How to Improve the Mental Side of Playing Poker Online
Mental resilience is a key factor when playing poker variations – be it Hold Em, Stud or Omaha. It is the glue that holds your game together. With a tough mental attitude, you can more easily overcome the challenges thrown at you at the virtual tables.
The Secret to Playing Poker Variations Online is Consistency
All online poker variations have more than an element of volatility. Regardless of how skilled you are, you can expect good sessions and bad sessions. Oftentimes, the bad times outweigh the good. That is when the mental side of playing poker online either helps or hinders your performance.
Besides mastering the strategic element, the key is to play your best game consistently. That means dealing with bad beats too. The defining characteristic of a great poker player is the ability to trade blows and, when knocked down and almost out, get up, shake off the dust and start all over again.
In essence, poker variations like No Limit Texas Hold Em are no different from a boxing bout or tennis match. Sure, the physicality of the encounters counts. That said, it is the mental factor that allows adversaries to tough it out and eventually win.
When you are emotionally and mentally resilient, you are less likely to give up. You are also more likely to make the right decisions in any given circumstances. Creating an appropriate mindset to tackle the ring games and tournaments at Juicy Stakes Poker is the first step to maximizing your overall win rate.
Build Resilience to Maximise Gameplay
Not all poker players are born with grit, fire and determination. That does not mean they can’t or won’t become great at whatever poker variations they choose to play online. Provided there is a consciousness of the impact cognitive strength and fortitude can have on gameplay, it is possible to develop mental resilience.
How do you become mentally strong? You put yourself in challenging situations so that you learn how to endure, tolerate and grow. That can mean different things to different people.
Genuine resilience training involves a number of different approaches. It can be getting out of your comfort zone and denying yourself simple pleasures or it can mean gripping your emotions by the throat and turning them into a positive.
Once you are the master of your own feelings and reactions, you can take anything in your stride. That in turn means you will play all the online poker variations at Juicy Stakes Poker with more consistency… regardless of circumstances or opponents.
Here are 3 easy ways to build the mental toughness required to become the best poker player you can possibly be:
Get Out of Your Comfort Zone
Feeling uncomfortable is not pleasant. If you want to become more successful at any of the poker variations online, you have to tolerate being cold, hungry or physically exhausted. Why? It builds mental resilience.
One of the best ways to challenge yourself is to take a cold shower at the start of each day. Apart from doing something you would rather not do, ice cold water coursing over your head and body has a range of proven health benefits.
Cold showers improve blood circulation, power-up the immune system, release endorphins and boost energy. Take all these positive effects together and you will not only maximize mental fortitude, but you will also feel great too!
When you feel great, the odds are you will play great poker online!
Visualise Positive Outcomes
If you want positive outcomes at the table, you have to picture them in your mind. It can be bluffing an opponent, going all-in and banking the pot, reaching the final table or winning the heads-up. This is the kind of approach you can extrapolate to everyday life.
The idea is to envision an amazing outcome to day-to-day events. Getting a salary increase at work, landing a lucrative job offer or being recognized by your colleagues or peers, are great examples of positive visualization.
What is the science behind this type of approach to enhancing mental toughness? It is to familiarise the brain with the power of positive thinking. When you envision a positive result, you are more likely to achieve that kind of outcome.
In essence what you are doing here is preparing. You are giving the brain the wherewithal to build muscle and neurons based on affirmative expectations. That applies to all circumstances, even when you are playing the more complex poker variations like Pot Limit Omaha, H.O.R.S.E or Omaha 8 or Better!
Get the Best Out of Emotions
When assessing the world around you, you have a choice. You can see the glass as half full or half empty. The same sentiment applies to your emotions. They can either work for or against you – in life and at online poker platforms like Juicy Stakes.
Take fear, for example. That is an emotion all good poker players no doubt feel at some point in a round or session. When used negatively, fear can disturb your focus, remind you of past failures and weaken your gameplay.
When viewed from a positive point of view, fear can optimize your performance. It can make you think more deeply, make better decisions and create opportunities to change the direction of your play.
Similarly, when you are frustrated, you can act quickly and injudiciously and lose the betting round. Alternatively, it can challenge you to calm down, consider the situation more carefully and do better in the next hand.
When you use your emotions positively, there is only one possible outcome. The odds are you will make the kind of calls that enhance your poker playing performance – across all poker variations. The big takeaway here? If you can learn how to control your emotions when playing at Juicy Stakes Poker, you’ll be halfway to the winning line!
Juicy Stakes offers a wide selection of cash games, freerolls and sit & go’s. We feature the flagship poker variations, including Fixed Limit and No Limit Texas Hold Em, Omaha and Omaha Hi-Lo. Sign up now and take advantage of our Welcome Bonus, No Deposit Bonus and Rakeback Deal!