Inasmuch as the term “bad beats” is a phrase which is much overused when “beaten favourite” would be more accurate, poker pro, theorist and author Mike Caro (the statistics behind Doyle Brunson´s “Super System”) believes that experiencing hands-which-should-have-won-but-didn´t is a sign that you are playing good poker.
The theory behind this argument is that every time you suffer a “bad beat”, you have had the best hand when all the money has gone into the pot, and in the long run forcing your opponents to need a long-shot to come to their rescue is exactly what you want. You should not change your game to avoid these scenarios, because even after your umpteenth bad beat you should realise that you are making the right play each time which will ultimately prove profitable for you.
All the time that new players are discovering online poker, their inexperience will mean that they will remain in hands which should have been folded long ago. This will mean that established players will continue to experience hands-which-should-have-won-but-didn´t irrespective of the level of the game they are playing at, because these new players have not yet discovered bankroll management either!
Although you may take little re-assurance from the fact that you are playing good-but-losing poker when you have seen your aces cracked three times in a session, the fact that bad beats occur are good for the game. Without them, inexperienced players would lack the motivation to stay in hands which they should have folded and we would all be a little poorer. It is good to have them knock you from time to time as it will encourage them to get involved in other hands they should have ignored!
The other reason why you could consider bad beats to be good for you is that it helps you analyse your game. If you are losing a significant number of hands which you believe you should be winning, maybe the size of your bets is too small to discourage other players from remaining in the hand. Possibly you have been caught bluffing too often, and other players think you are again. There are a number of reasons why you could be giving the impression that your hand is worth taking on and monitoring your hand histories to find potential leaks can only help to improve your overall game.