What math do you use while playing?

mattiebumpo

mattiebumpo

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I am working with a friend to develop a plan for a poker study group for women. One of the areas we will cover are math concepts. This is for a group of mixed abilities and experience with poker. We want to provide some important concepts that we can immediately incorporate into our games.

Can you help me identify which math concepts you think are most important to cover?
Also, if you have your own way to remember, explain, and/or use these concepts in game, please provide your insights.

Thanks!!!
 
Luvepoker

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I am working with a friend to develop a plan for a poker study group for women. One of the areas we will cover are math concepts. This is for a group of mixed abilities and experience with poker. We want to provide some important concepts that we can immediately incorporate into our games.

Can you help me identify which math concepts you think are most important to cover?
Also, if you have your own way to remember, explain, and/or use these concepts in game, please provide your insights.

Thanks!!!

OMG I miss the days of the study groups and wish I could join you all. Yes I read the group type but what you are trying to do is great and I really support you for doing this and you all have great success in the future.

I looked at this earlier and have been trying to find the best way to help you but the problem is I dont know what kind of players you would be. I also think you would be better advised to use some of the poker math books that are out there. So before I wast your time, is this a group or beginners, intermediate or recreational players looks to just improve as they have fun. I have read several books on math in the game but down want to hit you with something advanced when your just starting or to simple if you all have been playing for 15 years. I also think this is a better way as many time I have heard people explain something that is not entirely correct because it is not easy to just explain the math but the books are correct and something you can better count on. Once I have an idea of what your levels are I can recommend some books. Think I have most of them on the kindly yet. Hope so anyways.

As for me, I use math in many spots in the game. Much of it is basic math but there are time I go advanced. Much of the advanced is based on knowledge of the game. IE AA V 88 prefolp is 83% equity and comparing the situation to pot odds or something else. There are time in the game I am actually counting combo's as well. The problem with some of this is live you have more time to do the calculations for that at the tables. Online is to fast to do it.

Once again I want to say this is a great idea. The study group i was part of many years ago really helped my game and advancement.

Oh, this is amazing! I can use all the help with the maths, so interested to see how this goes!

Math geek here. Always happy to help you.
 
GNuTTz

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The only math that I am doing is counting my chips and evaluating how many that I can leverage to drive strategy.
 
mattiebumpo

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@Luvepoker Thank you for the thoughtful response. I would say most are recreational/beginner players who have a sincere interest in improving their game. Also, we are geared for tournaments rather than cash.
 
mattiebumpo

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@GNuTTz Are you thinking of your chips vs your opponents' chips? Or your chips vs the blinds/pot? Or, what percentage of your chips you're willing to risk on a draw? Or how many chips to bet/raise to get your opponent to fold or call (depending upon what you want them to do)?
 
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VERY interesting post.

Now my comments will not be very in depth. I am 100% self taught at poker. I do not study the game online or in books (and it shows). I have a VERY unorthodox gamy style and have even had a fellow CC member ask me why I play so bad. But I do very well and am actually in the top 3 leaderboard points and top 4 $$$ for US games this quarter.

Anyway the most common use of math for me is looking at "outs" or looking at which cards could help me. I do this mostly post flop and turn but it carries well into river. I give my odds of hitting a card 3 times more power pre flop than turn or river or 2-3 times pre flop vs post flop. Like I SAID VERY BASIC STUFF. I also use the simple number of 12 (instead of 13) because roughly times 8 it comes to 100 or a percentage. So if I have an open end straight chances of hitting it are 2/12 (I know it should be 13) or 16%. I honestly think I do this because my brain works even numbers easier than odd numbers.

I think math is very tricky to deal with in a group because we all have different views on math.... some hate it and struggle and others grasp it so naturally it's like breathing.

Very very basic stuff, but it has sure been working for me especially when you throw in my unorthodox style of game.
 
rhoudini

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I use math as a poker amateur enthusiast in a specific situation:
When someone goes all-in and I have some draw, mainly straight draws or flush draws, and I think that I will win the hand by completing them, I calculate like this:

If action is on the flop and there are two cards to come:
Probability of hitting(%) = number of outs × 4

If action is on the turn and there is only one card to come:
Probability of hitting(%) = (number of outs × 2 ) + 2

If the probability is greater than the pot odds we are getting, we should call.

