Top Five (5) Reasons You Should Not Berate Players at the Poker Table

We have all been there. You get all the money in the pot with a hand that is such a heavy favorite, you can't believe your good fortune.

We have all been there. You get all the money in the pot with a hand that is such a heavy favorite, you can't believe your good fortune. But then your luck takes a turn for the worse when your opponent hits his miracle card, or worse yet, the dreaded runner runner! Your natural reaction is to get upset. You think...

How could this person play so badly and get rewarded? If I had won that hand, I would have won the whole tournament! You will often see someone berate a player at the table after taking a bad beat. Maybe you have even done it yourself. But it is a definitely a bad habit and something that should be eliminated from your game if you want to take poker seriously.

Here is why:

5. You got your money in good

Congratulations! Taking a bad beat means that you got your money in good. That is something you can feel good about. If you feel like you are taking more bad beats than other players, it's probably because you are getting your money in good more than other players. You are doing something right. Remember that poker is a long-term game and if you keep making the right plays, you will end up on top.

4. It's just mean

Whether you are playing poker for a job or for recreation, we all do it for the same reason. It is supposed to be fun. When you berate a player, you are not only taking away from the table's fun, you are taking away from your own. You end up looking like a jerk and often saying something you don't mean and will feel bad about later.

3. It can lead to tilt

Sure you are upset, but if you take a few deep breaths or a quick walk, that can fade away quickly. If you sit there stewing or yelling at the person, it will just make you more upset. When you are upset, it is much harder to make correct decisions. Next thing you know, you are the person getting it in bad because you are trying to get back the chips you lost or targeting a specific opponent for the wrong reasons.

2. It teaches your opponent that they made a mistake

He just won the hand. He is happy. After all, he must have done something right to have this newfound wealth sitting in front of him. He may not even realize he just got it in with 15% equity. So why tell him? If your opponent thinks that it is okay to stack off with a gutshot or bottom pair because he just won the pot, let him think that. It may sting now, but in the long run, you want people to call with worse. That's where the skill edges in poker come into play.

1. It makes your opponents want to leave

The villain just got it in really bad, right? He made a terrible play. If you start yelling at him he will obviously feel bad. No one likes to be treated like that. Maybe he will feel so bad he will not want to play any more, for fear of being yelled at again. You just took a perfectly good fish right out of the water. With all the poker information out there now, there are much fewer weak players. Don't scare them away!

Bat beats are a part of the game. Whether we like to say it or not, when we play poker, we are gambling. Sure there is a skill edge, but the best player doesn't always win. That is part of what makes it fun. It is also what keeps fish in the game, because they know that on any given day, they have a shot to win big. Next time you want to berate your opponent, just say nice hand. It will make them feel good and like they did something right. It will also help you relax. Even if you know you don't mean it, the irony will make you chuckle, which has a calming affect on your body and mind. A lot of people want to take a break if they have been running bad. I say, get back in there, keep up the volume and keep making correct decisions. Your skill edge will present itself in the long run.

250 Thank You Freeroll Ticket
I will be giving away 3 tickets to the 250 Guaranteed Thank You Freeroll to people who comment below. What do you do to compose yourself after a bad beat? Entries must be received by Wednesday at 10AM EST to be counted.

Good luck!

 Filed under: Poker


StareYouDown: Well I normally don't tilt
Mon, 04/17/2017 - 15:51

Well I normally don't tilt after a bad beat, unless it happened really deep in a decent size tournament.. But at that point all i can do is have a drink and watch some stand up comedy on youtube and off to bed since it's likely to be the last tournament of the day.

seanrc: Nice read
Mon, 04/17/2017 - 16:38

Really like # 2, For me a bad beat depending on circumstances usually rolls off my back, As stated above I know I played right got the $coin$ in good and fate/luck had a cruel trick up their sleeve for me. Usually will just recall a time I lucked out and caught on the river, So again as stated they cancel out over time, Still rough, But poker would be no fun is someone didn't walk a way a loser...

