The benefits of playing poker in your 40s

Turning 40 opens up a lot of new opportunities for people, but it also presents its fair share of challenges. We talked about how to make friends in your 40s here on the 40 Now What blog, but there are plenty of other new developments that pop up as you get older.

Your 40s are the perfect time to put everything you’ve already learned to work for yourself. Insider.com shared some of what they enjoyed about entering their fourth decade, such as learning to do what is best for their health, even if others disagree, and the simple pleasure of turning down an invitation to a party or social gathering.

As you get older, it is important to continue picking up new skills. Poker might not be an obvious choice, but there are plenty of advantages to picking up the hobby a bit later in life. With live tournaments recently making their return after a long hiatus and films like Molly’s Game keeping poker in the spotlight, many might have the urge to try the game out for the first time or get back to the table after a long time away.

Besides simply being a fun hobby to pick up, there are plenty of reasons why playing poker in your 40s is good for anyone. Here are just a few ways the game can keep you alert, grounded, and happy.

Money management

playing poker

Even with the disposable income that comes with having a few decades of work under your belt, it can be tough trying to budget yourself. This is true in your personal budget or at the poker table. Whether you’re playing with real or play money, there is nothing worse than getting knocked out of a game early. This is why bankroll management has always been a key skill for any poker player, and, as Poker.org details, it is the biggest reason people fail at the game. If you can control your spending at the table, with all the tension and drama of a big pot just within reach, you’ll be able to keep yourself in check when you’re next shopping.

Socialising with other players

One of the biggest challenges that comes with turning 40 is the fact that it is tougher to make friends. Many parents find themselves suddenly with more free time now that their kids are more self-sufficient and want to fill that time with new social activities, which is a great way that poker can help them. Even the most competitive of games is an inherently social game. Whether they are trying to pick up on any tells or bluffs that the other player has or simply congratulating them on a successful hand, poker provides plenty of opportunities for players to make friends and socialise. Just don’t expect your new friends to go easy on you at the table.

Memory skills

playing poker

We’ve all had moments where we just couldn’t remember what we were about to do or walked into a room only to forget why we went in there in the first place. Memory issues can be a struggle for many people over 40, but the best way to combat them is to flex your cerebral muscles regularly. Poker relies heavily on memory, whether it is learning the poker hand rankings or keeping track of the odds of certain hands coming up. It is a great way to keep yourself mentally active in a fun way that doesn’t feel like studying.

Self-Confidence

The last few years have been tough for everyone’s self-confidence. It is easy to feel down on yourself when the world is moving so fast or you feel left behind by your friends or family as they go off to do new things. Poker is a tough skill to master, but one of the most important aspects of it is to learn to trust your instincts. With hours of practice under your belt, you will learn new strategies and ways to approach the game, which will lead to you gaining more confidence in yourself and your decision-making abilities. Knowing when to trust yourself to make a tough decision is key in life and can only be gained with a healthy sense of confidence in yourself.

What hobbies have you taken on in your 40s? Let’s carry on the conversation below or connect with us over on Instagram.

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