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Don't be afraid of losing, be passionate about winning!

The term FOMO – ala, fear of missing out – entered our lives as social media became more popular around the world. And while the original term solely touched on social anxieties, it can also be used to describe irrational fears in other fields, like poker.

According to specialists, FOMO includes two processes: the perception of missing out on something important, followed by a compulsive behavior to avoid missing out at all costs. When it comes to playing Everygame poker games, some players might feel the need to play every hand they get, just in case it might win even if the odds aren't in their favor.

Learn more about FOMO and how you can deal with it to become a successful poker player!

Fear of Missing Out, Poker, and Everything in Between

Essentially, FOMO means you regret a choice you made previously – even if it was based on sound logic – and you are afraid of making the same mistake again in unplayable situations.

Imagine you get a ♥3 and ♥7 hand. Logically speaking, the probability of this hand yielding a profit is minuscule. But after you fold, the fold reveals ♥4, ♥5, ♥6 – and you just lost out on an opportunity to win with a straight flush combo. The next time you play, you get ♣7 and ♣9 – what do you do?

If you understand that this is still a weak hand and you shouldn't play it, you are in the clear. However, if your previous experience makes you doubt your basic poker knowledge, then you are probably suffering from FOMO.

Psychologically speaking, our fear of losing is often more intense than anticipating a win, and when we let those strong emotions consume us, we might make irrational decisions.

Our brain often develops specific thinking patterns based on past experiences, and those patterns are automatically activated when you find yourself in similar situations. But if you want to remain in control of the situation at all times, you have to override your automatic response and base your decision-making on logic.

If you decide to play the 7-9 hand even though you know it is not your best move, you leave logic out of the equation and base your decision on instincts and emotions – which lead you astray. Going down this tricky path can lead to one main thing: tilting.

Once you stop paying attention to poker strategy and focus only on the emotional part of the game, you are more likely to lose money than win it in the long run. But don't worry! FOMO is not a death verdict in the poker world, as certain strategies that can help you cope with this irrational yet powerful fear.

How to Deal with FOMO in Poker

  1. Look out for obvious signs of FOMO – Do you find yourself getting antsy when you fold? Are you making more rash decisions than ever before? Do you feel less confident in your ability to play? All those things can be a sign of FOMO, and if you experience any of those things, you should reconsider your poker strategy.
  2. Take a step back – After realizing there is a problem, your next step should be taking a break. Stepping away from the tables, calming your nerves, and regrouping can help you get your head back in the game.
  3. Make sure you approach the game with a clear head – Before you even consider going back to playing poker, make sure you are in the right headspace. Get a good night's sleep, eat well, and create a distraction-free environment so you could focus more as you play poker online.
  4. Trust your knowledge – And lastly, you should always remember that poker is a game of skill. Try to put your emotions aside and focus on the data to make knowledge-based decisions.

Never Fear as You Play Poker!

Fear is a powerful emotion, especially when it is based on past experiences. However, if you manage to learn to control your emotions and play poker based on what you know instead of what you feel, you might have greater chances of winning.

And to paraphrase Babe Ruth's famous quote: Don't let the fear of missing out keep you from playing the game.