Are You Anxious About Playing Poker? Find Out if You Have Poker FOMO!

Have you heard of FOMO or the Fear of Missing Out? This feeling has existed for a long time, but we only recently gave it a name. It happens because we have an instinct to survive, and in today’s world, social media can make it even stronger.

Although the phrase “fear of missing out” might seem harmless and helpful, it causes anxiety and can originate from concerns like not being chosen for a team or feeling nervous about a poker opponent’s successes. It could also apply to the stress of securing a spot on a popular online poker website.

As a result, FOMO can lead to various psychological distresses, including tilt. Therefore, it is essential to explore the origins of the fear of missing out and determine when it becomes concerning for its impact.

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Where Does FOMO Come From?

FOMO, which stands for Fear of Missing Out, originated in a 2004 op-ed piece published by The Harbus – the magazine of Harvard Business School. Since then, it has become popular and was even added to the Oxford Dictionary in 2013.

The enduring popularity of FOMO suggests that it will continue to be relevant in the future. Initially, FOMO was associated with the anxiety caused by constantly checking social media updates. People experiencing Fear of Missing Out (FOMO) must keep themselves informed and ensure they don’t miss out on essential updates regarding different topics.

This can be dangerous, as those with minority opinions may face severe consequences on social media platforms like Twitter or Facebook, which can further lead to real-life situations such as job loss, qualifications revocation, and even physical assault.

Over the years, FOMO has expanded its scope to cover various areas of human behavior, such as obsessive behavior on social media, financial trading, and even poker tilt from the anxiety and frustration of not being able to keep up with the latest trends and games.

The common thread linking these activities is their development and growth through internet technology. With internet access being more widespread on different devices, it’s no wonder many people have been impacted by FOMO-related discomforts regarding poker and poker hands.

When Do We Experience FOMO?

Do you ever feel like you’re missing out when relaxing at home in your pajamas or enjoying a good book or movie after a long day? That feeling might arise when you receive a text from one of your friends.

When your finger pushes the dreaded button, a wild house party appears on-screen with loud music and friends laughing uproariously. Suddenly, you realize that not going out tonight was an epic mistake; why did you think it would be enough to stay home? Fear of making the wrong decision can be daunting. The terrible decision settles in like a heavy blanket, leaving your best-case scenario far behind.

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Discovering How FOMO Impacts Poker Games

It’s important to understand that FOMO is not a new phenomenon. It’s an instinct that humans have always had. Our survival as a species depends on our social connections, so being included in the group could pose a risk throughout history.

Experiencing these feelings can have physical effects, such as butterflies in the stomach and a racing heartbeat. FOMO, or the fear of missing out, can lead you to play hands that you should fold before seeing the flop.

This fear does not come from an external threat but can still affect your brain and decision-making process. Although some professional players may be able to profit in the long run with sure hands in early position, such as suited one- or two-gappers, most players cannot.

If you need help making decisions when you’re not in a favorable position, you may be widening your range of starting hands too much because of FOMO. Ask yourself if you’re losing money by hoping for lucky cards or overreacting to a random player winning big with a terrible starting hand.

Playing casino games can lead to FOMO, which doesn’t necessarily mean you have a gambling problem. However, it’s essential to be cautious and avoid a potential poker tilt. We tend to stay at table games longer than necessary to exploit profitable opportunities.

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But it’s important to exercise caution and not let this behavior become unreasonable, as it may lead to problems later. When playing poker online and live, we must remind ourselves that our minds don’t automatically adjust to the game’s requirements.

Our minds need help grasping the game’s intricacies because our usual pattern recognition abilities, which help us recognize an opponent tell or classify a gambler as passive or daring, are not applicable here. Our brains are programmed to realize that even with a bad hand, we may still get lucky and win something on the flop.

The fear of missing out (FOMO) can be triggered when you feel like investing will make you miss out on something. This may lead you to bet more than you should on a bad hand. Unfortunately, some people don’t take responsibility for their FOMO decisions. Surprisingly, some feel relieved after taking the risk, regardless of whether it succeeds or fails.


Poker FOMO is an increasing issue in the poker community and can severely impact bankrolls and players’ mental health. Although feeling FOMO can be uncomfortable, it’s important to remember that missing out on big pots or tournaments won’t ruin your career as a poker player.

Learning how to play smarter, implementing sound bankroll management strategies, and having the discipline to stick to them will make all the difference. With this knowledge, you will be able to take advantage of opportunities presented while avoiding costly mistakes from inappropriate actions influenced by rush decisions made in the heat of the moment due to FOMO.

For those who strive for success in poker and improve their poker strategy, understanding your inner state and eliminating FOMO should be part of your path forward.

You can become a skilled and successful professional poker player by understanding what triggers poker-related FOMO and taking steps to counter its effects. So next time you feel the FOMO, remember: to step back, take a deep breath, and think about what you’re doing before you put your money at risk.

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