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Keeping Yourself in Check While Playing Poker

Poker would mean very little if players were to find themselves being unable to keep a hold of their emotions. Knowing poker as a game and having the right strategy at your disposal is essential, but so is learning how to remain calm.

Letting off some steam sometimes is fine, but if poker players lose control over emotions, it could cost them heavily. Here is a small guide to help you keep emotions in check, along with a small list of things you should do before your play begins.

  • Preparation before the play

Mental preparation is the best solution to keeping a grip on your emotions. You cannot predict a poker game; it will throw anything at you. Therefore, mental preparation to face all odds is the right thing to do.

  • Realise why you play poker

Realising why you play poker and why is it so important may help you understand why you get upset. There could be many reasons for a player to indulge in a game of poker, but if you are the breed that plays for a mental challenge, being outplayed can make you lose your cool. Similarly, an unpleasant player could upset you. For players who are motivated by money, losing money beyond a certain point can unsettle them easily.

  • Mentally preparing yourself for all outcomes

When players sit for a game around the table, they all expect to win. However, that is not how the game proceeds. There will be winners as well as those who fold or leave online casinos in India,empty-handed. The game could take any turn and end up in whichever scenario. Here are a few probable scenarios that you should consider before sitting down at a poker table:

  • There are a number of times where you have won or lost more than this
  • There must also have been cases where you completely lost the plot and your buy-ins
  • Your sessions have mostly been plus or minus buy-in

Whenever you sit down to play, run these thoughts in your mind. Acknowledge the probability that these scenarios might or might not happen again. If, as a player, you are ready to sit down for a game knowing that the game could go either way, then go ahead and take a shot at it. If you can’t do so, then play another game on a trusted platform for the night.

Preparing and envisioning all the probable outcomes does help a player. Imagining what might happen once you begin playing can help you prepare for any outcome. If you have already thought of the worst thing that you might encounter in the game, you will not be disheartened. Instead, you will simply fold and get on without wailing or lamenting too much. Similarly, if you have prepared for and imagined winning, you will not jump up and about or saunter around with a smug expression. Preparation helps us become humble in the face of defeat or victory.

Losing a hold of your emotions or “tilt”, as it is called by poker players, is acceptable to a limit. However, it becomes unmanageable and rather inconvenient when it snowballs into impatience, outbursts, aggression, or frustration. How do we stop that from happening? Here are a few tips:

  • Debrief after a session and not during

Constant monitoring of your play helps you become better at poker. However, if the monitoring and analysis happen during the play, you can get distracted. This is not acceptable for a game like poker that demands a player’s complete attention.

Therefore, reserve your analysis and debriefing if any, after the game session.

  • Take a long-run review

Everyone makes mistakes, and it is necessary not to beat yourself about it. Whenever you become too self-critical, it is important to take a look at the long-haul and put things in perspective. Playing a faulty hand or two might not bring as much damage because it means little in the overall scheme of things.

  • Know when to quit

Sometimes the game can get so bad that you really do need to distance yourself from it. Other times, it may not even be the game at all. We tend to build up emotions inside of us that come out during stressful situations. If you are able to identify any one of the reasons above, it is best to just walk away from the poker table. It can put things into perspective and help you dissipate your emotions.

Knowing when to quit is an age-old poker saying. The game can always tell you when you do not have a favourable hand, and in those moments, you should quit. However, here, when you feel you are too emotionally invested in the game, you need to quit. Sometimes, long breaks for a week or two can help you gather your wits back, so you can rock on the poker table again.

Use the tools above to keep yourself centred during a poker play. Until then, be exceptionally aware and catch yourself if you are letting on too much.