I'm amazed at the consistency that playing safer poker backfires.

Is playing a low initial bet and waiting to see the 3 cards unfold before judging what to do, rather than playing a more aggressive game pre-flop a profitable strategy?

It seems the opponent gets a lucky 5th card to beat me only at the river more often than not even when I don't raise pre-flop.

But when my raise is made pre-flop, my opponents do not seem to win as often.

It feels as if the same problem will haunt me everytime I have good odds of winning

  • I have two words for you - Confirmation bias
    – stripathi
    Mar 6, 2015 at 22:21
  • "Safer" isn't really a good term for frequent pre-flop limping. It may seem like it's minimizing your investment in the pot while you wait for more info later, but the reality is that it usually costs you more in the long run. Mar 6, 2015 at 22:46
  • What exactly are you asking as I don't seem to see a clear question here. Is it possible you can ask something specific from this? You'll have some time to edit it into a question, otherwise it will be closed. If this is relating to a poor run of cards, EVERYBODY here will at some point have experienced that. Perhaps this question "Here" will help. Educating yourself about the natural variance in the game, which is a lot, will help you overcome this detrimental type of thinking.
    – Toby Booth
    Mar 6, 2015 at 23:50
  • I tried editing this into a question, I think I got down to the crux of what he is asking (Although I am not sure if the OP is just commenting not understanding the Q&A format)
    – Jon
    Mar 7, 2015 at 22:47
  • Sorry, I made the question before learning some poker terminology. I am referring to bad beats at the river, playing online. Where my odds are better after the flop. The opponent raises with me but does not make the win until the river card is drawn. Is it possible large well known poker sites have an algorithm that gives better spending users more wins than average so they keep re spending with the website?
    – Seb
    Mar 7, 2015 at 22:56

1 Answer 1


Zeb, this question just might get closed, because if your wondering why you get bad beats at the river is not really an answerable question. Everyone gets bad beats, and you are no exception.

You might however get more bad beats then average and it might seem to you that you are getting more bad beats. This may be because of the way you think, and the way you play. You may think flopping middle and bottom pair than getting beat is a bad beat. You may think drawing to a straight when there are two suits and a pair is a bad beat when the straight you make losses. These are not bad beats they are bad plays with the expected results.

You may get more bad beats because you play safe, instead of aggressively before the flop. This is just silly because you are simply going to take more beats playing safe then you are playing aggressively. Your taking these beats because of the way you play.

The poker sites aren't rigged to favor some players over others, these guys just might play better then you. So what one really needs to consider is the way they play. Our site here is great for that because when someone asks a question like this How to play when you hit a straight they will get a wide variety of really good answers.

So ask specific questions about specific hands you have played, provide as much detail as you can. Then you will find that your game is improving. Also there are lots of questions here were users posted about specific hands and got answers. Read them there is a lot of great information and you may see some of your own mistakes, and good plays there. Getting into bad beat stories, were one thinks the site is rigged, the dealer is unlucky, aces cant win, is a chronic disabling disease for a poker player, that keeps them from becoming a good poker player. Poker players who are losing over the long run can only become winners when they fix their game. They cannot improve their game by blaming anything or anybody else, to believe otherwise is just deflection of responsibility from oneself.

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