A Quick Look at the Emotional Side of Poker

We want everyone to enjoy poker to the fullest, which is why we publish so many different articles on poker. We talk about the mathematical nature of poker, the way to beat different table styles, poker tells and to always adapt to the game because there will be times where you win, and times where you don’t win. The thrill of the game is what brings us back to the table over and over again, but let’s talk about the emotional side of poker.

Just like in sales, having the right mindset in poker is absolutely important when you’re trying to win over time. Let’s repeat that: winning over time is the goal here. There will be runs where you wonder how the other players got so lucky and runs where you wonder why you even bothered to play poker in the first place. There’s a time and a place to worry about whether or not you made the right decision to play. I you’ve had a run of bad luck, step away from the game. Get your mindset right before you return.

You see, poker isn’t just about math. It’s about your mind against the minds of the other players. There are other players that are just as nervous as you are, and just as prone to making decisions with their hearts instead of their minds. You don’t want to give in to the voice in your head that says that you aren’t as good. Even if you have to sharpen your poker skills, it doesn’t really matter. It isn’t like you’re the only person in the entire world of poker that has to get better. Ask any of the top pros and they will tell you that they still grind it out, they still practice, they still study old games, they still use software, and they still believe that the game is worth playing.

Do you believe that you have what it takes in your heart? Then poker is still the best game for you. It’s a game where you have to improve your mind over time and study the way that you’re playing. Maybe you’re playing too aggressive. Maybe you’re jumping at every pot instead of being a little more selective. No matter what your problem is in the game of poker, there’s a solution for it.

Again, it cannot be repeated enough: you don’t want to play if you know that you’re in a bad mood. You want the game to still feel social, and if it doesn’t feel that way it’s time to step back. Many of you that write us have dreams of playing professional poker. So let us ask you this: are you going to let a few bad games of poker keep you from your dream of playing for real money, to the point where it takes care of your day to day expenses and then some? That would be awesome to see, as the world definitely can use more pros in the world of poker. Maybe you’ll even be on TV someday but that’s a tough journey. If the pros we hear about all of the time stopped when they had problems, we wouldn’t know their names. Now that’s food for thought.

Sometimes it helps when you’re stressed out to go and play another game for real cash, like blackjack or even something super social like bingo. The right direction for you is going to depend on how your mind works for the most part. For example, if you get frazzled easily, you might benefit from joining a poker forum where you can talk it out with people that you know will understand where you’re sitting. While you’re being social, you could check out cool slots for cash, or even just for fun. Nothing says that online gambling always has to be about winning money. If it’s the pressure of bringing in cash that stresses you out from time to time, there are free poker rooms where you can practice. The games will usually be looser than cash table play, but it helps you still work things out for yourself. It’s also a chance to be social without fully disconnecting from the game.

Overall, belief in yourself is the foundation of great poker. Exploring the emotional side of the game will make you a much better poker player than people that just give up without doing any self-reflection. What type of poker player do you want to be? What are your goals for the game? If you’re feeling stuck and you want us to chime in, feel free to leave a comment. We love to talk about all aspects of the game, so don’t be shy.

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