Thinking Long Term

If you think about it, there's a definite correlation between thinking long-term with regards to your future and thinking long term with regards to playing poker:
• Your future: make money and be happy!
• Play poker: make money and be happy!

In fact, in poker, thinking long term is filled with much the same decision making and tests on your patience that planning for your future does. If you play the game with any amount of consistency, you know that the real gains to make while playing poker occur in the long term. Sure you can have a wining hand on any given day, but the true goal in poker -- thinking long term -- is to win more often than you lose, and have more good days than bad. Are you going to win every day? Of course not. But you will be "beating poker" as long as your win column outweighs your losses.

Thinking Long Term Tip #1:

A poker player should always strive for achieving the move with the highest expectation. Because simply put, you will always find yourself making money as long as you can pull off the best moves. I know what you're thinking, "What happens when I make the best move and still don't win, then what?" It’s going to happen. Poker will always remain a game of chance as much as it is a game of skill. The trick in playing poker, thinking long term – is to rebound from a losing hand and look to win the next one.

Thinking Long Term Tip #2:

Let's face it, it's inevitable that -- as a beginner just starting out – you can easily find yourself stuck in the "losers syndrome," that is -- you make the same mistakes repeatedly. But just like learning to ride a bike or having sex, the more you do it the better you will become at it and the less mistakes you will make. Consider the following mistakes that many newcomers to the game make time and again (and in process completely lose sight of thinking long term):

Letting your emotions dictate your play

There is no Luke Skywalker/let-the-force-guide-you synthesis at work when playing a winning hand. You don't close your eyes and "feel" the winning cards suddenly arrange themselves in the deck. Poker is a game of numbers while at the same poker is a game o playing the odds. Long-term logic dictates that you only play your hand because you feel the odds are with you for winning. Players may feel lucky in the movies, but in real life they know what the stakes are. Want to win money in the long term – play to good odds. Want to feel good? Read a romance novel.

Playing one hand to many

It's a fact: newbie's play far too many hands. Here's where the math part of playing poker comes in: if you're playing more than 19-24% of all your hands than you’re playing too much. Take a lot of at those percentages again: you will probably fold more than you lay down your cards. If you’re not then you're losing money for sure.

Thinking Long Term Tip #3:

Is it profitable? At the end of the day, a player with his or her eye on thinking long term is part headhunter and part businessperson. As stated earlier, the difference between the beginning and the pro is that the former probably isn't thinking any farther than the current hand being played while the later is thinking long term and considering how to play an entire evening in such a way as to maximize his or her income. A professional is just that – a pro – because they are earning an income. And a professional income depends on a variety of factors such as luck, skill, money, risk and games played per hour. A true pro knows he or she is making more at the gaming table that at the office.
And last but not the least:

Thinking Long Term Tip #4:

Patience is the key. Yes, you need to understand the odds, understand the cards but perhaps the most important strategy when playing poker, thinking long term is to learn patience and learn to read your opponent. Songs have been written about it with a lot more eloquence but the advice is none the less true: know when to raise the stakes and know when to fold and you will find yourself in the winners circle a lot more often in the long term.

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