We all know that poker is a test of mental agility. Rather than just a game of pure luck, a winning strategy requires mental endurance, agility, and focus. If your brain isn’t functioning at full capacity, you’re all the more likely to miss an opponent’s bluff, or playing a dud hand.
It is for these reasons that professional poker players are constantly on the lookout for tips, tricks, and exercises that can help them improve their focus at the table. While there is no foolproof method, there are some that may work better than others. Here are some top ways you might find laser-sharp focus at the poker table.
Although zoning out and daydreaming may sound counterproductive to focusing, it may be just what you need before your next game of Texas Hold ‘Em. Studies from the BBC have revealed that just thirty minutes of ‘zoning out’ before an activity will increase focus levels and brainpower exponentially. The recommended route to take here is, before your next game, place yourself in a dark room without your phone, close your eyes, and just let your brain take you along for the ride.
2. Try a Stimulant
As countless competitive poker players, athletes, gamers, and the rest will say, everyone needs a pick-me-up. There are plenty of legal stimulants that have a proven track record of boosting focus. One of these, which you can take with you to the poker table, is snus. Snus contains a high level of nicotine, which studies have shown is effective at boosting focus. With the tobacco-free snus offered by the likes of TaxFreeSnus, you don’t need to reach for cigs to get a nicotine brain boost.
3. Adjust the Thermostat
Instead of mental exercises and brainpower boosters, you may find that the most effective way to bring your A-game is to simply adjust the thermostat. If the room you’re playing poker in is too hot or too cold, you face the risk of failure. Studies from the Helsinki University of Technology have shown that the ideal room temperature for top-notch focus is between 68 and 77 degrees Fahrenheit. Anything outside of this optimum range will slow your brain down.
4. Eat Nootropic Herbs
You may have already heard of the phenomenon of all-natural ‘nootropic’ herbs that you can incorporate into your diet to help bring your focus levels up. One of the most highly-regarded nootropic herbs is licorice root, which is rich in glycyrrhizin, a compound proven to increase focus levels by stimulating certain parts of the central nervous system (as well as some other documented healing benefits, such as treating bronchitis and gastritis). Simply chewing on some licorice root or taking it in tea form before your next poker game may well see you bring your best game ever.
A winning round of poker requires getting yourself into the right headspace. While these simple remedies can help, it’s important to try whatever you know already works for you if you want to get there.