Poker by Numbers

You already know that poker, whether played online at sites like Poker Stars or Full Tilt Poker is a game of odds. The longer you play, the more you tend to apply odds and probabilities to your game.

POKER BY NUMBERSWhen you first started playing you likely left a lot of your decision up to chance, lacking the knowledge or perhaps the discipline to calculate your actual odds of winning. As your game progressed and you gained knowledge, you instinctively applied a different approach…opting to gamble less and calculate more.

Once you reach a certain level, all the odds, angles and expected values actually start playing tricks on you. Since you have studied and practiced, you feel like you have every angle down. It is very easy to forget that poker is still a game of chance.

This is where poker by numbers comes in. You stop playing the hand and start playing long term. Chance becomes your advantage, realizing that you will profit over the long term by other players undying commitment to chance. Calculate each hand the best you can, take a breath and make your move. Each time you do have faith that the powerful force of chance will eventually have to bend to the unstoppable laws of math.

No matter how much and how well you play, there is always a time when you have to succumb to chance and have faith. That is the key. Professionals keep from going insane when a miracle draw hits by playing the numbers rather than the hand.

Each all-in or hard call is written off instantly.  Do your best, make your read, and then let the chips fall where they may. You may not win that hand, but you have to hold true to the cardinal rule of poker…math always beats chance in the end.

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This is the rule that governs the very philosophy of every professional player. You need to expect that eventually the correct play will win out over luck.

If you take one thing from this article, it should be to stick to your guns, and have faith in the cards. Poker by numbers means that you are never again going to be so upset by a bad beat that you go on tilt and lose it all.

You can now rest easy, the Zen of poker has just been revealed. The outcome of one hand should mean nothing. You play by the numbers. Not the numbers of today, but the numbers overall— and there’s a certain calming effect in that. You know that when it’s all said and done, all the luck in the world isn’t going to help a poor player. The numbers always win.

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