What Parts of the Brain Are Used When Playing Professional Poker

Our brain works in mysterious ways, and we still don’t know its entire role and function. Yes, our brain is rational but can be easily tricked as it relies mostly on our senses, memories, and impressions we make. As for how much of our brain we actually use in the real world, it all depends, as we are all different and unique individuals, and this applies to everything we do, gambling included. That is why we will now focus more on the parts of the brain people use when playing professional poker.

It’s about decision making


Gambling relies on three factors. The first one is luck, the second is experience, and the third factor is making the right decision. Understandably, all these three factors are connected and intertwined, as only when you have all of them can you expect some extremely huge winnings and often. On the other hand, this doesn’t mean that those who lack experience don’t have anything to hope for, on the contrary, the better the decision-making, the more likely you will actually win some money. All that leads to how our brain works, and in this case, the more casual we feel, the better moves we will make, and the less of our brain we will use. That is why those with enough experience make better and more thought-out moves while making a far less mental effort and reaching quicker decisions.

It all depends on the experience


Okay, everyone knows that you don’t need experience in order to really enjoy something, and this couldn’t be more true for games of chance. Namely, we all have at least one game we are fond of, regardless of our initial intentions and whether it’s about making some side money or just spending some quality fun time. On the other hand, we will say nothing new when we state that experience in any possible form can only be a plus, and this rule applies to gambling too. Yes, having lady luck by your side is a plus, but far from it that it’s the only thing one needs to have, as the more you play some game, the more familiar you will be with the concept and how everything works.

How our brain works and how much of it we use when playing some game also depends on the experience and whether we already know how things are set or not. Take dealing as an example, as those entirely new to gambling will find even dealing cards extremely interesting because it’s new, but for those who played so many hands of poker before, that’s nothing new, and they are more interested in the cards they are dealt than anything else. All that means that those who understand the game of chance they are playing are using much less of their brain thinking about what will happen next, as they are already familiar with most of the things and are focused on what really matters. The same is with making any decision during the game, as those experienced gamblers already have several moves they plan to make, and they are more prepared for what will happen, unlike newbies who often tend to overthink their next move.

It depends on the game stage


As most poker know, this game has different stages, and the brain activity in each of them differs from each other. This difference is big regarding the game stages, but also the experience of the player, and as we have already mentioned, more experienced ones have more advantages here. In order to explain the difference better, we will write more about each stage of the game and compare the brain activities of amateur and professional players in the text below.

When the dealer deals cards, every beginner will focus on them and try to make the best decision based on logic, which requires a lot of effort, while on the other side, the professional will probably make even better decisions without too much mental effort. Once the third card is on the table, experienced players will try to process information and think about all the possible outcomes, while new players will simply wait for the next card without making any strategy. The fourth and fifth cards are the most important, as they make the difference between losing and winning a certain hand, which also means winning or losing money. While newbies make their decisions emotionally, professionals will always use logic and intuition, and different brain parts associated with logical thinking will show more activity on brain maps.

Once the dealing is over, it is time to think whether to check, raise the bet, call or go all in. If someone decides to check, it means taking no action at all, and it is something most newbies do without thinking too much. On the other side, professionals will try to make a logical decision based on critical thinking, which can be seen on the brain map in increased activity on the left side.

When it comes to raising and calling, which means putting more money into the pot, both amateurs and experienced players show increased brain activity, but newbies always have a much higher level of emotional activity. Going all in is the most emotional decision anyone can make, and it is always followed with high expectations and emotional activity, which means that the difference between the brain activity of the professional and the amateur player is almost non-existent.

To summarize

As you can see, poker is a complex game that requires a lot of logical and critical thinking in order to make the best possible decision that will lead to winning some money. Because of that, it requires increased brain activity and depending on the game stage, experience, and ability to make the fast and right decision, different parts of the brain will be used. Playing poker can be a great exercise for our brains, and if you want to improve your abilities for fast decision-making, try your luck, and probably win some money, visit real money pokies australia.

About Courtney Corbett

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