Tagged in: poker players

Knowing your odds from the start on Texas Holdem – Am I going to Win?

A few poker players believe that Texas Hold ‘Em is the most unpredictable card game and that the players can’t know if they’re going to win or not until the game is finished. To me, this is just one part of the medal. The other part is a lot more “sensible”.

After a long journey, I have come to discover that most players can indeed have an idea about their odds of winning, and better yet, they can learn from the very beginning. The purpose for finding out if you have a chance at victory is directly related to the fact if you will bet large amounts of money – you wouldn’t want to play against the odds!

The starting hand on poker is surely underrated by some. While you can never know your luck on a Hold ‘Em game, calculating some odds from the starting hand is not impossible. You don’t have to be that good in calculating, you simply have to remember a few figures.

While I am not suggesting that a bad starting hand means that you’re going to lose the game (you really never know what will happen during a poker game), I am only saying that computing the odds on your mind can be a good indicator about your next moves on the poker table.

Let’s begin by taking a look at the probability of receiving a good combination of the hole cards. A standard deck has a total of 52 cards, which belong to four different suits. There are a total of 1,326 possible two card combinations on a typical 52 card deck.

However, these odds are calculated by considering the four suits to have different values. Since the suits do not play any role, it turns out that there are 169 possible combinations. That’s a lot less, but not all combinations have the same value on poker.

If we look into the odds more closely, we will learn that 13 out of 169 combinations are (successive) pairs and they have better chances of creating a powerful hand at the end. The odds of being dealt a combination of this kind are 7.69%, which is not that good.

Nevertheless, there are 78 other combinations of non-paired cards that belong to the same suit. While these combinations are not as good as the first ones, they can also be helpful and useful. The odds of having two hole cards of this type are 46.15%.

The remaining 78 combinations are non-paired cards of different suits. These are not necessarily bad since there are some valued hands which might use those particular cards. Again, the odds for this arrangement (which should not be mistaken for the previous arrangement) are 46.15%.

All things considered, I would not immediately jump into conclusions from the beginning of a poker game whether I am going to win or not. Instead, my best strategy is to look into my odds and do the best I can out of it, and this strategy has never let down!

Working Past Your Own Struggles in the World of Texas Hold ‘Em

Here’s a news-flash: if you really want to rise to the highest levels of online poker, you need to deal with a lot of failure before you make your way up to the top. Unfortunately, a lot of people seem to think that you don’t have to deal with anything when you decide to play poker online, because it’s so easy to rise up in the levels. This isn’t the case. Perhaps in the beginning when poker online was new and you didn’t have so much competition this might have been the case. However, today is a new day, and this new dawn upon us means that the players you’ll sit across from in the virtual poker rooms are going to be well-read, well-read, and well-trained.

If you’re not willing to put in long hours, you won’t develop the talent for playing high stakes poker.

Of course, this is all pointing towards obvious points that everyone else has probably already spoken to you about. What if there’s something else that you really need to know? What if there comes a time where you really need a little more advice?

…what if you’ve already failed miserably? Is this the time to pull up stakes and get out of Dodge?

Slow down, pardner. There’s a lot of reasons why you might be having some rough patches in poker — we’ll cover those another day. What you need to learn today is how to actually move on past your mistakes in order to become an even stronger player. Now, we know that this isn’t going to be easy. If things were easy, then everyone would be making Scotty Nguyen type money, and we know that’s not happening, right?

Right.

So, the first thing that you need to put into your head is that everyone makes mistakes. Now, you probably idolize a few poker players, both online and offline. Instead of thinking that these people are perfect and they don’t make mistakes, look at moments where they have. If you follow the WSOP like we do, you’ll see times where the poker players make mistakes. The top players don’t let defeat stop them from reaching their goals, so why should you?

If you have the ability to look back on past games, you should definitely review your old games. Even if you don’t have that ability, you can always start paying more attention to what you do in poker. Do you go all in without really calculating your pot odds? Do you raise just to try to play psychological games with opponents that have probably already seen that bluff one too many times? In order to become great, you have to start thinking about your own strengths and weaknesses. Even if you have a lot of strengths, getting too cocky about them can make you a weak player overnight.

It also cannot be stressed enough: you cannot play great poker in a vacuum. It’s a social game and there’s nothing wrong with comparing notes. You don’t want to feel like you’re just going to get with a bunch of people online who are going to tear you apart. As long as you ask smart questions and you’re really dedicated to playing better poker, you should be welcomed by the community with open arms. Of course, we can’t speak for every message board and forum that you will run across online. Every place has its own pool of people that thrive on negativity because it lets them feel like they have plenty of power over you. Don’t let them win — conquer them by staying polite, eager, and ready to learn more about your poker strategy. You’re not playing against them socially — you’re playing against your self every game to see how your performance changes. That’s what top athletes do in any sport — why should poker be any different?

At the end of the day, you simply have to accept the mistakes that you make with grace and strive to be better and better over time. It might not happen today, and it might not happen tomorrow, but you will grow as a poker player over time!