Head to any stop on the partypoker LIVE tour and you will see a sea of players filling the tournament floor and a large number of those hopefuls wearing headphones. Poker and music is a good partnership.
Listening to music while playing poker can help alleviate the boredom when you are card dead. It can help pep you up after losing a big hand, or even keep you calm if things are getting on top of you. German philosopher Friedrich Nietzche once famously said, “without music, life would be a mistake.” maybe that is a step too far, but if you combined poker and music you need to be aware of the influences music has on the human body. That welcome distraction from your surroundings could actually be doing more harm than good.
Poker and Music: Neutral Faces Look Different
Listening to happy or sad music alters how our brains perceive neutral faces. Poker players spend years perfecting an emotionless and expressionless poker face at the tables, this is important to know.
A study by Nighya Logeswaran and Joydeep Bhattacharya in 2009 showed that after hearing a short piece of music, those listening were more likely to interpret a neutral expression as happy or sad, matching the tone of the music they had just heard. There was also a bias with other facial expressions, but more notable with neutral or close to neutral faces.
The next time you listen to Shiny Happy People by REM, take an extra few seconds to stare down your opponent because they may not be as happy or as comfortable as your brain would like you to think they are!
Find the Sweet Spot For Volume
We’ve all sat with music blasting our eardrums but a moderate level of volume is best for creativity. Having the volume too low or too high has a detrimental effect on creativity. Listening to music that is too loud is the worst of these two volume because it overwhelms the part of the brain used for creative purposes.
Using a moderate noise level helps the brain promote what is known as abstract processing when it is having difficulty in processing information. This means when the brain cannot process info as it normally would, it resorts to more creative approaches.
Slow and Fast Tempo Music Affects Blood Pressure
The University of Wisconsin discovered that types of music with varying tempos can and do have physiological effects on the body.
Fast tempo music with between 120-130 beats per minute increases anxiety with an increase in both blood pressure and heart rate. The opposite was true for slow tempo music with 50-60 beats per minute as this lowered heart rate and blood pressure. These effects were amplified by physical activity and while poker is not exactly physical in nature, being away your blood pressure can rise and fall depending on the music on your playlist is something worth noting.
Poker and Music: Which Genre is Best for Poker?
Several scientific studies agree that classical and instrumental music is the best genre for boosting creativity. Nature sounds come in third place. This is because there is a lack of lyrics in these genres so you do not get distracted by listening to the words being sung, rapped, or spoken, while the music stimulates your brain.
If you do not like classical or instrumental music, the next best option is to choose a genre you enjoy. This is particularly true if you are performing complex tasks. So, create a playlist of songs and music that you know you like instead of asking people for suggestions for new music if you’re about to try win a partypoker LIVE event.
What’s on Your Playlist?
We’ve already ascertained that poker and music go hand-in-hand, but what music is on your playlist? Are you a fan of classical music, or perhaps you prefer some trance and electronic music. Do you have a specific go-to track that gets you pumped up or one that focusses your attention? Let us know on our social media channels.
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