How To Deal With Bad Beats

A bad beat in poker happens when a heavily-favored hand loses out to a hand that was well behind prior to the river card being dealt. When your pocket Kings lose to pocket, 7’s when another 7 miraculously appears on the river. When your two pair gets hammered by an inside straight draw. These kinds of losses happen to everybody because luck is a factor in the game of poker.

Odds and probabilities don’t guarantee to win to the favored hand before all the cards have been played. The key is in how you deal with a bad beat happening to you. You can either lose your cool and get caught up in emotions of anger and hatred toward the player who happened to suck out on you, as well as feel sorry for yourself. Or you can realize that bad beats are a part of the game and will happen from time to time.

Essential to the Game

If it’s any consolation to players on the receiving end of a bad beat, just know that bad beats are essential to the game. Bad beats allow less experienced players to sometimes win, thereby enticing them to return to the poker tables again and again, remembering the day that they did happen to win and hoping it will happen again.

Skill Wins in The Long Run

Keep in mind, however, that skill at poker will prevail in the long run. There are hundreds of professional poker players who can attest to that. Luck can only take bad players so far.

What to Do

So what should you do when you lose a big pot to a foolhardy player who cracks your pocket Aces when his 7-9 offsuit manages to hit a straight on a board of 6-10-K-3-8? The main thing to remember is to not let the bad play of others affect your decision-making in the future hands. In other words, don’t go on tilt, or you will end up losing more than just one pot to the bad beat.

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Step Away

The best advice is to step away from the game for a few minutes to regain your composure and get your emotions back to a near-normal range. If you’re playing online, just sit out for a spell, get a drink of water, take a walk, watch TV, or play with the dog. Basically, do anything but continue playing for a while until you are sure that your logic and reasoning will allow you to make the correct decisions at the table.

You Played it Right

A good idea during your break is to tell yourself that you played the hand correctly and just lost to a lucky player who, in many instances, should have folded his cards long ago. Reassure yourself that players who beat you on bad beats will end up losing in the long term because they continue to chase hands that they probably shouldn’t, which is actually good for your bankroll over the course of time.

Psychologically, it’s best to get to a frame of mind where you can accept what happened and move on. If you can’t accept it and continue letting it permeate your thoughts while you’re playing future hands, it may come back and bite you in the form of loss due to a lack of focus on the current hand you’re playing.

Accept It

So, in essence, take a break from the game, accept what happened, and get to a point where you can move on to the new hands coming your way without continuing to think about the bad beat.

Can be a Good Sign

It has been said that if you happen to be running into a lot of bad beats, it’s actually a good sign that means that you are playing correctly. This is because the object of poker is to get the most money into the pot while you are ahead in the hand. If you are doing this and are the favorite to win when committing your money into the pot, then you are playing poker properly.

Good Poker Players Loss to Bad Beats

That is the way to win and be a successful poker player. But as I stated earlier, and everybody already knows, luck is part of the game and cannot be controlled. You can only control the way you play, and if you are playing correctly and getting sucked out on, remember that the tides will turn, and you will win out in the end because your skill will trump the players who are depending on luck.

Forcing Opponents to Need  Miracles

When you force your opponents to need miracle cards to beat you to win, you are doing everything right. Continue to take advantage of every opportunity to shove your chips into the pot against players who need to draw to win the hand, and you will be highly successful. Don’t let the short-term bad beats alter your winning strategy.


Playing poker in modern times–online, in other words–will cause you to encounter many a bad beat. That’s because the Internet is loaded with inexperienced players, and the games are moving much faster than in a live setting. In that regard, the sooner you can psychologically prepare yourself to expect some bad beats and not let them affect your game, the better off you will be.

So remember to step away from the table or computer when you’re the victim of a bad beat. Regain a calm, cool composure and know that playing against bad players will be quite rewarding to your bankroll in the long run