Poker Articles

Poker Strategies

Before I start to write down any poker strategies, I want to state that poker is a game of skill and the more you play, the more you will know. There are strategies which work for ones and do not work for others, but the best strategy is to practice a lot, so you will be prepared to any situation which might occur during your play. Yes, in poker the most important thing is to know how to react in a given situation, and you can get that skill only by practicing a lot. Also, strategies differ from one game type to the other, so take care and apply one strategy to only one kind of poker! Now let us see some working strategies!

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Sexy maths: Get the upper hand at poker

by Marcus du Sautoy

Yesterday, Peter Eastgate left Las Vegas with nearly $10 million after winning the 2008 World Series of Poker. There were more than 6,000 entrants to poker’s premier event but the 22-year-old Dane outlasted the game’s greatest exponents to become its youngest winner.

Card games are often considered to be games of pure luck but poker also requires psychology – the ability to read the temperaments of your opponents – and a good handle on mathematics, which is why time and again you see the same faces finishing in the money in major poker tournaments.

Professionals constantly calculate the probability of winning hands with the cards they hold. So, in the final hand of the tournament, Eastgate had to disguise his excitement. The cards he was holding, the ace of diamonds and five of spades, combined with three cards on the table, gave him a straight (ascending numerical cards 1-2-3-4-5). The only way his opponent, the Russian Ivan Demidov, could beat him was with a higher straight. But the maths told him that of the 990 hands that Demidov could hold, only 12 would win, about a 1 per cent chance. Sure enough, Demidov had only two pairs and Eastgate’s maths had won him the 2008 World Series of Poker bracelet.

Even before you start dealing the cards there is a lot of mathematics that it’s worth being wise to. Hustlers and magicians spend years perfecting something called the perfect shuffle, which allows them to dictate where in the deck cards appear. The deck is split exactly into two equal piles and then the cards are perfectly interweaved like a zipper, alternating one at a time from the right and left hand. It is difficult to perform this trick but, once mastered, it can be put to devastating effect. This is because the person holding the cards knows exactly how the cards are arranged.

So, for example, suppose you and an accomplice want to sting two players in a round of poker. Put four aces on top of the pack. After one perfect shuffle the aces are two cards apart. After another perfect shuffle the aces are four cards apart, perfectly placed for you as the dealer to deal your accomplice all four “bullets”.

Magicians exploit an even more amazing mathematical property of the perfect shuffle. If you do it eight times in a row, although the audience is convinced that the pack must be totally random, the magician knows that the deck has returned to its original arrangement. The perfect shuffle is a bit like rotating an eight-sided coin. Each shuffle is like moving the coin round an eighth of a turn. After eight shuffles, just as the coin has returned to its original position, the deck is just as it was before you started shuffling.

But what if you are shuffling cards for a round of poker at home tonight with your friends. How many times should you shuffle the deck to make sure that the cards are properly scrambled?

Mathematicians have analysed the way most of us shuffle. If you are doing a riffle shuffle (also called a dovetail shuffle, the one favoured by dealers in casinos) and there are L cards in your left hand and R cards in your right then a sensible model is to say that there is an L/(L+R) probability that the card is going to fall from your left hand. After analysing the mathematics of this shuffle, it transpires that you need to shuffle the pack seven times for it to become random. Any less than this and the pack retains information from the previous game.

So, if you have aspirations to be sitting there with the finalists at the 2009 World Series of Poker, just remember, it’s the maths that will make you your millions. Lucky players don’t last.

Source: timesonline


Poker strategy – Some basic concepts

Poker strategy is a complex subject. This article only attempts to introduce basic strategy concepts.
[From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia]

The fundamental theorem of poker

The fundamental theorem of poker, introduced by David Sklansky, states that every time you play your hand the way you would if you could see your opponent’s cards, you gain, and every time your opponent plays his cards differently from the way he would play them if he could see your cards, you gain. This theorem is the foundation for many poker strategy topics. For example, bluffing and slow-playing are examples of using deception to induce your opponents to play differently than they would if they could see your cards. There are some exceptions to the fundamental theorem in certain multi-way pot situations, as described in Morton’s theorem.

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My 10 poker tips

In this article I want to share a few poker tips, on which I have lately built up a successful strategy at online poker tables.

1) How much you care your money – Everyone likes to win of course, but the important thing is that you don’t go mad if unluckily you lose. DON’T TILT!

2) How much you care your hands – All we hope to win with a good hand. But pay attention to the board, calculate odds and throw away those wild cowboys if necessary.

3) Spend time in training – You are an athlete and you must train. The more you train, the more the experience you get, the more the chance your play improves.

4) Read books – Well actually it’s part of training.

5) Keep track of your session results – It will help to control your profit/loss status and, at the same time, to evaluate if the poker strategy or specific technique you are adopting is better than another one.

6) Patience – Patience is perhaps the best skill, and for sure the most important, of a professional player. Not just patience to wait the right hand for winning the pot, but also patience to accept losses as a part of life, finding inside yourself the ability to use them at your advantage. Expect to experience several losses at poker tables and remember that, often, losses come before huge gains.

7) Don’t play too many hands and don’t exceed your prefixed budget – Choose a number of hands you are willing to play before you start your poker session and break as often as necessary to regain energy in your play. Many pro have their opinion on this. For example Annie Duke suggests to use the 30 bet Rule, that means never lose more than 30 big bets in a game. By limiting your losses to 30 big bets, you are effectively minimizing the time you spend playing poorly, maximizing the amount of time you spend playing your premium game.

8 ) When the ship starts to sink, don’t wait, jump! – It’s an axiom for many traders in finance. Make this sentence yours as well.

9) (NOT FOR ALL) Play sometimes what I call unrational poker or when playing 7-2 is the good thing to do – Sometimes it may be very fruitful, especially if your opponents are particularly emotional.

10) … and always it is true that if you can’t spot the easy target at your first half hour at the table, then you are the easy target.


Poker Odds

In this article we are going to show how mathematics and numbers are closely linked to gambling and casino table games in general.
Many scientists and mathematicians have dedicated part of their studies to explain the inner mechanisms of such games and how mathematics is able to foresee and help to win a bet or a pot.

Already on 1663 Girolamo Cardano, a Renaissance learned of Pavia, Italy, keen on table games and gambling, published the treatise “De Ludo Aleae”, about dice game, which started the history of probabilities in gambling. After him, other eminent scientists, masters of probability theories like Pascal, Fermat, Huygens and Bernoulli, have been fascinated by the world of gambling.

Others came over years, who sharpened classic theories into modern theories (Montecarlo method) and axioms (Kolmogorov).

But what may probabilities theories teach you in practice?
Let’s start with a simple example.
Let’s say you are playing at roulette and the ball stops 20/30 consecutive times on the red box. Anyone would say: “Well, it’s time to bet on black!” Wrong! Probability tells you that any spin of the roulette is independent with respect of all the previous spins.

This and many other aspects have to be deeply understood by professional gamblers who play any day with probabilities trying to maximize their return, minimizing the risk.

For sure learning how to properly count your outs and non-outs, and figure out pot odds is a fundamental requirement of poker games, such as Texas Hold’em. Both if you are an experienced player and a novice “The Theory of Poker” by David Sklansky is something you should not miss. In this book Sklansky focuses on the math of poker, how to calculate odds, pot odds, reverse implied pot odds, etc. and psychology and how combine all these factors to make the correct decisions at the poker table.


Poker Tips

If you are looking for a game that offers the best possible odds and the most significant edge, you should get to know online Texas Holdem. At you get instant access to hundreds of free poker strategy articles for players of all skill levels.