A Perfect Strategy for Poker?

All poker players, new ones or declared professionals, know that many aspects of the poker game are governed by mathematics. This is because there are card odds, poker odds, and pot odds. These odds are arrived at using the elegant formulas of statistics and probabilities. But the mathematics of poker stops here. That is, one cannot keep on applying the same statistical data about card odds when the poker game is drawing to a close. This is because some cards are discarded and the cards of the players who have folded will never be revealed.

At the same time, one cannot use pot odds at the beginning of the poker game. In fact, poker players at the blind and early positions cannot use pot odds. In other words, whatever sophisticated mathematics and mathematical data that are provided to the , these don’t hold much since the individual poker player has to make his own decision.

Still, many mathematicians and poker players cannot resist the lure of having that one perfect strategy. But which is the perfect strategy? Since there are many variants of poker, one perfect strategy cannot be useful for all of these poker variants or for all situations in poker. This implies that a poker player may use one particular perfect strategy if he is up against one other player only. But with several players, this particular perfect strategy may not work at all.

At the moment, one which is considered by some poker players as the perfect strategy is called “minimax”. Such a strategy simply places provisions so that the poker player cannot lose to the strategy of his opponents. But this assumes that all the opponents are implementing some form of strategy. In reality, a poker player will encounter poor opponents. Thus, the original minimax strategy must make allowances for human errors. This means that a better strategy is something that will incorporate the presence of such weak poker players.

In coming up with the perfect strategy, a poker player must arm himself with knowledge about game systems. These systems are based on any of these: the Bayes Theorem, the Nash Equilibrium, the Monte Carlo simulation, and the Neural networks. Understanding these may be daunting and many poker players have already decided not to read them. But what is common among these four concepts is that they are trying solve the poker game by solely using computations.

Will a strategy, considered to be perfect or optimal, assure the win of a poker player? Probably.

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