The variance and the “bad beat” have been highly suggested terms to the writing. We are happy to hear that our readers have taken the time to manage their poker life and identify and deal with all possible situations.

If losing a game unexpectedly when having a bad beat is bad, what happens when in a period of variance the player’s luck seems to have changed and he is disappointed with his own performance? Knowing how to overcome adverse situations is extremely important for someone who wants to play poker online and advance their career.

In this article we will talk a little about the bad moments in the life of a poker player and what to do to face them. Enjoy the reading!

Variance: the cyclical world


In a championship there are several competitors and, no matter how skilled you are, how can you predict the preparation of the others? Also, how do you know if you are on a lucky day or not? The proper term to talk about it is “variance”.

No matter how skillful and attentive a player may be, it is not possible to predict the outcome of a game in advance until the last card has been dealt. In the same way, regular poker players know that it is impossible to always win, and that in 10% of the games they will lose against players of a class much lower than their own.

If we examine the trajectory of an individual player, we will see that, throughout his thousands of games, he will have low moments. Even if he is lucrative and professional, that player will surely not be able to keep winning forever. It turns out that sometimes these losses occur repeatedly and this variance does not seem to change.

How long does the variance last?

Marcos Sketch, a poker expert, made the following comment about variance:

“Swings from 300 to 600 buy-ins are common, depending on player ROI and field size” “Even 1000 buy-ins is something that happens more often than you might think. Everyone freaks out when I say that, but yeah, I’m really talking about statistical variance. A player can play well and lose 1,000 buy-ins. It may be very strange but it is real; anyone with a good knowledge of statistics and standard deviation, he will understand it”.

So thinking about 1000 plays, depending on the pace of the player, can mean up to a period of more than a year. It can be difficult for a player to cope with a large period of losses, which can mean a period of thinning of the player’s bankroll. How can this be dealt with?

What to do when you are in a period of variance?

period of variance

You have to understand that a player’s performance in poker is cyclical, just like the seasons, so, in this way, a player who is in a bad moment should try to understand that it is a temporary phase and that it is important to remain calm.

The offseason is always a good time to do some serious thinking: reviewing games and strategies, studying new techniques, shadowing new players. New habits can also be incorporated, which will exercise the mind even more. A good example is doing some sport, gardening, or even a mental exercise like meditation.

Some players can also exercise their mind more in other card games. For poker players looking for new adventures, we recommend many other card games available at Bodog, such as Single Deck Blackjack.

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