Rabbit Hunting in Poker

Over the years of playing at the poker table, I’ve noticed an interesting trend among beginners or those with less experience: they often engage in what is known as “rabbit chasing”. To the uninitiated, this term may sound fancy, but in the poker realm it carries a special meaning that every player should be aware of.

Rabbit chasing is the action of a player who has already folded his hand but asks the dealer to show him what the next card(s) in the sequence would have been if he had stayed in the game. This practice is driven by curiosity and the human tendency to ponder “what if” with a hand that is no longer in play.

To give a better example, imagine we are playing Texas Hold’em. I folded preflop after a series of high bets from my opponent, deeming my hand too weak to compete. When the hand ends and a winner is announced, some part of me wonders if I made the right decision. Driven by this curiosity, I ask the dealer to “chase the rabbit” and reveal the next community card that would come on the turn or river. Assuming the revealed card is exactly what I need to create a winning hand. Depending on the outcome, the reveal can evoke a variety of emotions ranging from relief to regret.

However, it is important to realize that experienced players usually refrain from this practice. The reason for this restraint is ambiguous. First, revealing additional cards may inadvertently give other players an idea of how you might react or play under certain circumstances, which may reveal patterns in your decision-making process. Secondly, and perhaps more importantly, chasing the rabbit can foster a habit of dwelling on the past, distracting you from the thinking needed to focus on the present and future hands. Playing poker is as much about mental toughness and forward thinking as it is about skill and strategy. Thinking about what could have been does little to enhance skill at the table.

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Written by Alisa Kotsar
Over the past 7 years, Lean has diligently tracked the progress and transformations in the gambling industry. His distinctive writing style has contributed to the dissemination of important news and updates from the gambling world and clarified important trends in the industry.