Three Life And Business Lessons From Texas Holdem Poker

Published on September 30, 2010 by

Whether or not you like Texas Holdem Poker, or poker at all, there are some great life and business lessons we can learn from the game.

I've written many articles on the psychology of poker for World Poker Tour Magazine and I play in a free Texas Holdem tournament once a week. I'm a student of poker because it's fun, challenging, and it offers some great lessons to be learned.

Here are three lessons from the world of poker that can help us play a better game at work and in life.

  • If It's Not Fun, Find Another Game

Have you ever played a game with someone who just wasn't having any fun at it? What about work, anyone there that's just putting in their time?

What's the point of work or life if we're not having a good time?

I'm not saying that work and life are always fun, but be honest with yourself, overall, are you having fun?

There's more than one game in town, even in the toughest of times.

  • Sometimes You Win, Sometimes You Lose

I don't care how good you are at Texas Holdem, or anything else for that matter, nobody wins every hand, not by a long shot.

The same is true in business or relationships. Things don't always go the way we'd like; it's important to keep both losses and wins in perspective. Doing so will enable us to stay in the game, play it well and have more fun in the process.

  • The "All-In" Factor

Life and business teach us that we how much we get back is tied into how much we "put into the pot."

In poker, going "all-in" means putting all your chips into the pot. If you put in half your chips, you can win only that much more (times the number of players who call your bet) so the more you put in, the more you stand to get back.

How much do we "put into the pot?" Everybody wants more from their jobs, their relationships, their health. But how much do we hedge our bets?

Are we willing to give more, to live and work from the mindset of "I'm all-in?"

The great thing about life in general, is that we live in a generous and abundant universe. So, unlike poker, we can go "all-in' at work and in life and not diminish our chip stack.

But going "all-in" has a lot to do with the first lesson we discussed, doesn't it? If I'm not having fun at work or somewhere else in life, am I really going to give it my all? Not likely.

Three lessons from poker...there are a lot more, of course. But the more we learn to have fun, keep our wins and losses in perspective, and give it our all, the better everything gets.


  1. laurie

    This is a great blog. Sometimes I need a reminder, so I'll come back to this and read it again. and again. Thanks for changing my perspective today.

    • Alan Allard

      Hi Laurie. We all need reminders. That's one reason I write, speak and remind myself of what I might easily forget. Thanks for your comments.

    • Alan Allard

      Hi Laurie! We all need reminders and I appreciate your comment!

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