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Mathematics Vs Instincts
Texas Holdem poker and online poker have become very popular, because of the TV and the big poker tournaments with huge prizes and poker pros with rock star status.
But what is the way to play great poker: maths or instincts?
Balance maths and instincts
When it comes to making decisions in poker there is a lot to take into consideration before you make your play.
One of the biggest mistakes that new players make is thinking that poker is all about making sick reads and blowing your opponent out of the water.
This is far from the truth. For the most part in poker, you will be simply playing odds that your opponents give you and giving your opponents odds to play from.
All of this comes down to mathematics in poker. Mathematics vs instincts, the mathematics are much more relevant. There aren't too many times that instinct will be more important than the actual math behind the decisions you make.
Maths (odds) is the foundation of poker
There is quite a few times that your will be relevant in a hand. If you are playing against an opponent that you have experience with and you know a lot about the player, then your instincts will probably take a lot more value in your play against them.
Whenever you instantly notice a player's pre flop strategy is to open up a lot on the button and your instincts tell you to contest them early when you sit down, this is a good example of using your instincts, without need to the maths really.
You should never use your instincts in a situation where you are only thinking "I feel like I should make this play." You should always make plays with proper reasoning and evaluation of mathematics of the hand.
Mathematics are the core and backbone of poker. If you are not willing to take the time to evaluate each hand by running all of the numbers and mathematics about the hand, then you should not play poker. I am sorry to be the one to inform you if this is news, but poker is almost 100% mathematics.
When you hear professional poker players use the term "It's close", they are referring to the mathematical odds being close for them to make the call. That shows that they were evaluating the pot odds, the range of hands that they put their opponent on, bet sizes, stack sizes, and even player tendencies.
Professional poker players are some of the best at calculating the mathematics of poker in their head while on the tables and can use this to their advantage in the long run.
You are getting odds where you are a 60% favorite you are playing a long term game where you take your 10% of wins and run with them. In the long run you will see that 10% show up because your bankroll will be increasing more than it will be decreasing.
One of the most important points in playing the mathematics of poker is realizing that you are the one giving your opponent the odds to play their hand. You should be the aggressor as much as possible, so you will be offering the odds to your opponents a lot. For example when you bet half pot, you are giving your opponent 3-1 odds to make the call.
If they are on a flush draw or straight draw, then you are giving them close to breakeven odds. You want to bet much more than this without them folding. Since they will then have incorrect odds to call, they will lose money to you in the long run by making the call and will sacrifice the pot to you when they fold.
Make sure you realize that when it comes to mathematics vs instincts, you check the mathematics to the fullest before you follow a gut instinct.
Online holdem poker is a great game where you can emphasize the maths of the instincts, play the way that fits you best.
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