Example:
Hero has J♣ T♣. The pot is 4,000 and the flop is K♦ Q♠ 3♥. Opponent goes all-in for 2,500 and we have enough chips to call. Let's say we put opponent in top pair, two pair or even a set. Should we call?
Assuming we have 8 outs, probability of winning is:
Probability(%) = 8 × 4 = 32%
Pot odds = 2500/(4000+2500) = 25/65 = 5/13 = aproximately 40% (my calculator says 38%).
We need to win more than 38% of the time to be lucrative, but we just win in 32%.
(In fact, Equilab says that agains the range QQ+,AQs+,K9s+,AQo+,K9o+ that includes many blockers for us we have 29% of equity. It is pretty close).

Example of calculation on the turn:

Hero has J♣ T♣. Board has K♣ Q♠ 3♥ 7♣. Outs to make a flush or straight: 15.
Probability is (15 × 2) + 2 = 30 + 2 = 32%
(Against the same range of previous example, Equilab says we have 31.67%. Again, pretty close!)


You can say: well, this is quite right, but how to calculate this at the table? I answer: this is the time to spend a little bit of the timebank if needed. You have to practice counting outs and estimating divisions. If you can't do it on time, separate the hand for analysis and evaluate if you made the right choice at the moment.

Another option is to make a chart with possibles % of the pot that the opponent can make, and the number of outs necessary to call them. With Excel we can do these approximations and the more we play, the more we will be used to call or fold without struggling.
I hope it makes sense.
 
mattiebumpo

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@whitetailbuck10 Thank you for the reply. I also prefer rounding and dealing with even numbers. I think being able to calculate a rough estimate quickly is important.
 
mattiebumpo

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@rhoudini Thank you for the great explanation. I like the 4-2 calculation and I think it will definitely help the members of my study group. I also like the idea of using Excel as a tool to make a chart...the more we use it, the faster we will get when playing online and we may eventually be able to memorize it for use in live games.
 
dongato2

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I think the most common is to use the odds, count how many bluffs and value hands the rival has according to that, pay if it is profitable
 
pankoffff

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If you have a good knowledge of mathematics and are able to calculate well, then it will be a plus for you in a distance.
 
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Estimating equity is one of the main things, both v likely hands and villains range, and of course comparing versus the bet size being faced.

Also useful to work out the best bet sizes if you are trying to get stacks in (or have the option) by the river.
 
dreamer13

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Most people who begin to get acquainted with the world of poker know that this is a game of chance. However, unlike gambling in a casino, where the gambling establishment will always win, in distance poker, players who work on their game earn money. This became possible due to the fact that the decisions in the hands can be evaluated in terms of mathematics and probability theory.Nobody knows the whole concept of mathematics, and if they do, they won't tell.The best 34-page poker book that answers basic poker math questions is Roy Rounder's Easy Poker Math.
 
Aballinamion

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I am working with a friend to develop a plan for a poker study group for women. One of the areas we will cover are math concepts. This is for a group of mixed abilities and experience with poker. We want to provide some important concepts that we can immediately incorporate into our games.

Can you help me identify which math concepts you think are most important to cover?
Also, if you have your own way to remember, explain, and/or use these concepts in game, please provide your insights.

Thanks!!!
Pot odds is one of the main concepts we must fully understand in order to play a decent game.
It goes as we are paying X blinds to concur winning Y blinds, when we do hit.
Poker math is intuitive, many times we don’t need to run complicated equations to get the result.
There are other such as equity and relative equity both directly related to ranges, preflop and postlfop.
You said your interest is in tournaments so I can be of little help here, but for cash games there are always a 1.5 blinds pot to fight for and we are going to decide using the basic pot odds math whether we are going to fold, to call or to raise.
This is relevant for cash tables because there’s no rake preflop. Another opportunity to get some chips free of taxes when many players limp into the pot and we do squeeze to steal the dead money.
One simple concept that I love is the coin flip one: if we do flip a coin there is only the chance of coming heads or tails, which means 50% chance always. Thus, villain bets $ 1 dollar in heads. If we decide to call, we are investing $ 1 dollar in order to win a pot of $ 2, i.e, we need to be right in order to call 1 out of 2 times or we need to be right 50% of times.
Now villain makes another proposition; villain bets $ 2 dollars in heads and we need to bet just $ 1 in tails; we are betting $ 1 to concur a $ 3 dollars pot, which means we need to be right 1 out of 3 times, and in this scenario things look more interesting!
 
