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Bad Beats in Poker


You look down at your starting hand and find the ace of hearts and ace of diamonds. You raise and get some action. The flop brings the eight of clubs, jack of hearts and three of diamonds. It's checked to you and you bet. The turn brings the ten of clubs and again you bet and get callers. The river brings the ace of clubs. This time the player in front of you bets. You call and he flips over the four and six of clubs for the nut flush. You have just suffered a bad beat.

A bad beat in poker is when you have a good hand that is a favorite to win beaten by another hand. Most of the time it is a hand that caught a miracle draw on the river that should not have been played to begin with. This is more common in low limit games because many players have the any two cards can win mentality. Many players will play any ace and a few players will play any suited cards regardless of the rank. Some players are calling stations that will enter the pot with marginal or terrible hands and then call all the way to the river in hopes making their draw. Occasionally they do make their hands and you suffer a bad beat.

Bad beats are a normal part of poker that a good player learns to accept. As sure as the sun rises in the morning you are going to occasionally get drawn out on the river. You will lose an occasional pot to a bad beat from these players but their bad play will lose to your solid play the majority of the time. In the long run you will make money from players who constantly chase the inside straights or baby flushes. This is an even more common occurrence for those who play on the online poker sites. There are so many knew players online who will play any two suited, any ace or even any two cards. In these types of games you will find that your bankroll fluctuations will be greater but your wins will be bigger.

There are also instances when your big hand will get beaten by a bigger hand. I call this a legitimate beat which while rare will happen occasionally. I once started a hand with pocket tens. The flop was three aces giving me a full house. One player and I went all the way to the river. At the showdown she turned over a suited ace and queen. I have to admit I was not happy about it but things like that happen. I turned to the player and said, "Nice hand."

Some players get shaken up and go on tilt when they suffer a bad beat. You can't let it affect your play. If you get upset after suffering a bad beat, get up and walk away from the table for a hand. If you are playing go to post and fold or quit and come back later. Cool down and then get back to your game.

Don’t tell bad beat stories. Bad beats are like the weather. Everyone talks about it but nobody can do anything to change it. It's a really boring subject and so are bad beats. Everyone has suffered bad beats and by constantly talking about them you just make yourself look like as a loser. If you want to talk about poker why would you want to talk about your defeats? Whining about bad beats will not put fear into any of opponents. Poker expert Mike Caro suggests you tell your opponents how lucky you have been and how the cards have been going your way. This will portray a winning image rather than that of a loser.

So the next time you get ready to tell a bad beat story, stop and ask yourself why you want to tell a losing story?

Until next time, remember:
"Luck comes and goes...Knowledge Stays Forever."

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