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Do Good Poker Players Play to Reduce Variance?

2,476 Views on 8/12/23

All about Playing to Reduce Variance

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Poker is a game of skill, strategy, and decision-making. A good poker player knows how to read their opponents, manage their bankroll, and make calculated risks.

But even the best players can't control everything in the game. Luck is a factor that can't be avoided, and it can have a significant impact on a player's results. This is where variance comes into play.



Variance in poker refers to the fluctuations in a player's short-term results. These fluctuations can be caused by a variety of factors such as luck, the skill level of opponents, and the number of hands played.

Variance can lead to significant swings in a player's bankroll, and it can be challenging to manage.

Good poker players understand the importance of reducing variance in their games. By doing so, they can minimize the impact of luck on their results and make more consistent profits over the long term.

There are several strategies that players can use to reduce variance, including playing more conservatively, avoiding high-risk plays, and tightening up their starting hand requirements.

One of the most effective ways to reduce variance in poker is to play more conservatively. This means avoiding high-risk plays and focusing on making smaller, consistent wins.

Good poker players understand that the goal is not to win every hand but to make profitable decisions over the long term. This requires a disciplined approach that avoids unnecessary risks and focuses on making smart, calculated decisions.



For example, a good poker player may choose to check or call rather than bet or raise aggressively. This reduces the risk of losing a large amount of chips on a single hand and helps to maintain a stable bankroll.

By playing defensively, the player can also gather more information about their opponents and make better decisions in future hands.

Another way to reduce variance in poker is to avoid high-risk plays. This includes avoiding bluffs or big bluffs that have a higher potential payout but also a higher risk of losing a large amount of chips.

Good poker players understand that bluffing is an essential part of the game, but it should be used sparingly and only in the right situations.

For example, a good poker player may choose to bluff when they have a strong hand but want to give the impression that they have a weaker hand. This can be a useful tactic for getting opponents to fold, but it should be used with caution. If the bluff is called, the player risks losing a significant amount of chips.



Finally, good poker players can reduce variance by tightening up their starting hand requirements. This means being more selective about the hands they play and avoiding marginal hands that are more likely to lose. By doing so, the player reduces the risk of losing chips on a hand that is unlikely to win.

For example, a good poker player may choose to fold a hand like 7-2 offsuit, which has a low chance of winning, rather than playing it and risking losing chips. By being more selective about the hands they play, the player can also avoid getting involved in hands where they are at a significant disadvantage.

While reducing variance can be an effective strategy for managing a player's bankroll and making consistent profits over the long term, it does have its drawbacks. One of the main cons of reducing variance is that it can lead to lower potential earnings compared to a more aggressive style of play.

When a player focuses on making smaller, consistent wins, they may miss out on opportunities to make big wins. This is because more aggressive players are more likely to win larger pots and make bigger profits in the short term. However, aggressive play also carries a higher risk of losing chips, which can lead to significant swings in a player's bankroll.

Another potential drawback of reducing variance is that it can lead to players becoming too risk-averse and missing out on profitable opportunities. When a player is overly cautious, they may pass up on chances to make profitable bets or raises. This can lead to missed opportunities to win significant pots and make more substantial profits.

In addition, players who focus too much on reducing variance may become too emotionally attached to their bankroll. They may become overly concerned with short-term results and miss out on opportunities to make smart, calculated risks that can lead to bigger profits over the long term.



Despite these potential drawbacks, reducing variance remains a critical strategy for good poker players. It allows players to manage their bankroll effectively and make consistent profits over time. It also helps players to maintain psychological stability by avoiding significant swings in their results.

To be successful in poker, players must strike a balance between reducing variance and taking calculated risks. While it is essential to avoid unnecessary risks and make smart, conservative decisions, players must also be willing to make aggressive moves when the situation calls for it. This requires a disciplined approach that is grounded in solid strategy and decision-making.

Good poker players understand the importance of reducing variance in their games. By playing more conservatively, avoiding high-risk plays, and tightening up their starting hand requirements, players can minimise the impact of luck on their results and make more consistent profits over the long term.

However, players must also be willing to take calculated risks when the situation calls for it to maximise their potential earnings. By striking a balance between reducing variance and taking calculated risks, players can develop a winning strategy that leads to long-term success in the game of poker.



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At PokerVIP we pride ourselves in recruiting top poker talent from around the World to help our users improve their game. With over 350 original training videos from over 30 renowned poker coaches, PokerVIP is one of the best resources ... Read More

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