How to Keep Your Emotions Under Control in Poker

Poker is a mentally demanding game that requires focus and concentration. It’s also a game that improves your observational skills as it trains the mind to notice tells, changes in behaviour and other factors that may affect the outcome of a hand.

The ability to keep a level head and not let emotions drive your actions is important in poker, as well as life. It’s easy to get carried away with emotion in a fast-paced environment like a poker table, but this can have negative consequences if you don’t know how to control your emotions. Poker teaches players how to keep their emotions under control and how to make decisions based on factual evidence.

Playing in position (acting after your opponents) is a fundamental part of any winning poker strategy. By playing in position you can see your opponents’ betting before making a decision. This can help you understand their hand strength, as well as give you the opportunity to inflate the pot size with a strong value hand and price out weaker hands.

Say you deal yourself a pair of kings off the flop, and it’s your turn to act. If you check, the player to your left will likely bet, and you can choose to call (and put a dime into the pot) or raise your bet to add more money to the pot. Raising a bet is a good way to show confidence in your hand and encourage other players to fold.