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How to Develop the Right Mentality When Playing Poker

Right Poker Mentality

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Posted by: Ivan

How to Develop the Right Mentality When Playing Poker

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There is no doubt that poker is one of the most popular card games in existence. The recent roots of poker can be traced back to the US in the 1800s, but its true origins seem to have arisen thousands of years ago within regions such as Asia and the Middle East.

Of course, players of the past did not have access to online gaming communities to hone their skills in No Limit Hold’em and other popular variations.

These days, beginners should take advantage of all of the tools at their disposal to quickly improve their skills.

Mindset is arguably one of the most critical concerns, as your psychological state will often determine whether you are able to walk away a winner.

Developing the right poker mindset is no easy task, but given enough time and effort on your part, you'll get where you want and need to be.

Developing Solid Foundations

At the very start of your poker career, you'll probably pay a lot of attention to choosing the best online casino in terms of bonuses, rakeback, etc.

However, this won’t make much of a difference if you aren’t a disciplined player with clearly set goals and expectations.

One important aspect where your discipline really comes through is when setting clear limits on how much money you’re willing to risk.

Managing your bankroll has to do with your financial skills just as much as it has with your mental discipline. You need to know your stakes and limits and never deviate from them no matter what.

Tying into this is another fundamental aspect, which is keeping your emotions in check at all times.

Those who allow greed to supersede logic are more inclined to make costly mistakes that could have otherwise been avoided.

There will be struggles along the way, but it’s crucial that you start your poker journey on the right foundations.


You shouldn’t be too harsh on yourself for making mistakes as long as you recognize them as mistakes and do your best not to repeat them in the future.

Importance of Clarity and Insight

We have all heard the expression “a jack of all trades and a master of none.” This is another way of saying that it is nearly impossible to learn all types of poker.

Even the world's best players tend to focus on a specific variant such as Texas Hold'em or Pot Limit Omaha.

This is why beginners should experiment with different platforms and strategies so that they can better decide which one is the best choice for them.

As a poker player, you want to find a space where you feel comfortable and are able to grow and develop.

Don't delve too much into what others think or say.

When you find a poker variant that you feel the most comfortable with and have an interest in, focus your efforts on mastering that particular variation.

For example, if you want to become a good tournament player, put your mind to it and do everything you can to accomplish your goal, both on the felt and away from it.


Have clarity in your mind about what you want to achieve, and don't let others lead you astray.

If your focus is divided too much between many different aspects, you’ll have a hard time properly estimating your success and development, which is crucial for building the right mindset.

Taking Breaks Isn’t Quitting

Everyone requires a break from time to time. So, how can you determine when such a respite is in order? Here are some common signs that you should step away for a bit:

  • You are becoming easily distracted.
  • Stress is impacting your strategy.
  • You begin committing an inordinate number of errors.
  • You feel mentally fatigued all the time.

There is no shame in walking away for a while to recharge your proverbial batteries. This will enable you to come back refreshed and mentally sharp.

Above all, remember that your mental attitude is just as important as the cards that you are dealt.

Being able to embrace correct habits at an early stage of your career will help you to leverage your innate talents well into the future.

Many players are afraid to take breaks as they feel like this is somehow the sign of defeat, but this couldn’t be further from the truth.

In fact, taking breaks will allow you to turn inwards and figure out if you’re happy with your life at the moment.

It will pull you away from the stress of bad beats and variance and allow you to look at things from a much broader perspective.

Every Loss Can Be a Learning Experience

As you progress in your poker career, you’ll experience the thrill of wins as well as the disappointment of defeat.

It's all part of the game, and because of poker's long-term nature, even good players often have to deal with prolonged losing stretches.


There isn’t much you can do to avoid this, even if you study hard and do your best to keep growing and improving as a player.

Bad beats will happen, you'll bust on a bubble many times, and it will be soul-crushing.

But, you have to develop the right mindset where you don’t see these temporary setbacks as something horrible.

You need to understand that it's all a part of the path you have chosen and instead of feeling bad about it, learn to make the most even out of negative experiences.

Every bad beat, every bluff gone wrong, and every misstep on a bubble can be a valuable lesson. Move on from painful poker hands as fast as you can, and don't let them define your future actions!

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