Poker is a great pastime, and Texas Holdem poker is the most popular variety. You can enjoy yourself either online, at the casino, or even with just some friends. If you’re lucky enough with your cards and actions, you might even pick up a bit of extra money too. There is a darker side to poker that we need to talk about, it can lead to stress and adverse mental health. We’ll dive into some of the important issues and how to best deal with them.
Only gamble what you can afford to lose
Texas holdem poker is a truly amazing game combining skill and luck at the same time. The only considerable drawback is that it can be rather costly if you keep playing it and don’t actually win very often. That’s a problem, as you could end up gambling money for food, fuel, or payments on your accommodation. It’s important to separate your funds from disposable income to essential costs. At least then if you do find the best texas holdem poker sites here and lose your money, it’s not going to have a detrimental impact on you or your family.
One really good way to still play poker but not spend anymore is to get a pack of cards and play with your friends for matchsticks or find a free app where you can just play the game for free without gambling. Then you’ll still have the joy of playing and getting some practice in but not spending any money in the process.
Set time limits on your play sessions
We’ve all been there, it’s 3 a.m. and you’re itching to get that hot streak back that you had at the start of the night several hours ago. While the cards might come back, the chances are that you’re tired and other players are taking advantage of your state. Nobody can truly play for multiple hours without a break. If you’re eager to pull an all-nighter in the online poker room (seriously, not advised) then at least take breaks in the process. However, a 1-2 time limit for your session should be enough whatever your objectives are from playing.
Accept all outcomes and variance
Before playing your first hand at the table, it’s important to visualize the worst possible outcome. You’ve got $100 spare this month and you’ve taken it all to this table. Are you truly happy if you end up walking home with none of that remaining? If that’s the case, go ahead. If you aren’t on board with that, it sounds like you’ve not accepted that poker has multiple chance elements that are beyond your control. You might play a perfect mental round but if your opponent has a royal flush, you were never going to win. When you accept all the varying outcomes of playing poker, then you’re mentally prepared to proceed.
Vary your poker experience
One great way to stay mentally prepared and ready to play poker as your best self is not just to play poker. There’s a lot of merit in conducting poker-related activities. This included studying poker resources (there are countless websites and books) watching professional poker players on TV or the internet, or even just talking about poker to your colleagues. All these activities will keep you engaged with the sport and possibly improve your own abilities.
It is also an idea to delve beyond Texas Hold’em. While it is by far the most popular derivative, there’s nothing wrong in trying your hand at Pineapple, Omaha, and Stud, to see if you like them or if you can learn anything from them.
Log out and exercise
This one isn’t just for poker players as everyone can benefit from having less screen time and exercising. The mental health benefits of physical exercise have been well documented for many years now with many studies suggesting the two are linked. If it’s a run, walk or even going for a session at the gym this will help your mind to be in shape as well as your figure. In turn, you’ll be in a better state to manage any situation the poker table might throw at you.
Seek professional support if you need it
It’s sad but a harsh reality that sometimes you might need professional support when your gambling habits take a turn for the worst. If you’re thinking about it all night, first thing in the morning, and find yourself on it all the time, spending money you don’t have – that’s bad. There are charities out there whose job it is to offer support. Of course, use your immediate support network (friends, family, etc.) as well.