Your Questions About Poker Odds

Betty asks…

In poker, what are the odds of winning when the flop gives you 4 to a flush and 2 over cards vs top pair?

admin answers:

If you have a flush draw with two over cards to the board, say A-K of hearts with a 2h 4h 8c flop, then you have to hit one of 15 cards in the deck. Without knowing anyone’s hole cards there are 47 unseen cards in the deck. When you do the math (1 – 32/47 * 31/46) you will find that you have a 54.1% chance to hit your hand in two pulls of the deck making you a slight favorite to win against one pair of queens and lower.

Helen asks…

Does online poker have the right odds?

I have heard from more than one source that because online poker sites are usually run by Indian tribe casinos that they do not have to follow the regulations the gaming commission has set forth for other casinos. Actual Indian casinos don’t have the correct odds on most electronic games, so does that mean that most online poker sites run by Indian casinos also don’t have the correct odds?
I just picked a random online poker site, Full Tilt, and checked who it was regulated by, it is regulated by Kahnawake gaming commission, an Indian territory gaming commission. I am still not convinced that they can’t just do whatever they want, they regulate themselves, does not seem like there are any checks or balances.

admin answers:

To put it bluntly, your sources are wrong.

Every major online poker room is operated outside of the United States. They are certainly not run by ‚Indian‘ tribes.

George Bush and his corrupt cronies forced legislation into a completely unrelated bill back in October 2006 which made it illegal for an American company to run an online poker room in this country.

When it comes to the ‚right odds‘ there is nothing that an online casino can do to alter the odds without cheating. Any real poker game relies on a randomized or shuffled deck of cards. It is definitely in the interest of a poker room to ensure fair play and random cards. Unless they are deliberately cheating players, there is no benefit to the poker room in rigging the game.

The bottom line is that online poker played at major sites is very safe. It is in the interest of major poker rooms to provide a fair and high quality game on a consistent basis.

However, online poker is played much faster than offline games. This means that any leak in your game will certainly cause more losses more quickly. When people lose in online poker, you rarely hear them explain that they were not good enough, or they made mistakes, or they have not studied or practiced enough. What you hear are people whining that the shuffle isn’t fair, or the game is rigged, or people are cheating etc. Sorry, but to me it sounds like the bleating of bad players.

UPDATE: The Kahnawake Gaming commission is little more than a badge that online gambling companies can place on their web sites. Many people are given a sense of comfort that an America (albeit Native American) badge is on the web site. But this does not mean that the badge holders are physically based within the US, as I have already explained.

You are right that really online poker is a law unto itself. It’s going to stay that way until our President reverses the stupid decisions of the Bush administration. Online poker is here to stay, and we should actively encourage legitimate American corporations to offer online poker to Americans.

Steven asks…

video poker, are the odds the same, regardless of denomination played?

admin answers:

Not necessarily. Many of the machines use a different payout schedule for the amounts being played. I always check first. The odds are always the same, the payout for the hands is what changes.

Michael asks…

If you dealt 5 cards from a standard shuffled poker deck, what are the odds of 4 of them being the same suit?

admin answers:

13/52 * 12/51 * 11/50 * 10/49 =>
(13 * 12 * 11 * 10) / (52 * 51 * 50 * 49) =>
17160 / 6497400 =>
1716 / 649740 =>
429 / 162435 =>
(13 * 11 * 3) / (3 * 13 * 4165) =>
11 / 4165

There’s an 11-in-4165 chance that out of 4 cards dealt to you, all 4 would be of the same suit. Now, there are 9 cards of that suit left in the deck and there are 48 cards left in the deck altogether, which means that the 5th card will have a 39-in-48 chance of not being a card from your suit:

(11 / 4165) * ((48 – 9) / 48) =>
11 * 39 / (4165 * 48) =>
11 * 13 * 3 / (4165 * 3 * 16) =>
11 * 13 / (4165 * 16) =>
143 / 66640

A 143-in-66640 chance

Mark asks…

Any Odds for poker?

Any Odds for any cards games

admin answers:

Here are some sites, there’s many more. I won’t vouch for any.


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