Different Types of Tilting and How to avoid them

Sometimes, the poker gods are not godly at all and no matter what you do ‘right’, you always end up with your head in your hands. This when that urge begins to set in – an almost semi-rage, when all you want to do is slap the remainder of your stack into the middle and hope for the best.

Tilting is a temptation we all need to avoid and some of the best advice on how to do that came from cash play extraordinaire, Sascha Walter, in an article written almost 18 months ago. Walter is renowned for his composure at the table and is a solid advocate for remaining calm no matter what.

Different Types of Tilting in Poker

The trap of loose tilting is easy to fall into – you’ve suffered too many bad beats and you just want to grab a pot, even it means you delivering the bad beat to someone else. Suddenly hands like Q/8 look a little shinier and your hand range opens up.

Passive and tight tilting are a little different but can be just as (if not more) frustrating. Hesitating to raise and then realising you could have taken down a pot, folding too many winning hands and not getting enough value from your monsters – all of this can lead you down a sad road.

Aggressive tilt – often caused by an opponent wiping out your stack with a horrible hand. You either seek vengeance on this player or completely lose control. Tactics go out of the window and you’re entering some horrendous pots. This is an expensive mind-set to be in and you need to shake it off before it consumes your entire stack (and reputation).

Avoiding Tilt

Write this on a sticky note and smooth it down onto your desk because Walter’s advice on tilt avoidance can save you money:

First off – never play poker unless you are prepared to lose your stake. Playing when you can’t afford to only adds fuel to the potential fire.

Secondly, stop focusing on the results of each pot. It’s pointless dwelling on a missed opportunity and so keep your focus on the next hand.

Finally, learn to recognise when you’re beginning to tilt. Walter suggests asking yourself the following questions:

– Am I being too pessimistic?

– Am I making dodgy calls?

– Am I getting distracted by personal feelings?

– Am I being patient enough?

– Am I just trying to make up for losses?

It’s natural to adapt how you play as time goes on in a game of online poker but if you find yourself playing certain holding cards you wouldn’t usually consider, then you’re showing symptoms of tilting. Like any ‘disease’ it pays to prevent it early. So, stay calm and adopt Walter’s winning approach to the game – it’s a habit that can be nurtured the more you play.