The human brain is a mysterious and fascinating thing, so much so that many aspects of it are still more or less a mystery. Why we sleep, and what exactly dreams are is still largely up for debate, and even the most proficient scientists could only take an educated guess at it. And don’t even start trying to figure out why some people are naturally good at some activities, while others aren’t It’s enough to make your head spin.
There are, however, many things that are known about the human brain, and how it can become better or worse at different kinds of activities. If a person does a certain activity repeatedly, over an extended time, they will become inevitably better at that activity. This is called practice, and is what sets masters of a certain activity apart from amateurs. Therefore, virtually everyone can get good at something; it’s just a matter of practice.
There is also the notion that a certain activity can have benefits to other aspects of the brain. In a recent study, for example, experts have linked playing casino games to helping a person have improved problem solving skills. Is there any credit to this theory? Let’s take a closer look, and see if a little light can be shed on the concept.
What Are Casino Games?
A casino game such as a slot game does not require much in the way of problem solving. By it’s very nature, a slot game is simple, easy to understand, and allows a player to simply sit back and enjoy the ride. For the most part a person need not think much at all, which is largely the appeal of slot games.
But, when facing a more advanced, skill based casino game like poker, or blackjack, it’s a whole different story. A game like poker requires that a player not only be alert, focused, and good at weighing up risk versus reward, but also that that player be good at bluffing. As is obvious, a game like poker requires that a person use a great many different areas of the brain.
There is little doubt that using many areas of the brain for extended periods of time helps a person stay alert, and certainly goes a long way to keeping the mind active. And, it need not be said; there can be very little negative about this, as far as a healthy, active brain is concerned. In other words; an avid poker player will likely be more mentally astute than a person who plays no casino games at all, and watches television all day.
Mentally Taxing Casino Games
On the other hand, if taking a person who has mastered a casino game like blackjack, you can be sure that that person is capable of mental feats up and above what the average person dreams of. Mastering a game like blackjack is extremely demanding mentally, so much so that many will not even achieve this level, even after years of constant practice.
Mastering blackjack takes incredible levels of concentration, focus, a profoundly good memory, and outstanding mathematics ability. And all these skills are called upon at once during a game of blackjack, requiring that the player be not only good at these skills, but also be able to utilise them simultaneously.
So there can be no question that a master blackjack player is incredibly mentally astute regardless. But does this make them better at problem solving, as the study suggested?
Problem Solving Skills
If taking a person, putting them in a room, and asking them to solve a simple puzzle without any outside influence, how they go about solving this puzzle would be a measure of their problem solving skills. The person is called upon to work out a simple problem, and how quickly they do it, or are able to do it at all, will depend on how active they keep their mind.
There is no guarantee that an avid poker player would be better at solving this problem, depending on what the problem is, but an avid poker player will certainly have had their mind more active, and engaged in taxing activities. It does stand to reason that a person with a more active mind will have a better chance, as opposed to a person that does not stimulate their mind at all.
Skill Games Tax The Brain
If anything, it is clear that playing casino games stimulates the mind, and this in itself is an enormous advantage. There are those who play casino games well, however, and aim to be the best at the game they possibly can be. And in this case, these people are certainly more mentally active than a person who does not play casino games.
As to whether this makes a person better at problem solving skills is up for debate, but a blackjack master is certainly a smart individual, of this there is no question.