Tilt is, beyond any doubt, one of the biggest enemies of poker players. No matter how good you are or how much money you’ve made from poker, a bad river card or an unjust table ruling can send a player on a crazy tilt, which affects their game for the rest of the session.
We all know that playing on tilt isn’t a good idea but what can be done about it when it is such a natural reaction that we seemingly have no control over? How to stop going on tilt at poker?
While it is almost impossible to completely eliminate tilt as even the best players in the game are susceptible to it, there are various techniques that can be used to diminish its effects and lower the number of instances you go on tilt. These are some of them.
Playing poker can be quite tasking and the game takes its toll. However, you’ll be less likely to go on tilt if you prepare for every session the way you should. This means you should never play hungry, sleepy, angry, or sick.
If your body is unbalanced in any way, you’ll be much more susceptible to different tilt triggers. Facing a bad beat when you feel strong and well rested is much easier than when you’re already nervous because you skipped the last two meals and are already having problems staying composed and focused.
A poker table isn’t exactly the friendliest place on earth, even when you’re playing with a bunch of friends, let alone in a casino. You need to understand and accept the reality of the game, which entails bad beats, unpleasant situations, noise, etc.
If you ever feel like you’re going on tilt, try to compose yourself, take some deep breaths, and remind yourself of these realities. Although this won’t help prevent tilt completely (if you’re someone with a short fuse), it will help reduce its effects on your game.
More often than not, it isn’t even a bad beat that puts us on tilt. It is a comment from another player or dealer that just tips the balance. To avoid this, you can reduce the influence of outside factors by, for example, listening music while playing. This may be bad for your ability to read your opponents and situations at times, but if it helps you avoid tilt, it will be well worth it.