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Poker Strategy: Three Tips for Handling Bad Beats

Bad beats are a fact of life for any player, whether they're a tournament professional or if they're someone who enjoys a bit of online poker now and then. Unfortunately, knowing something is a fact of life and handling it well are two different things. Besides checking out Bovada's Bad Beat Bonus, we're going to go over how to become a poker player that handles bad beats well.

Tip 1: Bad Beats are Actually Pretty Good in the Long Term

If everything were even and skill was the only factor when it came to playing poker, then you wouldn't get as many players participating. That element of risk associated with gambling makes poker much more appealing to players who aren't quite up to speed when it comes to pure skill. Variance and bad beats keep them playing the game because it gives them the illusion of hope.

It's these players that don't understand the finer points of poker — they're playing it in much the same way that they'd play Blackjack or any other casino card game where basic math comes into play. Odds? Probabilities? Ranges? Value betting? These are not tools they are using — they understand winning hands and losing hands and that's it. If the poor player wins every once in a while, that's frequently enough to keep them coming back again and again.

Tip 2: Understand it's about the Process, not the Results

Too many poker players with potential become obsessed with the results of every given hand instead of why the hand played out the way it did. Learning how to maximize each hand properly and understanding that bad beats happen exactly because they are bad beats means that you'll end up being more profitable in the long term. You can play perfect poker all day and still hit bad streaks of cards and bad beats. Real poker success is defined by the player who's rock-steady and continually making the right calls for the situation.

It's these players that find themselves having a long-term profitable relationship with the game. Bad beats happen, but they keep playing good poker. Good poker beats bad poker, period. It just sometimes takes a little longer.

Tip 3: Don't Let It Get to You

If you've hit your breaking point, quit playing. Yes, it's that simple.

A lot of players quantify the breaking point as a set amount of money that they have to lose at the table before they walk away. Others have to think of it in terms of the number of hands that they've lost while playing "good poker." Whatever it is, you need to make sure that you take control of your emotions and stop playing when you reach your personal breaking point.

Bad beats happen. Good players don't let them ruin their game.

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