There are some terms in English that, when applied to poker, can have a double meaning or not define in a totally clear way what they refer to. When talking about the cooler in poker something like this happens, and for players who do not have much experience in online poker, the term may be familiar to them but its meaning has nothing to do with anything related to the game.

The meaning of cooler in poker has to do with the very nature of the game. It is important to understand what it is, since it is rooted in the very dynamics of poker and in what we often simply call “luck”.

Cooler and poker: the basics

If you have experience playing poker, you will have noticed that sometimes a good hand is not enough to win. It is tremendously frustrating to have fought to tie the hand and finish your project, only to have it come to nothing. It is part of the nature of poker, and there is a chance that this will happen about one hundred percent of the time when you play.

In essence, a cooler in poker is a well-played hand that we end up losing, either because of how the game has been developing during the flop, turn and river, or because we were doomed from the beginning and did not realize it.

In essence, a cooler in poker is a well-played hand that we end up losing, either because of how the game has been developing during the flop, turn and river, or because we were doomed from the beginning and did not realize it.

A cooler is a good hand that, despite its strength, was doomed to fail. It is what we usually call a “cold shower”, hence the name “cooler”.

It usually happens when, for example, we have a pair inferior to the opponent’s pair, or when we are forced by having an AA and another one on the FLOP, and not being able to read that those two 3’s next to the Ace that makes us three of a kind, gives FULL HOUSE to our antagonist who has A3 in hand. But it can also happen with a top pair, if the flop gives our opponent the three of a kind. If we are committed to the pot and we cannot withdraw from the hand, we are doomed, because our pair will not be enough to beat the three of a kind that the flop has given to our opponent.

How do you face the possibility of a cooler ruining your hand? The best thing to do is to let it ride. In poker, rejoicing in mistakes penalizes a lot and can put you without realizing it into a spiral of pessimism and self-pity that will hurt you in the following hands. You need to break this feeling and recover as soon as possible. Have you had bad luck? Yes, a lot. End of hand and on to the next one.

This spiral is what is known as tilt, and it plays very much against players who take to heart the mistakes made or the bad luck suffered. It is important that you are aware of what you have done wrong or what has happened, even if you have done everything right, to make you lose. But do not give it more importance than it has, or you will end up obsessed.

Meaning of cooler and when it occurs

There is no way to know in advance when a cooler is going to take place. The job of a good poker player is to play his cards to the best of his ability, keeping in mind that the probability of being a victim of bad luck is there, and always will be.

Until we get to the showdown and see the result of the hand, we will not be aware that we had a cooler in our hands. Only then will we realize that our hand, which was really good, has made us lose.

But there are times when the cooler is not defined from the beginning. In fact, it can happen that the last card, the river card, gives the opponent a hand superior to the one you had so far, which you thought was the strongest, and rightly so. Although it is normal that frustration comes to you, you should keep what really matters: that you knew how to play the hand well, as this is basic to keep your chances of success in future hands.

Difference between cooler and bad beat

Cooler and poker are part of each other, since the luck factor plays a role in the game. But make no mistake: this factor, although present, is in the minority. Poker is a game of skill, so training and practice is crucial.

Now that you know the meaning of cooler, you may wonder if that same unlucky hand is not the same as a bad beat, a term that is also used a lot in hands that end up losing despite the odds we had calculated.

The differences between a bat beat and a cooler are very subtle. Both terms refer to a good hand that ends up making you lose, but due to different circumstances.

In a cooler, you lose because of how the cards have been coming out, which means that, even if you have a good hand, you cannot avoid defeat, even if your game is perfect. In a bad beat, the hand is lost due to a series of improbable events that make a good hand end up losing. For example, when a miracle card appears on the river for your opponent.

Everything is based on the moment when the cards that turn the tables appear, and on the winning probabilities of your preflop hand. In bad beat, the preflop winning probability is about 80%. In cooler, this percentage is reduced to 20-30% from before the flop.