What is a bad beat truly? You read your opponent perfectly. You had perfect position. You had perfect pot odds. You had perfect implied pot odds. You played your hand perfectly. You raised at the right times when you had the nuts. Your opponent had a one outer and caught it on the river to hit his inside straight flush to beat your full house. That would be a bad beat. 

Having A Q off in early position and raising and then getting reraised and a call and you decide to push early in a tournament and get beat by suited connectors or mid pair because you missed your Ace and Queen is not a bad beat it is a bad play on your part. A lot of beginners  and intermediate players over use the term "Bad Beat" when in fact they made an error in their play. This mainly happens in low stake SNG's and MTT's. 

So now you think I am nuts that you are the perfect player and there is nothing wrong with your play and it was a bad beat or the other person "donked" out on you! No not really. Yes you will get called by people with less experience and get beat but this does not equate a bad beat this equates not reading your opponent correctly. You need to analyze the players and their play. If you are moving all-in with in the first 5 levels of a MTT you better have the stone cold nuts.Many players play too loose in low stake MTT's in the early stages. So this is the time to play tight and play the right odds. Which brings me to a great point. most of you reading this are playing online. So you can do one thing you can not do in a live game. use your computer's calculator if you have trouble figuring out the odds. Just take the pot and divide it by the cost to call this will give you a number like 1.6 or 2.1 or 3.2 so your odds would be 1.6:1, 2.1:1, and 3.2:1 to call the last being your best odds to call. compare this to the strength of your hand which you can find in the courses or most anywhere online or in many poker books. having A Q off and only 1.6:1 pot odds to call is not worth it when you combine the percentage of your chip stack you would be committing. When you make this kind of call you are setting yourself up for what you would call a "Bad Beat" when in fact it is a bad play.

Starting to make some sense now? So what all do you have to consider in making your play let's look at MTT's only.
Level in the tournament
Your position
Your hole card hand rank
Your chip stack compared to blinds
Your read on your opponents
Your opponents chip stacks
Pot odds and implied pot odds

This is a lot to digest but with practice it can be done. Copy that list and keep it beside your computer and if your in a spot where you need to make a tough decision go through the list and if you find an item on the list that you do not know to figure out then its probably best to fold and pick a different battle even if you would have won the hand. It gives you a chance to gain information. Not enough people put enough value into Fold Equity. 

Ok so back to Bad Beat - do you think the term is over used by beginners? I do because they do not spend enough time analyzing their own hands and think every time they have a "strong hand" and get beat it is a bad beat. I guarantee though that 90% of them have not considered every aspect of my list. I know I forget to do it myself at times. Do I call it a bad beat no I put it in my mistake pile and highlight the mistakes I made and notate what I did wrong.