A cautious person is careful to avoid potential problems or dangers – to mitigate risk and unexpected situations. To do so, they must always be alert and vigilant, and avoid being reckless.
The coronavirus pandemic has had a major impact on how we live. Hopefully, we are all able to maintain the full freedom from the ailments and lifestyle changes it ushered into our lives. It will be a pleasure to never have to worry about the need to don face masks again and be able to always interact with others without worrying about or lamenting distance of separation. Hopefully, we will have learned better ways to enjoy our lives and contribute to society to make this a better world. But we still need to be cautious and vigilant.
So, too, at the poker table, it is wise to be cautious. Those other eight players at your table are your enemies. They may smile to your face, but we all know, they are after your money and your chips. Caution! What are the thoughts going through their minds? Be prepared.
For example, observing how each opponent plays – their traits – can prepare you for the hands to come, so you make better, wiser decisions. Then, when you are dealt a borderline hand, and a tight player in early position open bets, be prepared to muck your cards. This is true regardless of the poker variant you’re playing. On the other hand, have less fear of the loose-aggressive player who often bluffs. Look for tells that may lead to a more-informed decision. Your hand may be worth staying to see the flop, but something that should be folded if there are any raises. Be cautious now; save yourself from sorrow and regret you’d have if they would win any more of your chips.
The same goes outside of poker as well. Let’s say you like to gamble online. Plenty of sites will claim to be the best online casinos for real money, but it behooves you to do the proper research before choosing the right one where you feel comfortable and secure. Be cautious, especially when it comes to gambling.
Back to poker. Is there a “maniac” at your table? Someone who just loves to raise and reraise? If so, move to a seat to their left so you can observe their action before you must act, and thus make a more-informed, better decision.
Are you well prepared to make a bluff when appropriate? As recreational players (the vast majority), we prefer low/middle limit games, so we don’t have the muscle of a big bet to convince our opponents to fold. Fortunately, the Esther Bluff will fill the gap and reinforce your bluff. Yes, it is fairly new, but it’s well worth the effort to learn.
How well are you able to use the 4-2 Rule to help decide if your drawing hand offers a positive expectation: the pot odds are higher than the card odds against you? Be cautious NOW; save yourself from sorrow tomorrow.