Scared Money

Anyone who has been involved with poker for some time has certainly heard the term “scared money” before. In this article we would like to explain what it means. Poker is a game which also effect your head. If a player plays with great anxiety and only thinks that he could lose money, then he will most likely lose, because he will be afraid and make because of this supoptimal decisions.

In order to make a long-term profit in poker, it is important that we make decisions that have a positive expectation. But if you are only focused on protecting your own money, you will make wrong decisions, just so you do not risk too much money. This quickly turns you from a good winning player into a losing player.

Which factors lead to this fear (Scared Money)?

  • How big is your bankroll?
  • Do you still have reserves if you go broke?
  • Are you currently in a downswing and have few buy ins for your current limit?
  • Have you possibly just moved up a limit and have fewer buy-ins available

Should one or more of these statements apply to you, the bigger is the chance that you are “Scared Money” Furthermore, you should also ask yourself more questions. What attitude do you have for money? Are you more of a cautious player or do you like to gamble? Are you afraid of losing money, even with a healthy bankroll? If these points apply to you, it makes life as a poker player very difficult. A successful poker player needs a healthy attitude towards money and should not be afraid to bet or lose money. If you have a big problem with it, you better not play poker, or if it’s only on the limits where you can relax and play without pressure.

The biggest problems for scared money players are

Hands are not protected good enough

If you are afraid of losing money, you will not protect your hands properly. This will give your opponents the ability to hit their draws cheaply and beat you.

To small Value Bets

Proper value bets are very important. The goal of the value bet is to get a call from your opponent with a worse hand. If you are afraid of losing, you can no longer properly assess whether you are ahead or behind with his hand.

Too less bluffs which makes your game predictable

Many beginners think that bluffing is one of the most important features of successful poker players. The reality is very different. You have to play solid and deliberate poker and bluff at the right time. However, if you rarely or almost never bluff, the other players will understand it. If you are scared money, you will avoid bluffing because you have to risk money with it.

Of course you need some courage for a bluff. For certain very tough opponents, a bluff is also a safe and profitable move. But of course this does not work always and you will lose sometimes money.

It is a fact that bluffing needs courage. But if you have good reads on your opponent, bluffing can also be very safe. But the fact is that you can lose a lot of money with unsuccessful bluffs. Usually, for most players, the higher the limit, the more dangerous bluffing is. A good poker player does not care. He bluffs when the turn has a positive expectation, regardless of whether he loses or wins in the short term.

Playing to careful(Tight)

Players who are scared money only play monsters. They wait for the premium hands and only make some action when they hit something. This makes you very predictable and you lose a lot of spots that actually have a positive expectancy.

To less calls and then you get bluffed

If you play too passive and only call monsters because you are afraid of losing money, your opponents will notice it and bluff you on every possible spot.


· Published 24.02.2018 · last updated 24.07.2023