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In poker, the term “tilt” is used to refer to the state of frustration or confusion in which the player tends to adopt a less-than-optimal strategy due to emotional reasons. Being on tilt usually makes players hyper-aggressive, however the term may also refer to overly cautious play.

Being able to put your opponent on tilt and dealing with being on tilt is considered to be an essential skill for every serious poker player – in fact, recognizing you’re own tilt and being able to see when your opponent is tilting is believed to be one of the best ways of maximizing your profits in live poker games.

Usage Example

“Last night John went on tilt and lost most of his bankroll. He really should learn how to control his emotions at the table.”


Amarillo Slim Preston, a professional poker player and the winner of the 1972 World Series of Poker Main Event has been notorious for his ability to put his opponents on tilt by singling out and “victimizing” individuals at the table. Other common methods of putting players on tilt include constant chattering and making weird motions whenever you win a hand, playing junk hands and bluffing in the hope of delivering the bad beat, and taking an inappropriate amount of time to announce and show your hand.

However, please note that employing the latter method is considered to be a serious breach of poker etiquette and might result in the offending player being barred from the card room where the game is taking place.

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