FistOfGod: I agree...number 2 is very
Mon, 04/17/2017 - 18:18

I agree...number 2 is very important. Also, if you keep calm and stay off tilt, number 1 will help you get your chips back after several hands. There's a saying I read "Don't tap on the fish tank, you'll scare the fish". I can't remember where I read it. I used to steam pretty bad over a runner runner or 3 outer but it's all part of the game. What goes around comes around and over time making the positive plays pays off. To stay mindful and relaxed I listen to classical music or some Chinese bamboo flute with stringed instruments. I'll also implement breathing techniques if needed. You have to stay mindful and in the moment, being aware of your thoughts, because you have another hand to play. Like you said, if I say anything at all it's "Nice Hand" and I move on. These days I rarely even read the chat. I'm not at the table to be friends or to teach anyone...they are my enemy. If anything, I'm there to learn from my own mistakes and the mistakes of others and improve my game.

magicleon2: nice post!
Mon, 04/17/2017 - 19:05

Yeah its very tilting to recieve a bad beat especially if ur in a huge buy in tourny or near itm, but usually i just listen to my favourite music video and get it over with haha

plo8monster: Badbeats and being a good sport
Mon, 04/17/2017 - 20:23

If you are playing great and no mistakes, then it absolutely requires a bad beat to get you.
If your only going out due to bad beats, then your playing great.
One of the things i have noticed over past decade online is that poker players (many) often lack emotional maturity, and that can be exploited at the tables.. :)
The ones who rant and rave make great targets. It is the one who politely says Nice Hand is one to beware of.


Linux911: Need a ticket
Mon, 04/17/2017 - 20:30

After bad hands i exhale and make green tea)))

IH8duke: Take notes Michigan1.
Mon, 04/17/2017 - 20:34

Take notes Michigan1.

Rezin1976: bad beat
Mon, 04/17/2017 - 21:47


RamJam65: I don't have a tilt factor.
Tue, 04/18/2017 - 00:24

I don't have a tilt factor. Early on when i very first started playing poker (in the old days) I did used to go on tilt until one day I realized that this makes no sense AT ALL. First of all you can change what happened, you don't get your money back at the end of the game. Tilt only cost you money and time=money. For those who do have a tendency to go on tilt I would suggest to get up, walk around, take some deep breaths and go on to the next game or hand.

Now this is not to say I am perfect. I do have a tendency to play way too long and get very tired and make some very stupid mistakes that costs me money. I guess this would also be considered a sort of tilt factor because I could always quit, get some rest and come back fresh the next day.

The thing about not berating players is very important because in my experience I have found is causes...
1. It will make them evaluate their play and start playing better
2. In cash games they will get up and leave so you have no shot of getting your money back.
3. Makes them tighten up due to embarrassment due to being berated.
4. and I guess the worst thing that could happen...(not online but in live play) you could get your ass kicked :)

Until next time, peace out, take a few deep breaths and just be smooth...

BustAllDay: Very good post
Tue, 04/18/2017 - 02:33

I don't compose myself whatsoever. I use my manipulative personality to ensure a person feels like a shithead after I'm done talking to him. However, these are good points you bring Scot. I will still most likely talk about how hard I fucked your dad if you suck out on me tho

BigBadMan: Nice post
Tue, 04/18/2017 - 12:23

GUILTY i'm sorry to say..
Absolutely fed up to the back teeth of getting in well ahead, only to be beaten by someone playing bingo with 7,2, etc.
Probably my imagination, though it seems that the donk hand usually comes good straights when stupid hands are up against high pocket pairs..
Having read your excellent post, I'm gonna try be a bit more civil & hopefully get better results

jura1313: Practice of meditation ,my
Tue, 04/18/2017 - 12:59

Practice of meditation ,my children!!! ommm

Skippybp: I like to shoot people when tilted
Tue, 04/18/2017 - 14:04

After a bad beat I like to put on cod or some of game like line of sight and kill the shit out people

daffyD: After a bad beat I tend to
Tue, 04/18/2017 - 14:55

After a bad beat I tend to berate myself esp after a late run or 2-3 to final table..saying nice hand can be very difficult

TheFatLadySung: Pro Tip
Tue, 04/18/2017 - 15:22

Man...I just step outside if need be, get a drink or something, and rub one out in the bathroom. Simple as that.

But really though, I am pretty loose over all. If the flops are cheap, I want to see them. Intrinsically, I suck out a lot. So when it happens to me, I can only remember all the miracles that ended in my favor, and realize I'm not the only person with this "skill". Truth be told, if you don't have the nuts, you CAN be beaten. Still no fun when you flop quad 9's with two in the hole, and are beaten with a SF on the turn. :D

Good article! Even if poker is your job, the funner it is, the better! Let's all aspire to that end goal, having fun!

