Unusual But True Poker Thinking Wisdom

Heads up, what you think you understand about what most people call luck may be, shall we say a bit muddled. But you see, this is not really your fault at all. Your brain is not set up to appreciate the true reality of what the math folks refer to as random events.

Take a look at this example. Suppose you and your best buds hunker down for an evening of full on poker. The game starts at say six at night and continues till around ten. Further, suppose that the pace of the gameplay was about average, something like thirty hands an hour. At the end of the night, there have been about 120 hands played. Now the question of the moment is this: how many full house hands do you figure would have showed up?

Whatever number you came up with there doesn’t really matter so much. The point of this discussion is to highlight what can happen. Suppose your pal next to you somehow managed to land no less than 10 full house hands. Is that realistic? Here’s the crazy answer: YES. But not for the reason you think.

See the reality is that you can actually calculate the probability of those 10 full house hands showing up. The answer is like 0.09% of the time in 120 hands. In real life, that works out to the equivalent of 10 or more full house hands in one card playing session out of a thousand. If you carry the math all the way through, that means 20 years of weekly game play.

So what does that mean? The lesson here is that poker and real life for that matter are full of improbable events. Modern statistics and probability tell you that you should only expect to see the card play above once in 20 years. But you could see it at tomorrow night’s game.

That is the point to get, the key concept that our brains have a hard time getting a handle on. That the world we live is full of random events. Think of it this way. Toss a coin 10 times and you know you would expect to get about 5 heads and 5 tails. But in only 10 tosses, you are just as likely to get 7 tails and 3 heads. Remember each toss is independent of the one before.

So too are the hands you are dealt in poker. That is the understanding to get. That in fact is why even the big name poker players experience ups and downs in their game play. To put this another way, see that randomness delivers unexpected results all of the time.

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