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Top 6 Reasons Why You Should Not Drink While Playing Poker

Dont drink and play poker

5 minutes

Posted by: Ivan

Many poker players like to drink alcohol when playing their favorite card game. This is entirely understandable, as it helps them relax and enjoy the game more.

From the house's side, regardless of the casino or the poker room you're playing at, there will always be a good selection of alcoholic drinks available to you. Plus, many casinos even offer free drinks in generous amounts.

That said, drinking when you play poker is never a good decision. Here are the top six reasons why you should never drink while playing poker:

1. You’re Affecting Your Judgement

There’s a reason why you shouldn’t drink and drive, make commitments, or get into significant interactions with strangers. In line with all of this, you shouldn’t drink and play poker. Drinking impacts your cognitive abilities.

Even worse in the context of poker, it takes away your inhibitions, meaning that you’re not properly analyzing the risk to reward values when making decisions. This can be destructive for your bankroll when playing poker.

While big swings and bad losses are bound to happen whether you’re drunk or sober, the way you deal with them is what makes the difference. Even if you’re not winning too often, at least you’ll be better at assessing your risks and possible winning chances when you’re sober.

2. You’ll Bet More Money

This reason directly adds to the previous one. When your judgment is poor, you’ll bet more money than you can afford to spend.

Unfortunately, there are too many stories of poker players and gamblers in general who have squandered everything they've had because they were betting real money while inebriated.

When you have a couple of drinks in you, it’s easy to be more generous with your bankroll than you would ordinarily be. What’s more, making big bets and playing as you please is even more fun when you’re drunk, whether you play poker or trying your luck on one of the casinos shown here.

Poker bankroll and drinking

But, when you wake up the following day and start sobering up, you’ll realize just how damaging this behavior was to your overall well-being.

3. It Limits Your Development as a Poker Player

If you want to progress and develop your game into something more than a weekly or monthly pastime, you need to collect valuable knowledge on every hand you play.

This is something you can’t do if you’re drunk and all over the place with your game.

At the end of the evening, you’ll barely remember a few poker hands you had during the entire session. This will limit your learning potential, as you won’t take away any valuable information to improve and adapt your poker game. In the long run, this means only harmful betting patterns and losses.

4. You’ll Be More Emotional

Alcohol inhibits your brain from functioning properly. This means you’ll likely be making your decisions from an emotional place rather than a cognitive one.

So, even if your judgment isn’t completely clouded like we’ve mentioned before, you’ll still be telegraphing most of your decisions to other players at the table.

When you’re drunk, you can’t really keep control of your mannerisms and body language, and it’ll be easy to give out telltale signs to other players who are entirely sober and analyzing your every move.

If this happens, your night can go south very quickly, and you can lose control completely. This leads to another negative consequence.

5. You Can Get Banned

Besides the adverse effects drinking can have on your poker game, it can also get you banned if you go overboard. Some people tend to slide into bad behavior when they get too drunk.

There have been many examples of poker players berating the dealers, causing quarrels with other players, and overall acting very inconsiderate to everyone in the room.

Of course, the casinos aren’t shy when it comes to resolving such issues. If you get too drunk that you start acting impolitely and breaking poker etiquette, the house will promptly deal with you, and you’ll end up on the street.

Even worse than just getting kicked out for that evening, you’ll likely get banned and won’t be able ever to return to play poker in the same venue. Having one fun drunk night isn’t worth getting a ban from your favorite poker place.

6. You’ll End Up Overdrinking

The last and ultimately the concluding reason why you shouldn’t drink and play poker is that you’re guaranteed to end up consuming more than you planned on doing.

Very few players can stop on the first or second drink, especially when the game gets wild and exciting.

Maybe you’ve walked into the poker room planning on having a couple of beers throughout the night. But, you can quickly lose track of how many drinks you’ve had when you’re intensely focusing on the game.

Control drinking at the tables

It’s easy to get carried away and end up four or five beers deep during your session. While this amount won’t likely leave you stumbling around, it’s still enough to impact your judgment and tilt your decision-making in the wrong direction.

Drinking and Playing Poker – A Bad Combo for Most

Having a drink or two during your poker sessions can be an excellent way to relax and gain a bit more confidence during big games. However, for most poker players, the two are a bad combo and should be avoided altogether, as they can often lead to a catastrophe.

As with all other activities you can engage in when playing poker, it’s crucial to be responsible and in complete control.

If you can get tipsy from a few drinks or aren’t sure if you can stop at the first or second beer, it’s better to completely stay away from alcoholic beverages while at the felt table.

Drinking water or plain juice might seem boring when playing poker, but it will keep your head sharp and focused on the money that’s at stake. In the end, you can always get a few drinks after you finish your session, especially if playing sober helps you make some nice poker profits along the way.

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