Noname99: no agresive
Tue, 04/18/2017 - 17:18

playing nicely until i find a strong card

busted1: bad beat and anger
Tue, 04/18/2017 - 19:43

They all sound good but then again everything that sounds great on paper or in a forum does not mean it is right.I get mad and make sure you know it and then you look for me and call me on anything just becasue you know I\ll get mad and that is when you call and lose and then all you did was make me happy.So works both ways and all this aside I should really just mute and or block my chat from the beginning to avoid your unhappiness when you lose to me the second time

minmin88: caml down and relax
Wed, 04/19/2017 - 12:44

If I have a bad beat, dont do thing fast, just think carefully after that, use time bank and good for relax by a litte water sugar. Dont think you must play next hand to take money back, not use hand to play , use brain to think hand ., you should know why you beat by bad beat You must wait best hand for play . Dont make you look hot and not patien, other player know you not to wait and beat you again.

isnortbooze: Ticket winners- berating article
Wed, 04/19/2017 - 14:06

Hey guys,
So many good answers on this one! Was very hard to choose.
If you didn't win, please keep trying and you will eventually!
But this one, tickets go to
BigBadMan, TheFatLadySung and dabsoflabs
Congrats and thanks so much for the great responses!

legaleagle84: WHAT!?!?!?! HOW COULD I NOT
Wed, 04/19/2017 - 16:34


lol. I jest. Didn't even respond to it but I read it. Helped me get some perspective on past hands and a few today as well, in a good way. Genuinely enjoy reading your posts / articles. Thanks for putting in the time and energy, Scot. Cheers man. Peace.

Blindme: I used to take to this "do
Wed, 04/19/2017 - 18:42

I used to take to this "do not tap the fishbowl" mentality always,but have found sometimes it can be quite profitable to egg on a player on obvious tilt by getting their ego involved. This tends to be some one that has taken to berating players themselves and after a bad loss I may add some salt to get them more aggro.
You know its working when they are attacking your blind from under the gun each orbit repeatedly,from there I venture different ways depending on past history.
The other aspect that tends to have me involved more in chat is hunting out potential connections between players based on language barriers. Not so much here but on another site I find I can connect multiple accounts based on name choice,account number,timing tells and the same misunderstanding of basic banter. So I may push a player like that into talking to dig for some intel,cheating is pretty rampant in the bitcoin world and you need to be aware of these things.
Another one in the same vein is when you are at a final table in a tourney and it is clear two players are soft playing each other and both limping on your blind. I will engage them to point out how obvious it may be or at least get them to lighten up on the collusion.

But I think long term the tapping of the fishbowl has ran a lot of people from the poker community and I argue that those people are not coming back in any hurry. Sadly the poker community has a optics issue that just gets worse every time a big name gets hit with cheating accusations or not paying back what they owe.

Think a issue that taps into the same discussion is not bleeding info into the chat box. Like stating you are tired,wife is nagging you to get off,its morning now! or you are just plain done with playing. It often get people to come at you with hands that they would not have in hopes of a easy double up. Another is letting it slip how little you may know about poker,to a seasoned player they already know but to a player that is not paying attention you just gave them a free read.

As for tilt I find people do not always recognize a slight uptick in hands being played and it is not often found unless you are tracking hands and reviewing on a daily basis. Think most people do tilt its just the range that may be more obvious or not.

cjmoles: Well, if fewer dump-trucks
Thu, 04/20/2017 - 18:41

Well, if fewer dump-trucks would just stop getting it in so bad, we'd wouldn't have to get so damn triggered after a bad beat in the first place! I take the opposite's okay to take the occasional "bad beat" when you get it in good with an iced pot....but "bingo" every damn hand needs to be cursed---and not slightly either! It gets annoying when you can't even ice a pot! I curse the bingo players! They must be destroyed!

player10: Bad Beats
Fri, 04/21/2017 - 09:39

this is why you should play tons of hands if a table lets you... and call with any 2 when 3 bet.. once you got the table on tilt you can start making fat cash fast!!! plus there is the sick joy of flopping a straight with 36off and doubling up off AA!!!

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