How to deal with the dreaded poker tilt and steaming the right way!

What is Poker Tilt?

Tilting is when a poker player loses their cool and starts playing on feelings. This is one of the defining moments on the table as strong players will usually take advantage of filters. That is why you might want to read on; find out how to avoid poker tilt.

There are many ways to master your poker games and learning to tune your emotions is the most important. It will help you to avoid poker tilt.

How do I know that I am tilting?

Before making a move, look at yourself from a third eye and confirm whether you replying emotionally.

Here are the signs and symptoms of tilting:

  • You are feeling extremely pessimistic about the game and have already declared yourself ‘luckless’ Well – poker is truly a game of luck but you must not depend on it entirely. If the game is not going your way, quit blaming luck and choose an option that can minimise risk.
  • You are getting angry at everything and everyone. It is human to get angry when you have lost consecutively. If you start getting mad at the whisky, how other players smell and look and other simple things, you are tilting and losing focus.
  • You are worried and on the edge. If your heart jumps every time an opponent gets a hand and you feel compelled to chase them, you re on a downward tilting spiral. Worry will have you making careless decisions and chasing lost hands.
  • You are depressed and have lost joy in the game. If you are no longer feeling the thrill of the game or enjoying yourself, it is a bad sign. There is no point in playing a game without having fun.

“When your emotions rise too high, your brain is designed to turn off the higher level of thinking…You are unable to think because your brain has shut off your ability to access the fight/flight mechanism…The best thing you can do is control your anger from getting to a point where you can no longer think.”

– Jared Tendler, Internationally acclaimed Mental Game Coach.

What is poker steaming?

Poker steaming is the ugly aftermath of tilting. If you do not control your tilt, you end up frustrated and extremely angry. Steaming is noticeable in players who have been stuck on tilt for long.

In this stage, the player is highly displeased, maybe even resentful. Then, the players start to call, bet and raise even when they know that they shouldn’t. To a steaming player, the game is not about winning but recovering losses and revenging on stronger opponents.

Mistakes people do when tilting or streaming

  • Raising the subsequent pot with a poor or marginal hand after losing a huge pot.
  • Raising the pot just because you are angry at your disadvantaged position.
  • Repeatedly trying to push the buttons of your opponents by being critical and insulting.
  • Making more than ten huge bets in a one-hour session of limit hold ’em.
  • Steaming in big-bet play at pot-limit Omaha poker.

How to avoid poker steaming and tilting?

Many players imagine tilting as becoming entirely red-faced and carelessly throwing chips on the table but sometimes the signs might not be too obvious.

However, you are better off if you manage to prevent the tilt. Avoiding ‘tilt’ and ‘steam’ in poker is the key to super fun and wins on your poker games.

Before the game

Prepare your mind even before you sit at the poker table. Think of all the fun things you like about the game and relax. You can also carry something reasonable, like a lucky item if it will help you relax.

During the game

Have fun and avoid worrying too much. Treat yourself to the pleasures of playing poker, without over-pressurising yourself. Leave all your emotions aside and try to overlook any personal vendettas that you might have against the opponents.

If you find yourself tilting during your play, close your mind from the table and fill your thoughts with relaxing images. Take a few deep breaths and remind yourself that at the end of the day, there can only be one winner and be ready to accept any outcome. Put on your earphones and listen to music. Ensure you teach your mind to separate personal feelings from the game.