Uncertainty of winning is prevalent within online poker – even when holding a strong hand. Unless you have a royal flush, a high probability hand, such as a four-of-a-kind, does not mean your chances of winning are 100%. In fact, it’s probably only 75%.
So, what is a bad beat in poker? It occurs when a player believes the hand they’re holding is unbeatable, only to get outdone by an opponent on the river. More specifically, it’s when a heavy favorite – based on their cards – bets and loses the round. One card can change the scenario of a game completely. We provide tips to help you to deal with, avoid and combat a bad beat in poker.
Ways to overcome a bad beat in poker
When playing online poker for real money, a bad beat can make all the difference in the outcome of your game. For example, if you’re holding a straight flush, most would be inclined to bet high and raise opponents whenever possible. The chances of winning are high, but not confirmed. So, if you bet high until the end and lose to a higher straight flush, it causes a huge swing to your profits whilst giving the opponent larger betting power. This means they can start to bully the blind and take the pots when players are betting conservatively.
A great poker strategy is to expect the unexpected. This entails looking out for other hands that players may have. You need to be constantly asking questions, such as, what could happen in the future? If there are two diamond cards placed down by the dealer during the flop, it only takes a diamond at the river and an opponent to hold two more diamonds for them to create a flush. When holding strong hands, try to let your opponents do the betting to get a sense of what they may have.
Another great tip is to take a break. It’s the easiest way to regain your concentration and composure so that you’re back to your true self when you enter the table again. This is slightly harder to do during an online poker tournament, but can be done when you’re not small or big blind. For beginners, remember to reflect and learn from your mistakes. As disheartening it may seem, you often learn the most from losing situations.
Focusing on what’s important is another great way to overcome the psychological effects of a bad beat. Being focused on aspects such as putting yourself in good positions, playing well and avoiding mistakes is a great way to play smart and safe. If you find yourself replaying the scenes of your bad beat, you may find yourself making out-of-character bets or raises in a bid to save your game.
Furthermore, it’s important to understand why bad beats happen. From beginners to professionals, all types of players have a bad beat poker moment. These things happen. For the sake of longevity in an online poker game, don’t dwell on these moments because, more often than not, you will have a chance to do it to someone else. Getting into the mindset of “one round at a time” is a great way to overcome your emotions.
When learning the intricacies of playing poker strategically, an essential fundamental is the ability to fold when the cards suggest otherwise. The key to this is noticing the playing personalities of your opponents. By understanding how they play, you will have a far greater perception of when to fold, or not. If you notice a player that folds a lot and only bets when dealt good cards, it should indicate that they’re holding a strong hand. So, it may be a good time to fold, even when holding a medium-to-strong hand.
Moreover, knowing when to be confident in your hand is another avenue to avoiding a bad beat. If you’re holding a four-of-a-kind, you then know only a straight flush or royal flush can beat you. If you scan the cards put down by the dealer and notice that there is no chance of the upper two hands occurring, don’t be afraid to bet big. But do be vigilant and look over the cards more than once – you don’t want any nasty surprises.
From online poker and slots to blackjack and roulette, responsible gambling is imperative to a healthy and sustainable life. Knowing when to quit is another strategy for avoiding a bad beat. There are several factors that should influence you to leave a table, such as your mental state, the players around you and your previous rounds. Simply put, if your head is not in the game, don’t enter it in the first place (or quit.)
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