Although the overriding, most widely acknowledged benefit of playing casino games is entertainment, gambling can also be used as an effective form of brain training, improving your problem-solving skills and helping you achieve your smart objectives.
Scientific studies have shown that card games and other forms of gambling can keep your brain active and healthier for latter stages of life. The brain is proven to deteriorate faster among those who don’t keep their mind busy and responsible gambling can not only provide fun, social experiences it can also keep important parts of the brain well-lubricated.
Within this guide, we will explain the many ways card games and other types of gambling can maintain – and sometimes improve – your mental agility and intelligence.
Resting your body but maximising your brain
As we grow older, it’s easy to forget the importance of play. Card games help our bodies to relax and unwind whilst utilising our brain power to its full capacity. Blackjack is particularly beneficial to improve the sharpness of our short-term memory. Exercising our short-term memory is key to warding off senility.
The game of blackjack is not just about locking in a hand as close to 21 as possible. You need to understand which cards have recently been dealt to have a better indication of whether to stick or twist. Bridge is also said to be beneficial for maximising the brain, with scientific evidence suggesting the game stimulates the body’s immune system. The need to use memory, sequencing and visualisation to win at bridge almost certainly helps brain function.
Improving cognitive mapping and self-confidence
Card games such as Texas Hold’em poker require strategy and problem-solving, helping to boost our cognitive skills and mapping. A good poker player, of the type we all see online and on telly and marvel at, needs to be able to make connections between their opponents’ play, spotting tells and patterns to make the right decisions.
Dr. Stephen Simpson once investigated the medical link between poker playing and the brain. He found that regular poker action helps to accelerate myelination, which is the thickening of the myelin sheath which protects and nourishes nerve cells in the brain. Scientists have also found that poker helps to create additional neural pathways for our brain cells, allowing us to move smoothly from one function to another. Card games are also useful for developing our self-confidence, as we enter a card game as equals to our opponents, allowing us to use our brain power to outwit and outsmart the other players.
Keeping degenerative diseases at bay
Playing card games at online gambling sites or in the pub with friends is unlikely to stop the development of a degenerative disease such as Alzheimer’s. However, consistent stimulation of the brain could certainly help to delay the effects and symptoms of such an illness, allowing an individual’s brain to function better for longer. Alzheimer’s sufferers who have played card games for much of their life benefit from the familiarity of card playing, minimising their frustrations and anxieties and conjuring up memories of past games that make them smile.
The benefit of social interaction
Technology is a wonderful thing. People who enjoy gambling as a form of entertainment can now do so from the comfort of their home, while online gambling sites even offer real-life dealers and croupier in live casino games. Smart live casinos now offer streamed table games with live chat functionality, allowing players to chat with other players from around the world in real-time. This bridges the gap between real-life casino games and online gambling, maintaining the fun and stimulation of social interaction.
If you want to enjoy the cognitive benefits of gambling, be sure to indulge in card games where a genuine element of skill is involved. Strategising and concentration are good for the mind, helping you to stay sharp and think clearly for longer.