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While simple anger is often healthy, rage and tilt are usually destructive.  In everyday life, rage happens on roads, in airplanes, in restaurants, and in peaceful protests.  In poker, tilt may occur after a bad beat or after a bad mistake.  Here we will learn how to control tilt.

The Difference between Anger and Rage

Rage is basically uncontrollable anger.  There are many situations that occur in everyday life that anger us.  Some people are churlish by nature.  We even have a cliché that perfectly describes the controlled anger we might feel at times: righteous indignation.  In poker, there rarely are situations that call for righteous indignation. 

Some players actually rage about the poker rake at Juicy Stakes.  The rake is actually such an inconsequential part of poker that any player who rages over the “high rake” (which is not the case at Juicy Stakes or at any poker room) should probably not be playing poker at all!

It is, however, quite normal to get angry at the vicissitudes of poker.  After all, poker is a game of tremendous skill but all the skill in the world won’t stop the luck side of poker from determining the outcome of a hand.

When a player has done everything right, has read the hand correctly, has bet correctly and stands to win a large pot and then the only card that can cause him to lose the hand comes out, that player is quite justified in feeling anger.

It is only when the player cannot channel the anger into a more positive mindset that rage begins to percolate until it explodes to the surface.  In poker terms, this volcanic explosion is called tilt.

Tilt may show up entirely internal.  Whether the player is able to hide the tilt or it becomes readily apparent, it is still destructive.  It is often very apparent to opponents.

Techniques for Controlling Tilt

There are many ways that people use to control rage or tilt in poker terms.  Let’s look at a few.

Walking Away

In poker, it is often simply a matter of walking away from the table until the player takes complete control over his or her anger and can safely return to the game.

On an airplane, passengers don’t have the luxury of just walking away.  The same is true in a difficult and angering traffic situation.

Poker is actually a perfect venue for walking away for a while.  When you play online at Juicy Stakes, you can always walk away even to the extent of closing your participation in a game for the night.  Take some time to cool off and then, when you are feeling okay enough to resume playing this sometimes infuriating game, you can come back.

An online casino such as Juicy Stakes is always available to players.  It isn’t like at a land based poker room where you have to continue playing just to cover your travel costs if you can.

Breathe Deeply

Learning deep breathing techniques is a good idea for all people, not just for poker players.  Deep breathing is especially useful when you are headed for tilt.  Deep breathing brings more oxygen to your system.  You brain gets a shot of extra oxygen. 

Deep breathing also calms the nerves.  You may never fully recover emotionally by a bad beat but you can recover enough to get back to the nitty gritty of poker which is evaluating the hand and the players involved and using all of your gained expertise to decide on a positive course of action.

Get Regular Exercise

This may be categorized as a prophylactic, a way to prevent tilt from occurring.  Exercise activates hormones that help keep us psychologically stable.  Tilt is a reaction to a difficult moment.  If we are physically healthy through exercise, our mind-body synergy will kick in and do everything it can to get is emotionally back on track.

Sleep Soundly

Many people have trouble falling asleep and staying asleep.  Sleep is even more underrated by many people than regular exercise.  A small lack of sleep puts us in a mind frame where even subconsciously all we want to do is sleep.

Sleep deprivation contributes to more prior hand evaluations than any other cause outside of the basic knowledge of poker and poker strategy.

A player who does not get enough sleep is a prime target for rage and tilt.  Many internet sites that talk about the benefits of playing online as opposed to playing at a land based casino, talk about how land based casinos trick many players into playing long after the player should have called it an evening.

Poker at Juicy Stakes online poker room is completely flexible.  If you need to sleep, all you have to do is leave the game and go to sleep!  There are no “extenuating circumstances” such as the money a plyer paid to get to a land based casino and to stay there for a few days.

Eat Properly

Of course, if you are a “weekend” poker player playing at low stakes and you can easily afford the bankroll you come to the table with, then eating healthy foods and drinking only small amounts of alcohol might not be so necessary.

Viva la Pizza!

If you are serious about playing poker—which is probably why you are reading this article—you need to treat the food you eat and the alcohol you drink with the utmost seriousness.  It isn’t a matter of being deprived.  We don’t advocate for depriving ourselves of the fun of eating pizza and drinking some beer, wine, or whisky.

It is a matter of being realistic as to how much pizza and fast food will contribute to a winning mindset not to mention the toll a lot of oily and convenient food might take on your digestive system!

See Yourself as a Winner

Self-confidence involves being in control in all different kinds of situations.  The pressure that leads many people to become enraged can be controlled.  As we mentioned above, eating properly, exercising regularly, and sleeping well are important factors in ultimately controlling tilt.

Self-confidence is worth its weight in gold as it can allow you to take a few moments off to calm yourself down in a tilting moment. 

Self-confidence needs to be cultivated and reinforced just as you develop skill in many other areas that are valuable to poker success.  Poker math does not prevent tilt.  Understanding ranges does not prevent tilt.  Having an expert’s grasp of positional play in poker does not prevent tilt.

Self-confidence, as opposed to haughtiness, does prevent tilt!

Juicy Stakes Invites All to Poker at its Bets

We at Juicy Stakes do everything in our power to go beyond providing a great online format for poker.  We publish articles like this one that we hope can help you develop the winning poker player within!


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