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Poker and calculating mathetmatical probabilities

  1. Aug 27, 2006 #1
    nebody here play poker?

    considering that we're probably smarter than the avg. person at calculating mathetmatical probabilities,

    i'd guess if we learned a little psychological strategy, a little study of poker books and playing experience, winning a few poker tournaments wouldn't be too farfetched
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 27, 2006 #2

    Kurdt

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    Poker is more than just calculating probabilities of a win. Like you say a lot is down to actual playing experience and learning the signs of when others are bluffing and when they're not. Equally you have to learn how to behave in a poker match so as to not give away your position. That is if you have a strong hand and you raise too much you can frighten others out of contributing to the pot etc.

    While being able to calculate odds at the table would be rather good most hardened professionals tend to know them by heart anyway and thus I doubt anybody would really have any genuine advantage over most pro players out there. You could however always turn your talents to card counting.
     
  4. Aug 27, 2006 #3

    Chi Meson

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    All of us male science teachers at my school, plus some of the math dept meet about once a month for a "Texas Hold'em" tournament. This game seems to have a lot more psycological strategy than other forms of the game, and it is a blast when a bluff works.

    Last month I nearly took a large pot with literally nothing in my hand. I blew it at the last minute when my voice wavered as I said "I'll raise fi-thr-five hundred." game over.
     
  5. Aug 27, 2006 #4

    JasonRox

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    It's more than just bluffing with a bad hand.

    I haven't met anyone in person that actually knew how to bluff properly besides just betting big. It's more than that. It's all about what position you have, the other player, what's on the table, previous hands, size of pot, how many outs the other player might have, etc... etc... etc...

    Everyone I see play is still a newbie.

    I played poker quite often before, but now I just watch the pros and determine how I would play and guess from my experience what the pro player would do.

    Playing with beginners will get you nowhere. I met some who are "bluffing", but when it comes to showing the cards, they should lose because if you're bluffing with nothing, you basically know you're going to lose if the other player calls on the river. In the end, the "bluffer" had a flush but never knew he did!!! Lame.
     
  6. Aug 27, 2006 #5

    Chi Meson

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    Don't meet much folk, huh? :wink:

    We have the...um..."advantage" of living near two of the largest casinos in the world. I don't go there myself, but some of the others in our group play the tables very seriously. This raises the level of our game altogether. And it's like Kurdt says, you don't really sit there and calculate odds (some might, good for them) rather you recognize the odds as you see them. With "Hold'em", since everybody's hands are only slightly different, the "playing odds" becomes much more subtle, and psych-out bluffing game becomes more powerful. You throw in reverse psychology, fake "tells," trying to "act" a bluff when you really have a good hand. My heart used to pound wildly when a bluff was playing out; you could see my shirt collar vibrate, it's a huge rush. No wonder so many people have to drink to counteract all that adrenaline.
     
  7. Aug 27, 2006 #6
    i guess i'm coming down from a semi high from a good run of cards

    i was at a local casino in LA playing 2/4 limit hold em

    i call and see the flop with pocket 3's, there's a 3 on the board givin me trips, but there's 5 and jack of spades giving everyone a flush draw, so i value bet by raising the raiser, then the turn comes another 5 giving me a full house, so i reraise the raiser again now everyone thinks i got trip 5's, so at this point everyone is drawing a dead flush to my fullhouse, river comes 2 ppl stay in they bet before me, i reraise again and showdown against one guy who calls me. i won a $100 pot.

    it was my first time playing 2/4 i usually stick to 1/2 limit.

    amazing game
     
  8. Aug 27, 2006 #7

    Chi Meson

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    ^
    Fun.

    I don't trust myself to go to a casino. The small game makes it possible to take a chance on the river coming up good for you, and it can make a single hand more fun, but our local "expert" always plays the conservative game. He wins most often too.
     
  9. Aug 27, 2006 #8

    turbo

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    My dad is 80 and plays private games with a group every friday night (except summers). He is a consistent winner, and when it's his turn to deal, they're playing Texas Hold 'em - no doubt. He taught me to play poker as a kid, and when my paper machine crew used to get together (the last morning of the night shift), I averaged about $40 a session with a restrictive quarter limit for bets and a limit of two raises. His group plays with quarters, not chips, and their limits are quite generous. Dad counts his winnings not by counting, but by weighing the quarters in a coffee can on an old Fairbanks scale.
     
  10. Aug 27, 2006 #9

    lo2

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    Always good to have a high self esteem.
     
  11. Aug 27, 2006 #10

    JasonRox

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    We have a big casino here too.

    We have Fallsview Casino (http://www.fallsviewcasinoresort.com/) and Casino Niagara. Fallsview is so much nicer though! The WPT is running there right now.

    I don't gamble, so I wouldn't go to the Casino to play. I might join a tournament one day though.

    EDIT: Here is a 360 picture of the Grand Buffet Restaurant at the Casino.
    http://www.fallsviewcasinoresort.com/Default.aspx?Page=VR Gallery Dining&Image=1#Picture
    I always get the window seats with the view of the Falls. Nice! I once went there with my bathing suit on and scored a window seat! Haha, some of the guests were disapointed.
     
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2006
  12. Aug 27, 2006 #11
    The real strategy of poker is how not to get everyone angry at you for winning. However, as someone who's tried to do that for a long time, I think it's pretty well impossible. If you play so that everyone can have fun, you play to lose.

    Sore losers are never good anyway. The problem is that a LOT of sore losers play poker. That's because it's one of the few games they think they can win. It's very sad.

