If there’s one thing that makes us angry, it’s poker tilt.
Tilt can turn up in many different guises and goes on to absolutely ruin your poker game. But the good news is that poker tilt is completely avoidable. As long as you know how to watch out for it.
Plus, if you know how to diagnose it in yourself, you can also easily spot it in other players. That means you can turn their weaker moments into your advantage!
Poker tilt is when emotions start to take over
We’ve all been there before. Things aren’t going well at the table. You start to get upset. Your playing style changes, and not for the better.
This is when poker tilt takes over.
Bad luck at the felt can trigger poker tilt
Any poor emotional state can trigger poker tilt. That’s why it’s so important to not play poker when you’re upset, tired or otherwise impaired.
But sometimes if you start the game feeling pretty stable, but end up losing a whole load of hands, you might start feeling all hot and bothered.
That, dear friend, is a classic case of tilt.
It’s a story as old as poker itself. In fact, you could even say that the Dead Man’s Hand origin story is a classic case of tilt!
Tilt tries to trash your game
When you’re playing poker with your emotions, things start to get messy. Poker is a game of skill and it’s a game of numbers.
Knowing your odds and making rational decisions is the only way you’re going to succeed over a long period of time.
When you’re playing with your emotions first, you make silly decisions. You’re trying to spite players who beat you at previous hands instead of playing the game to win.
Stop tilt in its tracks
Poker players all suffer from tilt from time to time. It’s simply a fact of life. But you can minimise its impact if you take a few simple measures.
The first thing you really need to do is calm down as fast as possible. This is easier to do online in a poker room like bet365 (bet365 bonus code here, if you fancy signing up), because you are in your own home and not surrounded by strangers.
When you start feeling anger, stress, anxiety or stress rising in you, it’s time to take a break. Yes, we know it’s not always easy. But trust us. You’re better off stepping away from the game you’re playing (even if it’s a tournament) for at least a couple hands.
And if you’re playing a cash game, simply leave it entirely.
Get some fresh air if you can, have a glass of water. Take some deep breaths. When you feel more even, you can go back to the game.
If you can’t calm down, quit for the day.
Diagnose poker tilt in my opponents
When your opponents are suffering from tilt, they’re displaying weakness. When you spot this in another player, whether online or in real life, they are easy targets.
Of course, if you think someone is really in a bad way, you should have a friendly word and tell them to quit for the day.
But if you think this is a temporary hiccough and you spot the tell tale signs of poker tilt, use it to your advantage. Lure them into a few poker traps and win a few easy hands. Then after the game, send them this article and tell them how to avoid tilt in future!