Poker variance

Poker variance

How to deal with variance in poker and bad beats?

You must remember that poker is based on skills so if you have them, you will likely win. If you play versus players, who don’t have skills you will win again. Skills have the primary role in the game, and they can make a massive difference. However, they are not the only factor you can consider.

Luck has a role as well. It can be good luck or bad luck, and its effect on the game is known as variance. This is something you must embrace and understand as a part of the game. All professional players have been known to use the variance and accept it.

Negative beat poker

The bad or negative beat is a set of situations in which you lose, despite having a strong hand. This occurs eventually, and you should be able to cope with it. By definition, a negative beat is when you have a very strong hand by your opponent defeats you with a weaker hand! To understand this matter, we will give you an example.

Example 1:
You have an ace. Your opponent holds an ace and a king. The community cards are two jacks and 7. At the moment you have 98% of winning. If your opponent gets two jacks, 2 kings of a queen and queen and 10, he will win. The bad beat will mean that in the turn and river, both cards are kings. In this case scenario, you will lose.

Example 2:
In this case, we will use the opposite example. A player one now has a king and an ace. Player two has 4 and 7. You are in the lead, but the player decides to call. All other players fold. The community cards are revealed and they are 3, 7, 9, 10 and a queen. The player 2 wins. He has a pair of 7s.
While the first example is a pure case of the negative beat, the second isn’t. The ace and a king have better odds than the second set of cards, but the odds are 60%-40%. In 4 out of 10 cases, an ace and a king will lose. This is proved by statistical research and basic mathematics.

One of the common facts is that players usually remember negative beats more than the good ones. This is the same as the life situations as well. We all recognize downfalls more than the favorable situations that occurred.
A common misbelief believes that in online poker negative beats are more common. The chance for them is equivalent to the actual poker. The only reason why this may sound valid is the fact you will play more games per hour in an online casino.

Dealing with variance in poker

A good player will use negative beats in their favour and make the opponents well-aware of that. At the same time, we can see that layers who bet all, despite the fact they have a weak hand are the ones to look at your table. They merely make poker more profitable, for professionals.

Time period of bad luck: Downswing

It is known that even the best players experience downswing or a period of time during which they are unable to play poker successfully, despite the fact they count all the ads and play properly. This happens to the best players as well, and it is something you will need to consider. If or when that occurs, you will want to pay attention to the following points.

Poker Tilt

Poker Tilt explains the situation in which you are emotionally affected, so you are unable to play poker properly. This may occur more often than you think and the best thing is to walk away and solve the major issue. Tilt is a very concerning matter simply because it will make you play poker even worse, making a poor decision and losing money!

Downswing bankroll management

When experiencing downswing, you will want to make a few changes to the bankroll. It means that you should place lower bets and probably play fewer rounds, so you decrease the risk of loses. This will prevent you from wasting the entire bankroll.

Stay rational

When downswing occurs, most players will try to fix it by making different adjustments and changing their game. This has a negative effect on the game and success rate, so avoid it as often as possible. Stay rational and remember your training.

Period of good luck: Upswing

Same as you can have a period in which you will lose money, you can have a period in which you will win, no matter what. Most players believe that this is a specific period that should be used to the maximum. It isn’t. Your mission should stay the same as while regular game and you shouldn’t try to level up. An upswing can end at any given moment, and you will lose everything you worked for. That’s why you will need to take some time and play in the same way as before the upswing.
Upswings can be dangerous if you don’t follow the rules and if you think you are unbeatable.

As you would expect, poker is tightly linked with luck, and it has an important role. Luckily, if you know how to manage your bankroll, you will be able to withstand a period of bad or good luck and maximise your game.