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Mastering Poker Variance: Ways to Get Steady Gains

Mastering Poker Variance: Ways to Get Steady Gains

Ever had to play a poker game, but noticed how no matter what you do: say you got a winning hand, but someone gets to it first—it just doesn’t flip to your favor? Well, that’s because poker variance has a say in the fate of your gameplay! A pesky problem to start and one you can’t always control. But in this guide, we’ll show you what causes it so you can learn how to play poker while avoiding those variances.

If you’re ready to take control of that poker game, switching it up to your advantage, then keep reading to learn more!

What Is Variance in Poker?

What Is Poker Variance?

Variance in poker is simply the natural fluctuations you encounter due to luck. That means you can go through a series of wins and losses no matter how well you play.

For example, you get dealt pocket aces, which is the best hand you can get. But because of the poker variance, if your opponent gets lucky with the cards that come your way, you still lose.

So, the variance is the difference between what you expect and what actually happens over time. While good players may decide to increase their long-term wins, short-term differences can really shake things up.

Why Is There Poker Variance?

Variances are natural in poker because there is so much fun in the game. Just look how slot volatility plays a key role in upping the thrill in slot games!

So, even after making all the right decisions, you can get good or bad results due to the randomness of the cards. Because the cards are distributed randomly, even the best players can’t control what happens next.

Luck balances out over time, and experienced players who consistently make wise decisions tend to come out on top. So with this, understanding and dealing with poker variance is key to being a successful poker player.

What Influences Poker Variance?

What Influences Poker Variance?

Here are a few factors that can bump up or tone down the amount of variance you face in poker:

  • Your Playing Style. If you play a loose-aggressive style, you’ll be involved in a lot more pots and risk more money than a typical tight player. The looser and riskier you play, the higher your variance will be.
  • The Poker Game. Omaha tends to have less poker variance than Hold’em because the hands in Omaha usually have closer odds against each other when players go all-in (closer to 60/40 rather than 75/25). Smaller edges mean less variance.
  • The Betting Type. No-limit poker has greater variance than limit poker. In limit games, the amount you bet relative to the blinds is much smaller than in no-limit games. More money at risk means more poker variance.
  • Game Characteristics. Major multi-table tournaments (MTTs) present a greater difference than single-table tournaments (SNGs) because you expect to win less. However, if you win the MTT, you get a big payout, which makes a huge difference.

Many factors can affect the variances you face in your poker career, but these are the most obvious and the ones that will have the most impact on your “ups and downs.”

How Do You Avoid Variance in Poker?: 12BET Casino Tips

How Do You Avoid Variance in Poker?: 12BET Casino Tips

You probably think there is absolutely no way you can avoid poker variance now when it’s solely due to luck. But here at 12BET Casino, we say that as long you’ve got these nifty tricks up your sleeve, you’ll be golden in avoiding that pesky variance. So, without further ado, here’s how you can avoid it through natural ways:

  1. Manage Your Bankroll. Variance can really hit your bankroll hard if you’re not prepared for it. Make sure you have enough money committed to deal with the landing and are willing to take a risk if necessary.
  2. Take Breaks. Poker variance is part of the game, but that doesn’t mean you should keep playing no matter what, hoping for a change in luck. Pros can play well regardless of luck, but most of us are affected by short-term results. If you feel this is happening, take a break.
  3. Study More. When the cards don’t go your way, use it as an opportunity to study and improve. Everyone has leaks, and reflecting on your game can pay off. Review your hands to spot mistakes and learn better poker strategies.
  4. Accept and Expect. Accepting poker variance is crucial because it in of itself is necessary. It keeps the game profitable by allowing anyone to win, even against top players. Unlike chess, where skill guarantees victory, in poker, luck plays a significant role. Embrace the fluctuations and prepare to minimize their impact.
  5. Focus On Long Term. Variance will always be a part of poker, and it’s normal to feel like you’re not making any progress during a downturn. But remember, skilled players win in the long run. Make good decisions and play solid poker, and over time the results will improve.
  6. Stay Disciplined. When faced with differences, resist the urge to play recklessly to recoup losses. Stick to your plan and avoid making snap decisions based on short-term results.
  7. Take Responsibility.  You can’t control the cards or poker variance, but you can control your reaction. Bad things happen, but how we react counts. Even when things get tough, avoid making it worse by playing the wrong game. Winning’s part of the game, but minimizing losses is key to long-term success.

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