    It's already an inferior sort of game, when people lose but have reason to think they did everything right and "should have won," when there are no cheaters or referees.

    So I pay attention long enough to know when the time is right to pull a psychic moment out of thin air and take a big pot. Big deal. That doesn't make me the messenger of your personal god of bad luck. I'll never play poker with people I know ever again! Ugh, maybe I just need to know better people. ;)

    There are no meritocratic winners, just people who know how to not be losers.
     
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2006
  13. Aug 28, 2006 #12

    EL

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    I play about 3-4 hours/week online. Just for fun and for small amounts. At the moment I like heads-up no limit texas hold'em tournaments 10$.
    Are you only playing at casinos? Here online poker is very very popular. In fact I know some people making their living out of it...
     
  14. Aug 28, 2006 #13
    Can you gamble now in California?
     
  15. Aug 28, 2006 #14

    Chi Meson

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    That's the nice thing about "buying in" for $10 or $20 only. If you win (or come in 2nd) you get something, but you don't ever lose the rent, and people don't get unduly mad about losing.
     
  16. Aug 28, 2006 #15

    JasonRox

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    Agreed.

    This is the way it should always be done, but then again you can't bet "the rent" in a poker game. You'd have to bring all your money first, which is flat out stupid.
     
  17. Aug 28, 2006 #16
    The casino near me doesn't have hold'em... and I rarely go to the casino anyway. Last time I went was because it was my friends birthday where he turned legal, it can be fun if you know when to stop, and go there knowing (or at least being prepared) to lose money.

    So my friends and I usually host hold'em games with $5 or $10 buy-ins, then we play with chips and winner takes all minus the buy-in, and second gets money back. Usually there are about 8 of us. I've never had a problem with sore losers, and despite the fact that we're all friends nobody has ever been sore about losing their money... or taking their friends either!

    We don't play for the money, we play for fun, the money just makes it so that people are serious about the game. I've played hold'em with other friends before without buy-ins, just chips, and the games are never serious, because nothing is on the line, nobody cares if they lose all their chips going in on 7-2 offsuit just because they thought it would be funny. It isn't, it isn't very fun when people don't play seriously.

    Lately I've been trying to improve on reading other player's body language. It isn't very easy to do, analyzing what is on the table and what they might have in their hand based on their body language and the betting characteristics. It isn't easy because different players bet different amounts in different situations, but once I got to know the players styles a bit it made reading them a bit easier. I won that game, thanks to this. I forget where I heard it, but its certainly true that in hold'em "you play the player not the cards". I think it was from the movie "Rounders" with Matt Damon. Good movie. Another quote I liked was something like "there's a sucker at every table...if you can't spot the sucker within the first 5 minutes (or rounds?).. then you are the sucker"
     
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2006
  18. Aug 28, 2006 #17

    ek

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    I have played online poker for almost two years now. It is my only income and has allowed me to go to school during the year without having to get a job. I will graduate debt free in 2008 (not only debt free, but most likely with thousands still in the bank).

    Here is the transcript of a nice little argument I had with a guy on another message board about poker. It illustrates some of my thoughts on the game (I'm evman150).

    I am a student of the David Sklansky school of poker. I have read pretty much all of his books and I pattern the way I play and the way I think about the game after him. One of his better quotes is "it's not about knowing what to do in this or that situation, it is about knowing what to consider in each situation you encounter".

    Any questions about online poker or poker in general for that matter, just ask. And don't worry, I'll be nicer than I was to this guy. He was one of those "online poker is rigged" guys. I am not nice to people like that.
     
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2006
  19. Aug 28, 2006 #18

    ek

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    Here's another excerpt of a post I made on the PSO forums, this one is a little more positive. The post is concerning how to become a better player.

     
  20. Aug 28, 2006 #19
    ek, I have a question.

    You are not one of the blinds, you get your 2 cards. What kind of cards do you immediately fold, and what kind of cards do you keep to see the flop? In my home games with friends (never more than $10 on the line) I tend to see the flop quite often, rarely folding until I have seen it because I figure I never know what will come up. But I'm starting to wonder if this is a good strategy, seeing as blinds will eventually wear you down if you don't get the cards you need. Sometimes you will fold a 72os and then two 7's come up and you think "man I shouldn't have folded". But really, just because they came up once doesn't mean you should never fold those cards right?

    I'd be interested to hear your thoughts on this. :smile:
     
  21. Aug 28, 2006 #20

    JasonRox

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    Um... did someone raise the blind? Are you the first to call the blind, the second, third... etc...? Is it just the blind? If you're the 3rd last person to call the blind, how are the players who paid blinds that we potential call/check after you? How many players at the table?

    You can't answer that kind of question. It's way too vague.

    I'd play a 7/5 off suits if all I had to do was call the blind, and the person playing big blinds is known playing hands like A/4 (high and low) off suit cards until the end.

    The reason I like to play those hand is because if I read properly, and read that he did NOT connect the high card yet, and I connect one of mine then that's great because in the end I keep a window open to "let him bluff" as if he did connect. Then you end up winning fairly well in the end if it works out of course.

    If the other player connects the high pair, and you connect two pairs, you're practically in dream world. Let the other player try to force you, and hopefully the cards on the table makes the other player believe he has the best hand.

    I wouldn't play that all the time. It's a chance you have to take once in awhile when you feel the time is right and the player you are playing will play. I wouldn't pull this off against a conservative player.

    My advice is to not pay up to see the flops all the time. I find that I learn more and win more when I sit back and watch 50% of the hands. This is why I enjoy watching poker too. You can learn a lot, but then again, there is nothing like playing.
     
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