Sometimes, poker is positively maddening. It’s a game of chance, after all, and as humans we’re certainty-loving beings. We like knowing what’s next; we can’t stand uncertainty. It’s a wonder we can tolerate poker at all.
That’s what makes poker a game of real skill. Consistent winners master the art of staying certain in the face of uncertainty. They’re able to keep their cool even when expected results don’t add up short-term. They transcend human biological wiring.
Winners avoid tilt, which is something that 90% of poker players can’t do. That’s why they win, and the rest of us punch our computer screens after a loss. Avoiding tilt is the hardest poker skill to master, and the most important.
And it’s nowhere more important than in Rush Poker. At least in a normal-paced game of poker your chances to donk off stacks are limited by time; you can only see a few hands in a given session, and thus can only lose so much. Rush Poker dispenses of this loss-cap. Since we can see an almost infinite number of hands in a session of Rush, we’ve got more opportunities to make bad plays on tilt.
Tilting can be incredibly costly in Rush Poker; you need to put serious effort into controlling your mindset while you play, if you hope to win consistently. Knowing how to identify when you’re on tilt, and knowing how to handle it will better your winrate tenfold.
We’re our own worst enemies when it comes to analyzing ourselves. This is why identifying tilt can be so difficult. By nature we look to justify our actions, at all costs. If you want to be a winning Rush Poker player you’ve got to quench that urge to irrationally justify, and learn to see bad play for what it is.
Tilt can be really obvious. Imagine you’re dealt AA on the button, and you raise to 4BB preflop. Some dude flat calls you, and the flop comes Ah-5c-6d. You bet, the guy raises, and you push—he calls. He shows 4h-Th. Incredible, right? The turn comes 9h, and the river Jh. Villain’s runner-runner flush knocks your set of aces out into the cold.
Think of how you’d feel after seeing that happen to your rockets. Chances are your blood pressure would rise; your heart rate would increase; you might slam your fist against the desk; you definitely think something like “what the %*$# that @*#$ing donk omgomgomg”. All of these things tell you you’re starting to tilt, and that you need to chill out.
Tilt isn’t always this obvious to spot, though. Sometimes (even in Rush Poker) you’ll just be up against a cold deck. Hand after hand can come with nothing to play. When you do get cards, you get no action from your opponents. This is irritating, and you’ll probably find yourself thinking stuff like “damn, cold deck”, “I can’t get any cards tonight”, “what the hell, the one time I get kings they all fold!”
Thoughts like these should act as signals to your poker-player brain: “psst—you’re tilting!” Even though you’re not smashing keyboards or throwing cats across the room, your thought process is becoming clouded with negativity. If you find yourself thinking these thoughts, you will not be playing optimally.
Refer to this handy list of tilt signals while you play. If you start thinking any of these things, you’re tilting:
“Just a few more hands, I’ll make it back…”
“He’s bluffing… She’s bluffing… They’re both bluffing,” and etc.
“Ugh, the dealer hates me tonight!”
“Rush Poker is rigged!”
“%*$&er, you donk you called me with %*$*in THAT?”
How To Save Your Stacks
The solution to tilt is incredibly simple; actually carrying it out is difficult. Ready for it? Here it is:
Sit out, log off, and shut down.
It’s as easy as closing the Rush Poker game and going for a walk. Go have a good meal. Go play golf. Go do anything but play poker!
You cannot make good decisions with your mind reeling. You will fall into the trap of justification, and you won’t realize the mistakes you’ve made until after you book a -10 buy-in session.
Tilt signals should send a clear message: “You cannot play your A-game right now; stop playing poker”. Do not think about it. Do not justify your actions. Just shut off your computer and do something else.
Tilt-free poker is winning poker. Do not underestimate the importance of maintaining your mindset at the tables. Especially in Rush Poker, you don’t want to be caught burning stacks for nothing. It’s like a bad night at the bar; in the morning, you’ll regret it.
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