Poker is a game of skill, so using your skills to “read” situations and opponents will give you an edge over your opponents in every hand. In addition, poker is a math-based game where you must be able to calculate the odds and probabilities of both your hand and your opponent’s in any given situation. In this post you will find all the necessary information on the mathematics of poker.
Will poker math help to win more money?
This is a fairly frequently asked question. Of course, you can win in poker even without using math, but knowing and understanding the basics of poker mathematics such as pot odds, potential odds, the likelihood of improving your hand and your opponent’s hand, equity, fold equity, expected value and many others will help you win more. more money in poker and will significantly improve your game. Poker math will give you an edge over opponents who don’t want to spend time with it.
Almost all poker players use math while playing without realizing that they are doing it.
Before continuing, we recommend watching our short tutorial on poker math:
Where is poker math used?
Math and hand draw
Poker math can be used in a wide variety of situations. The most common use of mathematics in poker is calculating equity with draws (flush draws or straight draws). When your opponent bets and you, with a draw hand in hand, do not know if you should call now in the hope of getting the right card, or if you should fold your cards and give this pot to your opponent.
In this situation, a player who is familiar with the mathematics of poker always knows what to do. Whereas a player who is not familiar with the mathematics of poker will make decisions based on his “feel” and will lose.
Expected value (EV)
There are other situations in which poker mathematics is applied more widely, for example, to calculate your mathematical expectation (expected profit). Imagine you have the bottom pair on the river and your opponent bets $ 4 into a $ 10 pot. What should you do? If you don’t have concrete evidence that a certain action on your part will be better than another, turn to poker math and you will find the answer you need.
An example of using math in poker
First, you need to assess the likelihood that your opponent is bluffing or that he has a weaker hand. Let’s assume:
- Our opponent is aggressive and likes to bluff. We have the best hand at showdown 1 out of 3 times.
- This means we have a 1 in 4 chance of having the best hand.
- So our odds of losing are 3 to 4.
- It turns out that we will lose 3 times and win 1 time (3 to 1).
As a result, we can calculate that if we call and we have the best hand, we will win $ 14 per hand, but if we call and lose, we will lose $ 4 three times. So if we call every time, every 4 hands we will be losing $ 12 (3 x $ 4) and winning $ 14. The net profit will be $ 2. This is how we determined the profitability of an action using simple poker math.
A few nuances about poker mathematics
The key point to remember when using poker math is that the decisions you make at the poker table will not have an impact on your winnings in the short term.
Just because you correctly calculated the odds of winning in a particular hand and made the correct call does not mean that you should have won the hand. It also doesn’t mean that you made the wrong decision if you lost. If you continue to make the right decisions based on odds, you will definitely make money in the long run, so try not to let the results in the short run affect your game.
Studying poker math may seem difficult, but we strongly recommend that you don’t despair as it will help you become profitable players in the long run.
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