The Myth of the Bad Hand

The Myth of the Bad Hand

There’s really no such thing as your favorite hand or your worst hand.

It’s all in your mind. That thing between your ears. The brain. The noggin. The dome. The psyche.

I’m not saying you’re crazy. A lot of us have weird things that we do, say, or think about. We may not say them to others. The brain is a crazy instrument. It can take us to great places or bring us down to the depths of the crapper. It’s all about controlling it. Making it bow down to us. Gotta get in control of it. The way you do that is by understanding how it works and making effort in your life to improve every day in your mental states. We can use this to improve our online casino game skills. And make some money. I mean, damn, isn’t it one of the big reasons why we play?

Psychology of poker | Poker brain photoThese crazy mental associations we make over things that aren’t even related are due to classical conditioning. In case you fell asleep in Psychology 101, this idea comes from the Russian physiologist, psychologist, and physician named Ivan Petrovich Pavlov. The term he actually used was conditional reflex and it was based on him training his dogs (“Pavlov’s Dogs”) to salivate when he rang a bell. He did this by ringing a bell right before he fed the dogs. So after a while of this, he rang the bell without feeding the dogs. Boom, the dogs salivated without the food. Bell and food was associated. So Pavlov got his much beloved dog saliva.

So bringing this classical conditioning psychology stuff into the casino world, you’ve associated a particular hand with misery. Or you’ve associated that hand with ecstasy. So as soon as you see that hand, boom, you’ve arrived in your mental paradise or purgatory.

Get deep in that hand. Talk to top players you know in poker, blackjack, baccarat and ask them why you suck at that hand. Maybe it’s a mistake you aren’t noticing. Start doing the right things, stop doing the wrong things, and be aware. Notice trends that you’re doing. Maybe you tend to always do the same thing when you get that hand. Maybe you always play the hand too tight. Or maybe you always play that particular hand too loose. Try doing the complete opposite next time and see what happens.

When you get that “bad” hand (that most people would consider a good hand) stop psyching yourself out. Do some positive thinking about it and interrupt that old pattern of negative thinking. Think, “This time I’m gonna blast with this hand” or whatever you say when you have a great hand. Act like you actually do have that good hand.

Get that poker psychology on your good side.