At sportsmedianetwork we are often asked the question does math have anything with ones outcome in playing poker? Math is an essential element of a winning poker strategy that many players overlook. While taking the time to learn some of the key odds, probabilities and expectations is straight forward for the majority of people – and will allow you to spot and explore many more profitable situations. Here we will look at five(5) simple applications of math that your returns without confusing you with complex equations.
First let us look at “OUTS.” An OUT is a card which has not been dealt that can improve your hand; the most common “OUT” is when you need a fifth card of a suit to complete a flush hand. On a flop in Texas Holdem you have seen five(5) cards, the three that are on the board and the two you have in your hand, which leaves 47 cards unseen. You know that if four(4) of the known cards are spades then there are Nine(9) spades remaining in the 47 unseen cards.
Then you can calculate your “OUTS” as a portion of the unseen cards which will give you the probaility of your hand improving, that give you knowledge touse in your betting and raising.
Secondly “POT ODDS.” These are the basis for many decisions in the game of poker, and understanding the concept can help to make you profitable plays over a period of time. Every time you bet or call you give or receive odds to your opponent players. As an example, if there is $100 in the pot and it costs you $50 to call for example, then the pot odds ar 2-to-1. The key to manageable poker strategy is to be on the right side of the odds as many times as possible. If you feel your chances in this case are better than 2-to-1 then your call would be profitable, and if the odds are worse then you would loose money over time regardless of the outcome of that or any similar hand.
Thirdly “EXPECTED VALUE.” Many times is written as “EV” details the outcome in dollar terms or (chips in tournaments) for your betting decisions you make while in the long term. Using odds information, outs and tendencies of your opponents allows you to make decisions while in the course of playing a hand. While a mistake on odds make make you money in the short term, over 100′s of similar hands you will lose. The definition of long term poker players are those whom are looking for a position where they a positive expected value.
Fourthly “IMPLIED ODDS.” With more betting to follow in a poker hand the pot-odds you receive are often larger than they appear, because there is normally
a chance to win more bets after you complete your hand. An example of this case is when you make a straight on the turn and there is a good chance that an opponent with a pair of aces will pay you one or two more bets and raises. The extra bets are know as your “IMPLIED ODDS’ and these odds can swing your decision on many marginal hands. One should be aware that tight players never offer the same possibilities for extra bets as the loose players do!
Finally “BANKROLL MANAGEMENT” Most winning poker player certainly never play with a large portion of their total bankroll at any given time, because it
is very easy for chance turn of a card to send a big pot to your opponent that you should have won. A lot of new players do not understand how important
“Bankroll Management” is to the long term sucess and has a will loose their entire poker stake. Many recommend the guidelines of 20 buy-ins for poker cash games and 50 times you average tournament stake, and these guidelines ensure that the natural swings of a poker game do not cause you to go broke.
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