Every poker player must understand the basic mathematical concepts that determine the correct poker strategy. Probabilities and win expectations are a subject of the mathematical subdiscipline of Statistics.
But don't worry, you don't need too much mathematics to be a successful online poker player. On the other hand, you have to understand that certain events in the long run will occur according to their statistical probabilities, and playing against the laws of mathematics will result in loss of money.
In statistics, the probability that a specific event will occur is given in percent. If you flip a coin a number of times, at some point you will get heads about 50% of the time, tails about 50% of the time. If you pull one card out of a deck of 52 poker cards, the chance of pulling one specific card is one divided by 52, or 1.92%. Since the deck holds 13 cards of each suit, your statistical chance of pulling one diamond card is 13 divided by 52, or 25%, and so on.
Now let's use practical examples from a Texas Holdem poker game. After the flop, you are holding a flush draw with two spades in your hand and two spades on the board, and any further spades card will give you a flush. Out of the 13 spades cards in the deck, four are accounted for (in your hand and on the board). So the statistical probability of hitting a spade on the turn is 9 out of 47 (the unknown cards), or 19.1%. If you want to know your chances of hitting a spade either on the turn or the River, you have calculate this: statistical chance for a spade on the turn is 9 out of 47 = 19.1%, on the River it is 9 out of 46 = 19.6%. In order to combine these two events, you have to add both these percentages giving you a total of 38.7%.
A different example: after the flop, you have AhJs in your hand and the flop is Th8h8d. In order to make a flush now, you need a hearts card both on the turn and River. The statistical probability for each single one of those cards is the same as before, but this time you need to hit both the turn and River. To get the combined statistical probability, you need to multiply both percentages: 19.1% x 19.6% = 3,74%.
The next step is to determine whether a call in a specific situation is justified or not. For this, you have to compare the statistical probability of hitting your winning card (or cards) with the relation between the cost of your call versus the amount of money you win when you hit your winning card.
Example: you are holding KdTs, the board shows AdJh2h. Now you are holding a so-called “gutshot”, and your only outs are the four Queens. Your chance of hitting a queen on the turn is 4 out of 47, or 8.5%. Let's assume the pot is $15, your opponent has bet 3 dollars. Now it costs you $3 to see the next card, giving you the so-called pot odds of 3 to 15, or 20%. In this situation, your expenses equal 20% of the pot while your statistical chance of winning it is only 8.5%. This clearly is a situation where a call is not profitable. You may win every once in awhile, but in the long run making calls like this will make you lose money.
If you are a player with a basic understanding of those mathematical and statistical principles, and the discipline to apply them, then you can be a very successful ring games player. In order to successfully apply those principles, we recommend rooms with strong fixed limit ring games action, like Party Poker (visit here and use bonus code PKR100
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