Going on Tilt: How Emotions Can Affect Your Poker Game

Playing poker is not just about the cards you are dealt or the strategy you employ. It also involves managing your emotions and maintaining a clear mindset. When you go on tilt, it can negatively impact your game and lead to poor decision making.

What is going on tilt?

Going on tilt in poker refers to a state of emotional or mental frustration, usually resulting from a losing streak or a particularly bad beat. When a player is on tilt, they are more likely to play emotionally rather than rationally. This can lead to reckless betting, poor decision making, and ultimately, further losses.

How emotions affect your game

Emotions can have a significant impact on your ability to play poker effectively. When you are feeling angry, frustrated, or anxious, it can cloud your judgment and lead to impulsive actions. This can result in making irrational bets or calls, which can ultimately lead to losses.

Strategies for managing emotions

Managing your emotions is crucial for success in poker. Here are some strategies to help you stay calm and focused during a game:

  • Take breaks: If you feel yourself becoming emotional, step away from the table for a few minutes to regain composure.
  • Breathe: Deep breathing can help you relax and refocus your mind.
  • Focus on the present: Instead of dwelling on past losses or bad beats, concentrate on the current hand and make decisions based on the cards and the situation at hand.
  • Practice mindfulness: Being mindful of your emotions and how they are influencing your decisions can help you regain control and make better choices.

The importance of emotional control

Emotional control is a key aspect of playing poker successfully. By managing your emotions and staying on an even keel, you can make rational decisions and avoid going on tilt. This can ultimately lead to better outcomes and a more enjoyable poker experience.


Understanding how emotions can affect your poker game is crucial for becoming a successful player. By learning to manage your emotions and stay focused, you can avoid going on tilt and make better decisions at the poker table.

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