Dealing with Bad Beats
March 15, 2009
If hitting one of your outs on the river to claim a big pot is up there among the best feelings you can have in poker, it doesn’t get much worse than being slapped with a bad beat.
Anyone who has played poker for a concerted period of time will know the feeling: you’ve thrown a big pile of chips into the middle of the table and felt that sense of relief when the guy who calls has turned over some kind of trashy hand that should see you double your stack without a problem.
All of a sudden the only two outs that he had, have come up on the turn and you’re left there wondering how things could have gone wrong so quickly.
Unfortunately bad beats are just part of the game. Nobody likes seeing a huge pile of their chips heading across the table to someone who has just got lucky. That doesn’t mean they should be ignored though. In fact, the way that a player responds to a bad beat usually shows just how strong a player he is.
You need to accept that these sort of things happen and work on the best ways to put such a setback behind you and concentrate on winning your chips back. If you’re unable to do that then at best you’re not going to be able to properly concentrate on future hands – and at worst you’re going to end up going on tilt, which could seriously affect your chances of winning your chips back.
Now, I realize that putting a bad beat behind you is a lot easier said than done. So I’ve come up with this article to hopefully help you get your mind back on track and focused on winning your chips back.
The first thing to remember is that talking about it is not going to help at all. Everyone has their own bad beat stories, and the last thing they want to hear is how bad luck has hit other people. Look on it as an unwritten rule of poker.
Anyway, why would you want to moan about it? There’s no clearer sign that a player is starting to lose it than when he continually talks about a hand that he lost over ten minutes ago … and that’s not the sort of information you want to be giving to your opponents.
So what does this mean? It means that you’re going to have to get over your issues on your own, which is where the following few tips may come in handy … I’ve suffered a fair few bad beats over my time, so look on these as tried and trusted methods!
- You just can’t dwell on the situation. Give yourself a set period of time (I find somewhere around one minute is normally more than enough) and do whatever you have to do to get the bad beat out of your system. If you want to shout at your computer screen, do it. You want to yell obscenities at your opponent? Be my guest. The point is that you need to get the frustration out of your system.Obviously, I wouldn’t recommend this if you’re playing in a live casino as you’ll be on your way to the nearest exit before the next flop is dealt. Instead, push your chair away from the table and go for a quick walk. Get another drink from the bar, put some money in the nearest slot … or if you’ve got a friend around, go and have a chat with them. Then, when you’ve taken your mind off the last hand, come back to the table, pull up your chair and concentrate fully on your next hole cards.
- Believe in yourself. So you may have lost your chips to a bad beat, but you actually played the hand correctly. You thought you had the best hand, and you got your chips in to the middle of the table.Your opponent has played the hand badly and shown himself to be an average player meaning that it shouldn’t be too long before you’re presented with an opportunity to win your chips back.
- Play in a poker room that offers you a Bad Beat Jackpot. At least that way, if you’re going to get beaten, then you’ll be paid for your loss. Just the other week Carbon Poker paid out a world record $1.2 million to a group players involved in a bad beat … and I can’t think of any better ways to get over a bad beat than seeing that sort of cash being added to your bankroll!
Other General Poker Strategy Articles
- Learn to Love to Fold
- The Continuation Bet
- Maximizing Value on Your Poker Hands
- Poker Table Selection
- Common Mistakes Made With Pocket Aces
Back to Poker Articles page.