Anonymous
Anonymous asked in Games & RecreationGambling · 9 years ago

# How important is math in poker?

So i use some math in poker when it comes to pot odds and converting my outs into percentages of hitting and i can somewhat manage that but i was wondering at what times does math come into play and when can it be helpful? and how big of a factor is this in poker because i feel its holding me back somewhat since math was never my strong suite.

Any good pokertrainer websites for these for these? like pokertrainer.se

Relevance
• 9 years ago

I agree with the above answer, you need to know how to figure pot odds and implied odds, and know when to chase your draw, or know what the likelyhood is that your preflop pair will turn to a set on the flop, or that your two pair on the turn will turn to a full house on the river.

I think it's more important in limit, than in NL. In limit, being able to read your opponents isn't as important. Since the bets are so low, bluffing is hard to do. People will call to the end with anything. In NL if you have nothing you might be able to get your opponent to fold the winning hand with a big enough bet. In limit, no one folds anything, so you need to be able to determine early what your chances are, and fold if you don't think you'll end up with the best hand.

• 9 years ago

Part of poker is getting info on your opponents, the other part is knowing what to do with that info. I'd say math is the majority of the second part.

A good feel-based player can make a lot of good *general* decisions (raise/call/fold) without math. For instance if a situation dictates a raise, he'll raise. But he won't know *specifically* how much he should raise. And there are other situations where even the general decision is unclear, and he won't know the right decision without math.

At low-stakes No-Limit poker you don't need much math to crush the game (though with math you could crush it even more). But at higher levels it becomes more important. The ideal to strive for is to be a deadly combination of instinct and math. That's what Tom Dwan is. The old-school feel players like Doyle have in general fallen way behind the new wave of young nerdy pros. (Not that Doyle doesn't use math, he just doesn't use nearly as much as the young guns, from what I can tell.)

Now I'll impart a few highly impractical tidbits -- It's even possible to play unbeatable poker by ONLY using math. Game-theory-optimal (GTO) decisions are being studied for that purpose. Realistically, since other players aren't playing GTO, the most profitable strategies are non-GTO ("exploitive" strategies). Once GTO is figured out though, it will also be purely a matter of math to adjust to an opponent's deviation from GTO. It won't require making reads, only counting how often the opponent makes certain plays.

• 9 years ago

It is helpful but not crucial. There isn't any advance math you should be thinking about while playing. While I'm playing I'm just using math to count the pot, how much of the stack is left over if I bet X amount, pot odds, tournament M, etc... basic math. It is helpful to understand the Math behind a certain play and why it is profitable. A lot of situations in poker are the same so you don't have to calculate every time, you have done it enough times that it is automatic. You don't need to be a math wiz to be a good player, but it certainly helps.

• 9 years ago

I only use math in certain situations.

1) when im debating a call and a i have a flush draw or open ended straight draw on the flop or turn

2) I'm debating whether or not to call a raise preflop with my pair in the hopes of hitting a set.

Its an extremely big factor because you're either really hurting yourself in 1 or losing opportunity cost in 2. For example, lets say the pot is at 300, you're last to act and you're debating calling all in with your last \$250 chips. If you call you're making a horrible play and will lose literally hundreds of dollars in the long run.

In 2 lets say theres six players in the pot that called for \$60 with stacks of around 400 and you're debating wether or not to call with your pocket deuces. Thats an automatic call!! If you hit you will win at least a \$1k. You're chances of hitting are 1 in 8 and your return is much greater than 8. In fact your return will be like at least X16 if you hit.

• Dr.T
Lv 4
9 years ago

20% of the time you need to compute the odds. The majority of the time you play your hand or the opponent.

• 9 years ago

It has some uses, like counting cards (the people you play against will not like that), but it is better to learn how to read you opponents.