What are the Sample Spaces?

In order to evaluate poker situations we need to know the size of the sample space, and we need to know how many events are in each sample space. An event is one of the possible outcomes of the situation, and all of the outcomes together, comprise the sample space.

We also need to know how many of those events are in our favor, and how many of those events are in our opponent’s favor. That’s what combination theory does.

Later we’ll use this information to calculate expected values.

In a hold’em game we want to know how many events there are for 5th street, 4th street, 4th and 5th street combined, the starting hands, and the flop. Each of these groups is known as a sample space, and each member of the sample space is known as an event.

Exploring sample spaces is easy once you get the hang of it, but it can be a challenge to get the hang of it. So, we’ll start of with very simple examples and work our way into the hold’em sample spaces.

Let’s start with symbols. Count the symbols: @ @ #. There are 3 symbols. If we think of each symbol as an event, there are 3 events. Therefore, the sample space is 3.

Post-flop: Drawing to Outs – Abdul

If you have the best of it on additional money going into the pot,
you should try to maximize the additional money going into the pot.
If given the money in the pot by the end you have odds to chase, you
should at least call. Keep in mind that betting or raising will
often give you additional ways to win the pot. If you don’t have
odds to chase or bluff, you should fold.

Poker Strategy – Dynamic Hand Value

Poker Strategy – Dynamic Hand Value

I have received a lot of questions regarding this topic, so I am going to dedicate an entire article to it. Most advanced players know that Sklansky hand rankings (or my hand rankings for that matter) are not set in stone but are rather general guidelines for ranking hands. This is because hand value fluctuates greatly depending on the number of people in the pot. Many people are not quite sure how to treat their starting hands when the game’s dynamic fluctuates between loose/tight and thus affecting the number of people in the pot. The answer to this dilemma lies with what type of hand you hold, and how many players this type of hand is suitable against.

Poker Strategy – Dumping the 2nd Best Hand

In blackjack, everyone grimaces at being dealt a 16. It’s the worst possible hand and odds are you are going to lose your money. The holdem equivalent to a 16 is a 27, which is considered the worst possible hand. However, with a 27, odds are you will lose nothing (because you will fold preflop) or just your blind. In fact, I don’t even mind being dealt 27 because I know what it’s worth. I’m much more afraid of being dealt AA because that hand has the potential of costing me a lot of money. The paradox that a good hand is to be feared much more so than a bad one centers on the most important concept of poker: Relative Hand Value.

An Explanation of Hold'Em Odds – Must Read!

Probability is a huge factor in texas hold ’em. Players use odds to determine their actions. The chances of finishing a flush or a straight, the probablity of getting an overcard, the percentage of times you’re going to flop a set to match your pocket pair are all important factors in poker. Knowledge of these statistics is key to winning. In online games especially with very few (if any) tells, statistical knowledge becomes the main factor when choosing whether to bet, call, or fold.

The Catalyst of Poker – The battle of the blinds

“If the blind lead the blind,

both shall fall into a ditch.”

— Jesus of Nazareth

Limit poker not only begins as a struggle for the blinds, it normally ends there. In very loose games, starting hand selection, betting strategy and pot manipulation become more important, but in moderately tight-ish games, and tough aggressive ones too, the core of the entire battle comes down to a struggle for the equity of the blind bets.

Training Wheels of Fortune – Start thinking, not silly starting hand charts

“Nothing is more desirable than
to be released from an affliction,
but nothing is more frightening
than to be divested of a crutch.”
— James Baldwin

Suppose playing Texas Holdem you are under the gun with a marginal hand like KJo. What should you do? Some learning players would immediately consult their starting hand charts, either literally or in their memory, and then decide what action to take. Unfortunately, rigid adherence to artificial charts is the root of ruin of many people who might otherwise become quite good poker players. A lot of these players may in fact become winning players, especially in rake games where the house takes its cut from the pot rather than equally from each player, but I suggest most players relying on starting hand charts are either doomed to never be much good at poker, or will end up as merely mediocre.

The Texas Hold'Em Skateboard – The skill jumps in Texas Holdem

“One of the healthiest ways to gamble is with
a spade and a package of garden seeds.”
— Dan Bennett

“Poker” is not like “chess” where a clear picture appears from just one word. Besides “video poker” and “poker runs”, which hijack the word into unrelated territory, there are many forms of poker. These different games feature some cards face-up, some face-down; sometimes you get more cards all at the same time, sometimes you get one at a time; sometimes you share pots; sometimes you try to make high hands, sometimes you try to make low. Different poker games have many different features.

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