Poker Strategy With Greg Raymer: Pessimism and Optimism Bias

pessimism and optimism bias

3 minutes

Last Updated: July 15, 2022

Poker is probably one of the favorite games that we all go back to. Despite having the best time with casino game variations like blackjack, top gamblers always come back to poker.

In today's article, we bring you some strategy tips from the world-renowned Greg Raymer, who has used these tactical approaches to give him the streaks and wins in his past games.

After reading up on the tactical approaches from Greg Raymer, make sure to head on over to to give yourself an opportunity to put the strategy into action!

There is a lot of variance involved in poker. And even when you manage to play the hands correctly, you do not always win the pot, or often you can lose more, despite the inferior line having resulted in smaller losses.

Of course, it is also common that a badly played poker hand can still win the pot and even win more than if you played the hand well.

Avoiding Negative Bias

Underestimating possible patterns within gameplay can affect the weight of decision-making in poker, often giving them less weight than they actually deserve.

Should you decide to play combo draws aggressively, you should notice a short-term pattern that allows the Pessimism Bias to creep in.

This will then make you think that completing your draws is no longer possible. Thus, you will start to play passively or fold too much to minimize your losses.

This is often not the best way to actually move forward with a draw.

Playing aggressively can sometimes fare better, despite the pessimism bias causing you to underplay draws that could be put forward more strongly.

Instead of weighing out the strategic choices, the bias is already making a choice for you. This is not always the smartest choice when you gamble.

avoiding negative bias in poker

If, however, you play your draws more aggressively, you'll win some big pots at the showdown. Also, every now and then, your opponents will fold to your aggression, giving you a pot even when you miss your draw.

Not only have you won, but you also managed to have bigger pots because of it and won pots that you could have lost by backing down.

Dangers of Being Too Optimistic

The optimism bias can and will get you if you play strategically. You will feel like you can't miss and ultimately continue to play the draws as aggressively as possible.

All the flags and warning signs within the game could be missed, and ultimately, this would involve you coming towards mistakes.

If you keep up the aggression and throw more and more chips into the pot when your opponent clearly has no intentions to fold, your chances of winning with that one lucky card will diminish.

Biases within poker are essentially two faces of the same coin. They affect your gambling and can over or under-emphasize your gambling possibilities.

The truth is that results have no meaning, and just because you have managed to flush out your five past draws, it doesn't mean you have the odds in your favor when it comes to the next one.

The pattern you need to identify is your ability to adjust your wagers according to what you see and not what you feel.

Biases do not only apply to draws within poker, but they also apply to the entire game. If you are on a bad streak, you will ultimately feel low and be discouraged to try and take back what could be yours.

dangers of being too optimistic in poker

You will overestimate your opponent's abilities, believe his bluffs and give up on pots that could be rightfully yours.

Therefore, instead of focusing on what chips have been won or lost, make the smartest choice for you at that moment.

Be optimistically realistic, no matter if you are playing in the Bellagio in Vegas or surrounded by friends at your casual poker night.

Think about your moves as they happen at the moment, using the poker knowledge you have. Put away the feelings and just play poker!

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