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Get Mental: Top Brain Perks of Card Games

pile of face-up playing cardsSource: Jack Hamilton/Unsplash

Are you a card shark? After reading this article, you may want to become an ace at rummy and poker. Many card games can help keep a person mentally sharp, including boosting memory, enhancing confidence, and even improving business and professional skills. Beyond the pure enjoyment of card games as a hobby or social experience, jump into an activity that can hone intellectual power. All Slots discusses the unique mental-building benefits of playing cards. Cut the deck to unlock your brain.

The Value of Playing

Playing is not just for cards. Any kind of play is good for you, especially as an adult. Some experts believe that the act of play benefits the psychology of your mind and can improve moods and personal outlook. Playing, especially games, also boosts mental power that naturally declines as we age by stimulating nerve growth in the parts of the brain responsible for emotion and executive function.

Games like cards are also a great social activity for adults. Like children getting together to play and learning developmental skills, cards bring friends together in a low-key setting. You get to know more about your friends, challenge one another’s wit, and build yourself as a person.

Better Social Skills

Great social skills are more important than ever in a world governed by technology. Social media, ironically, draws us away from organic, live experiences with other people. Actively surrounding yourself with other people can combat issues like depression or anxiety and can build your social engagement skills. By playing card games, it makes it easier for groups of people to break the ice and interact. A good card game also encourages teamwork, improves reading of social cues, and promotes friendly competitiveness.

Use games like poker to also improve your game in the workforce. Poker requires you to absolutely be aware of everyone’s nonverbal cues all the time. You must identify whether a player is flustered by a bad card or merely bluffing that they are frustrated. You must learn fake confidence from true confidence. And then, of course, you have to keep your own “poker face,” not letting someone know the reality of your hand. This type of game is excellent in preparing you for a sales pitch or even a tough job interview.

Self-control is also a valuable lesson to be learned from a game like poker. Remaining stoic, you have to show restraint if the odds are for or against you. You still must be calculating and careful even in a high stakes game. And, like the Kenny Rogers song, you have got to “know when to fold ‘em.” You learn to make important decisions under pressure, just like in the business world.

people around a table playing cardsSource: Stocksy

Improve Memory

Of all the card games to build memory, bridge is at the top for this application. Studies have shown that this card game can reduce the likelihood of developing dementia. Another benefit of bridge is that it utilizes areas of the brain that stimulate the immune system. A large contributor to brainpower is the focus in bridge on visualization, memory, and sequencing.

Deep Relaxation

If you struggle with stress, playing card games may help you relax and unwind. Card games with friends help you regain balance to your day amid a chaotic world. It also helps you stay mindful and aware of the task at hand, allowing you to quiet your brain over the countless worries and responsibilities in your world.

Games also allow you to look at life from a different perspective. Through practicing strategy and watching your friends hone their own skills, you may start to draw parallels between the game and your life, helping you solve problems where before there were no obvious solutions.

Therapy for Disabilities and Seniors

While we have already mentioned that card games with strategy build memory and mental dexterity, it also is worth mentioning how playing cards can heal other parts of the brain. Especially for people with disabilities, cards can be very therapeutic, developmental tools. When someone has cognitive symptoms, card games are useful in restoring or building integral skills. Card games help people with disabilities learn to count, match, identify numbers, spot patterns, and work on basic mathematical skills.

People with disabilities may begin with simple games, like Go Fish or Crazy Eights to build memory and recall skills. After mastering those games, they can try more complex games that require mindfulness, strategy, and planning ahead. As they play these more complicated games, their mind will strengthen in ways not achievable through other daily tasks.

As mentioned before, seniors can benefit greatly from playing cards in terms of cognitive skills. However, card games are also therapeutic for seniors in that they promote communication, interaction, and routine. Many seniors look forward to planned games with their peers, helping to keep them active physically and mentally.