How to avoid a bad beat

If you want to know how to avoid ever having another bad beat then the simple solution is STOP PLAYING POKER, if however you want to limit your bad beats then there is a few of things you can do:


Don't slow play

You are on the button and everyone has limped into you, you look at your hold cards and you see pocket rockets AC AS while trying to keep the grin of your face you tap the table indicating a check, the blinds just call and you see the flop 2H kH 5C first position raises half the pot and everyone folds to you, so now you know he has a king so you decide to just call so he can put more chips in the pot on the turn which is a 7H he bets half the pot again you call again still thinking your aces are good, the river 3H now he goes all in, now you got to think was he betting a draw or does he thinks his kings are good? does he have trips, two pair straight or a flush? now your pair doesn't look so good and at end of the day a pair of aces is just a one pair you call and you see KS 6H now your thinking bad beat when really its your fault you let him get there, If you had bet pre flop king six off suit would not have called you may have only picked up the blinds but would you rather have the blinds or felt under your fingers?


Develop a good table rep

If you are the type of player that likes to see flops and calls or raises every hand hoping to hit when you do get a big hand it is less likely that people are going to fold to you, you may have aces this time but everyone remembers when you won with a pair of duce's. In order to develop a good table rep you have to be tight aggressive (everyone has the aggressive part down but few have both) by this I mean play only good starting hands and play them aggressively you may miss a couple of trip 2 flops but you will in the long run see less bad beats and more cash. Once you have a good table rep you also have the advantage of being able to make a few plays at the pot or blinds and other players are more likely to fold out of respect.


Bet the worth of your hand

In no limit hold'em you get 4 chances to bet pre-flop, the flop, the turn and the river during this time your hand will raise or lower in strength, for example aces, kings and queens should get a pot size raise painted connectors should get triple the blind anything else should get double the big blind (depending on position), this way you are telling everyone you got a hand and putting them on the defense of that hand, for example you may get wired 8s you bet double to big blind the flop comes suited and even if your opponent has an over pair and you have missed he may put you on suited cards and still bet but only be a small bet in which case you can still call and maybe your hand will improve also once people do get to know your betting patterns you will also be able to make a few uncontested plays at a pot depending on your opponent. From time to time your hand will be beat but by betting the worth or you hand combined with having a good rep you will be less likely to run into bad situations.


Know your opponent

Perhaps the most important and hardest thing to master is knowing you opponent (even harder online) but there is a few things you can watch for:

  • When ever you get a chance take notes on what they raised with or called with If you opponent raises with 2 6 to still the blinds gets called and still wins with some magic flop he may have won but you now know that he will bluff and continue bluffing.
  • Keep track of how someone bets and how many pots they are in, also keep track of how they react to cards if somebody raises pre flop, calls the flop then bets big when a king comes up you can be sure they have hit and you may as well throw you cards away if you cant beat it (even if you know someone is bluffing unless you can beat a bluff don't call high cards are only high cards)
  • Watch for panic, if you have a good hand and someone bets at you and you raise then they go all in 8 times out of ten they have a big hand but if you have seen them do this a lot you can narrow that down to 4 times out of ten witch give you good odds to call, another ting to watch for is people who call big pre-flop raises then go all in as soon as the flop hits no matter what it is most likely they planed to do this when they called and your may have a great hand but unless you can beat the flop don't call because it is less the 40% they you will win he may have hit or he may yet hit but ether way you haven't so fold you will get him again.
  • Take not of how long it takes someone to act (online especially) if the flop comes out all hearts and he thinks a long time before betting is he scared or is he trying to make you think he is? watch how he acts in other hands that he did the same thing.
  • Tells tell you nothing, most professional players will use there tell against you and ammeter players have so many that you never know what they got.

Every certainty you have on a player can be used to your advantage the more you know about a player is more important than the cards you hold.


This information is provided as a guide and not to be taken as fact. Any money you lose following these guideline came out of your pocket and if you couldn't afford to lose it, it should not have been put into play.