The Game Of Texas Hold’Em

Texas Hold’Em in a Cardroom

Texas Hold’Em Online

Winning poker

Tactics

Strategies

Putting It all together

Psychological Considerations

Where to go from here

Places to Play

Appendix I Hold’Em poker Variations

Appendix II Poker Tournaments

PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER

  So far this book has been providing a systematic outline of the principles for success at Texas Hold’em poker. What will follow will be a series of five essays on poker, and gambling, in general. The purpose of these essays will be to discuss some counter-intuitive mathematical ideas  and their relationship to human behavior that will have to be understood to succeed over the long run at any gambling endeavor. The first three essays (Chapter 7) address probability theory. In Sid’s many years of teaching math, he had found that probability concepts were among the most difficult for students to grasp.


  Part of the problem had been our human tendency to believe that everything happens for a reason. It has been difficult to accept the idea of events happening for no reason. People have constantly been searching for patterns in sequences of random events, and in fact, have found patterns found within random event sequences to have no predictive value. You would always be able to find patterns because humans have been good at finding patterns it has been how we have learned. But patterns that have founded a sequence of past random events won’t predict the outcome of future random events, which would be the essential meaning of randomness.

  People also have had a related tendency to project personal meaning into random events. When playing lotteries, horses and playing roulette, for instance, we have picked numbers that have had personal meaning, such as birthday 7, child’s birthday, or anniversary. Because enough people have picked meaningful numbers, over time the laws of chance have dictated that some of these numbers would win on occasion. But again, accidental coincidence would not mean that these numbers would be predictive in any way.

  It would just mean that people have been good at finding meaning in the events that have made up their lives. No one will be willing to accept the fact that a good deal of the important events in our lives had happened by chance.

  Part of the difficulty with accepting the unpredictability of future random events, would be that mathematically it would be necessary to distinguish between two types of events independent and conditional. Each time the deck will be reshuffled and the casino cards will be dealt, all memory of the past will be erased. Each starting hand would be an independent event with it’s own unchanged probability. The first essay in Chapter 7 will discuss probability concepts for independent events. Once a hand will be dealt, probabilities will become conditional.

  What will be the probability of an Ace appearing on the board? If you were holding two Aces, that probability would be substantially reduced compared to   the situation where had held no Aces.  If had held two Aces and you had good reason to believe your opponents had held the other two, the probability of another Ace appearing would have fallen to zero. The second essay in Chapter 7 will discuss these kinds of situations where probabilities will   be altered because of conditions. Lastly, Chapter 7 will discuss the mathematical requirements for winning over the long run, but what will happen if you play month after month, year after year? Chapter 8 will be a discussion of the psychological attributes necessary for success.

Most poker books have stressed the need for patience. However, poker has required a different kind of patience than the kind your mother had taught.

  Waiting for an event that could happen at any time would be different from waiting for an event that could happen at any time would happen in a given amount of time. The first essay in Chapter 8 will concern the need for a new understanding of ‘patience.’ The last essay will elaborate on the need for a flexible, dynamic casino strategy and how adjustments will be made during a day of playing poker.