Even if you’re not familiar with the term tilt, we’re betting that you instinctively know what it is. It’s so common in all forms of betting, but is especially dangerous when it comes to poker. Learn to avoid tilt and your poker game will improve immensely.
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Tilt in poker is basically when you stop playing with your head and start playing with your heart. You no longer care about odds or outs. You’re playing is reckless and emotional. You’ve lost all discipline.
When you put it like that it seems obvious that every player should avoid tilt. But sometimes that’s easier said that done in the heat of the moment. Which is why we’re going to teach you how to avoid it.
It varies from player to player, but generally speaking, tilt occurs when you’ve suffered a really bad beat. You’ve played diligently and well, done all the right things, and then your opponent wins on a super long shot. Or maybe you’ve had a streak of failures, despite your best efforts.
Bad luck is simply part of poker. When you play over any length of time, this kind of thing will happen.
It hurts, it’s tough, we know. We’ve been there. Everyone has. Even the most famous players of all time go through these devastating blows. But sometimes are instincts betray us and instead of going back to playing to the best of our ability, we start to act rashly to mimic our opponents wild fluky successes, build our stacks back up or try to focus our efforts of getting revenge on the player who scorned us.
But of course, playing more recklessly will inevitably result in yet more pain. So the best thing you can do is avoid tilt.
The most important thing you can do is recognise when it’s happening. When you start to feel emotional after a string of losses, that’s a bad sign.
Check in with yourself and start watching your instincts. Should you play this hand or should they go into the muck? Would you usually make such a big raise in this situation? Are you going up against this player because you think you can win or because you want them to suffer?
These essential questions will help you to realise when you’re suffering from tilt. If you find yourself still not being able to think clearly about the game after your losses, try taking a short break from the game. And if that doesn’t work, cut your losses and stop playing for the day.
Emotional poker players are never good poker players.
This is definitely easier said than done. But if you follow our advice, you’ll end up in a much stronger position in the long run and you’ll probably avoid further heartache and losses too.
Remember that you’re in control of the situation. And that should help you deal with tilt in future.