Applying variance to determine the best move in a poker hand
By Bob Garcia
Being able to analyze a hand’s possibilities is a big part of gambling in poker
Every single hand of poker comes with its own quota of uncertainty, called variance, and the more variance a hand has, the more uncertainty there is. While considered a game of skill, poker also has the element of luck that can bring lots of frustration if you don’t know how to handle it properly. Certain poker games have more variance than others do; for instance, multi-table tournaments have the most variance, while cash games have lower variances. In any hand, learning how to act in each situation and knowing how variance can affect your game can help you keep that frustration away.
There is nothing bad about playing a game with a lot of variance; it actually can become a good thing given that, typically speaking, the tournaments with the most variance tend to have the highest returns. For instance, while playing in a Sit & Go (SnG), the more risk you take, the better the reward; however, it all depends on how successful your move was. Before taking any major risks, one of the aspects to take care of is your bankroll; if you don’t have enough big blinds to guarantee your permanence in the game, you should not be taking major risks.
In order to manage your bankroll in an ideal way, you need to make sure you have clear limits when it comes to ups and downs whenever the game requires it. This means that, if you feel things are getting too stressful, then you might need to take a break and switch to another type of game that can allow you more for taking action. The most important thing to know is to identify the situation in which you are already pushing your limits so you can move fast before allowing major losses that can affect your mindset.