3 tips on how to deal with bad beats at poker

3 tips on how to deal with bad beats at poker

One of the hardest and unbearable things in poker is bad beats. When you play against the opponents who like to call a lot and constantly try to hit the draw, sometimes, one way or another, they will get what they want. In this article we will give you few tips on how to deal with thoughts of bad beats that you somehow will have to deal.

Cope with bad beats

It is worth noting that the biggest number of bad beats happens at the lower limits (online and live as well). It happens because there are plenty of players who are ready to call with any pair and the most ridiculous draws. However, you should realize this is a good thing. You can show much bigger win rates here than at the higher stakes.

Certainly, this means you will face suck outs more often. At the higher stakes players fold at the early streets, unlike micro and low stakes players. It is important to realize their passion towards winning every pot is very profitable to you as in most cases their draw will end up with nothing and you will be able to get more money from them.

Sometimes when these players get their four outs on the river, this may irritate you so strong, that you can even forget simple poker math. In most cases these four outs won’t show up on the board, we will see one of the remaining 46 cards and will be able to win a huge pot.

We can look at the situation upside. If you are run over by some straight draw in the hole, you should laugh about it instead of being upset. You should be happy there are such players, sitting at your tables, and they are ready to play that bad against you as you will get the pots in the most cases.

Bad beats like obligatory taxes for a profitable game

Another way to look at bad beats is to perceive them as a “tax” we have to pay to have an opportunity to play against weak opponents.

Bad players keep coming back (making deposits) and they blame bad luck in their losses. The reason for this in poker is immense ego. Like when driving a car, most people greatly overestimate their skills. When recreational player hits the draw on the river, the only thing in his head is a long-awaited retribution. Finally, luck is on his side!

It is hard to imagine any other game where the success is defined in a long run by skill, with such an amazing element of luck in the short run. And this is the whole beauty of poker. It allows players ignore some obvious things, get delusional in thinking that they lose only due to their bad luck. This is where we make money - from other people’s delusions (and their mistakes).

That’s why it is only rational to think of bad beats to unprofessional players as of some sort of tax you sometimes have to pay for economics to work. Had bad players never got lucky, they would have stopped playing poker, and the profitability of the game would have drastically fallen.

Online is where bad beats live

If you play poker online, bad beats will happen more often than in live poker. That’s why some live poker players have difficulties in transition to online.

Playing live poker, you play 20-30 hands per hour on average while at a simple 6-max No-Limit Hold’em table you will play three to five times more hands for the same period of time. Playing fast-fold poker, like Zoom on PokerStars, you will see 10 to 20 times more hands than you would have seen In live poker.

It’s only natural that having an opportunity to play as many hands, you will face bad beats more often. Many people mistakenly think that there are some troubles with RNG online but it is the fast tempo of the game that needs to be blamed as it is faster online. Considering most people play at several tables simultaneously, they see much more bad beats while playing.


Many people think that bad beats is something bad. Very many players get tilted after several bad beats, especially if they face them hand after hand.

Nevertheless, when you be able cope with the madness of cash games at micro and lower stakes, you will look at the bad beats in more positive light. It is really in your favor that your opponents never give up with their draw hands and call you with weak pairs as in most cases those draws will remain draws and you will take huge pots.

You need those draw to sometimes become strong hands. By winning in this lucky pots they will hope for something and will return to the tables. When their luck stops, they will get rid of delusions and realize they are getting outplayed.

Next time someone gets his miraculous out on the river, smile about it. Bad beats is a very useful part of the games. Pay this tax, praise your opponent’s game and move on to the next hand.

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