Learn Risk Management and Strategic Thinking by Playing Poker


The game of Poker involves betting, bluffing, and determining the value of cards in a player’s hand. The game can be played casually or in a casino. In a casino, players play for an agreed amount of money. The amount can vary between games, but is usually set at the start of each hand. The dealer changes each hand and the players sit around a table. A token called a “button” is rotated among the players to indicate who is the nominal dealer each round.

The rules of Poker vary, but generally the cards are dealt one at a time to each player face-down. Each player can then choose to keep his or her cards, discard them, and draw 1 to 3 new cards. The players then show their cards and the highest hand wins.

Observe other players to understand their betting patterns and how to read them. Conservative players are less likely to lose much, but they can be spotted because they tend to avoid high betting early in a hand and will not raise their stakes very often. Aggressive players are risk-takers and will often raise their bets before seeing how other players react to their hands.

While the outcome of any hand largely depends on chance, poker can be a great way to learn about risk management and strategic thinking. Jenny Just, 54, co-founder of PEAK6 Investments and former options trader in Chicago, credits the game with teaching her lessons about confidence, risk-taking, and discipline.