Poker: Can You Predict Your Winning Chances?
Poker does seem like it is a game of luck most of the time, as your hand will come down to the cards that you are dealt. However, if you are willing to learn how odds work and how they can help you to predict your chances at winning at poker, you will be able to move forward with your understanding of the game.
What are Poker Odds?
Poker odds are all bound up in the probability of the likelihood of you winning, based on the cards in your hand and those on the table if you play a community game like Hold’em or Omaha. Every hand that you draw will have a probability of you being able to win, you just need to work out what that probability might be.
The odds vary depending on the value of the cards, so here you also have to bring in the probability that you will get a certain draw. For example, the best draw in the game is the royal flush, but it is incredibly difficult to get. With odds of approximately 1 in 30,974 of getting a royal flush in poker, you actually have more of a chance of winning an Oscar or finding a pearl in an oyster. Therefore, you need to learn and understand the probabilities of something like a single pair winning, as you are most likely going to grab your wins with these.
Can You Card Count?
One practice you will often see suggested across table games is that of card counting. It is more prevalent with blackjack, but people occasionally try it for poker too. You keep a tally of the used cards in your head, and try to remember which have already gone so you can predict your opponent’s hand.
This doesn’t work, so don’t even try. When playing at a site like GGPoker Canada, a random number generator will ensure that all hands are completely randomised, and so can’t be tracked and accounted for in this way. Even when playing in a live game at a casino or tournament, the deck will be thoroughly shuffled before each hand. The only information you will initially have will be what’s in your hand and on the felt.
If you are seated far around the table, you might be able to leverage some information that could potentially help you land a win. Play always travels left from the dealer, and remember that only the blinds have to play – it is optional for everyone else. If you are to the immediate right of the dealer, you are in a very powerful position where you will get to work out what everyone else has in terms of cards.
If many people other than the blinds are checking or even raising, it could be an indication that they have a good hand on their side. Should you be sitting with a good one yourself, you might want to consider jumping in if your stack allows. Remember your probabilities, and see if it could lead to a winning opportunity for you.
Poker and mathematics go hand in hand, though it might not seem like it at times. If you want to push ahead and really get to grips with a strategy that leads to wins, you need to learn about probabilities and how they work. This is going to be the best and easiest way for you to begin to “predict” what your winning chances might be. Poker is a game of many nuances, and knowing how to handle probabilities is just one of the many skills you need in order to be successful.