Your Questions About Poker Odds

Laura asks…

Which do you think is more important in poker?

Knowing the statistical odds, or being able to read your opponents?

I mean generally speaking, but if you want a specific game, how about in fixed limit texas holdem? no limit texas holdem?

admin answers:

In no-limit hold ‚em, knowing the odds and being able to read your opponents are both important. You have to be able to make those calculations, but if you are wrong, it could potentially be for much of your chips. Which of the two skills is more important in a no-limit game? It’s tough to say- you have someone like Chris Fergeson and Howard Lederer who are primarily numbers guys. Then you have guys like Daniel Negreanu and Phil Helmuth who are more „feel“ guys. All four are very successful. But none of them are all of one thing and none of the other. They all have a good feel for the numbers and all can put other people on certain hands. I don’t think you can be a top player in no-limit hold ‚em without having a good foundation in both numbers and feel.

In limit hold ‚em, however, being able to read your opponents is almost a non factor. At most, even if you could read your opponent, you might save one or two big bets. In limit hold ‚em, you look at the size of the pot, the bet required and make the calculation. If on the flop my opponent leads out, for one bet I have to call or raise with the nut flush draw- I don’t need to know how strong he is. Let’s say I miss my flush but make top pair and my opponent bets the river. Do I call? Well, for the size of the pot I do the math. But even if my math is wrong, the most I will lose is that one big bet. So in limit hold ‚em, math is the skill needed. Of course, if you keep making incorrect mathmatical errors in limit games (calling trying to hit an inside straight in a small pot), you’ll bleed yourself dry.

In limit games, math is the key (although it doesn’t hurt to have reading ability, it isn’t as critical a skill). In no limit, both reading ability and knowing the math is equally important and effective.

David asks…

Do poker dealers call the amount in the pot?

I was just curious if poker dealers call out how much money a player bets or raises and/or calls out how much is in the pot.

I watch poker on TV, but have never been to a casino and I notice that when a bet is made, the player seems to automatically know, but it never shows them looking.
But when somebody puts chips into the pot, does the dealer say how much the player put in?

admin answers:

The dealer will state the amount of the raise if asked, but not the pot size. The players do know, at least the good ones, because you’re keeping track as the hand progresses in order to calculate your odds. If a player wishes to know how many chips another player has left, then it is the dealer’s job to count that player’s chips out and announce how much the player has, although some players will do this themselves.

Poker on TV is severely edited. If you were seeing the game play out in real time, there are many more hands being played where players are taking pots down preflop and on the flop. There’s only so much time for the show, so they only show „exciting“ hands, and even those are edited. In a big pot, it’s not uncommon for a player to think 5 minutes or more. However if they showed 5 minutes of someone thinking, it wouldn’t be terribly exciting. This is why you don’t see people counting out the pot or anything of that sort.


Yes a dealer should announce the size of the raise when the chips are put in. If you push a stack in, the dealer will break it down, and announce the size of the bet.

Steven asks…

What are the odds of getting the exact same hand twice?

Playing online poker (it was a freeroll) I got dealt a king of clubs and ace of clubs twice in a row, and they were dealt in the same order. What are the odds of that?

admin answers:

The correct answer is : 1 in 1,758,276 (if you mean cards with the exact same suit IN A ROW)

Let’s shrink it to a smaller scope: what is the probability to have two times tails (or heads) when we flip a coin?
The answer is: 1/2 x 1/2 = 1/4

now getting back to your question:
Likelihood of having a particular hand (let’s say Ac Kd ) is 2/52 x 1/51 = 2/2652 = 1/1326
if we want to calculate two times identical hands in a row, we must multiply them, that is 1/1326 x 1/1326 = 1/1758276

Please check my provided links in referenced sites to read more about this simple math.

Donna asks…

How do I get a my hair to hold a curl or wave ?

My hair is very soft, usually a plus except when I want to change it from its normal straightness. It will not hold a curl or wave. I’ve tried curling irons, flat irons, gel, hairspray, nothing works !
And I’ve even tried braiding it, but when I take it out after it has dried it is straight at the top, wavy, then straight at the bottom, so it looks very odd.
Any non permanent suggestions? Perms are out of the question.

admin answers:

My hair is like yours. Poker straight and it refuses to hold a style. There’s a really good old method my granny told me about, girls used to do it in the 40’s. Basically cut up long strips of fabric, and starting at the ends of your hair, fold the fabric over the ends of the hair( to keep the hair from slipping) roll small bits of your hair around the fabric until you reach the roots, keeping the fabric strip with your hair around it vertical. When you reach the roots, tie the ends of the fabric in a tight knot. This works best on wet hair, and leave your hair to dry overnight. Works well on either dry or wet hair though! And because there is no heat involved in the styling, it won’t damage your hair. The curls stay for AGES, and the tighter your roll them the better. Good luck 🙂

Richard asks…

How do you know if you’re addicted to poker?

I can’t get away from it! It lives within me.

I’m 17, I started I was 7, and I haven’t played for 3 years. But I watch tournaments whenever they are on. I don’t have an uncontrolable urge, but I feel like I should play. It’s like when… You know… You see someting… Uhh „thought-provocking“ and then feel the urge to go to the bathroom, but you can decide not to.

I just love that game. I love thinking what that player has, I love the bad beats, the frustation, calculating the odds, being crazy… I’ve won over $500 playing this and I can’t wait till next year so that I can play whenever I want to.

I must say I know something about managing the money you have so that you know how much you should keep and how to risk it (bankroll management or whatever).

Do I have a problem?

admin answers:

A problematic poker player is one who knows bankroll management but doesn’t have the discipline to stick to it, or a losing player who can’t stop playing when he’s losing more than he can afford.

You haven’t been put to either of those tests yet, so we can’t really answer this. I guess it’s somewhat a good sign that you’re worried about it to begin with (I think most problem gamblers think everything’s peachy until they’re in over their head). If you stick to bankroll management you should be fine.

Bankroll management isn’t just being sensible with money, there are actual guidelines for it. It depends on the format (ring vs sng vs mtt) and your edge (if any) at a given stakes. If you play ring games next year then I’d say start at stakes where you buy in for at most 1/40 of your poker bankroll. (And notice I said poker bankroll, which is separate from the one for bills.)

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