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To smoke or not to smoke: that is the question.

In every old-school movie featuring a poker scene, at least one payer sits at the table with a cigar in his hand. In many cases, smoking is regarded as an activity that can help you look calm and cool, therefore being an asset for poker players.

However, in reality, smoking can negatively affect your ability to play the game and use poker no deposit bonuses to your advantage. How does smoking influence your brain and abilities? Learn all about the connection between smoking and playing poker online, and make sure you do everything possible to be a successful player!

How Smoking Affects Your Brain

The first question we should ask ourselves is why do people smoke? Does it have any biological or psychological benefits? Experts explain that nicotine – the main component in a cigar or cigarette – activates dopamine signals in the brain. Those, in turn, evoke a pleasurable sensation, thus associating smoking with positive emotions.

That is why smoking can help players keep their cool amidst a poker game, which can be quite stressful at times. But the brain gets used to prolonged nicotine usage, which can trigger withdrawal symptoms which can harm your ability to play poker to the best of your ability. When craving a cigarette, you can be more irritable and less patient, thus making rash decisions while enjoying an online poker session.

In addition to that, smoking can impact your health in many severe ways. It can cause heart problems, increase the chances of developing diabetes, cause a stroke or cancer.

But your heart and lungs are not the only ones that can be affected by smoking, as smoking can also greatly impact brain functions.

According to Healthline, the more you smoke, the more you lose brain volume. The changes occur in several subcortical regions, one of which is the gray matter – which contains neuron cell bodies.

Damage to this area affects memory, emotions, decision-making, and self-control – all of which are important factors that influence your poker play. Moreover, in the long run, those changes increase the risk of developing dementia and experiencing general cognitive decline.

Don't Let Your Habits Control Your Poker Play!

Since smoking is addicting, it can easily become a permanent fixture in your life. You might find yourself unable to play a whole poker game without reaching for a cigarette, which can take your focus away from the game itself.

Therefore, if you want to control your smoking habit instead of letting it control you, you should quit smoking or at least reduce the number of cigarettes you smoke per day. Here are a few tips that might help you out:

  • Consult a doctor – Talking to your primary care provider when you consider quitting smoking is important, as your doctor can help you deal with any withdrawal symptoms you might experience.
  • Join a support group – Sometimes, smoking serves as an emotional crutch we use in stressful situations. Once taken away, many people find it hard to deal with everyfday problems. Joining a support group can help you deal with the process you're going through with less turmoil on your part.
  • Try nicotine replacement therapies – Quitting smoking is a slow process that you can speed up and make easier by using replacement therapies. Those include using nicotine gums, patches, and other products your doctor can prescribe you.
  • Find a different way to relax – As we've explained, smoking can be rather relaxing. If you want to stop smoking, you might need to find a new way to calm yourself before every poker session. Meditation, exercising, various breathing techniques, and many other relaxation methods can replace the need to smoke with a healthier option.

In Conclusion

We all know that smoking is bad for our body, but did you know how it can affect your brain as well? If you want to preserve your brain function as much as possible, especially as you play poker, you should consider quitting smoking.