Have you ever sat down to play poker and, though you’re doing your best to play a tighter range, you just can’t seem to ever get dealt a hand worth playing? So, you sit there, folding and folding, watching other people play the game.
Maybe you start complaining about your bad luck. Or perhaps you start thinking to yourself about how you deserve to finally get a good hand.
If you play enough poker, these stretches that we call “card death” are bound to happen. It’s part of the variance of poker. Dealing with being card dead is a key component of your mental game. After all, if you tilt off and start playing bad hands because you just want to get in the action, then you’re bound to lose your chips.
Here’s some quick tips for surviving card death.
Adjust Your Mindset
This all comes down to adjusting your mindset. First, understand that you’re going to get lucky just as often as you get unlucky. When you get great hands over and over again in a short time span, it’s exciting, and you’re not as likely to notice what an anomaly it is.
Compare that to when, conversely, you don’t get any good cards for orbit after orbit. Both of these scenarios are just as unlikely, but, if you play enough poker, then they’re both bound to happen. Part of bringing your A game is taking the good with the bad.
By the same token, it’s important to banish any feelings of entitlement that you may have. Just because you’ve been good, played tight, and folded 20 hands in a row, doesn’t mean the universe/deck/poker gods owe you anything. You don’t ‘deserve’ a good hand any more than you did an hour ago.
Have Fun Playing Poker
The most important thing is that you have fun playing poker either way. Be glad that you’re spending time playing the game you love. If you’re going to be a long-term poker player, you’re going to have to spend plenty of time being card dead. You might as well learn to enjoy it.
It’s a lot like fishing. Even if you don’t catch anything, you can still have a great time being outside, enjoying nature, and taking some time to relax.
Approach the game with a sense of gratitude and being card dead won’t be so bad after all. And don’t forget that folding is part of poker too!