This Poker Hand

How to Handle the Blowup

At some point in your poker career, you will likely experience what is referred to as the "blowup." In short, this term refers to a bad play that costs you all of your chips, and in many cases costs you the entire game. There are a number of different situations that can give rise to the blowup, and it is important to avoid these to prevent disappointment and financial losses.

Blowup Scenarios

A blowup might arise from miscalculations. For instance, you might have calculated your pot odds or implied odds inaccurately, leading you to think you had a better chance of winning with a certain hand than you actually did. A blowup might also result from misreading other players or from an unsuccessful bluff.

Learning From Your Mistakes

Whatever the cause of a blowout, it is important to know how to recover and how to learn from your mistakes. A bad loss can leave a player despondent, particularly if it comes at the end of a long game or an important tournament, and can cause a player to step away from the game for good--or lose all confidence. To avoid this, try to see the blowup as a learning experience, and use it as a model of what not to do in the future.

If you find yourself experiencing a number of blowups in a row, it might be a good idea to step back and evaluate your playing strategy. Is there a certain mistake you are repeating during every game? Are you constantly unable to pull off a bluff in the face of your opponents? To fend of future blowups, it is essential to adjust your game accordingly.