessons poker will teach you that will make you a better entrepreneur and businessman.


This is one of the more obvious lessons, but strategy is incredibly important if you are planning on being successful in either the world of poker or business. Knowing the difference and importance between luck and skill is vital to your strategy.

There are many things you can plan for, but knowing when skill pays off compared to when you got lucky will help you understand when you should and shouldn’t take a risk. You know whether or not you can handle it, and knowing that even if it worked out last time, it was down to luck.

Know When to Play and When to Fold

What separates casual poker players and multi-millionaire players is knowing when to play and when to leave the table. You don’t have to chase every single hand, you don’t have to put money on the line every single time to be successful.

More often than not it is more important to play when you know you can win, as opposed to taking risks on big pay-outs. This type of thinking applies to the next lesson on this list, winning in the long run.

Winning in the Long Run

You can’t expect to strike gold overnight. There are many successful businesses who played it slow and steady, building success over a long period of time instead of trying to gain it as quickly as possible.

Think of this in the world of poker. You don’t want to be someone who wins big one night but then goes weeks losing. Yes, you had a big pay day, but in the end it wasn’t something you could keep up and it may have even cost you money.

Small, consistent wins are the secret to long term success. This is sustainable and it will mean you are always going up the ladder, not staying in the same place for ages or possibly going back down and having to start all over again.

Reading Your Opponents

You can’t forget that you will always have competition. Being able to read your competition, know what their next move is, and be the first person to use a new strategy or technology is essential to success.

This is vital in poker, if you can’t read your opponents, it is like walking through a maze in the dark. The best players can read their opponents and can tell when they have something good or when they are bluffing.

Knowing what your competition does also benefits you in the sense that if they are doing something that is working, nothing is stopping you from being able to copy the method, and improve it to make it work more and work better for you.

Don’t Chase the Big Wins

A small step in the right direction every day will always be better than a big step once a month. Don’t become someone who ignores everything around them because you are trying to chase the gold at the end of the rainbow.

Don’t put all your time and effort into a world changing invention or something similar when there are so many smaller opportunities around you that you can use to slowly grow.

Be Generous

There is a common practice at the poker table to tip the dealer. They are the ones that stand at the table, ensuring you have a great game, dealing out the cards, but they don’t get the chance to win.

Being generous when it doesn’t benefit you is the mark of someone who can be trusted and someone who is great to work with and work for. Not everything you do has to make you look good, or has to put money in your pocket. Do things that improve your employees day or make them happy to work with you: the long term benefits are unimaginable.

Don’t Throw Money at a Losing Situation

Last but not least, the best players know when they have lost. In business, it is far too easy to make the mistake of thinking more money will fix a losing situation. Sometimes you need to know when to close the door on chapter and restart, instead of struggling to get a failed project off the ground.

There will be many times when you think you have the best hand at the table, only to find you have been completely outplayed. Same can be said in businesses: you put your sweat and blood into a project, just to watch it crash and burn. Knowing that it is best for business to let it die is the difference between good and great business people.


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