Dealing With The Dreaded Tilt

By Christine
March 9, 2022

Learning about tilt in poker is essential if you want to progress your skills on the felt.

Even if you’re unfamiliar with the term, perhaps especially if you’re unfamiliar with the term, we bet you’ve experienced tilt at some point in your poker playing life.

So let’s go on a little journey together to find out what tilt is, how to spot it and how to, crucially, avoid it.

What is tilt in poker?

Tilt in poker isn’t a good thing. It’s when your brain turns into mush and you start making silly mistakes. This usually happens if you’ve gotten annoyed at something that’s happened in the game, whether it’s a mistake you’ve made or a string of bad luck.

What are some of the classic signs of tilt in poker?

We’re going to give you a scenario. You’re playing poker. Things aren’t going your way. You’ve had a string of bad luck and it feels like you can’t do anything right. So you say, “To hell with it”.

Your standards slip. You start playing hands you know you should fold. You start acting the maggot, bluffing a little too frequently. This is not a good sign for your fortunes in the game you’re playing.

How to stop tilt?

Poker is a game of where numbers, facts and figures matter. Anyone who’s taken the time to learn about pot odds can tell you that. But that’s not all it is.

This card game is as much about controlling yourself and taking the measure of others as anything else. Tilt clouds this ability in players.

So once you start to feel yourself getting frustrated or getting the urge to make rash decisions, take a deep breath. If you can, step away from the table. Easier in cash games than tournaments, we know, but do try to give yourself a little space.

Try to forget about your past frustrations and play each hand as it comes, like a blank slate.

Of course, poker is a game where you need to think about the past. That’s how you keep track of your opponents playing style and it’s how you identify your successes and failures. But getting annoyed by the game isn’t going to help you in the moment. Trust us, we’ve been there.

There’s plenty of time to analyze your game after you’ve left the table. That’s the best time to learn from any mistakes you might’ve made during the game.

Are my opponents suffering from tilt?

Of course, it’s important to identify tilt in yourself and try to manage it. But when you notice it in other people, you can actually turn it into a plus for you. A change in demeanor and comments is a tell tale sign that you can see when you’re playing face-to-face.

When you’re playing online in poker rooms like bet365, you can spot tilt in poker players when they suddenly change their playing style. That’s why it’s always important to watch how your opponents play, so you can spot this changes. If you do see players reacting strangely, it’s a great time to reel them in and extract extra value from them.

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