In poker, there are no certainties, and sometimes even when you think you have a great hand, you may be beaten. In many cases, having a high hand might make you overconfident, but unless you have a royal flush, someone could always beat you. This is known as a bad beat, and it happens a lot. Being a good poker player is as much about dealing with bad luck as it is about strategy, and it’s important to always keep your cool.
Experiencing a bad beat can often lead to getting tilted, where you lose your cool and subsequently get frustrated with the game and your strategy. Poker is a battle of wits, and getting frustrated can lead to further errors. Maintaining a calm demeanour helps you stay focused on the cards in front of you and stops you from making mistakes. If you play poker online or you’re new to the game, learning how to overcome these bad beats is crucial. Here are some of the best tips that many pros use to stay focused and avoid getting frustrated.
Change Your Perspective
Most people hate experiencing a bad beat because they hate losing. That’s normal. Most people hate to lose. However, if you want to get good at poker, you need to get accustomed to losing a lot. Not every hand is going to be a winner. In fact, the majority of them are going to be losers. Even if you have a strong hand, there’s no guarantee, and you’re only ever going to win the pot 70% of the time. Just because you’re the favorite, it doesn’t mean you’ll win. Anything can happen on the flop, turn, and river.
Each time you play poker, you should be going in with the knowledge that there’s a good chance you’ll lose. This doesn’t mean accepting defeat. It just means that you should understand that losing is a big part of the game. Losses are expected to happen, and by managing your expectations, you can reduce their impact.
You should also consider the fact that just being in the position to be on the losing end of a bad beat means you were luckier than other players at the table. You had a great hand, and while it didn’t win, the chances are that your next strong hand will. Luck is an integral part of the game, and while it may seem like it was against you this time, it could also benefit you in a future game.
Focus on the Next Hand
Whenever you lose in poker or anything else, it’s important to analyze what you did right and what you got wrong. You can learn a lot from your mistakes and see what you shouldn’t be doing. However, it’s also important not to get caught up dwelling on your mistakes. Simply accept that you got things wrong and move on to the next hand.
By dwelling on your mistakes, you can let the frustration build up and play less effectively. If you want to get back to winning ways, you need to keep your head in the game. Focus on your strategy and your goals at this game when you receive your next hand. Some players use different techniques to regain focus, such as taking a break or repeating affirmations. Whatever works best for you.
Change Your Focus
In some cases, you may need to change your focus completely. If you’re losing more than you’re winning, it can be good to change things up a bit and try something new. Whether it’s a new strategy or a new style of playing, you can sometimes benefit from a change. Some players carry out a ritual during games that helps them focus. Similar to how athletes perform a ritual when getting ready to go out onto the field, many poker players will take some sort of physical action that will help them to focus. This could be closing your eyes and breathing deeply, using a certain type of smell, making the sign of the cross, or anything at all. Provided it can be done easily and quickly while at a table.
Know When to Stop Playing
Sometimes, no matter what you do, you just can’t get your head back in the game and play effectively. This happens to the best players, where tiredness, frustration, and all other emotions can make it difficult to play with focus. When this happens, it’s always best to stop playing. Knowing when to walk away from the table is important and will help you come back refreshed and ready to win next time.