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How to deal with Tilt in Poker

Poker is a game that not only requires strategy but good prediction and people assessing skills. A tilt in a poker game is something that we all want to prevent and avoid. To be a successful poker player, you need to take note of tilt triggers and warning signs. Whether you’re playing at a poker table or playing online poker, you have to avoid getting tilted at any cost. There are generally four types: Loose Tilt, Passive Tilt, Stereotypical Tilt, and Winner’s tilt.

At MPL, you can play poker online, a cash game that will win you exciting prizes, provided you know what is tilt, how does it occur, the triggers, and strategies to prevent it. There are some tips where you can use a tilt to your advantage. Read on to know.

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What is Tilt?

According to poker experts, tilt is often the outcome of playing too aggressively or passively. It might happen because you get distracted by the style of playing poker. It can also occur because of emotional reasons because of anger or distress. When you are a poker player, you have to know the triggers and methods to avoid tilts for cash games.

A poker tilt can happen because of:

  • You are an absolute beginner, and you are yet to perfect poker.
  • You are continuously putting wrong bluffs.
  • Loosing too many hands
  • Not being able to understand your opponent, which results in frustration and other negative emotions
  • You fold up good hands and chances by playing aggressively like another poker player.

 Some other factors for tilt poker could be:

  • After a long day, you are playing poker, and you are already exhausted.
  • Your emotional state is not calm; you are angered or distressed.
  • You continue to play even with some negative emotions or have monetary issues. Several factors lead to tilt. Avoiding tilt is an important part, and you need to be aware of them to play poker.

So the next time at a poker table, take note of these signs of poker tilt and how to avoid them.

Triggers for Tilt While Playing Poker

Bad Beats

Everyone goes through a Bad Beat, even the best players. Bad beats are something that you cannot escape. It is a widespread phenomenon while playing poker. You must be able to deal with this trigger emotionally.

Bad Cards

Another common trigger for poker tilt is not having good cards for a long time. All of this could result from terrible starting hands, flops that the player has missed, and bad draws. Even the best of players can succumb to this trigger. This is one type where the player’s frustration keeps going; with each successive fold, any player will tend to snap.

While playing online poker, many poker sites offer multi-tabling. The potential to cause such tilts is emotions because if you lose a huge pot because of an unstable connection, offensive opponents, or clicking at the wrong time. Trash talking in poker is another way that people can offend you. All in all, you’re stuck in a mental game, and players tend to do this regularly. Like most poker players, you need to know the strategies to beat tilt while playing poker online or live.

Why Should You Avoid Tilt?

Let us have a quick look at some of the reasons you should avoid tilt if you want to succeed in poker.

  •  Poker requires a lot of decision-making skills. When you have less control over your emotional state, you are prone to make errors in judgment and take decisions that you wouldn’t take otherwise.
  • When your mental game isn’t that strong, you give a lot of opportunities to other players. They can then easily manipulate you emotionally and affect your game. Poker players pay keen attention to your body language. Like this, they win more hands against you.
  • Opponents use intelligent tactics to outplay you. A tilt impacts your critical thinking and hence decreases your chances of defeating them.
  • It doesn’t allow you to show your best poker skills because you are at your most vulnerable state – dealing with frustration and emotional distress. Opponents can exploit you without you even realizing it.
  • This is the worst part – you won’t even realize that you are playing under the influence of tilt on several occasions.

 It is better to avoid tilt as much as possible. What are some strategies to prevent it? Find out!

Also Read: Poker Decoded: Understanding Betting Patterns

Strategies to avoid tilt


Being under the impression that no triggers affect us is a wrong move. Accepting the fact that, as humans, we all have flaws, and a lousy game will affect us is the first way to combat tilt. An experienced player at a poker table or coach might be able to help you understand your triggers. Once you acknowledge your tilt triggers, it will put you in a much better position once you start playing. Acknowledgment is half the battle won.

Know the Game

Another characteristic, along with emotional control, is knowing how to play poker correctly. The more you know about the correct play, the fewer mistakes you’ll make. Review the hand from all the angles- the position, stack sizes, pot size, pot odds, betting patterns, and playing styles. Through keen observation, you can prevent yourself from any tilt.

