Math Adds Up To a Winning Hand

Knowing the math behind the game of poker gives you a powerful tool that will help you develop strategies that work to help you win. If you think poker is a game of luck than you probably play poker once every three months while drinking beer and eating pretzels for that $20 pot. Nothing wrong with that either, just don't expect to be the winner any more than anyone else at the table.



When you hear of someone leaving a no limit tourney in Vegas with $10 million you certainly do not think they were just lucky and if you do how do you explain them winning top seat multiple years in a row?

Long before the first card is dealt, the math starts. It begins when the deck is shuffled. Most people do a dovetail shuffle. You have ½ the deck in your left hand and ½ in your right hand. You fan the cards together, dovetailing them together. Mathematicians have studied the approached and found that you need to perform this type of shuffle seven times to eliminate the order that existed in the deck prior to shuffling. In other words, if you want the deck to be random you need to shuffle it at least seven times. Less than seven and some of the last hand remains and is dealt back out. Look at it this way. If you could consistently shuffle so that one card from your left hand falls on top of one card from the right and that is repeated through out the shuffle, consistently, you can easily tell where a card will end up. Doing such a shuffle once and the card on the top of the deck is now number 2. Do it again the card is number 4. So on and so forth. 8 times is all it takes to put that deck of cards back like it was before it was shuffled. That is a cute magic trick and is known as a perfect shuffle. The impact of that shuffle is easy to follow. Takes the luck right out of it. A good shuffle is the start of the math; make sure the deck is random, always.