The phrase “going on tilt” is commonly used in reference to poker players. However, it is something that can happen to any gambler. Understanding the dynamics of what is occurring and how it can affect your gambling behavior are important to combat “going on tilt.”
“Going On Tilt”
Poker players are notorious for “going on tilt” after receiving several “bad beats.” A “bad beat” is when a player makes the mathematically correct play and is the statistical favorite to win, but loses the hand anyway. This happens to every player on occasion, but when it happens on a particularly big hand or over and over again, it can be emotionally devastating. The player is unable to rationalize the losses and begins to become unhinged emotionally. This in turn affects the player’s decision making process. Their play becomes irrational and their mood usually becomes angry. They begin betting wildly without control. These irrational decisions usually result in greater financial lose.
Gambling can become problematic whenever emotional control is lost. This is not a problem that is limited to poker players. The difference between a professional poker player “going on tilt” and the average gambler is the assumption that the correct decisions were being made before the loss of control occurred. Regardless, it is the loss of control that is important. Even if a gambler is not making the mathematically correct decisions while gambling, as long as their rational mind is in control they are less likely to sustain financial loss that they cannot afford.
How to Avoid “Going On Tilt”
The biggest key to avoid “going on tilt” is limiting the length of each gambling session. One of the most common mistakes made by gamblers is gambling for too long a period of time. The longer the gambling session is, the more fatigued mentally and physically you will become. Gambling can be mentally exhausting. The emotional roller coaster, the highs and lows, all effect the decisions you make. When a session lasts for too long, you are more likely to lose emotional control and “go on tilt.”
Limit your gambling sessions to a maximum of two hours at a time. Ideally, you want each session to be around an hour and a half. Give yourself at least a thirty minute break between each gambling session. It is important that you remove yourself from the casino floor during this time. Don’t go hang out at the bar on the casino floor for thirty minutes. Go to your room, go for a walk, go to a show, but make sure you are away from the casino atmosphere.