We’ve all been there. You’re absolutely sure that your hand is a winner. It’s strong. Likely unbeatable. You’re confident of the win. Until you get a bad beat. 

For those of you lucky enough to have avoided this dilemma (although we’re not sure how you did it), here’s what you’re missing. Simply put, a bad beat in poker is when you’ve got a hand that’s favored to win, but loses to an opponent who catches up last minute and beats you.

How to Overcome a “Bad Beat” in Poker 

Imagine this. You’re playing a classic no-limit hold’em poker game, holding a pair of aces. Feeling confident, you’re all-in pre-flop. Your bold bet doesn’t scare one opponent, who calls, pushing all his chips into the middle. He’s showing a 5 and 6 of hearts, a bad hand to go all-in on, but amateurs are funny that way. So, now you’re feeling pretty, pretty good. The pot is so large. But it ain’t over til the crying starts. Your double aces have about a 75% chance of winning. Very good odds for sure, but it really means that for every four times you’re all-in with a pair of aces against same suit 5 and 6, you will lose one time. That’s your bad beat.

It’s a head scratcher, but you will deal with this situation eventually. So how do you recover from a bad beat in poker? We’ve got some ideas:

  1. Press pause: Sit out for a round. Take a short breather so you can come back to the table better focused. Nothing shameful about regrouping at the poker table.
  2. Take an extended break: If you find yourself getting too emotional at the table, walk away from playing for a longer period. Stop thinking about the game and your emotional struggles. A few days, a few weeks or a month later, poker will be there for you.
  3. Study the game: A reset back to the basics is helpful. Studying is quite calming and can lead to a mental attitude that leads to making logical, instead of emotional decisions at the poker table.
  4. Change lanes: Switch to poker-based casino games that will help you work on your card play while you keep earning money. At Ignition Casino, we’ve got a ton of fun and profitable distractions to help you forget all about your bad beats.

Best Skill-Based Casino Games to Play

Try these poker game alternatives to regroup, recover and reap the rewards:

1. Video poker: Combining Skill & Luck 

Combining luck and skill in a casino game is what Video Poker is all about. Poker players can enjoy the element of luck, while slots aficionados can embrace the skill element in video poker.

Now, anyone can play video poker at Ignition Casino. It’s an exciting game that’s easy to play. It’s all based on 5-card draw poker, which is as simple as the game gets, and the video poker version is even simpler because you’re the only player.

Each video poker game starts with a bet. You’re then dealt five cards from a standard 52-card deck. It’s 5-card draw, so you’re looking to assemble the best hand possible, based on standard poker hand rankings. 

With your five cards, it’s decision time. Which do you keep? It’s single-draw, so you get just one shot to toss and replace any or all five cards. Then comes the show and determination of the winner. Quick, simple, fun and sometimes quite profitable. 

Better yet, we will show you how to play, explain the rules, and offer strategies to put you on a path to video poker stardom.

2. Let ‘Em Ride: Quick and Easy Video Version of Poker

Available for your mobile and desktop, Let ‘Em Ride is among the most popular poker-inspired games we offer. You have no opponents to worry about, so you decide the pace. Your ultimate goal is to bet big if you think you’ll end up with a pair of tens or better, deciding to raise or check, based on the strength of your three cards combined with two community cards. 

Our classic as well as the latest version of Let ‘Em Ride feature progressive jackpots. Before beginning a round, simply enable the gold star for $1. If you get a flush or better, you win either a portion or the entire jackpot. 

Play Let ‘Em Ride on your desktop, mobile, or tablet. If you’re new, we suggest you play video poker in practice play mode  for a little training as you play for free.

3. Tri Card Poker: Just You Against the Dealer

Here’s another great escape from a bad beat that keeps you in the game and potentially winning some serious coin. Tri Card Poker here at Ignition will help you keep your skills going while enjoying great fun trying to bust our video dealer. It’s super easy and quick to learn, and an exciting alternative to table poker without losing the joy of the game.

Here’s how it works: Place your ante to start the action. Your three cards are face-up. The dealer’s three cards are face-down. Raise with a second bet if you think your hand beats the dealer, otherwise fold and live another day. Just keep in mind that the dealer qualifies with a queen or higher, while you need a straight or better.

With wagers that range from $1 to $500, Tri Card Poker can get very interesting very quickly. In addition, if you’ve got a pair or higher, you get a separate Pairs Plus bet that can payout at up to 40:1 for a straight flush.

As with anything new to you, Play Tri Card Poker for free in practice mode before taking on the house for real money.

4. Pai Gow Poker: A New Twist on an Ancient Chinese Game

Pai Gow Poker, aka double-hand poker, is loosely based on a Chinese gambling game played with a set of 32 dominoes. The poker version was introduced to America in 1985 by Sam Torosian, who owned the Bell Card Club in Los Angeles. By the late 80s, Pai Gow poker was a huge success but its inventor didn’t get the patent in time and made zero money. You snooze, you lose.

The video version of Pai Gow Poker is simple to play, as long as you first learn the added rules. 

First, it’s double-hand poker, so your higher hand must rank higher than your lower hand. At a real live casino, if you get it wrong, you’ll spoil your hand and lose the bet. At Ignition, we protect you by showing the mistake and allowing you to try again.

Second, the joker is very special and considered semi-wild, to be used only to complete straights or flushes. In other cases, the joker counts the same as an ace. Basically, you cannot make five of a kind from four queens and a joker – only four aces and a joker can do that.

Third, the rankings for high hands have a unique twist. Pai Gow Poker’s second-best straight is five-four-three-deuce-ace, called the wheel. In regular poker, that hand would be ranked the lowest possible straight. Ready to give Pai Gow Poker a try?

5. Caribbean Hold’em and Caribbean Stud Poker:  Win the Jackpots

Caribbean Hold’em is a high-paying alternative to Texas Hold’em that shares a progressive jackpot with Caribbean Stud Poker and Caribbean Draw Poker. That combination ensures the jackpot funds continuously rise to crazy amounts. 

When you play the progressive jackpot bet and win with the perfect hand like a royal flush, you get the entire jackpot. A straight flush will get you 10%. Four of a kind? Take $500 from the progressive jackpot. And a full house puts $100 in your pocket.

For some quick and fun poker without hosting a tournament, go head-to-head with the dealer in Caribbean Stud Poker. Winning means beating the dealer, who is forced to qualify with a hand containing an ace and a king, or better. You’re paid 1:1 on your ante if the dealer doesn’t qualify and your raise comes back to you as a push. If you beat the dealer who qualifies, you’re paid on your ante and your raise in a payout determined by your hand. 

Everyone enjoys a tropical adventure or two, especially when the payouts are so big!