How to Control Your Losing Streak at Poker?
All is going well. Your cards are good and you’re finally at the stage where you stand to win. However, you end up making one wrong move and you find yourself in a major downswing. The next thing that runs through your mind is whether there is any way you can salvage yourself from complete destruction. Fortunately for you, there are a number of strategies that you can employ when you find yourself in a losing streak in poker. Managing a losing streak can help you stay in the game and reduce your chances of elimination.
Attitude Means a Lot
Before you can employ some useful strategies, you should realize that your attitude is very significant when you are going through a downswing. If you don’t stay and optimistic, there is a strong chance that any attempt you make to end the downswing will result in failure. The best thing you can do at first is to play the game to the best of your ability and with the most positive attitude that you can muster. Moreover, if you have faced a significant blow to your bankroll, and it is having negative repercussions on your gameplay, then take a break from the game and return later with a clearer mind.
Focus on the New Hand
One common hang-up that many poker players have when it comes to a losing streak is that they tend to focus on old hands and the losses they’ve faced. This not only reduces your ability to make strategic and useful decisions for your next hand, but it keeps you stuck in a disappointed mood. You want to ensure that your mind is as clear and focused as possible. Putting your attention on your new hands can help turn your game around.
Don’t Allow Your Bankroll to Be Damaged
If you find yourself in the midst of a losing streak, one of the most rookie mistakes that you can make is allow it to affect your bankroll. One of your main goals when you play poker is to protect your bankroll. Without your bankroll, you stand to lose more than your motivation to play, but you also stand to lose the money that you have set aside specifically for the purpose of playing poker. To prevent depletion of your bankroll during a losing streak, you can try replenishing your bankroll. In addition, at each level of the game, you want to try to increase your bankroll as much as possible. Lastly, you could also try to re-invest your gain in the game and hope for the best.
Frustration and anger with the game are not going to help you get out of a downswing. While some downswings can last for a few days, other can last for an incredibly prolonged period of time. Yes, it is difficult to endure, but you can manage the situation by trying to be as patient as possible. Eventually, the downswing will pass and you can continue to play the game with confidence and hope that you will win.
Play Lower Stakes
If you stand to lose a lot in a downswing, you can minimize the effect by dropping down in stakes. This reduces the risk you’ll make an impulsive decision in a negative EV spot. It will also ensure that you feel less nervous about being in a downswing.
Study While You Play
There is not much you can do about a downswing, so you might as well put your time to good use. A lot of players recommend that your time is best utilized studying poker books or videos. This can help you prepare for the point where the downswing ends and you are ready to return to your regular game. It will also leave you prepared and more informed than ever to achieve the goals of the game.
Overall, a downswing is never a fun situation to be in, but it is manageable. With the above tips, you can weather the storm in the most advantageous way possible. Again, remember that while a lot of the downswing may be attributed to luck, the above tips indicate that there are certain elements that are certainly within your control.
article by Zachary P. Newton