Poker Tilt - How To Avoid It

Handle Tilt

If you’re a beginner in the online poker world then the chances are that you’ve seen loads of articles mentioning tilt already. The Internet is full of great tips for avoiding tilt, sketchy advice on avoiding your tilt triggers and even pearls of wisdom about when it’s best to end an online poker session.

What much fewer articles look at is what tilt actually is. So first we’re going to explain it in the simplest terms, right here.

What Is Tilt?

The simplest definition we found is: You are on tilt when you play poker poorly by making emotional decisions.

The term tilt comes from old skool pinball machines. When a player got annoyed or frustrated and tried to move the pinball machine, a light came on that read ‘TILT’. After that it was game over.

How To Avoid Tilt

  • Work Out What Makes You Mad

    Every poker player has what is called ‘tilt triggers’. These are the circumstances in which, more often than not, the player will be on tilt.

    You’ll have to play enough games to get some experience under your belt in order to work out what your triggers are but some of the most common triggers include overly chatty opponents, losing streaks, alcohol and relationship troubles.

  • Play More

    Professional poker players do still suffer from tilt but thanks to years of surprises and dashed hopes, they’ve learned not to take a short-term perspective.

    Admittedly, it would take a very long time to build up the kind of poker experience that the Big Boys have. That’s OK though, because you can still improve your emotional responses by playing as much online poker as possible to desensitise yourself to the ups and downs of the game.

  • Banish Distraction

    Not giving the game your full attention is the perfect way to start to go on tilt and prolong the tilt too. Make sure you play somewhere quiet, in a comfortable seat where you can see the screen and you cards clearly.

  • Get A Life!

    Working on developing your poker skills is obviously really important but don’t do it to the detriment of all other aspects of your life. If you spend all your time, energy and money on poker you are just adding more stress to an already stressful game.

    Spending time with friends and family is a great way to get some perspective on that hand you might have just lost!

  • Keep Quiet

    Don’t start mouthing off at the other players on the poker table when you’re beaten at the last minute. If you do, you’re basically raising a giant flag above your head saying ‘I’m on tilt’. This will attract aggressive players known as sharks who are on the hunt for someone to wind up further in order to win big.

  • Remember The Glory

    When things aren’t going your way and it feels as though there’s some evil conspiracy at work against you, remember there isn’t.

    Poker is full of ups and downs, so a great way to control anger or frustration when you need to is to remember your past successes. The time you nipped in at the end to steal the pot or when you made another player fold even though you only had a pair are all great experiences to draw on in the heat of the moment!