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Top 10 poker myths – Part II

9 July 2018

World Poker Tour

World Poker Tour (photo by Jonas Wohlgemuth)

Poker — especially its most popular variation, Texas Hold'em — is one of the most-played card games in the world. Played for real money and for fun, online and live, poker has taken over the world, especially over the last two decades.

One thing that makes poker so different from many other card games is that it involves a mix of luck and skill that's not easy to distinguish at first. These two elements, the game's popularity, and the fine mix between luck and skill have also helped produce many myths about the game — some of which have foundations in reality, but for the most part, like all other myths, they're just fiction.

So, after presenting our original set of 10 poker myths a few months ago, here are 10 more falsehoods about the game that you should be wary of.

10. The house always wins
If you’re someone who knows a thing or two about poker, you probably know how ludicrous this statement is. However, you’ll hear it over and over again from people. They simply jumble poker up with all other casino games, like blackjack or baccarat, where, indeed, the house always has an edge. Poker, however, is played against other people and not against the casino. The casino does charge a rake, but that’s just the fee for services rendered. They don’t care who wins and who loses, as long as the game is on.

9. You can’t make living playing poker
Being a professional poker player isn’t a respected career choice in most parts of the world. People don’t believe that you can make money playing cards, because it’s all just about luck and you can’t be the luckiest guy or girl out there. These people simply don’t understand how big of a role skill plays in poker, and that it can be a very stable and safe source of income as long as you know what you’re doing. Luck really doesn’t have much to do with it at all in the long run, and you can start learning what you need to know by getting a poker hands cheat sheet.

8. The "cash-out curse"
Many people believe that, if you cash out some of your winnings from an online poker site, some kind of doom switch triggers and you will no longer be able to win. This doesn’t really have any foundations in reality, as all the best online poker sites regularly have their software checked for fairness and randomness. The truth is, streaks in poker exist, and after winning for a while, most players get through a losing period, which is something you just have to deal with. It happens in live poker too, but since there is no magic cash-out button, it isn’t perceived the same way.

7. All WSOP bracelet winners are good players
The World Series of Poker (WSOP) is the most popular and prestigious event on the poker calendar each year, and winning a WSOP bracelet is certainly a big deal. However, someone winning a WSOP bracelet doesn’t necessarily make them a good player (and vice versa). In fact, with WSOP attracting thousands of players of all sorts of skill levels, it is probably fair to say that the average toughness of Hold’em events is lower than in WPT or EPT tournaments.

6. You can only learn poker by playing
Many old-school players belong to the school of thought where learning poker by reading books or watching videos is a waste of time, as you can only really learn by playing. The truth is, unless you’re naturally really talented, you will learn most from these books, videos and other learning materials, applying concepts from these at the tables. Otherwise, you might be stuck in a loop where you consistently make same mistakes over and over again without ever even realizing it.

5. It's easier to play against good players
This myth is usually propagated by the players who have a certain level of knowledge about the game, but often don’t understand its basic premise – winning the most cash/chips in any given hand. They are annoyed by weak players who make irrational decisions and fail to adapt. The simple truth is, you always want to play against bad players if you’re there to win, and it is never easier to play against good players. It may appear so when you’re on a bad streak and losing to all these random hands, but your ideal setting is to be playing against players less knowledgeable than you.

4. Quit while you’re ahead
Often, you’ll hear people talking about poker (cash games specifically) in terms of getting up when you double up or reach a certain target. This is a bad approach to the game because if you’re always quitting a good game after you double up, you’re quite literally leaving money on the table. Furthermore, if you’re limiting your wins this way, it will be very hard to grow your bankroll because there will be inevitable losing sessions, and if you never have big winning sessions you won’t be able to offset these.

3. Poker is all about bluffing
People who have learned poker from TV often believe the game is all about big bluffs. The truth is, although bluffing has an important place in the game, it only works if you know exactly what you’re doing, at least in the long run. Bluffing for the sake of bluffing is not just ineffective; it will lead to some of the most expensive mistakes you could imagine.

Pocket aces

Pocket aces (photo by Wikipedia)

2. I ALWAYS lose with pocket aces
Pocket aces is the strongest starting poker hand in Texas Hold’em, and no matter what your opponent has, you’ll always be a big favorite to win the hand before the community cards are dealt. However, people often complain they NEVER win with pocket aces. This is simply not true, and if they kept records of all of their hands, they’d know this. The myth stems from the fact that losing with aces is usually quite painful and often quite expensive, so it sticks with us. When you win, it’s nothing special, because that's what was supposed to happen.

1. Online poker is rigged
Poker has found its way from casino rooms to the vast spaces of the internet, which helped make the game even more popular. However, many people believe that online poker is rigged somehow and full of cheaters. The truth is, while there are always cheaters and scammers (live poker isn’t immune to this either), the game is fundamentally fair. That said, it is a different game in a way, as there are many people using (legal) poker tracking software and the quality of play in general is much higher, so the games can appear “rigged” when compared to a live setting.
Top 10 poker myths – Part II is republished from Online.CasinoCity.com.
Tadas Peckaitis

Tadas Peckaitis has been a professional poker player, coach and author for almost a decade. He is a manager and head coach at mypokercoaching.com where he shares his experience, and poker strategy tips.
Tadas plays poker, mostly online, but also manages to play live events while travelling through Europe and the U.S.
He is a big fan of personal effectiveness and always trying to do more. Tadas regularly shares his knowledge about both of these topics with his students, and deeply enjoys it.
Follow him on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube, or visit www.mypokercoaching.com
Tadas Peckaitis
Tadas Peckaitis has been a professional poker player, coach and author for almost a decade. He is a manager and head coach at mypokercoaching.com where he shares his experience, and poker strategy tips.
Tadas plays poker, mostly online, but also manages to play live events while travelling through Europe and the U.S.
He is a big fan of personal effectiveness and always trying to do more. Tadas regularly shares his knowledge about both of these topics with his students, and deeply enjoys it.
Follow him on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube, or visit www.mypokercoaching.com