Our Poker Future Can Be Found In The Past

Delving into cognitive psychology reveals that learning from past decisions, both good and bad, is vital for developing strategic approaches, especially in poker. Unfortunately, emotions, ego, and desires often interfere, distorting our memories and decisions. A common pitfall for players is validating incorrect decisions when they lead to positive outcomes, like misjudging a bet but still winning. The trick lies in being able to separate outcome and decision quality, learning even when luck is on our side.

Accept your mistakes

Recognizing and accepting mistakes is crucial in poker, as unchecked errors can escalate and significantly impact our game and bankroll. While one might feel vindicated by a successful outcome following a flawed decision, it’s pivotal to assess the correctness of the decision independently of its result. If not, the missteps multiply across numerous hands, potentially morphing into a costly and chronic problem. So, it’s imperative for all poker players, novices and veterans alike, to perpetually guard against allowing recollections of fortuitous outcomes to lead them into reckless future plays.

Don’t mistake bad play for a bad beat

Ensuring that we don’t mistakenly label poor strategy as a bad beat is vital. A thorough analysis of supposed bad beat stories often reveals them to be suboptimal plays, with players seeking sympathy over critique. Success in poker significantly hinges on how adeptly we interpret and utilize insights from our experiences. Thus, it’s essential to scrutinize the factors leading to past events without being swayed by the outcomes. Such an objective approach, devoid of ego, paves the way towards consistent improvement and rewards in the poker journey.

To show or not to show

Although dramatized in media, revealing hands in poker is a nuanced strategy, seldom used in online play due to the auto-muck option and the reluctance to unveil strategic information. However, the complexity of poker implies that revealing cards occasionally, and strategically, can serve a valuable purpose by providing opponents with curated information, potentially steering their subsequent decisions and strategies in a direction beneficial to us.


Revealing cards can sometimes be a tactic to mislead opponents during a session, providing them with carefully crafted information that suits our strategy, not theirs. For instance, after bluffing successfully for a while and eventually winning with a strong hand, choosing to show might reassure passive players of their folds. This apparent affirmation of their ‘safe’ strategy might encourage them to continue on the same path, even when it is built on incorrect assumptions.

Mind Games

Revealing hands can serve to manipulate opponents, guiding them down a specific gameplay path. It might be employed to sustain a style we are about to abandon, thereby leading opponents to anticipate our actions incorrectly. The aim is to embed misleading data into opponents’ mental narratives of our strategy, subsequently maneuvering the game towards a desirable direction.


While often resulting from an irresistible urge to showcase a bluff, revealing cards should ideally serve a strategic purpose. Demonstrating a bluff can rattle opponents psychologically, especially those prone to recklessness or tilt. It’s a legitimate strategy that can either stifle their gameplay or provoke recklessness. However, it’s vital that this strategy also allows for the possibility to bait a player into a call when we’re holding a strong hand, particularly when their patience wears thin.

Conclusion of Psychology in Poker

Utilizing card revealing as a strategic tool is pivotal, and neglecting its potential advantages is impractical. Both new and experienced players should be vigilant in identifying suitable occasions to reveal their hands and ensure that it’s executed with a legitimate rationale behind it.

Have fun!

Author: AngusD
last updated 09.10.2023