Playing card games is a great way to unwind after a stressful day at the office. If you have the skills, it is also a way in which you could win some fairly easy money. If you play poker, blackjack, or other games with friends, card games can also provide you with opportunities to socialise.

However, there’s more to playing cards than these few good points. They can also have the surprising effect of boosting your brainpower. We’re not joking!

They can have a beneficial effect on your nerves, they can help improve and strengthen your memory and concentration, they can improve your decision-making skills, and they can even help with enhancing business skills.

Read on, and find out just what we are talking about.

Card Games and Your Nerves

Some researchers have examined the effect that playing card games has on players’ nerves, and the results were very interesting, to say the least. It stands to reason that doing something enjoyable and relaxing can help you de-stress, but there is a bit more to it.

Studies have found that playing card games stimulates certain areas of the brain. Those nerve centres that are stimulated are the centres in charge of cognitive process and emotions.

When stimulated, your inhibitory control, working memory, attentional control, ability to reason, solve problems and plan can improve immensely.

What’s more, research has also shown that flashbacks linked to post-traumatic stress disorder can be reduced because of the beneficial effect on the nerves.

Memory and Immune System

Another way in which playing card games can boost your brainpower is by improving your short-term memory. Researchers have not found the exact reason for this, but their findings do point to the engagement of players’ visualising skills, sequencing skills and memory during games.

Even more interesting is that the research undertaken seems to indicate that the parts of the brain that are especially active while players enjoy a game of cards not only stimulate memory and other skills, but also have a stimulating effect on the immune system.

It looks like card games are not only good for mental health, but physical health as well. Who would have thought?

Card Games and Business Skills

The mental skills needed for making good business decisions can also be boosted by playing card games. Decisions based on emotional responses, or that have not been thought through, are not always the best decisions to make, especially when it comes to business.

Experienced card players know that hasty, emotional decisions could be disastrous. Every move they make has to be thought through, even if it means using every bit of their willpower to keep their emotions in check.

Those same skills can be applied to the world of business, which ultimately leads to making better decisions.

Replenish Mental Resources

Further studies have found that playing card games can help you replenish various psychological or mental resources, especially those on which you rely during an average work day.

The most important of those are attention, mastering the emotions and patience. Playing cards could even help your body recover some of its physical strength.

This happens mostly through psychological detachment, relaxation and a sense of accomplishment or mastery.

Card games help you detach psychologically from work. When you play cards, you get to unplug from work mode.

Most card players keep on learning new skills through the years, whether those skills are how to play new games, or how to implement new strategies when playing their favourite games. Either way, players feel a sense of accomplishment and mastery as their skills improve.