Avoiding Tilt at All Cost When Playing Poker

by Cole Paganelli | November 19, 2019 |

There’s a good reason why the term “poker face” is so popular nowadays. Poker players must master their facial expressions in order to hide their emotions and focus on their optimal strategy for winning in cash games and tournaments.

In other words, learning poker strategies is one level of mastering this card game. However, there’s a whole another level that professional poker players must learn well — the psychological game.

Being able to assert dominance, remain calm, and keep your cool while playing poker are some things that are sometimes practiced more than the game itself.

One of the main things poker players learn when they enter the sphere of psychology in poker is the concept of “tilting.” Simply put, when a player “tilts,” they lose their cool and emotions take over the reasonable and strategic behavior.

Tilted players often tend to make illogical and unreasonable bets as they are guided by their emotions rather than their logical thinking.

What Could Cause Tilting?

Asking this thing is like asking what causes people to “tilt” in real life. What makes us angry? What makes our train jump out of the rails? Basically, anything can happen that can make us go over the edge and enter the abyss in poker which is known as a tilt.

First of all, you need to know your overall mood before actually starting the game. You could’ve simply had a bad day, and nothing was going the right way since you woke up.

Coming like that to a poker game will always be a good overtire for tilting. Emotions work in a mysterious way, and they tend to explode at some point if we suppress them, and you don’t want them to explore while playing poker.

Ironically, poker is the exact place where you’re more likely to explode, especially if a series of negative hands happen to you.

How to Avoid Tilting?

Tilting, just like everything in poker, is a strategy that needs to be practiced. The only way to master your emotions while playing poker is to go through every possible situation and recognize what “triggers” you. Once you understand your emotional responses, you will be able to recognize them every time they are triggered and rationalize your way out of tilting.

However, practising “inner calmness” goes way beyond the poker table. In fact, players who really want to achieve that “zen” feeling where emotions cannot affect the way they play their card and bring decisions usually build their life around being zen.

Some poker players might mediate, others might take a stroll in the park, and some just feel like having a nice rest would do the trick for them.

The thing is — you need to find a hobby or anything else that puts your mind at ease. If you’re preparing for a big poker game, make sure to find a sort of routine that calms you down and cleans you emotionally.

If you’re feeling a bit under the weather a couple of days before the game, don’t let your emotions be buried — feel free to recognize them and display them. Feel free to talk to your loved ones about your emotional state.

Once you find your optimal strategy to reduce stress and avoid tilting, you will be more certain that emotions will not get in the way of reason while playing poker.

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