Avoiding tilt

If, as Daniel Negreanu has said, that tilt is one of the primary if not the primary reason that people lose at poker, then it behooves us to learn what tilt is and how we can avoid it entirely or quickly overcome it when it manifests itself.

Tilt can occur in every life situation.  Parents know the symptoms of tilt all too well.  They get tilted when their kids defy them over the simplest, most important aspects of daily life such as eating, getting ready, for school, bathing, and going to sleep.  Kids also tilt when their immature emotions cannot handle simple situations.  Americans have a beautiful term for this kind of kiddie tilt: paper cup syndrome.  This occurs when a kid starts to cry uncontrollably when something as insignificantt as a paper cup falls on his or her foot.

Tilt whilst driving has been renamed road rage.  Tilt when we are playing at an online casino or more often at a land based casino is demonstrated by the player continuing to play long after the play has lost all elements of fun and entertainment.

Here are a few ways we can avoid tilt in gaming and in life.

Mobile Gaming

Springbok mobile gaming is almost a prescription for gaming fun without tilt.  As Marshall McLuhan said, “the medium is the message”.  In the world of mobile gaming, the medium lends itself to short bursts of gaming whilst we are otherwise on the go in our busy daily activities.

Many people who have just a few minutes to play at Springbok mobile play progressive slots.  This is a perfectly understandable get rich quick scheme but, because they play only a few spins, it never becomes obsessive and it’s a perfect way to play and avoid tilt.  No one really expects to get rich quick anyway so, if you don’t win the giant jackpot, you simply shrug it off.

A lot of online gamers also play on their mobile devices when they are relaxing at home.  The beauty of excellent mobile gaming—mostly in the great, modern graphics and the broadening selection of games—is that you can play whilst lounging.  The very act of lounging makes it a relaxing activity that tends to reduce the element of stress that might lead to tilt.

Drive under Control

One father told his teenage son that the key to safe driving in general and to driving without anger is to “stay in your own lane and mind your own business”.  When we drive using this excellent advice, we can say that everything that another driver does that might anger us is really none of our business.  If a driver cuts in front of you on the motorway, it likely has nothing to do with you and everything to do with his situation.

In fact, many road rage incidents begin with one driver already suffering from driver’s tilt and doing something that triggers the next driver’s tilt.  When you are the next driver, understand that the other guy is already on tilt and there is no need for you to join him in drivers’ purgatory.

Adopt the “It’s Only” Mantra

When something really important goes wrong, the best reaction should be alertness to try to help end the crisis or to otherwise deal with the situation.  When a glass falls and shatters into a thousand pieces, the first responder’s primary aim should be to clean up the broken shards of glass and to help everyone avoid stepping on a piece of broken glass.

Only much later can we lament losing a glass or mug or plate that actually meant something to us.

If it can be readily replaced, then “it’s only” money.  If we get a permanent stain on a shirt, it’s only a shirt.  Almost every situation that might put us into tilt cab be quickly defused by saying “it’s only”.

Well-placed Anger is not Tilt

Sometimes our kids or neighbors or colleagues do something that genuinely deserves an angry response.  In these situations, an angry response is entirely appropriate.  It turns into tilt when we lose control of our anger.  We should, thus, try to avoid situations where we are likely to lose control of our anger. 

Many family get-togethers such as at Christmas turn into massive tilt events because the family members with diametrically opposed opinions cannot control their anger.  We should treat these moments in the same way we treat bad behavior by other drivers on the roadways: we should stay in our own lane and mind our own business.

But this prescription is not a lifetime commitment.  A lifetime commitment should be to overcome our tendencies toward tilt.

See Tilt as a Breakable Habit

We can learn to undo any habit we wish to stop.  This applies to nail-biting, smoking, overeating, watching too much television, and a myriad of other breakable habits.  When we see tilt as a habit, we can work consciously to get through the moments that trigger our tilt without tilting.

Minding our own business whilst driving is the best way to undo our road rage inclinations.  Letting people spew their political opinions at family meals is another good way to overcome the tendency to lose control.

Tilt and Gambling

Let’s return to the idea of tilt in gambling.  We need to understand that life is one giant gamble.  We never know for sure if even the most thought-out decisions are the right ones.

  • Starting a business is a huge gamble.
  • Getting married and having children is a gamble.
  • The decision of where to live is also a gamble.
  • Any investment you make is inherently a gamble.
  • When you vote you are gambling that the politician you choose will not disappoint you.

There seems to be some feeling that casino gambling is less than any other form of gambling.  Governments that sponsor lotteries in which the odds of winning are hugely against you often try to restrict casino gambling.  Maybe they don’t know that the return to player rate in most online casino games is higher than 95%.  The return to player rate in lotteries is very close to 0% unless you are the single lucky fellow who wins millions.

The Golden Rules of Casino Gambling

  • Casino gambling is a form of entertainment.
  • Pay yourself a percentage of all your winnings on every spin or hand.
  • Set a time limit for gaming.
  • Set a specific bankroll for gaming.