Tilt in poker: what it is and how to avoid it


One of the main enemies of the poker player is not knowing the aspects of a successful game. However, there is such a thing as a poker Tilt and it is the enemy of absolutely all players, including seasoned poker players who have huge practical experience behind them. It can last for hours and weeks! What is Tilt poker every player should know! You need to be able to identify this state and fight it.

What is Tilt in Poker

Psychological balance depends on many factors, and it greatly affects the success of the game. And if it is violated, the player, without realizing it, can make the wrong decisions that lead to losses. The state when a poker player starts playing in a style unusual for him means being on tilt poker. It is comparable to excitement — after all, the player begins to be guided by more emotional than intellectual reasoning. Tilt can occur for the following reasons:

  1. A major or protracted loss, for example, arising from mistakes or failure in the selection of tables. So, a poker player at the tables can meet a stronger opponent or several of them, which can lead to a loss, although the player was playing in the usual style;
  2. Big Winnings — Tilt in poker is often encountered by those players who win large sums for the first time. They evoke strong positive emotions that make it difficult to think reasonably;
  3. Fatigue — if you have dragged out the game session for a long time or are tired at work, but you can not tear yourself away from the game, perhaps it is Tilt;
  4. Health problems — a cold or other illness can negatively affect not only the general condition of the body and cause poor health, but also temporarily reduce mental potential;
  5. Material problems — the lack of money in real life can push the player to play poker riskier;
  6. Psychological problems — disturbances in the state of mind can be caused by family troubles, conflicts at work, etc.

You can often tell that this is Tilt just by analyzing your judgments. For example, that it is Tilt can be safely said if the player thinks like this:

  • I lost, but now I’ll win it back, just by playing at more expensive tables;
  • I didn’t make any mistakes, I was just unlucky, so it will be easy to recoup;
  • Now I will play more carefully and play everything quickly;
  • I urgently need the money and now I will win it;
  • The opponents are stupid, I just have no luck;
  • Come on — nonsense! It’s just a game and losses happen;
  • I won a lot of money and now I will increase it;
  • I am the strongest player, so I won and will win even more now!

A striking real case of Tilt is the win and loss of the Russian player I7AXA. In 2011, he won over $ 140,000 in the Sandy Million on PokerStars, taking first place, and a few hours later lost all winnings on the high stakes tables.

The most important feature of Tilt is that the player cannot stop even though he is losing. Often, due to this condition, poker players lose the entire bankroll or an impressive part of it and also continue to replenish the account with real money, which also goes to other players.

What is a hidden tilt in poker?

Tilt can be roughly divided into explicit and implicit. In the first case, everything is clear — the player makes mistakes that are hard to miss when analyzing the session or right during the game. In the second case, the situation is more complicated, since errors can only be detected with a deep analysis of the game. The fact is that the hidden Tilt gaming occurs on a subconscious level. The poker player seems to be playing in the usual style, but he loses. The reason may be that he, without noticing it, narrows or expands the range of hands played, misreads the hands of opponents and bluffs when they are inappropriate.

How to not tilt

For those who encounter Tilt in poker, psychological training has been developed. They are written about in many poker books on psychology. However, the best method of dealing with this condition is the Stop Loss tactic. Each player must establish an acceptable loss threshold for themselves and strictly follow it. So, if you have lost the maximum allowable amount, you should immediately interrupt the game and analyze the session. After resting and analyzing your mistakes, you will learn about the reasons for the loss, whether it was Tilt, just a protracted failure, or you need theoretical training.

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