Gallarado777

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I think you don't need to be a great mathematician to understand poker the chances of a pot in another mathematician you don't really need to be psychological and develop an understanding of poker, as well as the basic bases of poker, the rest you have to develop as a player when you should or should not play math should be, but still other factors solve more because not all top math players but they take first places because they have studied poker and understanding poker
 
azteca6

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I just calculate my outs and it depends on how many players are at the table
 
Risto234

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Luckily i have hand strength ON so i pretty much never calculate how weak or strong my cards actually are therefore :unsure:
 
Aballinamion

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I am working with a friend to develop a plan for a poker study group for women. One of the areas we will cover are math concepts. This is for a group of mixed abilities and experience with poker. We want to provide some important concepts that we can immediately incorporate into our games.

Can you help me identify which math concepts you think are most important to cover?
Also, if you have your own way to remember, explain, and/or use these concepts in game, please provide your insights.

Thanks!!!
I hope this can be useful:


Best regards;
 
christovam

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Good topic for discussion. Mathematics is hard to master. So I still use the easier odds, like coin flip. But I will be following the posts here to learn more.
 
Aballinamion

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I am working with a friend to develop a plan for a poker study group for women. One of the areas we will cover are math concepts. This is for a group of mixed abilities and experience with poker. We want to provide some important concepts that we can immediately incorporate into our games.

Can you help me identify which math concepts you think are most important to cover?
Also, if you have your own way to remember, explain, and/or use these concepts in game, please provide your insights.

Thanks!!!
The math of combos and pot odds:

There is a deck of 52 cards. We have 16 different AK, we have 4 AK that are suited, and we have 12 AK that are off-suited .

For unpaired hands: 16 combos = (4 suited hands and 12 off-suited hands)

Pairs: 6 total combos in deck

1 combo equals a possibility, one of the possible hands of a certain sequence of cards it has.

Very simple formula: AK for example X * Y (A * K) How many aces are in the deck? And how many kings? 4 aces * 4 kings = 16 combos for AK. TT paired hands for example 6 3 1 X * (X-1)/2

Start the game thinking about combos because this enhances the game a lot.

How to calculate the value combos opponent has and bluff combos, and our pot odds. The villain on the BTN is betting $ 20.50 into a $ 27.48 pot, we have 30% pot odds. If his number of bluffs is greater than 30% of his number of value combos we have a profitable call. That is, we are holding A3 in the Big Blind and we have more than 31% equity against the BTN range, Big Blind has to call here. Profile your opponent and know which hands it arrives with on the river.

Understand a player who is very aggressive, very straightforward , let's see if against this type of player we make a profitable call. Obviously the number of value and bluff combos varies from one player to the other. That’s why it's important to profile it to get his hands on a RANGE.
Sometimes a player will bluff the river with a busted T9o and other times another player, with a different profile will not make this type of bluff. What hands is this player capable of doing this? It is important to make notes on opponents. In this case we are playing against an aggressive player who is capable of bluffing flop, turn and river. What are the value hands he can have there?

BTN raised 3x, it c-bets flop we call, c-bets turn we call,and on the river c-bets large. We have to make a decision:

Board: Ac6s7s2hKh

Which value hands does it have here? AA, 66, 77, 22, KK, A6, A7, A2, 67s (50 possible hand combos)

Potential missed draws: 8h9h, QsJs, 17 bluff combos.

What calculation do we do? 17 / 67 Bluff Combos / (Value Combos + Bluff Combos) * 100 = 25% We need his number of bluffs to be greater than 30%, because we only win 25% of the times: and we need to win 30% of the time to our call to be profitable.
 
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@whitetailbuck10 Thank you for the reply. I also prefer rounding and dealing with even numbers. I think being able to calculate a rough estimate quickly is important.
Another VERY simple math I try to keep in mind is the odds of ANY card being in a hand at any time...... For example on a nine person table pre flop there is a probability of 1.5 Aces on the table (or any other card for that matter), then I keep that in mind for flop, turn and river. Again very simple math for someone who just needs a simple edge.
 
mattiebumpo

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@dreamer13 Thank you for the reply and the book recommendation. I will look for it!
 
mattiebumpo

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@Aballinamion Wow! The pot odds and combo explanation is awesome! Thank you so much for sharing. I will definitely share this with my study group. :)
 
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