Texas Holdem

what do you think, is texas holdem skill or luck.

Classic answer is short term luck, long term skill, I’ll go with that.

I’ll also add that, in the impossible case that two players have the exact same skill level and they are playing heads up with the same amount of chips at the beginning, it will be a luck game.

And now I can probably run for president anywhere given how general and uncommitted my last two statements were.


guys i still need help am new on the game but am keen to learn…please help me!

OK, here’s basically how it works…

Say you and one opponent are heads up at the turn, You have 2 pair, and you are pretty sure your opponent has a flush draw. Let’s say there is 3,000 in the pot and both of you have 3,000 chips left. To eliminate some of the variables, we will make 3 other assumptions…

1… You are almost positive your opponent has nothing but a flush draw.

2… You are almost positive your opponent will call any bet you make.

3… You are almost positive your opponent will fold to any bet on the river if he or she misses their flush.

In a ring game, your optimal play is to go allin. Here’s why…

Let’s suppose that there are 2 spades on the board, and your opponent has 2 spades in the hole. You have no spades. You know the location of 6 cards… 2 in your hole and the 4 on the board. There are 52 cards in a deck, you know the location of 6 of them, leaving 46 cards unaccounted for. There are 13 spades, and you know (or think you know) the location of 4 of them (2 on the board, 2 in your opponent’s hand), leaving 9 unaccounted for.

Therefore, the chance of the next card being a spade is 9 in 46 or roughly 19.6%. We can round this off to 20%, which is a 1 in 5 chance.

When you go allin, the pot grows to 6,000 (3,000 plus your bet of 3,000) Your opponent will have to put in 3,000 to call, so he is risking 3,000 for a chance to win 6,000. The pot, therefore, is offering him 2-1 odds, but his chance of making the flush is 4-1 against him. Calling is not wise here, but say he calls anyway.

OK, so it works out like this…

If you are in that situation 5 times, you will win 4 of them and lose once, on average. When you win, you win 6,000 4 times, for a total of 24,000. The one you lose will cost you 3,000, for a net profit of 21,000 (24,000-3,000) divided among the 5 tries. This is an average profit per hand of 4,200 chips. (21,000/5)

Note that, in the long run, luck never enters into it. Statistically, your opponent will flush 1/5th of the time, but that’s already factored in. Actually, you earn 4,200 chips, on average, even when he or she does make the flush and you lose.

When this situation presents itself 5 times, it won’t necessarily follow the law of averages exactly. But the goal is to play this kind of winning poker for a lifetime. Yes, 5 times isn’t a big enough sample, but you will be in this position 500, 5,000, or 50,000 times in your poker “career,” and the more times you do it, the closer to the actual statistical averages you will get.

This is what’s meant by the saying “short term luck and long term skill.” I would change that to say, “long term skill NEGATES short term luck.”

By the way, this isn’t optimal play in a tournament. Optimal pay there would be to bet somewhere between 1,200 and 1,500, which would give your opponent incorrect odds to call, but leave you some chips if the flush card hits. In this case, you would be trading some equity for survivability, and your opponent might also consider implied odds. Finally, if your opponent might NOT call your turn bet, you also have to consider fold equity. These concepts aren’t that complicated, but I’m trying to keep it simple here. If anyone is interested in how they might come into play in this example, just ask!

I think it’s a little bit too specific to be valuable just yet for a beginner.

This is a good place to start on this forum:
Top 10 Tips

There are probably some poker slang in it but if you read the whole thread you’ll have definitions down the line. If I really had to pinpoint 3 things to do well as a beginner I’d say:

  • Position is king (just search the internet in order to grasp the idea of position).
  • Understand opening ranges (mainly don’t play too many hands and try to broaden your opening range when you are in position).
  • Play simply, at least in the beginning (like your first 2000 hands).
    I think a line from the movie “rounders” goes something like this: “bet big when you have a hand and small when you bluff”. That’s actually pretty good against classic “fishes” (a “fish” is a player not really competent and the “regular” make money on him hence the term, again it’s in the top 10 thread).

Then yeah you can add pot odds, ranges, equity, bet sizing, more advanced stuff like 3 bet, 4 bet, committed or not to a pot (SPR), squeeze, set-mine, iso, thinking in terms of combos but that’s a bit too early imo.

A very good thing too is understanding why you do things. There are always only 3 options that are : fold, call/check, bet/raise and that’s it.
Always ask yourself what do I achieve by doing something. For example when you bet you do it to achieve either two things (if I simplify a bit):
A. Trying to get a player with a worst hand to continue
B. Trying to get a player with a better hand to fold.

That is a very simple and efficient way of looking at poker.

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Poker is 100% certainly a game of skill. “Luck” is involved, but “luck” isn’t a real thing. Statistically speaking, what we consider luck is variance, which (for the sake of simplicity) is the difference between the actual outcome of events and the “true” rate at which those events would occur. For example if you flip a coin 100 times, you may get heads 56 times. Based on the 50/50 chance of getting heads each time you flip, you should get heads 50 times, but the fact that most of the time you don’t get exactly 50 is down to variance.

Likewise, in poker, your pocket aces will lose sometimes, and making a bad play can result in a positive lucky outcome, but in the long term this variance will even out and good players will be ahead while bad players will be behind. It may not even out in 1 tournament, or 1 ring game, or even several days or weeks, but in the long run good players will always win. That’s why certain people are good enough to play as their profession, and why certain players have millions of chips on Replay. Luck is not a stable trait a person can have; it is just the unpredictability of poker and the universe.

Edit: The caveat to this is that poker is also a game of psychology. Someone can be a “good” player, but can get unlucky and then start playing badly as a result. To be a truly good player, one needs to understand this variance and not let it affect their play.

I think it’s 100% luck – that is, we’re all super lucky to have found a shared interest in poker! Okay, enough of the cheeseball community guy. :wink:

My hunch is that it’s like every other skill. You might get lucky the first few times you mess around with it, might even be lucky enough to have some natural skill, but you’re still going to have to work to get better, understand the game, and minimize the reliance on luck. There isn’t really a point in poker that you can’t research and make a decision on – it just had to be done as preparation work.

Personally, I like to go with my gut – that’s probably why my “luck” is so bad all the time. But sometimes I just like hanging out and spending chips. Usually when I’m feeling unlucky, though, the right response is to tighten up my play and consider my calls.

what would help with.

I mean what would you like help with, missed a couple words there,

very well said Qu410 !