Could Studying Math Help You Improve Your Poker Game?
There is a lot that goes into a successful poker game. More than is expected. Not only are you trying to control your tells but spot them in others. Not only are you trying to determine your next move but are trying to deduce your opponents’. Not only are you laying out strategies that have to be updated on the go, but you are using math to change them.
The most forgotten element of poker is the math, and it’s the most important, which means a lot of potentially pro players fall due to a lack of appreciation for math. If you’re looking to improve your poker game, improving your math skills is the best way to start. Take a look at our ideas to help you improve your math skills and why it’s important to poker.
Benefits of math in poker
Math is a big element of poker and is often overlooked for the intense staring that comes with reading people. You might be focusing on deciphering tells and putting forward a confident façade, but you’re missing a vital part of being successful at poker and that is counting odds.
By counting odds, you can determine whether it is worth moving forward with the bet. If you have 3:1 odds, you have three times the chances of getting the card you need on the next move and therefore it’s considered a good idea to raise.
Calculating the poker odds
Understanding odds comes from counting the cards on the table, the cards still in the deck and the cards that you could use in your hand. To put it simply, comparing them will give you the odds you need. So, there is a lot of adding, subtracting, and dividing in the equation that you are expected to come up with on the spot.
Studying math, in general, helps your analytical thinking skills, so that you can analyze any given situation, say, a poker hand, and use the information you are given to make better decisions. Even if you aren’t a whizz at counting odds, you will gain from studying math by gaining better decision-making skills, which is always something you can take to the online tables on GGPoker.
How to strengthen your math
So, once you’ve got the idea of the math that poker takes, how do you practice it? Well, you can do the most obvious thing and study, over and over again. Sit with a set of cards in one hand and a pen and notepad in the other. Grab a few cards from the pile and calculate the odds of the hand given in a notepad. This will make sure that the odds equation is cemented into your head, and, if you do them enough, they might even be memorized.
You can also look into games that feature some element of math. For example, there is killer sudoku, which takes the initial principle of sudoku (each box, line, and row containing one of each number with no duplicates) and adds an arithmetic slant, where the grouped together boxes need to add up to the total given. However, that only handles the adding and subtracting element. Considering poker odds take a lot of multiplying, division, and percentages, you might be better off searching for math-based games on the internet.
The good thing about the sudoku puzzle is that, even without the element of dividing and multiplying, you will be strengthening your brain to handle arithmetic on the fly, ready to use at the poker table.
You can also download apps that will help you improve your math skills, like BBC Skillswise or Khan Academy, which both have math tasks aimed at adults.