The Importance of Fun in Poker

John Mehaffey - January 04, 2013

All poker players learned the game a different way. Some learned it by watching their dad play. Others watched friends play in their dorm room or at a party. Those that learned poker in the past ten years may have learned it from playing online poker. The reason most players got interested in playing poker is because it is fun. When the fun ends then there can be problems.

The key to live and online poker is to keep it fun. When it becomes boring bad things can happen. A player may end up playing too many hands, they may not follow the game close enough or at a live game they may drink too much. All of these can be bad for a player and cause a winning or breakeven player to become a losing player.

What can you do to change this?

If you are bored with poker then the first thing to consider is whether you are playing limits that are too low. Some players may get comfortable in a limit and stick there. The game can become stagnant and boring. This is especially true at a smaller poker room with the same player pool day after day. The problem is that some players do not feel comfortable moving up in limits when they should. This can make the sessions seem boring and the wins not exciting.

Online poker players can play more tables. If you are just playing one table then you can move up to two tables. Once two tables feel comfortable then you can move up to three or four. While some online poker players can safely play 16 or more tables at a time I do not suggest going that far. At some point it is better to move up in limits and play fewer tables. Another option online poker players have is to play a fast version of poker. Many poker rooms offer a fast poker type product where players are moved from one table to another as soon as they fold. This can help prevent boredom between hands while waiting for the next hand to start.

Learn New Games

One option that helped me make poker fun again was to learn other games. At first I learned how to play Omaha High/Low, Seven Card Stud High/Low and variations of the game. I learned these new games playing in home games and later applied them to online poker. This gave me an edge over other players in the game. Players that are great at math and understand poker theory have a massive edge in high/low games over other players. This helped make poker fun again for me. Not only was it fun to play games other than Texas Hold’em, it was fun to win at a new game.

Learning games like Omaha and Stud can also help a player learn other non hold’em games such as Triple Draw, Badugi and Razz. These are becoming more popular in live Las Vegas games as well as some online poker rooms.

The last idea I have is to simply stop playing for a while. Some players get stuck in a habit of playing. Like anything else, if you do it too much, you will eventually grow tired of it. Go out and get some exercise, go to the bar and meet people, go shopping with your poker winnings, do anything to get you out of the house for a few days. If you decide to take a vacation then do not log into an online poker room while you are away. Online poker can seem like new again if you take a short break.