You are dealt your cards and you look at them. You’re holding a pair of Aces. You raise and get some response. At the flop it’s the seven of clubs, the ten of hearts, and the eight of diamonds. The bet is to you and you bet. At the turn it’s the Jack of clubs. You bet again and are called. At the river it’s another Ace, the Ace of clubs. Now the player before you bets. This time you call and the other player flops over the three and five of clubs making the nut flush. What you have experienced is termed a bad beat.
In poker the bad beat occurs when your hand is the odds on favorite to win and then you are beaten in the end by another better hand. In most cases it’s a hand that caught what it needed on the river by ‘miracle’ and probably should not have been played to begin with. You see this more often when playing in low limit games because many players are willing to play practically any two cards with the hope of winning. There are players that will play every time they get an Ace or draw opening suited cards.
Then there are a lot of players who are calling stations. This means that they will play any weak hand and just call all the way through to the river hoping that they will draw something good. Sometimes they do get the cards they need and you end up bad beaten.
Bad beats are simply a part of poker and the better players will learn to live with them. Just as sure as anything occasionally you are going to get out drawn at the river. Although it is true that you will from time to time lose to such players, your solid play will win out over their weak play in the end. In the end you will be the winner most of the time. Long-term you are going to make money from those players that chase after inside straights or long shot flushes. Those who play a lot of online poker are even more likely to experience this. It is amazing how many new players can be found playing online who are ready to play any two suited cards, and Ace, or practically any two cards. You will find that when you are playing in such games your bankroll will tend to fluctuate greatly but in the end you will come out ahead.
Times will occur when what appears to you to be a big and unbeatable hand will get beaten by another bigger hand. This is a legitimate although rare occurrence, and will happen occasionally. One time I started with pocket Jacks. The flop was three aces so I had a full house. I played out one player to the river. At the end he turned over an ace high flush. In spite of the fact that I was not very happy about this I have to admit that they happen. what could I do? I just mentioned to the player that it was a nice hand.
There are those players that can’t handle a bad beat and will go on tilt. It is very important that you do not let this affect your game. if feel this coming on you need to get up from the table and sit out a hand or two. if you are still playing you should fold and return later. Make sure that you have cooled down before returning to play.
Don’t talk about your bad beat experiences. Like the weather, everyone seems to talk about bad beats but no one ever does anything about them. Like talking about the weather, bad beats are a boring subject. Since everyone has experienced these things you just make yourself appear the loser when you talk about them. Talk about poker but do not talk about your defeats, your loses. You can be sure that your crying about your loses is not going to intimidate any of the other players. It is better to tell your opponents about your great luck and how great your cards have been recently. Now you are projecting a winning rather than a losing image. Next time you feel like telling a sad story, stop and ask yourself why you want to look like a loser.