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Poker Probabilities

The use of probabilities is usually associated with complex procedures. This fact may not be necessarily considered that its main use is to help ascertain the probability of occurrence of events in different conditions. The same principles that govern the application and use of probabilities are the same one used in determining the events in a poker game. Poker probabilities are used to determine the chances of events occurring in any given game. In order to arrive to the conclusion there are several calculations that have to be done for a person to come up with the right outcome.

Importance of Understanding Probabilities

Probability determines the possibilities of an event or events happening as a result of a prior happening that may or may not directly affect the outcome of the game. Calculation of any event in poker can be done depending on the method that has been applied in computing the figures. Since the game of poker has several variants the type of approach applied may be selected depending on the game that is played.

The main purpose of poker probabilities is to determine or estimate the number of times that an event can occur in every given game. Most of the time, the odds and the actual outcome may not be the exact projections. The results are merely based on approximations which are arrived at after rounding off the figures.

First Approach to Determine Probabilities

To effectively determine the outcome of a game through probability there are two main approaches that can be applied. The first approach is by identifying all the outcomes that meet the requirements of the condition that is to be evaluated. The total number of the outcomes which meet the set criteria is then divided by the number of possible outcomes. Though this probabilistic approach can be used in any poker game it is commonly applicable in the variant of Texas Hold’em.

Taking the example of the above mentioned poker variant, considering that it consists of total cards amounting to 52 in the game there are 52 ways of picking the first playing card in this version of game. Since the picking is done without replacement, the second card can be picked in 51 ways as is preferred by the player who picks that card. The computation is done by multiplying the two different methods that can be used in picking the first two cards. The total is then divided by the number of cards to be picked twice (2). The amount gotten represents the possible outcome if there are only two cards dealt.

Second Approach to Determine Probabilities

The second approach of determining probability is through the use of conditional probabilities. The outcome of this approach highly depends on a condition that has to be fulfilled before the outcome and in most cases this condition affects the outcome of events. In most complex situations outcome can be arrived at by the use of decision tree which consists of decision making nodes and the possible outcomes. The computation of poker probabilities may seem complex but all that is needed is to understand the application of the concept.

 
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Famous quote

Whether he likes it or not, a man's character is stripped bare at the poker table; if the other poker players read him better than he does, he has only himself to blame. Unless he is both able and prepared to see himself as others do, flaws and all, he will be a loser in poker, as in life.
Anthony Holden, author of Big Deal (1990)