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Tilting In Poker - Avoiding Tilt

The most feared thing for a poker player is or should be ‘tilting.’ Tilting occurs to every poker player and generally happens regardless of that player’s skills or abilities at some point in their poker careers. For those unfamiliar with the term, tilting is when a player loses focus and control over their game play and usually occurs after a bad beat or in other words after they make either a bad call or just lose a big hand.

As anyone can imagine in a tournament or a table top game the loss of a big hand can have huge psychological repercussions and the one we shall divulge in here is tilting. Some players are more susceptible and some are less and still others may never let on that they are but if you can recognize the change in their bet patterns or their demeanour then you can capitalize on the situation.

As bad as it maybe to say the truth is when other players at your table go on tilt it is nearly always to your advantage. Tilting characteristically is the loss of focus and control a player has over a game and when a player goes on tilt they usually start to throw their chips or money away. Quite literally they begin to make bad calls and chase other players out of sheer frustration. It is never great to see a player on tilt but the fact remains for you that if others are on tilt it means more cash for you. There are two types of people that are likely to go on tilt and both are usually new poker players.

The first type is those players that are just in general new and don’t have the control that more experienced players will have over themselves. More experienced players can keep their emotions in check and will understand that bad beats happen and that there isn’t anything you can do about it, even if you make the right call you can still lose. Every player needs to understand this and recognize it as a way of poker life. The best thing any player can do is when they feel themselves going on tilt to just stop and realize that playing poker emotionally is just asking to toss money out the window.

The second type of player is the result of another mistake many new players make, and that is to play with money that they either can’t afford to lose or that is out of the range of their bank account. Well setup bankrolls help players deal with losing a lot of money, but no player should be playing with money that they cannot afford to lose. Whether or not they can afford to play in the games that a player may be in, losing always will have some unwanted psychological backlash and everyone needs to deal with it in their own way.

Your goal as a poker player is to not let that affect your game, and if you can recognize these emotions remember that it will affect your game play; perhaps in the end its better to just get up from the table and cool off.


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