Poker is a game that puts your analytical, mathematical and interpersonal skills to the test. It’s also a game that indirectly teaches many important life lessons.

The basic rules are fairly simple: Players ante something (the amount varies) and are then dealt 2 cards. There is then a round of betting that starts with the two mandatory bets called blinds placed into the pot by the players to the left of the dealer. After the betting is done, another card is dealt face up. This is the “turn.” More betting ensues, and the highest poker hand wins the pot.

Like business, poker is a high-stress environment. It forces players to make decisions without all of the necessary information — just like business owners rely on confidence in their own judgment without access to all of the data they’ll need to evaluate their risk.

It requires concentration and attention to detail — watching your opponents for tells, small changes in body language or facial expressions, for example. Being able to observe these subtle nuances can help you avoid mistakes and improve your play by learning from others’ errors or by observing how other successful players make strategic moves. This is an essential aspect of the game that can’t be practiced in a vacuum; it’s a critical element of success in any poker match. And it translates well to other areas of life, too.