Most losing streaks are short-lived, but others can last for weeks and even months at a time.
When you're in the middle of an extended losing streak, how you move forward will make the difference between staying in the game or finding yourself searching for a stake.
Here are five ways to overcome an extended losing streak in poker.
1. Drop Down in Stakes
Yes, this is a common suggestion on all losing streak and bankroll management articles. The reason it's always suggested is because it's the #1 fix to many losing streaks.
Poker is always evolving and some games get tougher. Sometimes the players get better; other times the games get tougher because the fish go broke.
This is when you drop down in stakes and find poker games that you can beat. After a time, try your skill at the higher game.
You may find that it has gotten easier or maybe you've worked on improving your game and are just playing better.
2. Work on Your Game With a Friend or Coach
At some point a losing streak becomes less about variance and more about a problem with your own game.
When you reach this point you need to begin working on your game either with a friend or possibly even a poker coach.
The route you choose should depend on which method will best suit you. If you have a friend that is a consistent winner and you trust will be honest with you, reviewing your hand history or having them rail you can help give you valuable insight.
Otherwise, consider investing in a poker coach to help you spot and improve on leaks in your poker game. A small investment now will reap dividends down the road.
3. Reduce (or Eliminate) Multi-Tabling
Sometimes a player will begin to lose when they're overextending themselves via multi-tabling. They often fail to spot leaks - or they know the leaks are there - but they are playing too many tables to concentrate effectively to eliminate them.
Cutting down the number of tables you play will allow you to focus more on the remaining tables. You may be forced to go "old school" and play a single table at a time until you can start posting some wins.
As you begin winning, start adding tables slowly until you find a comfortable spot.
4. Play on a Different Site
Will playing on a different poker site eliminate leaks in your game? Absolutely not.
But if you're finding yourself in tough games day after day, or for an extended period, switching sites might help you find softer competition.
There's a reason that many pros don't play exclusively on PokerStars. Some games are better on other sites.
Yes, the prize money may not be as high on smaller sites but if you can beat the games easier, the profits will accumulate.
5. Reduce Your Schedule/Take an Extended Break
An extended losing streak can wear on you both physically and mentally. Over time, losing will start to impact your decisions and you find yourself making bad plays because you're trying "not to lose."
When you get to this point, maybe it's time to cut back on the number of hours you're playing a week or even quit the game for a while. Cutting back on your schedule will help you get your head back into the game and help you refocus on future sessions.
The games aren't going anywhere, so take a break and come back sometime later.