patience in poker
Texas holdem poker, whether played online or in person, depends a great deal on patience. Patience in poker is one of the most important traits that separates successful players from the ones who go home empty handed. This is because Texas holdem poker is more like a marathon than a sprint. You have to be in the game for the long haul. Overreacting to emotions and quick changes can lead to many mistakes. Getting antsy can lead to playing hands that you normally wouldn’t.
A Lack of Patience in Poker Leads to Mistakes
If you don’t play Texas holdem poker with patience, it’s going to hurt your chip stack. Here are some occasions when you need to be patient, and how it can cost you if you aren’t.
- You just had a bad beat: Even good hands can turn into bad beats, and when this happens player often go on tilt. Being on tilt means you are mentally out of the game and you are ready to make over the top, unwise moves. People try to rebound right away from a bad beat by playing bad hands, by bluffing too much and other ways, reflecting their lack of patience and weak mental state.
- You got a great starting hand: No matter how good your starting hand is, it can lead to you losing chips. That’s especially true of a strong starting pair in a hand that ends up seeing the river. Pocket aces or pocket kings, unsuited Ace-King and other hands will often be beat by suited, connected cards when players see everything that falls on the flop, turn and river. If you aren’t patient playing Texas holdem poker, you might go all in with a pocket pair, only to have somebody call you. If that hand gets played out your chances are only 50% of winning.
- The game has just started: When the game has just started, you don’t know the other player’s tendencies. It’s best to be patient and learn how other people react before getting yourself in too deep.
- The game has been going on for hours: When a game has been going on for what seems like an eternity, it can be hard to keep focus. It’s here where many players essentially give up by losing patience in poker and making stupid calls or bets.
How to Be Patient Playing Texas Holdem Poker
Remember, Texas holdem poker is a mental game. You can’t control the cards you get but you can control how you play them, how other people think you’re playing them, and so on. Here are some ways to maintain your patience in poker and increase your chances of winning.
- Only play the best starting hands: If you play too many hands, generally when you’re not being patient, you will end up losing more. Pick the best starting hands and you’ll waste less chips and keep yourself out of trouble. Some people play tight and only play 1 of every 5 hands. Other people say playing tight is more like 1 of every 10 hands. Either way, it changes your mindset to what good hands really are and keeps your chips in your stack.
- Let other people expose themselves first: Don’t let other players learn your style before you learn how they play. Start a game slowly and be patient playing on line. See how they react to common moves and remember that for later.
- Don’t play the hand right after a bad beat: Better yet, take a couple of hands off to give yourself a time to cool down. Texas holdem poker has a lot of volatile swings, don’t let yourself get trapped in your emotions. If you lose badly you want to make it up right away, but that never works out.
- Know when to fold your cards: Patience in poker also means getting rid of losing hands before it costs you too much. You can always cut your losses, even it means hurting your pride. But hurt pride is better than a diminished chip stack. Patience in poker means you have to lose sometimes and know when to cut your losses. Sticking out a bad hand hoping for a river card is not patient, and it will cost you big time!
There are lots of ways to maintain patience when playing Texas holdem poker. The most important thing to remember is that patience in poker is vital to success! Impatient players will end up losing their chips. You don’t want to be the guy who’s on tilt and goes all in with nothing, only to see his chips disappear. Play smart and be patient, and you’ll start winning much more.
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