I really succk at math so I got help from a really good friend to make an poker math guide for dummies (He first answerd some questions and then solved some examples). Here we go:
Download as pdf here (with graphs):: Link
Poker math for dummies
1. Why you think poker math is important?
To win at poker long term, you need to make positive expected value decisions and you cannot do that if you are unable to calculate your pot odds, Equity and so on... Simply put: poker is a math game. The good thing about math it’s purelyrational!
2. Why do you think so few people care to learn the math?
Some people run for cover as soon as they hear the word “math”. Most of them because they had a bad teacher at some stage when they were young and are missing a few basic concepts. From then on, they get frustrated and completely close their mind to anything to do with math. Math is nothing to be scared about and most importantly, it is not about knowing rules and formulas. Math is all around you and it is just common sense and logic. There is no reasons why anyone should be scared of it.
3. I am overwhelmed with everything there is to learn and it looks so complicated. Do you have any guidance for me on how to approach it and improve my skills?
Poker is a math game but there really is not that much of it. By that, I mean it is always the same concepts coming back repeatedly. Go one-step at a time. Learn one concept. Practice it, make sure you assimilated it and then move to the next one.
If you are not sure on how to calculate something, simplify it (use simple numbers) check out your answer and if it is right, it will work with more complex numbers. Use drawings, little diagrams or matches or chips or whatever if you have to! Try to visualize your problem and often the answer will come to you. Much more efficient than surfing the net trying to find (and use) a formula that you do not understand.
4. We need to call 20 into a pot of 60 so we need 33% equity vs his range?
This is a perfect example to illustrate what I meant in the previous point. Let us check out your answer. 33% you say, let’s see!?
To simplify, instead of using % or that might confuse the “allergic to maths “ people let us imagine that this situation occurs a 100 times: 33 times you will win the 80 chips in the middle ( 60 pot + villain’s bet of 20) and 67 times (the rest of the times, 100-33)you will lose your 20 chips. So, you will win 2640 chips (33x80) and lose 1340 chips (67x20)making a profit of 1300 chips.
The equity we need is the amount we need to break even (or not lose any chips in the long term if you prefer) If your answer was correct, you should make a profit of 0 chips. Therefore 33% is wrong.
Your equity is the % of the total pot that “belong to you”! If you have 25% equity in $100 pot it means that $25 “belong to you”. Or in other words $25 is the amount of that pot you will win on average. Now how do we figure out the answer if we do not know how to do it? As advised above, visualize your problem:
Look at the graph. How much of the total pot needs to belong to Hero? Looking at the graph should make it obvious that we need 20 in a pot of a 100 therefore 20%. Let us check it out: 20 times, we win the 80 chips in the middle and 80 times we lose our 20 chip=0 chips so 20% is correct. You need to have 20% equity to call.
From there you should be able to deduce the formula by yourself.
Hero’s call/ (pot+villain’s bet+hero’s call)
5. You once told me there was a better way to calculate our percentage equity then the rule of 4 and 2. Which one was that?
Most people know the rule of 4 and 2. With 2 streets to go, you multiply your outs by 4 and you get your equity. With one street, you multiply by 2.
The rule of 4 and 2 is good but as the number of outs gets bigger it fails. For instance, 12 outs (FD + an over) with the rule of 4: 4x12=48%. In reality, it is 44.96%.
-With 2 streets to go, a more accurate method is as follow:
For up to 9 outs use the rule of 4. From 10 outs and above instead of multiplying by 4, multiply by 3 and add 9. So for 12 outs 12x3=36 +9= 45%. It’s much more accurate and not much more difficult.
Another: For 13 outs 13x3=39 +9=48% (real result is 48.15% and rule of 4 is way off with 52%)
- With one street to go
Step 1: Multiply your outs by 2. Step 2. Round the result to the nearest multiple of ten and add the 10's digit to the first result
So for 12 outs: 12x2=24 nearest 10 is 20 add the digit (2). 24+2=26%
Just practice it a few time, you’ll see, it’s dead easy!
6. SB: How often does the button open need to work?
I am not going to answer this; instead, I let you find it out by yourself. This is how:
There is a BB and a SB in the middle so 1.5BB. it cost you 1.5BB to MinRaise. So, 1.5BB to pick up 1.5BB in the middle. What do you think? Visualize it. If you come up with an answer to find out if it is the right one, check it out as explain previously.
For instance, if you think it’s 67% times that villain needs to fold check it out: 33 times out of a 100 you lose your 1.5BB (he calls) and the rest of the time (67) you win 1.5 BB. What happen?
7. 3 bets jam calculations
Quite a few questions about 3 bet jamming. So let me explain how 3 bet jamming EV calculations work. When we 3 bet jam this is what can happen.
To calculate the EV of the 3 bet Jam we need to calculate the EV of each branch and add them up. Note that there is 2 good outcomes for us: Villain Folds and villain calls but we win.
Let say that, for instance, Villain min Raise 75% from the SB and we think he will call a jam with his top 15%. Effective stacks are 20BB after posting.
100% of hands Villain's PFR 75% Call the jam 15%
Branch 1: villain will call 15% of the times he raised (his top 75%). He will call 15/75 = 20% of the time and therefore fold 80% of the time. There are 3 BB in the middle (1.5 posted +1.5 minRaise from villain) 80% of the times we will pick up the 3BB when villain folds.
The 20% of the times he calls, sometimes we are going to lose. Branch 2: let say that we have 28% equity vs villain’s range. 72% of the time we lose 20BB (100%-28%).
Sometimes we are going to win. 28% of the time we will win 20BB + the 1.5BB already posted=21.5BB
So let’s recap and sum thebranches.
1. Branch 1 we win 80% x 3 BB = +2.4BB
2. Branch 2 72% x (-20 BB)= -14.4 BB and 28% x 21.5 BB = +6.02 BB so total=6.02-14.4=-8.38
3. Branch 2 happens 20% of the time so -8.38 x 20%=-1.676
So when villain folds we gain 2.4BB and when he calls we lose -1.676 BB therefore making a profit of 0.724 BB. This is the EV of our 3 bet jam. Notice that because even 32o has more than 28% Equity vs the top 15% of hands, in that situation any 2 cards can be profitably jammed!
...Thanks alot for the help mate! Enjoy guys!