On an online poker blog, one has to mention ‘bad beat’ at some point of time. Bad beats are a part and parcel of the game of poker. If you are a player who can boast of a reasonable duration of experience, you’d have suffered more than share of bad beats, and dished out some of that suffering to others as well.
Every poker player has a poker story (or two!) to tell other players about bad beat they received online or offline. Bad beats happen because poker is a game of chance; in the end, even the least probable outcome is a mathematical possibility. Also, players often forget to take into account the shifting probabilities that emerge as each betting round passes and more cards are dealt. A hand that is an overwhelming favorite to take down the pot before the flop, turn, or river is just a favorite. Better probabilities and odds at the start don’t guarantee a win all the time.
The number of bad beats received depends on the number of hands played by a player in a day/week/month or a year . Greater the number of hands you play, faster do the chances of getting a bad beat increase. For a poker player to receive a bad beat is roughly the equivalent of a boxer, apparently getting the better of his opponent, being staggered by a sudden hard punch. It is not enough in itself to knock the victim out, but it can set him up for the final defeat; the pugilist would swing his fists wildly, anger clouding his better judgment and training, missing more than he lands, and possibly opening himself up to a more potent attack. The poker player at the receiving end of a bad beat too acts in a somewhat similar manner, as he forgets all about skillful play and basically starts going all out hoping for a lucky break. In poker lingo, it’s called going on a tilt.
It doesn’t have to be that way, however, if you train yourself for the possibility of such a situation. Just as a strong chin would help the boxer from our example remain in control despite a temporary setback, a calm, cool head in a bad beat situation would help many a poker player.
There’s an oft parroted caveat by players that in online poker, the chances of getting a bad beat are greater than in offline games, which couldn’t actually be further from the truth. It isn’t hard to understand what gives people that idea, though. As we’ve said before, players increase their chances of getting a bad beat as they play more and more hands. Online games are faster and some players even play on multiple tables at once. In an hour, a player plays 60 to 70 hands on an average, whereas while playing live games you end up playing, on an average, 15 to 20 hands in an hour. So if a player would get one bad beat in a live game the chances are more than 2 times a player will get online, and if a player is playing on more than one table online, the chances multiply.
On a side note, online poker is completely fair and safe, as the cards dealt are completely random, thanks to the Random Number Generator (RNG) component that is, to put it simply, the heart of the online poker software. Players with little knowledge about the basic workings of online poker software are prone to crying foul about the ‘fairness’ of the system when they are losing, while the real reason may simply be that they’re on a tilt and playing irrationally. However, the fact is that if you have taken due care in checking out the operator’s credentials and their software certifications, there’s no reason for you to doubt whether the RNG adheres to industry standards; as the aforementioned certifications are issued by third-party institutions which have the last word on all things related to online gaming software development.
There are some players who love to give bad beats to others. Here’s a fun fact to cheer you up the next time you run into one of those: they are also the ones who will lose a lot of money in the long run. One out of ten times a player would give you a bad beat, but the remaining 9 times he will pay you; the total would come to more than what you would invest in the game you got a bad beat in.
On a parting note, we’d like to take a page out of the books of every poker blog out there, and give you a candid (if heavily cliched) piece of advice:
If you can’t take a bad beat ,stop playing poker