When is the right time to leave a poker table (cash out)?
In October 2021, the UK’s Telegraph newspaper ran a feature advising readers looking for a good betting site to check out its cash out facilities. That’s all good: the more flexible the cash out policy, the more chance you have of minimizing your losses and locking in your gains. But let’s assume that and focus on a more specific question for poker payers: given acceptable cash out policies, when’s the best time to politely stand up and (virtually, of course) leave the table?
There’s aprior step to being able to answer this question: to know when to leave, you’ll first need to understand the game and develop a workable online poker strategy. Don’t rely on “luck”.
Now, to get to the poker table. Poker decorum is different in different settings. If you’re playing regularly with a group of buddies (“Vault Poker”), you’ll already be familiar with the implicit routines of a game that’s usually primarily about entertainment and companionship, not cash winnings. If you know you need to leave earlier than usual, you probably also know that the time to tell your fellow players is, out of common courtesy, right at the beginning. You might even want to tell some of them a day or so in advance.
The “don’ts”, however, are worth being mindful of; don’t get yourself a reputation as a “hit and run” player – someone who makes a habit of beating a hasty retreat home just after winning a big pot. As Oscar Wilde once put it, “Once is unfortunate; twice is careless”. In poker, it’s not so much careless as shifty and irritating. If you’ve just won big, stick around for another hand or two before bidding farewell.
Perhaps surprisingly, in Clubhouse Poker, you’re not obliged to observe the same courtesies you’d extent to your friends. You can get up and leave any time you choose (although not in the middle of a hand). No need to explain, no need to clarify, no need to give fellow players an advance heads-up. Just assemble your chips and walk away.
With online poker, some extra discipline is advisable (although this applies equally to Vault and Clubhouse poker, too): don’t hang around for an elusive “great result”. Let your pre-set time (or number of hands) determine when you leave. Remember, you have complete control over the latter but not the former.
The self-discipline bit comes in when your reach your pre-set leaving time evenwhen you’ve ended up with underwhelming (or downright bad) results.
Bad results often lead to playing on tilt – but just because we’re creatures of emotion doesn’t mean we have to submit to them and let them rule us.
So, if you’re starting to play more hands than you normally do preflop, or you’re making more bluffs than usual, or getting angry and hopeless about getting drubbed in each hand, and/or ending up making unwise calls on the river when your rational side is telling you that you should fold – reach for the mental handbrake. You’re on tilt and you need to stop. Immediately.
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