Regardless of how great you are at poker your short-term wins and losses will be more down to variance than skill levels. As the game of poker is based on mathematics, with odds and probability dominating proceedings, there is scope for results in the short term to fluctuate greatly from what would be expected.

If you tossed a coin ten times it would be fair to assume that it would land five times on heads and fives times on tails. But over such a small sample size you would probably see seven of one side and three of the other and it would not be far fetched to think all ten tosses could result in heads being displayed.

However, if you tossed the coin a million times your results would be almost exactly half and half as the large sample size has allowed the statistics to converge to the norm,

Sample size is something you need to keep in your thoughts when you are playing poker, especially in cash games. For those players who play

online Texas Holdem

a significant sample size is regarded as 10,000 hands, which could take upwards of 100 hours of play if you only sat at a single table. This is one of the reason that many players play many tables, up to 24, at once so that the variance evens out and their results are true.

Games such as

Omaha poker

are higher in variance due to the fact hands run much closer in value than in Holdem. In Omaha it is quite common to get all of your money in as a 55-60% favourite whilst in Holdem you will find yourself as a huge favourite on many occasions.

You need to be aware that variance works both ways. It not only works against you but also works in your favourite/ How many times have you won with Kings versus Aces all-in preflop or caught a miracle card on the river when you were almost dead and buried? A trap weak players fall into is to blame their losses on variance but think their winning sessions are due to good play on their part. Deluding yourself is a recipe for disaster and has been the downfall of many players.

Try not to be too influenced by short-term results and instead focus on making plays that will, in the long term, prove to be profitable.


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