When is the right time to stop playing poker? Is it when you’re tired? Or when you need to take a toilet break? When you start to feel (or hear) the faint rumblings of a hungry tum…?
Should you stop playing poker when you are winning? When you are losing? When you run out of poker chips? If you’re still a beginner when it comes to playing poker, knowing when to bow out for the day (or evening, depending on how long you’ve already been there) is tricky.
Luckily, we’ve put together this article to help you learn how and when to stop playing poker.
Only Play a Set Number of Hands (Playing Poker Online)
Sometimes if you are going into something knowing you’re going to stop when you have played a certain number of games, you will have a much better chance of sticking to it.
You’ll have a clear target to aim for and once you have hit it you can walk away from the computer as you’ll know when to quit playing online poker. You can decide how many hands you play based on how long you want to be playing for if you’re playing at multiple tables.
Set Yourself a Specific Time Limit
Similarly, instead of playing to try and reach a certain number of hands before you stop for the night, you can set yourself a time limit that, when reached, lets you know when to stop.
Determine how much time you would like to spend playing poker for first, and then you can try playing during these hours to see if it will work for you and your current living situation.
You can either set yourself an alarm that goes off and alerts you after a specified period of time, or you can simply watch the clock and keep track of how long you’ve been playing for.
Don’t Let Yourself Be Swayed By Your Track Record
The decision about when to stop playing poker for the day should never be influenced by how well you’ve been playing during the day, as this is a sure fire way to make sure you don’t actually end up sticking to the deadline that you had set yourself earlier in the day.
If you’re constantly playing “just one more” game to recoup lost money or to reach a certain figure before you call it quits, then you’ll never leave the casino or stop playing online poker.
There is far too much variety in poker and too many surprise twists that can throw you off and can cause your “last game” to actually be the start of several more as you desperately try to win back what you have already lost. So, it is best to ignore your results until after.
Quit Playing Earlier Than Planned if the Games are Bad
Nobody likes to get half-way through a film only to decide that it’s not worth finishing. It feels like a waste of time like the only way to avoid admitting defeat is to power on until the end.
However, it’s perfectly fine to finish a poker playing session early if you’re having a tough time or if you have been on a bit of a consistent losing streak for the past few games.
This is because you’re not always relying on yourself for a win. In some cases, the way your game goes depends on the other players who are involved and how they are playing.
As long as you have more experience than some of the newbies who are obviously just here (as in, at the casino or in an online poker game) then you should be fine, but if a game goes bad and you find yourself with too much to lose, it might be worth bowing out a bit early.
Schedule Time Out or Days Off
Another good method to stop playing poker is to schedule a few periods of time that can be poker-free so that you are getting regular breaks and time away from the poker table.
This can help clear your mind and will better prepare you to be in the right mindspace for your next game, so you can go back ready to rub shoulders and play with the best of them.
It will do you a lot of good mentally and it can even help you find that spark of excitement that you used to feel every time you sat down at the poker table in a casino.