Avoiding Tilting

Patience and emotional detachment are two very important qualities for a poke player. You should try to always stay detached from the game you play. You need to have the patience to wait for the right hand to come and be detached enough to not get flustered if you end up on the wrong end of a bad beat.


Bad beats are a common reason that causes people to tilt. Tilting is when you get emotional upset and start making stupid decision based on your emotions rather than the correct logical plays. This can quickly become very expensive. This is the reason you should always leave your emotions at the door when you start playing poker. (although it can be good to appear to be emotional while remaining cool on the inside)

Bad beats are a normal part of poker and nothing to get upset over. You should in fact almost feel happy when you suffer from a bad beat. Yes, you lost some money but you also got to see that your opponent makes very weird plays that is going to allow you to earn a lot of money over time. Opponents that make calls that only have a 10% chance of succeeding are worth gold and the occasional bad beat is the price you have to pay to play with them. You will win 9 times for every time they win and they will add a lot of money to your bankroll over time.

It is easy to get annoyed when opponents are running hot and hit a lot of cards they statistically shouldn’t be hitting. When this happen it is important to remember that poker is a game off averages. They might be hitting more than they fair share of cards right now but it will even itself out over time and another day they will hit less cards than they should. It is easy to forget when you yourself run hot and catch more cards than you should. When you do there will be someone else who gets annoyed and cant believe it.

Bad cards and lucky opponents are the most common reasons that players go tilt. Neither of this should bother you if you understand poker and odds. That each and every hand doesn’t matter. The important part is that you keep playing a statistically good game. If you do you will win money over time even if the variations can be big. There is no reason to allow the events that statistically must happen to bother you.

There are two other common reasons that people tilt. The first is that opponents taunt them at the table. The best things to do is to ignore it. There are only 3 reasons that an opponent will taunt you.

  • They want you to get annoyed and play less than optimal (optimally they want you to tilt)
  • You are really playing very badly. If you do then you should listen to them and improve your game. In this case it is good that they tell you that you play poorly. They should really just keep quite and keep winning your money.
  • They are a$$holes and should be ignored.

If you find it hard to ignore what other players say then I recommend that you turn of the chat and the distraction completely.

The last common reason that poker players tilt is the hardest to avoid. This is when you tilt out of boredom. When you haven’t gotten any good cards for a long time and when you feel that you do not get any action. In this situation it is very easy to start calling hands you shouldn’t be calling and playing hands you have no reason being in at all. Luckily it is also the least damaging type of tilt. You are unlikely to quickly loose a lot of money when you tilt due to boredom.

Regardless it is very important to get this under control because if you do not learn to control this impulse then this can be the most expensive type of tilt over time. It cost less each time you tilt but can be more expensive than other types of tilt over time since it easy to fall into this trap more often than other types of tilt. Tilts due to boredom is one of the main reasons for the leak many players experience.