How To Stop Dwelling on Your Poker Mistakes

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Blonde woman leans face-down on a green table after making a mistake in poker
BetMGM Oct 23, 2023, 6:02 AM

It’s not uncommon for both novice and experienced poker players to find themselves in situations where they spend too much time dwelling on mistakes from their games. The reality is that in poker, losses are common. The sooner you learn how to overcome them when you play poker online or in person, the better. Mistakes can consume your mind, but you’re only shooting yourself in the foot if you allow such a cycle to continue. The best way to move forward is to learn from mistakes and use them to help you gain the upper hand in future games.

Why Ruminating on Poker Mistakes Is a Bad Idea

Ruminating about live and online poker mistakes only sets you back because instead of looking ahead and preparing for games to come, your mind gets stuck on what you could’ve done differently. Getting stuck like this hinders your progress and results in losing time that could be used to improve your strategy and gameplay. It’s essential to avoid falling into this trap by acknowledging it and then being intentional about not allowing yourself to be consumed by the situation.

Common Mistakes

These are some of the most common poker mistakes among players.

Shifting the Blame

Without self-introspection and being honest about your role in the outcome of your poker game, you can’t move forward. Too many players come up with excuses for why the game didn’t turn out the way they’d hoped it would. Blaming an opponent, making accusations about the dealer, or even complaining about the cards dealt to them — all of these are signs that a player is avoiding accountability.

Being Overly Careful Moving Forward

Practicing caution at the poker table is a good idea — but within reason. After a bad loss or mistake, you may decide to play it safe, which could be to your detriment. The chances of your opponents picking up that you’ve adopted a more conservative strategy increases in such situations, which could result in them taking advantage of your scared approach.

Playing for Too Long

You never know how long poker tournaments could last, and considering the mental fortitude required in this game, it’s advised to take regular breaks. The pursuit of great wins and building a name for yourself is tempting, but you won’t get very far if your mind is tired. While strategy is vital for poker success, so is playing the mental game of poker and ensuring that you’re refreshed and in your best form.

Trying To Recoup Losses

One of the main poker tips more seasoned players will give you is not to chase losses. While poker can be quite a lucrative game, the losses can also be fairly significant. As tempting as it may be to try and win back the money you’ve lost in a short space of time, it can only make your situation worse because you can’t win every pot.

Tips To Embrace and Learn From Poker Mistakes

If you’re wondering how to stop ruminating about past mistakes, follow the tips below to help you better deal with unfavorable outcomes. These tips could even help you bounce back from some of the biggest poker mistakes.

Practice Mindfulness

By teaching yourself to be present in the moment, you equip yourself with a mindset many dream of. Like a blank canvas, practicing mindfulness encourages you to let go of what has happened and look ahead with a more positive outlook. Taking just a few minutes to regroup and get into the right mental state before or during a game can make a huge difference. Alternatively, meditating before a big game can go a long way.

Be Committed to Continuous Learning

There’s always an improvement that can be made when playing poker, especially since you’re bound to find yourself in different situations constantly. The more you learn, the better equipped you’ll be to deal with whatever a game or tournament throws at you. Continuous learning includes studying the greats and their strategies, putting in the hours by practicing, as well as engaging with other players to learn from their lived experiences.

Learn To Move On Quickly

This is easier said than done, but once you start looking at mistakes as learning opportunities, you’ll soon stop being overly fixated on your mistakes. Poker mistakes should only be in your short-term memory. Otherwise, you risk them negatively impacting subsequent games.

Act on Your Newfound Knowledge at BetMGM

With the above knowledge and tips, you’re on your way to becoming a better poker player by learning to embrace mistakes and using them to your advantage. Poker is more than just a game of strategy and luck; it also requires a level of mental fortitude. Some of the best poker players in history have used mistakes to get better at poker, and you could be one of them. Register at BetMGM to see how you can progress in this popular casino game.

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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.