When experienced players talk about a bad beat in poker, they are referring to an unexpected win. Specifically, it’s a game in which a player with a weak hand managed to beat a player with a strong set of cards. In these circumstances, the win can seem spectacularly unfair, so it can be hard to keep your composure. Nevertheless, as a poker player, the ability to control your emotions is important if you hope to be a success in tournaments or cash games. Here are a few techniques that can help you handle the disappointment, put it behind you and move on to your next win.
Take a philosophical approach
Sometimes it’s just not your day but try to remember all the times things did go in your favor. If you’ve been playing poker for a while, you’ve almost certainly had a lucky card on the turn a few times. Going on to win as a result probably rankled other players, in the same way as someone else’s shock win irritated you. It’s just the nature of the game and during the next game, your strategy could lead you to success.
Keep your cool
Once things start to slide, it can be difficult to control your temper. In this state, you might be tempted to take it out on the other player verbally, or in the chat box of an online game. The gratification you gain from berating them will be fleeting, but the impact on your game could be long lasting. Instead, congratulate them – through gritted teeth if necessary – and get ready for the next clash.
Give yourself a minute
Frustrating situations are often better resolved after a time out, so if you are not in the right frame of mind – take a break. If you’re playing online, check out the best NJ Online Casinos for a range of other fun games that will work as a distraction. They have a reliable selection of bonuses, along with regular promotions that can keep you occupied when you need to decompress.
Think logically about wins and losses
We play card games because we enjoy them, so the process should be your focus. It can be tempting to concentrate on achieving a positive result instead, but that mindset can be unhelpful. Wins are part of the game, but losses are too and, when they happen, you need to remain confident for next time. Pro players call a series of losses ‘variance’. During these periods, you can reflect on the play’s you’ve been making in an objective, rather than an emotional way.
Managing your feelings is always the most profitable strategy in poker, even when you think the cards are against you. Professional poker players rarely show emotion, whether they are facing defeat or raking in their winnings, because they know it leads to the loss of chips. Try to accept that poker has its ups and downs, then concentrate on becoming a better player by studying the pros and practicing your game daily.