Here’s how much math you REALLY need to be successful at poker

WPT Global Math Strategy article

It has long been a myth that you have to be a math genius to be a big winner at poker. You don’t need to have a poker odds calculator in your head, remember an endless list of combinations, or know exactly what “ICM” stands for.

While it’s true that most poker players need to know a little Math, to help them succeed, you don’t necessarily have to be a math prodigy to win at the tables.

WPT Global even written a recent blog article which we have summarized here.

Read it through and apply some of the theories while sitting at the table and you might see an uptick in results!

math and poker

It’s not just a 21st century idea that success at poker should involve math. Poker books were written as early as 1875, including The Game of Draw Poker, Mathematically Illustrated by Henry T. Winterblossom.

Also classic strategy books from Doyle Brunson or Mike Caro have broken down the math in popular games like 5-Card Draw, Seven Card Stud and of course Texas Hold’em.

When is it best to bluff in poker? WPT Global has the answers!

Modern poker math was increasingly applied to poker tournaments and cash games with Harrington on Hold’em Dan Harington Popularizing the “M” concept to reflect how shallow or deep a poker player’s stack is.

Important Poker Calculations

There are several simple calculations poker players should have available at the poker tables and here we break down three keys:

EV (expected value)

You may have heard the term “EV” at the poker tables before, but what does it mean? Basically, it’s simply the amount of money you can win or lose, on average, for each action you take.

The formula is: EV = (Win% * $Win) – (Loss% * $Lost)

WPT Global provides tips on playing a loose-aggressive (LAG) style

For example, if you bluff $100 into a $100 pot and your opponent has a 75% chance of folding, you can use EV to see if there is a positive outcome over the long term. Learning equations like the one above can help you quantify exactly how profitable or unprofitable a given action will be.

Break-Even Calculation

This calculation is important because it can tell you how many times a particular game needs to work in order for it to break even. This can then be used to give you a rough idea of ​​whether it is profitable or not.

Here is the formula again: Break-even = bet size / (bet size + current pot)

Thinking of bluffing the river? Just enter the bet size and the current pot to see if it’s a good idea.

Minimum Defense Frequency (MDF)

Balance is key in all forms of poker, whether it’s with your total bankroll or with value bets, bluffs and ranges. Minimum Defense Frequency (MDF) is the minimum percentage of your range that you must call before your opponent’s bet is automatically profitable.

The formula: MDF = (pot size / (pot size + bet size)) * 100

We use this to determine how often to call to avoid being taken advantage of and we can also use it to determine if we can automatically profit from a bet.

Luck vs Skill

There’s no question that poker is a game of skill, but there are elements of luck. However, if you have a solid understanding of the math behind poker, you will be able to improve your skill at the game and better understand the role that luck plays in your game.

If you have a basic understanding of poker math, you’ll be better equipped to analyze your hands to see if you’re unlucky or if your game has leaks. If you don’t have that solid foundation, it’s like building your strategy on quicksand – eventually everything will collapse. Here’s how much math you REALLY need to be successful at poker

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