Can Meditation Improve Your Online Poker Game?

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Casino chips on a green felt table.
BetMGM Aug 13, 2022, 10:35 AM

Anyone who plays online poker will know it requires nerves of steel, whether you take the game seriously or simply see it as an entertaining way to pass the time. Regardless of why you play poker, you need to go into every game with mental clarity and confidence to optimize your chances of beating your opponents! 

For instance, you may want to learn how to stay calm when playing strategy-based online casino games or maintain focus and manage your emotions at the virtual poker table. There are many ways to do this and according to experts, meditation is one of the best. Here’s what you need to know.

What is meditation and what are its benefits?

Meditation is an ancient practice that involves quieting the mind to achieve mental clarity and a sense of calm. There are a variety of techniques you can try when learning how to meditate. Some find it best just to sit quietly and focus on emptying the brain of thoughts and emotions – which can be more difficult than it sounds, requiring lots of practice and dedication to get right. Others find it works better for them if they focus their mind on a single thought or sensation, such as the feeling of grass on their skin or the sound of a fan.

The main benefit of meditation is daily stress relief. When you learn how to do it correctly, you can use it to ease anxiety in stressful situations rather than to calm down after the fact. This is an excellent tactic for poker players who may become nervous when they need to make an important decision or when they’re up against an intimidating opponent. Your meditative skills will help you to stabilize your mind, draw on your self-esteem and think objectively.

Along with stress relief and improving focus, meditation also increases self-awareness, enhances creativity and problem-solving and improves your quality of sleep, all of which count towards taking your poker game to new heights!

How to meditate

Follow these easy steps to start meditating in the traditional way:

  • Step one: Choose a quiet place, free from distractions, where you can sit or lie down comfortably.
  • Step two: Set a timer (start slowly by meditating for two or three minutes and increase your time weekly.)
  • Step three: Get into a comfortable position and follow your breath, doing your best to empty your mind of thoughts. When the thoughts come (and they will,) acknowledge them and let them go.
  • Step four: When you’re ready, close your eyes, continue to filter out thoughts and emotions, and breathe mindfully.
  • Step five: When your time is up, slowly come out of yourself and back into the real world. Keep your eyes closed as you gradually pay attention to your senses again. Take note of the subtle noises around you, the smell and feel of the air as it fills your lungs and how your body feels (warm, hot, cool, etc.)
  • Step six: Open your eyes and stay in your position until you feel ready to stand up and continue your day.

Why poker demands mental resilience

Poker is about so much more than just the cards you’ve been dealt; mental resilience plays a huge part in securing your success at the table. Self-doubt can creep in during play, causing you to falter in your strategy and make impulsive decisions that could impact the outcome of the game. Mental toughness often means the difference between winning and losing.

By aiming to boost your mental resilience – and using meditation as a tool to help you do this – you should find yourself calmer when playing under pressure. You’ll be more focused, self-confident, self-motivated and, most importantly, able to analyze and improve your performance without allowing emotions or negative self-talk to cloud your judgment.

Other ways to improve your poker performance

Meditation is clearly an excellent way to improve your poker game. Still, there are many other ways to boost your performance in online poker tournaments while at the same time improving your poker tournament strategy. Here are a few ideas:

  • Consider hiring a poker coach.
  • Sign up to take an online poker course.
  • Read books about playing poker.
  • Follow professional poker players on social media for the best online poker tips.
  • Watch free poker training videos and tutorials on YouTube.
  • Join an online casino community and chat with other players on the forums.
  • Train your brain to focus better by completing crosswords, solving riddles and building puzzles.  
  • Use software to track and analyze your gameplay decisions and overall performance.

Play poker games online at BetMGM

Are you looking for a reputable online casino specializing in Texas Hold’em poker and live poker online? Look no further than BetMGM. We offer a diverse menu of video poker games and a host of different online poker tournaments to suit your schedule and playing style.

Along with poker games online, we also grant our members access to countless online slots, casino games, and online sports betting.

Ready to explore further? Then feel free to register via our convenient mobile portal.

Beginner? Don’t forget to check out our online poker guide for a rundown of the rules before taking to the tables.

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Our BetMGM editors and authors are sports experts with a wealth of knowledge of the sports industry at all levels. Their coverage includes sports news, previews and predictions, fun facts, and betting.

Our BetMGM editors and authors are sports experts with a wealth of knowledge of the sports industry at all levels. Their coverage includes sports news, previews and predictions, fun facts, and betting.