Using Winning and Losing Streaks to Your Advantage

min read
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BetMGM May 31, 2023, 9:09 AM

Traditional and online poker are games of chance and skill. While you can develop a multi-layered strategy and practice for many years, luck and random outcomes still largely determine your wins and losses. As a result, you’re bound to find yourself on a particularly exciting winning streak or an especially unforgiving losing streak at some point or another.

The important thing to remember? These streaks are indeed random. They’re also exploitable when playing poker because your opponents may have their own slightly more superstitious beliefs and misconceptions about them.

In short, an opponent might believe that your (or their) streak is the result of something other than chance. If you can pick up on this, you’ll gain the edge over them as it’ll be easier for you to predict their next move. For example, an opponent who believes you’re on a losing streak will be more likely to play aggressively against you and call your bets, expecting the streak to continue.

Ready to learn more about using your ‘streaks’ to your advantage? We delve a little deeper below.

Identifying and Tracking Streaks

To identify streaks, it’s essential to analyze your performance regularly. By tracking your wins and losses in poker sessions, you can monitor your overall performance and identify longer-term trends rather than focusing on isolated sessions. Statistical analysis can be valuable in identifying streaks. Make use of poker tracking software to gather data on your performance. Analyze metrics such as win rate, return on investment (ROI) and fluctuations in your bankroll. Pay attention to statistically significant deviations from your usual performance.

Remember, you’re not tracking your streaks to take advantage of your “luck” or play more cautiously when your “luck” seems to have “run out.” Instead, doing so provides you with more self-awareness about your gameplay and helps keep any emotional reactions in check. If you’re on a winning streak, you might feel overconfident, while a losing one can lead to frustration or tilt. It’s vital to constantly remind yourself of the game’s randomness while remaining in tune with other players’ reactions to your game’s outcomes.

In some cases, streaks aren’t a result of “luck.” Instead, they’re due to flaws or strengths in your online poker strategy. By tracking your streaks over long periods of time, you can assess whether it’s time to make adjustments or keep up the good work!

Managing and Leveraging Streaks

During a winning streak, it’s crucial to maintain focus and discipline and stick to your strategy. Consider slightly increasing your aggression to exploit the perception of your opponents. Just be careful to avoid reckless behavior and cautiously raise stakes or enter higher buy-in tournaments.

On the other hand, when experiencing a losing streak, it’s important to stay composed and avoid tilting. Evaluate your gameplay and identify potential leaks or areas for improvement. Take a break if needed, analyze your strategy and make adjustments before continuing. Don’t hesitate to raise the stakes if you have a promising hand, knowing that your opponents are likely to feel confident calling or raising the bet, which could prove profitable for you when your ‘luck’ changes.

Responsible Gambling and Avoiding Chasing Losses

Responsible gambling should always be a priority when playing poker online games or in a traditional casino setting. Create a strict bankroll for yourself and always play within your means. Recognize the importance of enjoyment, entertainment and skill development in poker online rather than focusing all your attention on maximizing profitability.

Chasing losses is a common pitfall to avoid. Don’t fall into the trap of trying to recover from a losing streak by making irrational decisions. Instead, make informed choices based on sound strategy. Take breaks, practice good bankroll management and seek support if necessary.

Responsible gambling also means identifying and correcting “bad” poker habits that could be costing you wins or driving you to spend more money than you should. Some of these habits include playing too many hands (especially weak or marginal ones — it’s essential to be selective and focus on playing strong starting hands that have better chances of winning) and bluffing too often (bluffing is a fantastic tool in poker, but using it excessively can be detrimental.)

Tips for Improving Your Poker Skills

Convinced your losing streak is caused by a problem with your strategy? Here are a few pointers if you need to brush up on your poker skills:

  • Read books, watch instructional videos and follow reputable poker resources to gain knowledge and insights from experienced players.
  • Take advantage of online training courses or a coach or mentor.
  • Actively seek opportunities to practice your skills, whether it’s playing online, participating in local tournaments or organizing friendly games at home.
  • Consider using software tools or apps that provide hand analysis and help you refine your decision-making (there are free and paid versions available.)
  • Expand your horizons by playing different poker variants and formats, such as cash games, tournaments and sit-and-go events. Each format offers unique challenges and strategies.
  • To make informed decisions, build a strong understanding of poker math, such as probability and expected value.

Play Poker Online at BetMGM

Practice poker online here at BetMGM, where you’ll find an expansive menu of video poker, poker rooms, live dealer casino games and poker tournaments. We also specialize in many other casino table games, online slots and much more.

Go ahead and register when you’re ready to take advantage of our full offering.

Looking for tips for winning poker cash games or refining your strategy? Be sure to explore our blog further.

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Our BetMGM editors and authors are casino experts with a wealth of knowledge of the online casino industry at all levels. Their coverage includes company news, game reviews, how-to instructional articles, strategy guides, and editorials showcasing BetMGM’s superior product and game library.

Our BetMGM editors and authors are casino experts with a wealth of knowledge of the online casino industry at all levels. Their coverage includes company news, game reviews, how-to instructional articles, strategy guides, and editorials showcasing BetMGM’s superior product and game library.