Explanation of Steam
The term “to steam” means for a poker player to be angry or tilted. It may also refer to the overly loose-aggressive play style that may follow when a player is on tilt.
Where exactly does the phrase originate? Imagine a kettle close to boiling. It gives off physical steam. The idea is that a player is so hot and angry that we might imagine them giving off physical steam like a boiling kettle.
Example of Steam being used in a sentence -> After his Aces got cracked he was completely steaming for the rest of the session.
How to Use Steam as Part of Your Poker Strategy
Playing poker while affected emotionally is a good way to lose additional chips and should be avoided at all costs. Professional players invest significant amount of time working on their mental game. See the glossary entries under tilt, and mental game for more information on how to improve this aspect of our game.
In some circumstances we might recognize one of our opponents is steaming, perhaps after losing a big pot. Such opponents can provide soft targets because they might be inclined to make irrational decisions due to their anger. Good players can usually pre-empt when their opponents might be tilted and adjust their strategy accordingly.