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Poker Variance: How to Avoid Big Losses

In essence, variance is the difference between your expected long-run earnings and the money you win in the short run in Poker. However, it's much better to look at variance from a different angle - an element that keeps the game intriguing and makes it captivating for every player.

If amateur players had no chance of winning in the short run, they probably wouldn't play Poker at all. At least, that's true of the vast majority of recreational Poker players.

So, as strange as it may sound, variance in Poker is beneficial. It's why players (inexperienced players) keep coming back to the tables over and over again, even though, in the long run, they're playing at a disadvantage.

Therefore, regardless of how you play, expertly or imperfectly, you should aim to enhance your Poker career winning rate. That will consequently reduce the amount of variance you'll encounter. Undoubtedly, you'll need to refine your Poker strategy's general and specific aspects to achieve that.

Nonetheless, that's not the only tactic. You can employ these tried and tested techniques to reduce your game variance:

1.     Choose a Good Table

There's no room for ego in Poker.Therefore, it's better to focus on a solid strategy and find good tables with playing chips.

2.     Focus on your A-Game

It may seem so clear-cut, but always bring your best game to the Poker table. This weakness is usually portrayed by even the top players, let alone the rank-and-file players. You will definitely lower your variance and boost your win rate if you consistently stay disciplined and play at your best level.

There are various ways of improving your concentration during the game, including:

·         Before the session commences, please take a few minutes to prepare for it adequately.

·         Handle your basic physical needs (toilet, food, water, etc.) before the session.

·         If you're not in your best state, physically and mentally, don't sit down to play.

3.     Quit the Game on Time

When determining the correct time to end your session, you must consider two things, and your emotions will play a significant role here. So, it would be ideal if you kept a keen eye on them:

4. When you feel uncomfortable, angry, or tired, it's an indicator that you've "officially" dropped your A-game. Thus, you cannot play effectively and efficiently as you're distracted. That moment would be different and personal for each player.

 The emotions suppressing your A-game may be caused by a poor strike, a bad streak, or simply playing for too long. Immediately you realize you're not playing at your top-level; you should quit and return only when you've cooled down completely.

5.  The same applies to your ability to concentrate effectively. You should consider ending the session when you realize that you can no longer ignore external or internal stimuli and start thinking of things other than playing.

 If your mind starts to wander over a movie you recently watched; or you are thinking about whether it would be better to go to the gym; or think about food because you are hungry; etc. - these are all clear indicators that it is time for you to quit the game.

Sadly, my students and I have proven this more than once. Trust me, nothing good will come of it if you continue playing with distractions.