The allure of online card games goes beyond mere entertainment and leisure. Research has proven that these games are mental exercises with the potential to boost cognitive functions while releasing stress. This discussion, however, focuses on cognitive skills like enhanced memory, strategic thinking, improved decision-making skills, and so on. Considering that expert players have a 60% win rate in online card games like solitaire, there is reason to believe that this group continues to enhance their concentration skills. It is even more interesting that many classic card games are still enjoyed today. Here are six cognitive benefits you’re likely to get by playing online card games.
- Enhanced memory skills
Online card games have rules to follow and abide by – failure to do so can prevent you from making a move or progressing to the next round. Players are expected to remember these rules as they engage in the game while using learned strategies to beat opponents online. This action stimulates your brain’s memory centers and boosts short and long-term memory.
It is like a student who studies repeatedly over the school term and is required to write semester-end examinations. The memory center of the brain remains constantly sharpened because it has been trained to keep and recall information. It is the same with online card games, and doing this keeps the mind sharp and agile. Additionally, the visual nature of each online card makes the brain adept at linking each with the other or grouping them. So, the next time you want to shuffle online, remember that it is a proactive approach to memory retention.
- Strategic thinking, adaptability, and planning
It takes strategy to play and win card games, and the online versions are no different. You could be calculating the odds in poker or planning your next set of moves to stay ahead in a game of bridge; these are all considered strategic thinking and effective planning. In many cases, you must preempt the opponent’s next move and make quick decisions to stop them from earning higher scores than you. That requires forward-thinking abilities and a sharp analytical mind to outwit a computer or remote-player opponent.
This mental flexibility is often needed in the real world, where you are required to apply strategic thinking to your decision-making activities. You could say that online card games have inadvertently become cognitive training grounds, albeit online. Another noteworthy point is the lesson in adaptability, as players are compelled to adjust game plans when certain dynamics change during active playing time. Adaptability is linked to cognitive functions because of the brain’s involvement in adjusting or recalibrating to a new game plan. These are valuable skills you can transfer to your professional and personal life.
- Focus and concentration
Focus is crucial if you want to win any game. For example, an online game of spider solitaire requires complete concentration so you can carefully study the game layout and the eight suits that are characteristic of the game. With precision and focus, you can make successful moves that boost your chances of winning a round of spider solitaire. A high level of attention to detail must be observed to avoid losing a round to a remote player or a computer opponent.
This online card game is so focus-based that it transports you into a world of shuffles and moves. Some believe that online card games can generate undue stress, especially when players must focus on a round to make a crucial move to win. Expert players, however, disagree that intense focus and concentration generate stress. You only have to strike the balance and do everything in moderation so you don’t feel drained by exerting a lot of thinking and focus.
- Improved decision-making abilities
Many times, well-thought-through decisions immensely back every move you make during playtime. Whether you decide to hold on to a card until a critical moment or you use it in the interim to outmaneuver a winning opponent, showing superior decision-making abilities is important. This cognitive ability enhances your risk assessment prowess, analysis capabilities, and capacity to work under pressure. Online card games are fast-paced and dynamic, so playing them regularly develops mental agility and builds a knack for thinking on your feet.
Once again, these skills are transferable to real-life situations where your decision-making skills are constantly tested at work and home. Do not feel deterred if you fail in a round of an online card game. It is an opportunity to review the decisions and steps which contributed to that. Some games have an inbuilt feature that allows players to rewatch their moves and learn from the errors made. This way, you can adapt your game strategy and make better decisions the next time you play. The secret, however, is to play regularly and get good at it.
- Stress reduction and relaxation
Online card games can actually help you release stress and relax your brain. They present countless opportunities to temporarily disconnect from real-world pressures and immerse yourself in a virtual universe.
It can be a welcome escape to refresh your mind for the next set of tasks you already have scheduled. People who play online card games say it helps them temporarily forget about their worries as the outside world fades into the background. Everybody deserves a mental break, and if online card games present that opportunity, use them as much as possible.
Furthermore, some of these virtual card games have multiplayer features, which means you can connect with others in a shared virtual space. The friendly competition and camaraderie create a positive environment which aids in oxytocin production. The latter is a hormone that reduces stress levels and stimulates positive social behaviors. You can look it up and learn more about this crucial hormone and its role in calming the brain after stressful activities.
The next time you get on your device for a round of an online card game, remember that it holds much more than mere entertainment.