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Rules Of Poker Vs Concept Of Poker
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The game of texas hold em has exploded in popularity in the last decade, with records numbers of people playing the game. The thing is that while most people now understand the they don't really understand the concept.

Above all poker is a game of math.100 %. All poker players worth their bacon know they can't play QJ off suit in early position( first or second to act in a betting round) but can confidently raise the blinds if on the dealer button and no one has bet. The reason for this is that the player has a mathamatically higher chance of being (re)raised from his action early on and there is much less of a chance of this happening on the button or in later position.Every decision you make in a poker game can be broken down by statistical analysis - The chances you think your opponent is bluffing( e.g 40%) vs the amount in the pot(500) vs the amount you may have to put into the pot.(250). In this equation you would clearly call you only have to put in 250 into a pot of 500 and there is a strong chance of a bluff. You would only fold if you thought the chances of you beating your opponent was less than 33%.I do realise that the numbers might not be quite as straightforward in a real game :).

Casinos make their money from having a slight percentage edge over all games. In roulette, the odds of hitting red or black are not 50/50 due to the green 0. This 3% advantage has made casinos a fortune. Beginner poker players should take this into account when playing - you want an edge, however slight, over your opponent. If you have even a 3% chance over every player in all tournaments, you stand to made a steady income if you play a lot.

How to get this edge? It's actually not that hard. Simple things like not playing when tired, cranky or drunk will give you an edge over the hordes of people who do. Thinking through every decision you make and remembering the betting trends and classifications( tough,loose, gutsy, solid, bluffable etc) of your opponents. Taking the pot odds into account while playing a tight pre flop game.All these, over time, will add up to money in your pocket.

Apply this to all sorts of betting and you will be successful. If you get a tip from a reliable source about a race money should be lumped on the horse - if it breaks its legs in the first hedge its bad luck. If you continued to make that same bet it would show profit over time. The stock market is a giant game of poker. You analyze the trends and pattern(like your opponents betting patterns), of the market, take note of your position, weigh up the risk reward ration (pot odds) and make a calculated decision. If you are 70% sure that the plan will pay off you go for the dough. It is a positive equity play and though it might very well fail in the short term(as any player can attest to) it is destined to succeeed in the long run.

All easier said than done, granted, but these are the basics. They won't work against the professional players who will have your tight game figured out in 12 hands. But they are the fundamental starting point for further learning and it's important to understand the concept behind the rules of the game in order to get better. I recommend Harrington on hold em if your know the rules and want to take your game to the next level( Harrington, by the way, breaks all his decision down into a math equation) and secret advantages of a poker pro if your really serious and want to know a few tricks of the trade.


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