The first thing that is necessary for a successful game is to be able to make mathematical calculations in poker. You don’t need to know The Hangover math (I love that movie, by the way) but some basic calculations will help you a lot.
They are based on the whole strategy, so without poker math you will never become a successful player! Do not be scared – it is not as complicated as it seems at first glance, and even if you did not have a relationship with your mathematics at school, you can study it, thanks to simple instructions for beginners.
Using mathematical calculations in poker, a player can evaluate the benefits of each decision in a bid. Thus, he can secure a profit in the long run, always taking only those decisions that will yield income. It is not a question of every particular distribution, but of a long distance. Video poker odds are fairly similar, so you can apply all you learn here when playing online too.
Example: for 100 hands, the player faced the same situation. In all cases, he made a decision that will bring a win in 1 hand out of 5. However, this win not only covers the remaining 4 losses, but also brings a profit of $ 10. Thus, the player secured a profit by determining the profitability of the solution.
So, let’s consider in order – how it’s done:
Outs, Probabilities and Odds
First of all, you need to learn how to calculate outs and probabilities! They are based on mathematical calculations:
- Outs – the number of cards to improve the player’s hand to the winning hand. You can calculate outs by simply counting the cards in the deck. So, to compose a Flush combination in a deck there are 13 cards, if 4 of them already have you, then – in the deck there are 9 more cards!
- Probability is the percentage of improving the hand to the winning one. In our example, the probability that we will make a Flash will be 19%, which can be calculated by dividing the total number of remaining cards in the deck by 9 outs.
- Chances and video poker odds are a more convenient expression for the probability of improvement. To calculate them, you need to divide the number of outs into the number of cards that we do not like. In our case, we get 1 (winnings): 4 (losses). That is, in one hand out of five we will get our Flash.
So, we have calculated all the necessary basic indicators, but most importantly – the chances against improvement, getting a 1: 4 indicator. Do not be scared, at first you do not need to do these calculations manually, because there are ready-made tables. It is enough to learn how quickly to calculate outs, and on the table to determine the probabilities and chances.
To avoid errors in the calculation of outs, you should study a separate instruction on how to correctly calculate them!
Now we come to the most important thing, and you will see how the calculations made by us will help to determine the correct decisions in the game. The figure of 1: 4 obtained by us may seem insignificant to you, as you will compose the Flash only in one of five hands. You think this is not enough? Let’s say, but we need to know not how often Flash will come, but how beneficial our solution will be. And we need another indicator – the chances of the bank.
The pot odds are the ratio of the player’s bet to the bank. It is about the rate that he must put in the bank.
Example: if the bank costs 40 $ + 10 $ (opponent’s bet) – you are required to put $ 10 to raise your opponent’s bet and see the next card. The next card in 1 case out of five will bring us the Flash, but will it be advantageous in this case to call or is it better to do Fold. If we divide our rate by the size of the bank, we will get a new indicator of 1: 5 – these are the chances of our bank!
During the game, you can quickly calculate the pot odds on the calculator. You can also use the allowed auxiliary poker software, which will do this for you.
Advantage of decision-making
Now mathematical calculations in poker will help us determine which of the solutions will be advantageous – Call or Fold. To do this, we need to compare the odds against improvement and the chances of the bank! The following rule exists:
If the chances to improve the hand higher than the chances of the bank – you need to invest in the bank;
If the chances of improving the hand lower than the chances of the bank – you need to fold.
This can be confirmed in our example, for which we have already calculated all the necessary indicators! Since our chances to improve the hand above the chances of the bank, we will bet $ 10. According to the odds against – we will win only in one hand out of five. In four hands, we lose four bets of $ 10 – that’s $ 40. In one hand, we win $ 50 and return your bet to $ 10. It turns out that for five hands we will stay in the black at $ 10, thanks to the right decision – Call.
How to win at video poker
You can argue with the result – because the bank has more of our money, which we invested in previous trades! It is true, but the calculations are still true. The fact is that in previous trades we made decisions, also relying on mathematical calculations. The money we invested in previous trades will also pay off at a distance, but in other situations. For example – when Flash came right on the flop.
Mathematical calculations in poker allowed us to choose the solution that is profitable for a long distance. That is, you still lose in four hands, win only one, but get your profit. That’s why you need to set a goal – not to win in each particular hand, but to make decisions profitable for the future. All the same calculations you can apply if you are here to learn how to win at video poker.
Of course, this instruction was created to familiarize newcomers with how mathematical calculations are used in poker and not how to win at video poker. To competently use poker math, you each need to study each of the indicators in more detail. For example, some outs that you need to compose a combination can be useful to the opponent and do not need to be taken into account in the calculations. Nuances a lot and in-depth study of poker mathematics will allow you to learn how to make the most accurate calculations in the game. It only remains to learn how to apply mathematics in practice. And then win at poker. Every time.