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Coping with Bad Beats

Adjusting Your Game after a Bad loss

When you’ve had a bad loss (or bad beat) at the poker table, it can be tough to recover. It’s a blow to not only your wallet, but also your ego. While some people may approach poker as just another gambling game with money that they expect to lose for entertainment value, many others take poker seriously.

These players realize that poker is a game of skill and would like to win every time. Even the best poker players don’t win every time. What they do that other players don’t is respond to these losses in the right way. Sure, the game of Texas holdem is a game of skill, but there’s also an obvious inherent element of chance.

Don’t Take it Personally

Deciding after a bad loss that you are just a lousy player may become a self-fulfilling prophecy. You may decide that it doesn’t matter what you do since you are just going to lose anyway. This is a sure formula for continued losses. Remember that your loss is either a result of bad luck, in which case it will change, or lack of skill, which you can fix.

Take it a Little Personally

On the other hand; deciding that a bad loss was all bad luck can be a mistake as well. Skilled poker players thrive on opponents who think that poker is all luck and that a bad session was simply the way the cards fell. Don’t abandon your regular strategy and refuse to accept when the pot odds are against you, playing more and more recklessly. Instead, take some time to analyze your game to determine whether it was a pure bad beat or if it was somehow faulty play on your part.

Evaluate Your Game

Rather than assuming bad luck or lack of skill, analyze your play critically. Take a hard look at the key hands and see if you could have played them differently or just got unlucky. Sure you got sucked out on the river that one hand, but is that a hand you really should have been in in the first place?

Maybe you can’t believe some idiot called you down with middle pair, but should you have known through observation that this was not a player to bluff? A lot goes on in a poker game. Attempt to learn from your losses and your game and results should improve quickly.

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