Anybody that has ever participate in any form of gambling, either in a local casino or bookmakers, or online, will have experienced what is known in the business as a bad beat.
These are the periods of time, which can last a few hours, to months at a time, when it seems that no matter how well you play, how considered your bet is or how much the odds are stacked in your favor, you always seem to land on the wrong side of the bet and come out a loser.
Bad beats are a good test of any gambler in many ways. Do you have the ability to switch off from the losses and accept them for what they are? An attitude which every punter needs to possess to nurture a positive attitude to wagering. Or do you get angry, frustrated or furious and then compound the issue, by trying to chase your losses?
Of course, such a move is never a wise one as often, when you are on a bad beat, the more you try to win back, often results in you losing more money. The fickle finger of fate can be cruel sometimes and it is at these times that you need to rely on your common sense approach to gambling to see you through.
However, there is also the fact that having a bad beat, while not great for the bank balance, can actually help you as a gambler, especially if you are a relatively novice punter that hasn't really endured what going through a bad beat means and feels like previously.
So here is our quick guide on how you can turn a bad beat into a more positive experience and one that you can learn from in future.
Making the best of a bad beat
I think the key mindset to have when you endure any form of bad beat, and this is true whether your bad luck is at the poker table, on the slots, playing card games, or when betting on sports or similar. It is tempting to think that your bad run of fortune will only be temporary and that at some point, your next bet will win and will wipe out the money you have lost.
This is a dangerous mindset as it can lead people to bet with money that they don't have in an attempt to chase their losses and recover the cash they have lost on previous bets. Not only that, but players that engage in this sort of behavior will often bet more with the cash they need for other things, to try and recoup all their losses with just one lucky wager.
Of course, you don't need me to point out that making such a gamble with money you should not be spending is incredibly foolhardy and not at all responsible. Chasing your losses in this way is indicative of a poor attitude to gambling and it is one that is likely to lead directly to real problems in future.
So, instead of viewing that money as lost, but you could recoup it if only you bet a bit more, you should view that money as spent, in the same way that you spend money when you go out for a nice meal.
At the end of the meal, you are left with a bill and a full stomach and hopefully some enjoyable memories from the evening. In online gaming, you need to remember the positives of playing (and yes, there are some even when your luck is out) and view the money you have spent playing, as spent and gone forever.
That way, you will not be tempted to try and recoup the losses and you will develop a good attitude to gaming that will serve you well in the future.
As hard as it may be at times, if you get on tilt when playing at the poker table, or indeed let your emotions run away with you when engaging in any form of gambling, then you are never going to be as effective or successful as you would be with a calmer attitude and demeanor.
Saying this is easier than actually doing it though. It can be incredibly frustrating to play a hand of poker perfectly in terms of strategy, but still lose the hand because your opponent has been incredibly lucky. Similarly, it can be frustrating to spin a slot time and time again, without triggering any real bonus features and only winning tiny amounts, which just sees your balance run down and down.
However, there has never been a recorded example where a player's fortune has changed simply because a player got angry. Luck doesn't care what mood you are in! However, what is certain is that calmer, rational and less emotional players tend to make better decisions regardless of what type of gaming they are enjoying.
So staying calm, even when the luck is against you will pay off in the longer run as you will make more right decisions, than wrong ones.
The one thing you can say about luck is that it is never permanent. Sometimes the dice will roll for you and other times it will roll against you. If you budget sensibly and have a bankroll that can absorb a bad beat, or even if you need to add more cash to your casino account the next time you play, giving yourself a break between sessions is a good idea. It will calm you down, and hopefully give you a little bit of time when you are not wagering money, for your luck to change.
I am not an advocate of "playing through" a bad beat as I believe that that way lies financial problems and an unhealthy attitude to gambling. Better to take a spell away from the game, forget about it for a week or two and then return to it when you are able to, to give it a fresh attempt.
One of the best things about online gambling is that no matter how much bad luck you have had previously, it can always change the next time you play, so bear that in mind and develop the right attitude to gaming and you should be able to cope with anything the poker table, slot machine or card game can throw at you!