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How reliable is poker math

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  • How reliable is poker math

    The question is simple, and might have been asked before. How reliable is poker math?

    Let's say I'm on a nut flush draw, on the flop, in a 9 handed no limit Hold'em game. I would like to think that I have 9 outs and need atleast 4:1 to make a call. However I have no way of knowing how many of my nine outs have already been dealt to and folded by some of the other 8 players (not to forget the burn card).

    So how reliable is this math really? And what can we do?

  • #2
    Poker is a game of incomplete information, so we must make the most of what we have.

    If one of our outs has been dealt to another player and folded, it's no different to it being at the bottom of the deck and not going to be dealt anyway.

    The fact is, we don't know what cards are out there and therefore each card to come has an equal chance of being any of the cards that are currently unknown to us.

    Narrowing down our opponents ranges helps us to eliminate certain cards and give us a more accurate predicition of our odds of course, and therefore this is one of the most important skills in poker.


    • MOUSE85
      MOUSE85 commented
      Editing a comment
      One of my "light bulb" moments regarding ranges was realizing that there is only an Under the Gun position when there is a 9 or 10 handed table. If you are first to act at a 6 handed table you are the Lojack, not under the gun, and should play your range accordingly.
      This is only partially true due to blockers.
      When you are Lojack at a 9 handed table, you can eliminate the opening ranges from all the previous positions because they folded. That means that they block folding hands that the opponents after you may have. If the 3 players before you folded 72, the odds of the players after you having a good hand go up.
      When you are Lojack at a 6 handed table, all cards except your own are still available.
      I haven't done the work to see how much it effects your opening range, I'm not quite sure how to do it. Maybe the charts show it. We know we should play a tad tighter full ring, though.

    • LondonImp
      LondonImp commented
      Editing a comment
      You're referring to the bunching effect.

      It's applicable at solver-level analysis, and will have some knock-on effect on the implementable charts available on the site, but overall it's not a particularly big thing.