Avoiding Tilt

What Is Tilt? And how to Avoid Tilt in Poker

Going “on tilt” refers to a feature on a pinball machine. If the machine was lifted and therefore tilted, the game would end, the player would lose and the machine would shutdown.

Imagine your brain is that pinball machine. If it gets tiled too much, you will lose the game and it will shot down.

What Just Happened!?

We are all guilty of being in this situation before at the poker table, under a little pressure, and slow-playing a huge hand. You are not putting a foot wrong, but just before you check-raise this stupid tourist and take them for a lot of money, they hit their miracle “only out” card and you lose. a few hands later on, exactly the same thing happens once more.

The rage sets in, the anger builds up from deep inside, and before you know it you’ve chucked the remainder of your stack in the middle of the table in a desperate attemt to steal the pot. But of course you get called. And you get beat. Again.

Oh dear. Looks like you have just made a bad situation much, much worse.

Someone playing whilst on tilt in this way will consistently loose. The better poker players at the table will spot this habit a mile off and will happily take chips all day long from another poker player who is suffering from tilt.

Why Do We Tilt?

The action of tilt believe it or not is actually a physical reaction to a problem located deep in our genetics. Nature has evolved us to respond to being attacked by returning fire or running away at high speed. These natural reactions are not consious ones or even thought out. When adrenaline is released into your blood stream, this can take over your thinking processes and cause your behavious to be instictive rather than cognitive.

Handling Tilt In Poker

One thing you must have a strong grip on is making sure you can handle the tilt. Handling tilt in poker can be a lot more difficult than it sounds because it is more of an emotion that takes control ratehr than an cognitive action that you can adapt and change. Quite simply the best thing you can do is spot when you are tilting and then you can do something about it. If you tilt and don’t realise, that’s the time when you stand to lose a lot of money.

Well, That’s Poker Folks!

Trying not to go on tilt becomes easier with experience. As you play more poker, you will come to realise that lucky suck-outs and runs of bad luck are part and parcel of the game.

Bear in mind that poker is about the long game and over time the lucky suck-outs and bad beats will even themselves out. Try it yourself and keep a count of the number of times your opponent has found that miracle card, anc compare it to the number of times you have had a lucky escape.

If you have not played that many hours at the poker tables and do not beleive you have ever experienced tilt, here are a couple of warning signs that you should be looking out for:

  • If you play good poker you will start to feel the pressure just a little. But we aren’t machines and everyone has their breaking point if you apply enough pressure. Take a break once in a while, sit out a few hands, walk away from the table/computer and get some air for a few minutes. It’s amazing how a few minutes every hour can make a positive difference to your poker game.
  • There’s nothing wrong with getting angy at the poker table. Just make sure you control it and keep yourself calm. If another player at the table is winding you up, do not rise to it. That is exactly what they want and you will be playing right into their hands. If they have taken a large number of chips from you, don;t put a personal bounty on their head. Remember that your aim is to collect chips from anyone at the table, not just the person you are pissed off at.
  • Analyse your game. If you find you are getting frustrated with your game, this could be an indication that you are consistently doing somethign wrong. Take a breather, step out side. Think about where you are going wrong with your game and change it. If you have just suffered a couple of harsh beats and are dealt something strong the next hand, take advantage of the fact that the table will be looking for signs of you going on tilt and use this to your advantage.

Leave A Comment