## Small Edges and Win Rate

Economics, Gambling (general)
January 19, 2009

I would venture a guess that even most winning poker players don’t put enough thought into the ultimate effect of their win rate on their gambling career.  Some work I did on sports betting recently went a long ways towards clarifying this for me personally.  I realize this isn’t a sports betting blog, but I want you to follow along anyways because I promise this will get back to poker eventually. Read the rest of this entry »

## Gambling Wisdom: Kelly Criterion Part 1

Economics, Gambling (general)
October 8, 2008

In this series I discuss topics that are well known within the gambling community, but that may be new to players who come to the game of poker from a non-gambling background.

Maybe you’ve had this experience –  I know I have.  You’re studying some form of math, and you’re not quite clear on why it works the way it does or what it has to do with anything – someone’s just stuck this formula in front of you.   And then you go back and read about why it was invented in the first place, and suddenly you realize you’re holding the answer to everything, or at least a much bigger chunk of everything than you originally thought. Read the rest of this entry »

## Gambling Wisdom: Parlays

Gambling (general), Strategy
March 10, 2008

In this series I discuss topics that are well known within the gambling community, but that may be new to players who come to the game of poker from a non-gambling background.

A parlay is a bet where multiple things have to go your way for you to win the bet. The terms is most frequently used in sports betting. In a standard sports parlay, you can combine multiple team or total bets where you would normally lay 11:10 into one bet. Since it’s more difficult to have all the components come in than it is to win a standard bet, the house offers more attractive odds – usually they pay 13:5 for a 2 team parlay and 6:1 for a three team parlay. Note of course that these odds still have a built-in house edge as with any sports betting – you would get paid 15:5 and 7:1 respectively on a gentleman’s wager.

Parlays occur in poker all the time, but they’re not always obvious. Consider the following fairly common situation in limit holdem: Read the rest of this entry »

## Gambling Wisdom: More Odds, Risk & Win, Expectations, and Prices

Gambling (general), Strategy
August 21, 2007

In this series I discuss topics that are well known within the gambling community, but that may be new to players who come to the game of poker from a non-gambling background.

Previously I’ve written on the topic of odds. I want to expand on some of the concepts presented there and introduce the important concepts “risk & win”, “expectation” and “price”. Read the rest of this entry »

## Gambling Wisdom: The Horse Race Paradox

Gambling (general), Strategy
July 31, 2007

In this series I discuss topics that are well known within the gambling community, but that may be new to players who come to the game of poker from a non-gambling background.

Imagine a race between two horses. Horse A is a remarkably reliable horse, and will always complete the race in essentially the same time. Horse B, on the other hand, is remarkably inconsistent. Sometimes it runs a very fast race, far faster than A, and sometimes it runs a very slow race, far slower than A. Which behavior horse B exhibits is random, and P(fast race) is 0.3 or the odds are 7:3 against horse B running a fast race. Read the rest of this entry »

## Gambling Wisdom: Freerolls

Gambling (general), Strategy
July 30, 2007

In this series I discuss topics that are well known within the gambling community, but that may be new to players who come to the game of poker from a non-gambling background.

A freeroll is a gambling situation in which you cannot lose money, but have a possibility of winning money. As you might imagine, such situations are usually quite attractive, and they come up in gambling and poker surprisingly frequently. Read the rest of this entry »