It’s hard to get away from the fact that maths and poker are intertwined. Yes, I can hear a groan from you guys in the back who used to fall asleep during trigonometry lessons in school. But it’s true. Plus if you get a little better at maths for poker reasons, we’re guessing it’ll pay off in a more gratifying way than if you got top grades in school.
Even if you’re extremely gifted at reading poker tells and hiding yours, you still need to be able to back it up with maths to get really good at this game. That’s because you need to be able to have a grasp of what your chances are of winning with a particular hand. And the only way you’ll know that is by doing the sums.
But don’t think of that as bad news. We’re here to tell you where you need to start. And once you’ve got a decent understanding, you can test out your new skill on the felt. We’d recommend checking out Bet365. They’ve got a great range of tables and formats to suit every type of player, but that’s not the only reason we’re liking them at the moment. You can sign up using this exclusive bonus code today and get this brilliant welcome offer…
In total, there are 2,598,960 different distinct hands you can end up with in a five-card poker hand. If that’s making your head spin, you’re not alone.
Now the numbers in this article are a little mind boggling. We know that it can be hard to get your head around. But all you really need to know is how likely it is that you’ll hit the hand you’re wishing for. The ranks in the likes of Texas Hold’em is calculated purely based on probability. That should come as no surprise. But it’s useful to know just how much more common it is to get, for example, four-of-a-kind as opposed to a royal flush. This nugget of poker probability can influence how you’ll play certain hands.
This one is a little easier to wrap your head around. But both probability and outs should really be looked at as two sides of the same coin.
Probability is all about how likely it is to get certain hands. While outs are all about how many chances you have left to hit these hands.
For example, if you’re dealt AK as your hole cards, we know there are three more Aces and three more Kings in the pack. That means if you want to try hit top pair, there are six cards out of the 50 you haven’t seen that can make that happen for you. Those six cards are called your outs.
The more outs you have, the better your chances of getting the hand you want.
We’ve actually already done a whole post telling you all about odds in poker. So check that out to learn more about how poker odds work.
But for this maths and poker lesson, we’re going to guide you through some desirable poker scenarios and your odds of winning if you’re in that situation.