Handling Online Poker Tilt

Tilt may very well be the primary reason why you lose money
when playing online poker. Even if you are a winning player, tilt may
still be a reason why your win rate isn’t as high as it could
otherwise be. Many players will openly admit that they have a
problem with tilting. Other players will say that they never
tilt, and they are probably lying.

The most common type of player will tilt from time to time,
but they aren’t prone to donating
their entire bankroll in a fit of rage. The first step to curing
your tilt, as is the case with anything problematic, is to admit
that you need to fix it. There’s literally nothing (aside from
incredibly terrible play) that’s more detrimental to your
bankroll than tilt.

One thing that players may disregard in online poker play is the
fact that tilt may not actually be taken out on money. You may
throw things or break things instead of spewing off chips at the
table. Though it may not be a straight loss of cash, these types
of reactions will also serve as a drain on your bankroll.
Anytime you are costing yourself money (or even time) as a
result of tilt in online poker, you are hurting your bankroll.

How to Handle Online Poker Tilt

Handling tilt in online poker is much easier said than done.
It’s not a problem that is fixed with the snap of a finger. You
can’t just tell yourself to stop and have it be done. It’s a
problem that’s going to take a lot of time, effort, and
self-restraint to truly cure. A lot of players, even the
majority, will never put forth enough effort to control their
tilt, which simply means that they’ll never end up playing
with as much emotional control as they really should be.


Simply quitting is the best way to ensure that you aren’t
going to tilt. The problem with this remedy is that it’s very
hard to put into practice. When you are losing money, the last
thing that you likely want to do is quit while you are down. The
more immediate reaction is to try and win back any of the money
that was just lost. While this is perfectly normal, there’s a
better chance that it will end up costing you even
more money in the long run.

Seldom does a player go on crazy tilt and end up making all
of their money back. If you start open shoving on every table,
it’s inevitable that you are eventually going to get called in
a few spots which will ultimately compound your losses. Beyond
this, losing in your tilted play will make you even more angry,
which is again only going to add to the already inflated losses.
It’s the simple chance that you might get lucky and win those
buy ins back that tempts players into playing like a maniac when
things are going bad.

To be perfectly honest, it makes more sense to play
roulette or blackjack when tilted than it does to continue
playing poker. The reason for this is that tilted poker play is
putting you at an absolutely massive disadvantage, whereas other
casino games give you a reasonable chance of winning or at least
losing the least. While casino and table games certainly aren’t
the most advisable place to head when you are on tilt, they make
a lot more sense than a tilted poker session.

Taking a Break

Taking a break is the second best option to quitting when you
are trying to eliminate the tilt that’s rushing through your
veins. The caveat to taking a break as a resolution to tilt is
that you’ll need to be able to ensure that you are quitting
for long enough periods of time. You should be away from the
computer for a long enough period of time that you eventually
have no interest in playing at least for a little bit.

Taking a break doesn’t mean that you should simply take a
short walk and then return to the computer. Though you
may attempt to trick yourself into thinking otherwise, a short
break won’t eliminate the tilt from your game. If anything, a
small hitch in your first few hands will set you off even more
than you were before. Taking breaks is something that could work
to reduce tilt, but you need to be careful that you are not
cutting the break short.

Moving to Different Limits and/or Games

Another popular way for players to minimize the effects of
tilt is to switch games. For a tournament player, it wouldn’t
exactly make sense to go to a cash game table when they are
tilted as this would be expected to only add to the pre-existing
losses. If you are a cash game player and move to a much lower
stake, however, you may very well play differently once you
realize that the money won’t be easily won back through a few
fortunate double ups. Taking yourself out of the scenario
(limit) where you can potentially win back your money will also
mean that you are also out of the environment where you are
prone to losing more of it.

If you want to, you can even move to the absolute lowest
limit games and just go crazy. If you are normally playing
100NL, take your bankroll down to $.01/$.02 (that’s 1 cent/2
cent) and just open shove for several minutes. Not only will
your opponents go nuts in the chat boxes, but it’s a good way
to blow off steam without the financial loss. Most players love
sliding the bet size bar to the max and clicking bet, but it
will mean that you are losing a lot of money in the process.
Have fun and burn off tilt at the same time by losing $5 or $10
in super micro stakes games instead of $500 or $1,000 in your
normal games.

If you struggle with tilt in live poker and are looking for
ways to cope with it, make sure to view our strategy article on

stopping tilt in live poker