Know the Probabilities

In a poker game, most players tend to overestimate their good hands and end up making bad bets. This leads to a tilt that is induced by bad beats. When one player makes a wrong bet, and the other player rakes up the pot, it generates bad feelings. It triggers even more when you could have predicted the move but failed to do so. A slip-up and losing a few hands This leads to a staggering tilt. Some of them are caused by your own doing- could be because of poor play when you are not playing aggressively enough and giving away good cards while playing hands. Other players can also take advantage of your scared money. Be aware of that.

However, you can be aware and educate yourself. If you can anticipate your player’s moves and how it triggers them, or when you can predict all your triggers and prevent you from a tilt mode. Know the probabilities, and you will be a better poker player.

Stop Playing For a While

When you realize that you can fall victim to a tilt, walk-off. Cool yourself down or shut down the computer. Do not log in or join the poker table, even if it takes some time. Take deep breaths. If you are disciplined or a seasoned player, you can beat the emotional distress in a short time.

What you need to do at this time:

  • Get up from the table or the computer. Walk away and go to a calm, quiet place. Don’t focus on the poker session for a while.
  • Do not call anyone to tell or discuss a bad beat- this will not put you in a good mood.
  • Don’t chat with your opponent lest it begins an argument. This is a skill set that you must master.
  • If you are not in a good mental place, and this affects your decision-making, cash in and don’t continue playing. You might need a long period to cool down, depending on the severity of the tilt. It depends on your skill level and how much you can handle it.

Your Table Image

When you’re playing online, an advantage is that you can change tables to overcome tilt. Why is this important? Because your table image is at stake. When the opponent recognizes that your playing style is off-balance, they will try to take advantage. Even a poker pro has to deal with table image, even if you recover after the tilt. It is best to switch tables when possible.

When a Long Break Cannot be An Option

When you’re mid-tournament, you cannot take long breaks. However, a quick pep talk with yourself or getting off the table to go to someplace quieter. Judge your sentiments and how you react to them. That should help you navigate your feelings. Remember, the coin flips when you regain your hold to the table in a game. When you have to suffice with a short break, do what works best for you.

Try Using Stop-Loss

Putting a stop-loss limit to your game means losing a few blinds. Sometimes, you might lose the best hands in the process; however, it can save you from a tilt. While you might not be at your best if you put a stop-loss, you can at least prevent another loss. If you recognize that a tilt is oncoming, you can use this method.

Using Tilt as an Advantage

Daniel Negreanu, a professional poker player, has some tips for using them as an advantage in order to overcome tilt. To have a sustainable poker career, knowing these strategies would certainly help. You can also attempt to tilt your opponents to weaken their thought processes.

Keep an eye on the player strategies

Poker players can take advantage of a player’s attitude- heavy, quick breathing or a few drinks are telltale signs that a tilt poker is near. They might also change their game—for instance, players can play too many hands. This is another sign. Keep an eye on that. Pick up on the faint signs that might show that the player can lose control at any moment and will go on a tilt.

Know your opponent’s breaking point

A tilt will have a different impact on different players. Understanding how it affects each opponent will give you an upper hand. Knowing their breaking point will provide you with a chance to make an extra profit. Every time your opponent encounters a bad beat, it increases their frustration. This piles up until they reach their breaking point or pain threshold. This is when you will observe your opponent going into a tilt, and the course of the game is changing. At this time, if an opponent is bluffing more often, call them down more often.

In a big pot- Show a bluff on the river

Don’t do this if you are a beginner, because you might give away too much information. But if you’re a pro poker player, you can try.

In Conclusion

After reading this blog, you will have a fair idea of the steps to avoiding tilt. You must have the mental energy to handle stress during a game and avoid the inevitable. Read up on several strategy articles because that will also give you a perspective on keeping your emotions in check. It would help if you learned when to take a break as well. Poker is not just a game of chance. It requires a lot of skills and maintaining a balance.

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Madhuboni Banerjee
A graduate in engineering who later completed her post-graduate degree in Mass Media. Writing has always fascinated her, and she wishes to pursue her interest in the same. She wants to discover and write about new themes and topics. She always likes to venture in various writing forms and continues exploring her interest there.


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