Think About Poker Differently To Win More

Start to think about poker differently and watch your win rate soar

How you think about poker defines you as a player. The very best players in the world think deeper and different than us mere mortals. They get analyse every decision. Their thought process is more complex. You also find they don’t think about poker in ways that effect them negatively.

We’ve already covered common mistakes made by losing players in a previous article. That article highlighted errors such as poor table selection and bluffing too frequently. This strategy article is different in that it shows mistakes in the way you think about poker.

I’m willing to bet that you make at least one of these mistakes regularly. I know I’m guilty of making at least two of them and doing so more often than I’d care to admit. You should see your win rate improve if you change the way you think about poker.

Think About Poker Differently: You Don’t Need To Get Back To Even

Poker players measure their success, or lack of, by the money they win or lose. It’s the way it has always been. This method makes sense because the aim of poker is to win money. The game doesn’t understand this and it’s possible to play perfectly and still lose.

Some poker players are obsessed with the money side of the game instead of concentrating on making solid decisions. They find themselves losing in a session and make an oath to themselves to get back even before the leave. Stop doing this if you do it!

Think about poker in terms of it being one big, never-ending session, especially if you play cash games. There’s no need to try get back to even because you can always play again tomorrow. One session is meaningless in the grand scheme of things.

Chasing your losses is a recipe for disaster. You run the risk of making sub-optimal plays, either by betting / bluffing too much to try recoup your losses. There’s also a risk you won’t bet or bluff enough to limit further losses.

Don’t be afraid to walk away from any game at any time.

Think About Poker Differently: Yes You Can Fold!

How many times have you stayed in a hand too long when you should have got away from it? How many times have you thought “I’m here now, I may as well call.”? Too many times, that’s the answer you’re looking for.

That’s the wrong way to think about poker because it’s never too late to fold if you think you’re beaten. Sure, you’ll sometimes be receiving ridiculous pot odds on calling that final bet. But why call it when you know deep down your opponent has you crushed?

Chips and, therefore, money saved are as valuable as chips you win from opponents. Saving just a couple of bucks from folding makes a huge difference over the long term. Small mistakes feel inconsequential but add up over time. Check out this article on plugging leaks for a more in-depth look at that concept.

Stop Seeing Monsters Under The Bed!

It is easy to be pessimistic when playing poker. It sometimes feels like your opponent is being hit in the face by the deck. They’re probably not, there’s a good chance you’re just fearing the worst.

What you’re doing is trying to put your opponent on an exact hand and fearing the worst. Very few, if any, poker players can do this because it’s not an exact science. You put players on ranges of hands and narrow that range based on their bet sizing, the board texture, and playing style.

Your opponent will sometimes have a monster hand, but they also bluff and value-bet less than the nuts..

This leads us onto the final mistake people make when they think about poker. Believing everyone is bluffing and calling them down.

Players do bluff, but there’s an art to it and not everyone is an artist. Again, negate these thoughts by assigning a range of hands to your opponent. Does the story your opponent is telling make more sense with this range of hands? Don’t be afraid to call down potential bluffs, just don’t think everyone is bluffing all the time.

Matthew Pitt

Matthew Pitt

If it’s something you can play online for real money, chances are Matthew knows a bit about it. He’s been writing about slots, craps and poker for the better part of the last decade. He’s written for PokerNews, PartyPoker and many other respected online gambling websites during the last nine years.


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