10 Tips to Help You Stop Losing Money at Poker
Poker is called a game of chance for a reason — the chances are that sometimes you’ll win and sometimes lose, and both outcomes are considered normal.
However, if you play real money poker frequently but seem to be losing all the time, it probably means you’re doing something wrong.
In this text, you can find ten tips that can help you break that losing streak and start making some money from your favorite card game today.
#1. Only Play at Stakes You Can Afford
No matter how long you’ve been playing poker, you shouldn’t get involved in games that are too much for you. Before you join, do your math and check whether the stakes are low or high, as well as how you fit in that range.
It’s quite logical when you think about it — if you start playing the high stake table, your poker career won’t last for long, and your chances of losing will increase. Additionally, if you have played at a specific stakes table and lost, try going a bit lower next time. You need to be aware of your liquidity and act accordingly to keep money in your pocket while playing poker.
#2. Take Advantage of Your Position
Your position around the blinds is one of the key factors for winning money at poker. Before you even start playing it, you should study and learn all about the positions and the best possible moves you can make.
The better your position, the higher your chances are of winning that hand.
Sometimes, your position is even more relevant than the cards you hold in your hands. For example, one of the common rules says that late positions are better than the early ones as you’ve already seen your opponents act. However, to use positions to your advantage, you’ll have to know more about it than just this general information.
If this is the first time you hear about the term position and its connection to poker, it probably means you’ve been losing money quite a lot. Therefore, the moment you learn about positions and start putting that knowledge to practice, your losing streak should end.
#3. Stop Limping
Limping is something you definitely want to avoid if you want to stop losing at poker. The first step toward breaking this nasty habit is to stop playing too many hands and calling all the time — you simply can’t have potentially winning cards all the time.
Remember, poker is more than a set of rules you need to learn and apply once the game starts. If you follow the basics of raising when your hand is strong or limping with the weaker ones, other players won’t have any problem reading your moves and will always know how to beat you.
Naturally, there are games when limping is desirable, like in games where everyone else is doing it. However, try avoiding it and make your game a bit more aggressive if you want to see your bankroll go big.
#4. Use a Strategy
Playing poker without a strategy is not something you’d want to do — in other words, you need to be prepared for the game in every way possible.
If you want to play your hands more accurately, start by memorizing preflop poker charts.
Before the flop, you’ll have some time to think about how to play your hand best, and by knowing the charts, you’ll know exactly when you should go for it and when to fold immediately. Ultimately, you need to make a decision based on the combination of all vital factors, and you need to do it fast, so better start studying if you haven’t already.
#5. Mind Your Drinking
Seeing a drunk person is not pleasant in general, let alone at a poker table. Now, we’re not saying you should only drink apple juice and play poker all night long, but you shouldn’t be drinking like there’s no tomorrow either.
You need to be aware of the effect alcohol has on you and never go over your limits. Having a drink or two to start off your night is absolutely fine — or even more if you know you can take it. And this advice doesn’t only have to do with you making a mess around poker tables.
Alcohol affects your cognitive functions, and your decision making becomes poor once you become intoxicated. With this in mind, it’s easy to conclude that you’re more likely to lose in poker if you consume more alcohol than what your body can accept.
#6. Do Some Fishing Before Playing
Players known to be fishy are your chance to earn more money in poker. What’s more, experts claim you shouldn’t even sit at the table where there’s no fish to fry.
The explanation of this phenomenon is simple — weak players, usually the beginners, who still don’t know much about poker strategy and important moves are an easy target.
They will make basic mistakes, and your job will be to take advantage of them. The best fish players are those who believe that poker is entirely based on luck, and so they didn’t bother to learn even the fundamentals of the game.
On the other hand, if you’ve been playing for quite some time and found no fish at your poker table, it’s time to get up and find another table where you can spot some fishy players.
#7. Take Regular Breaks
Although a table without any fish is a good enough reason to take a break, it’s not the only one. You should take breaks regularly if you want your poker game to be at its finest at all times.
First off, looking at cards for too long can create confusion in your head. You won’t be able to think clearly and accurately assess your situation at a table. Also, it’s not very comfortable to sit for a long time as you’ll probably start feeling back pain.
That’s why you should stretch your legs often and move away from tables and cards. Grab some light snacks, drink some water, and walk around a bit, and then go back after a couple of minutes. You’ll notice with the first hand already how better you’ll play after a break.
#8. Only Play Poker When You’re Mentally and Physically Fit
Although at first this might seem to you like it has nothing to do with poker, it is actually very important. Unless you feel perfectly healthy by all means, don’t get involved in any poker games.
By perfect health, we mean both physical and mental state of being, as they can both influence your power of deduction. If you feel physical pain or any other symptom whatsoever, your focus will probably be on it most of the time. You won’t be able to focus on the game, let alone your cards or your position. Ultimately, you’ll waste all your money and leave in pain.
Moreover, if you have any other issues that are important for your mental health, you should avoid poker even more. Being on tilt is not the best state for playing a game of chance as you won’t be able to think the game through. Instead, go home and have some rest. Once you feel like your body and mind are in perfect order, you can go back and slay at that poker table.
#9. Manage Your Bankroll
Bankroll, bankroll, bankroll! This is a word you’ve probably seen in every other article about poker. Yet, it wouldn’t be mentioned that often if it was less than essential.
When it comes to poker, you need to decide on your budget for a specific period. For instance, set aside a monthly budget that you’ll only use when playing poker and stick to it by all means.
Don’t raise your monthly funds if you start losing. Once you spend your monthly stack of cash, your time at poker tables is up, and you should only get back at the start of the next month. Such behavior will prevent you from overspending that can easily happen if you try to regain the lost money by playing more and more.
#10. Know When to Stop
Last but not least, you should know when to stop playing the game, pick up your stuff, and go home. The right moment to stop is the one mentioned in the previous paragraph — once you stay out of cash, you should definitely go home.
One more thing to remember here is that you shouldn’t try to find the money for poker anywhere else. Don’t sell any items from your house, and never borrow money to spend it at poker tables.
Remember, you set that monthly budget for a reason, and if you break it once, you won’t be able to stop playing anymore. Every time you play, you’ll see the extension of your poker funds as harmless, which can eventually lead to addiction and various other problems.
Therefore, you can play the game you love that much as long as you have money to participate in games. After you spend it, consider yourself done for the day.
Winning at poker requires a bit more than knowing the rules by heart. Alongside the moves you should always make when playing poker, there are also things you should avoid doing if you want to stop losing at this legendary game.