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Playing poker mindfully

Bringing Mindfulness To The Felt

Can playing poker mindfully help up your game? Well that’s what we’re going to try and look for today.

We’re going to figure out if staying present and focused can lead you to victory or not…

Why playing poker mindfully matters

We all know that poker is certainly not just about luck. It’s a battle of wits, strategy and mental endurance. So in a lot of ways, it’s all in your mind. And that’s where mindfulness comes in.

Mindfulness is the practice of being fully present. And doing that can help you make better decisions on the felt and read your opponents more successfully. When you’re mindful, you’re aware of every card, every bet and every tell. This heightened awareness can be the difference between winning and losing.

Preparing for a mindful poker session

If you want to start playing poker mindfully, you should do a bit of ground work first. Start by clearing your mind with a quick meditation or breathing exercise. Focus on your breathing for a few minutes. Inhale deeply, hold, then exhale slowly. This simple practice can centre your thoughts and reduce your anxiety, so certainly not just for the poker table.

Staying present during the game

Once the game starts, whether it’s in person or online, it’s easy to get distracted. Maybe you’re thinking about your last hand or planning your next move. However, the magic happens when you stay in the moment. Pay attention to the game as it unfolds, even if you’re not active in the hand. Notice the way your opponents handle their chips and listen to their tone when they speak. Or if you’re playing online, look at how fast they react and the proportion of chips they push into the pot. Every detail matters.

Reading opponents mindfully

We all know important it is to watch out for tells, even when you’re playing online. And one of the biggest advantages of playing poker mindfully is reading your opponents better. People often give away subtle clues about their hands. A twitch, a sigh or a small can be a tell. And online, there are plenty you can look out for too. When you’re fully present, you’re more likely to notice these signs. It’s not just about watching. It’s about feeling the energy at the table.

Managing your emotions

We all know poker can be an emotional rollercoaster. One minute you’re up, the next you’re down (hello tilt). Mindfulness can help you manage these highs and lows. When you’re aware of your emotions, you can control them better. Instead of reacting impulsively, you can respond more thoughtfully. This emotional control can prevent costly mistakes…

Making mindful decisions

Every decision in poker is crucial. Should you fold, call or raise? When you play mindfully, you weigh each option carefully. Consider the odds, your position and your opponent’s behaviour. Avoid letting impatience or frustration cloud your judgement. Take a moment to breath and think before acting.

Trying it out off the felt

Of course, mindfulness isn’t just for the poker table. Practising it in daily life can improve your game and help you deal with life’s daily stresses too. What’s not to like? Try mindfulness exercises like meditation or yoga. These practices enhance your focus and mental clarity. And the more you practise, the easier it’ll be to keep playing poker mindfully.

Practise playing poker mindfully

Take it easy on yourself when you start playing poker mindfully. Perhaps play online, in low stakes, low stress games and see how you get on? If you’re looking for somewhere to play online, we’d recommend bet365. And we just so happen to have a bet365 bonus code here for new players.


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