You play cards, I play poker, we play at home, in casinos, online, in every variety of game. Everyone is familiar with the names- Pocket Rockets, Double honks, Three loves, Ten of diamonds, anything. So, what do you know about poker odds?
You know the odds in some game cards – 10 to 1, 9 to 1,……… To put it another way, the odds of being dealt the exact hole cards is 50/50, or more precisely (50)/(50). Yeah, these are the “odds” We are always playing with. But, is it really true, that there are no skillful poker players? Or, is poker a game of luck?
Let’s chop it up a bit – you know, the usual cliche that money won from a slot machine cannot be exchanged for coin with a whole lot of difference, you know the old saying about how much you threw away could have been £100,000, just by tipping a casino. To put it another way, you have a 1 in 49 chance of successfully tipping the casino, while their is a 1 in 52 chance if you buy the credits should you win.
So, what is thearcadetableand casinocardroom odds? They are the opposite – the casino has a greater edge than you do.
That’s Bad Poker Odds
Why does that matter? Remember, the maths is simple – you can’t say you have the best hand, so why buy the insurance when the dealer has the better hand? The casino makes money by offering odds of more than 1.5:1 on virtually every hand you will play over the long term. If the odds are more than 1.5:1, the casino will always win if you play, guaranteed.
In cash games, the casino makes a lot more than 1.5:1 on every hand you will play. However, unlike blackjack, roulette and slots, the dollar amount does not depend on how much you bet during each hand. So, if you bet $5 a hand at blackjack, and lost, you would not get £5 exchanged, but £10 – still a tidy profit.
At poker, the reverse is true. The casino makes a lot more than 1.5:1 on every hand you will play, but the player is not guaranteed a profit. The casino prices cards, poker chips, prizes, and other such things in terms of the odds, or the probability of completing a hand, which is always in the casino’s favour.
Clearly, the average poker player must adjust the odds of winning in his favour, and do so more fully, in order to make a long-term profit from poker.
Given that blackjack, roulette, craps and baccarat have better odds than pokers, why is poker considered so much better? Because you can make a lot more money, over time, with poker than with any other game.
If you know the odds of the game you are playing (and most poker players think they know these odds already, it’s not as hard as it first appears. Best of all, you don’t need to work at it. Most books on poker from the last few years are excellent learning tools and if you play to your strengths, most of them fairly easy to learn, most of them can be implemented with no previous knowledge of the game.
So, why is poker easy, and blackjack, roulette and Dewavegas (especially craps) difficult? Could it possibly be that all of these games are games of luck, while none of them involve playing against human opponents, so they are less mentally challenging? If that’s the case, maybe that’s why poker players say they don’t play them too much, could it not be that playing against a big dog makes the game easier, not more difficult?
Best of luck, and dry barraging.