When Should You Quit a Poker Game?

When should you quit a poker game? Find out with our expert analysis

Kenny Rogers famously sang “you’ve gotta know when to hold’em, know when to fold’em” in his song The Gambler. You’ve gotta know when to stay and when to quit a poker game also.

Knowing when to quit a poker game is a skill you develop over time; it comes with experience. It’s impossible to quit a poker tournament for obvious reasons, but cash game players have more flexibility. This flexibility is one of the main reasons poker players choose cash games over tournaments.

When should you quit a poker game? The answer is like everything else poker-related in that it depends. Continue reading to discover several reasons why you should quit a poker game.

Quit A Poker Game Where You Don’t Have An Edge

Table selection is important to continued success in cash games. It’s tempting to sit down at the first table you find and get your grind on, but don’t do this. Spend some time watching the players in action and only sit down if there’s at least one player who you consider to be a weak player.

Don’t be afraid to quit a poker game if the mark at the table leaves. There’s no point being the sixth-best player in the world if you’re seated with the rest of the top five. You ultimately play poker to make money and it’s easy to do this against lesser-skilled opponents.

Online poker players have an advantage over their live counterparts here. Why? Simply because there are more tables to choose from and it’s easy to switch tables.

It Could Be Time To Quit A Poker Game If The Dynamic Changes

You always want to play in poker games that you have an edge in and are comfortable in. The flow of cash games can and does change regularly. A seemingly loose-passive game may turn tight-aggressive, for example.

Another solid player may sit at your table, one who takes your role as the table bully. What about if the weakest player changes seats so you can’t take advantage of them as much? These are examples when you could quit a poker game and find another table.

When You And a Good Opponent Are Very Deep Stacked

Some players double their stacks and instantly leave the table. This practice is common in the online poker world. These players do this because they’re up a full stack and are scared of losing it. They shouldn’t be playing for these stakes if the thought of losing a buy-in terrifies them.

You may want to quit a poker game if you find yourself super deep stacked at the same time as a solid opponent. We’re talking 300-500 big blinds deep where mistakes are amplified.

We’re not bothered about being super deep against fish who don’t know what they’re doing. Good players, on the other hand, are dangerous when deep stacked and can make your life stressful. You don’t need stress in your life!

When You’re Tired, Tilted, or Aren’t Concentrating

Playing poker when tired is bad, if not worse, than playing while under the influence of alcohol. It’s almost impossible to pay full attention to what’s going on if you’re physically or mentally tired. Being unable to concentrate means you make more mistakes. Each mistake costs you money from either missing a possible bet or calling one you shouldn’t.

Quit a poker game if you feel you are on tilt. Tilting manifests itself in different ways in different people. Some clam up and play super tight. Others, the most common type, is to play recklessly and splash around in pots like a mad man. It doesn’t take a genius to work out this is bad for your bankroll.

It is always best to walk away and regain your composure if you are tilting or about to tilt.

Conclusion

There is no set rules for when to quit a poker game, it is down to the individual. The above scenarios occur frequently but they’re not the only reasons to step away. You know yourself best so it’s up to you to create the parameters for quitting.

Remember to play in games that have the most potential for your bankroll and go from there.

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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