Model Of Poker Theory

What is a Model?

A model of online poker is a structured representation of a poker theory. It is a descriptive of the theory but not necessarily of the outcome. Often a model is used to derive the predictive elements of a poker theory. A model can be in the form of an explicit mathematical statement or it can be a conceptual structuring.

An example is a game-theory model of the poker-is-a-struggle-for-the-ante theory. Game theory model can be used to derive a list of opening hands by position. In typical tight games, where it is heads-up after the first round of betting, we can use the same game theory model to determine the hands with which we should be willing to call an opening bet. We can extend the use of the same model to determine when to bet, to call or bluff on the river.

For a game such as holdem poker draw , where in most games the players tend to be relatively tight and you only have two rounds of betting, you can use a game-theory model to almost completely identify a winning poker playing strategy. That strategy does not extend for a game with more than two betting rounds. It doesn't help all that much for a game such as hold'em.

Although a game-theory model does help us consider some situations, a game like Hold'em requires a different approach to the game. Hold'em is very complicated and it is doubtful that we could formulate a complete model of the game even if we could do so, the mathematics of solving it would very likely be difficult. We can develop theories relating to the aspects of the game and use the models that those theories suggest to consider tightly defined situations.

This is the one use of the game-theory model suggested by the ante theory. As mentioned earlier, that model can be used productively to analyze opening hand requirements in tight game conditions.


The other model is suggested by the theory that holdem poker is a struggle between made hands and drawing hands. This theory suggests the use of a multinomial-probability model to analyze the play of drawing hands. By "multinomial" it means a model that assumes multiple discrete outcomes such as win large pot, win small pot, lose small pot, and lose large pot. Multinomial is like flipping a coin with more two sides. The best example of multinomial is a dice game.

The theory that money flows from bad players to good players suggest a conceptual model of a game which indicates that table selection involves looking for a table with large pots. This step from theory to model is not always apparent - but it is an important factor in an analysis of the game.

Variables in Theory

Implicit in a theory of poker is the concept of a variable. This might change value or might even be a constant with an indeterminate value. By indeterminate, it means we would know its value until the hand is complete, for example, the hand we are dealt is a variable. It is a different kind of variable in that it is random, but it is not indeterminate - we know our hand as soon as we look at it.

The hand our rival is dealt is also a variable, in the same manner our hand is, but it is indeterminate we don't know his hand until the showdown. Anyway, the description of the hand you have been dealt as a random variable is something of an example what was talked earlier in the blur in the distinction between a theory and a model. However, it is not correct to call the deal random - once you have specified the initial order of the cards, tracked the exact shuffle and cut the deck, it is absolutely deterministic and predictable. There is no track of things like the exact shuffle, so it makes sense to think of them as occurring as a result of randomness. Randomness is a model of the shuffling process not a theory of shuffling.

Strategy and Tactics

Although it is not directly related to theories and models, it is good place to differentiate between the poker strategy and poker tactics. Strategy is about the meta-game. A best strategy is one that maximized your excepted playing result over a period of time maybe a playing session of a few hours, maybe a longer period such as months or years. Tactics are about the individual decisions that make up the play of the hand. A best tactic is one that maximizes the expected result of the particular situation.

The topics discussed about the game and seat selection are strategic issues. There is no expectation of an immediate payoff from selecting a good game or a good seat. There is no possibility of an immediate payoff. No one is going to toss you a few chips as soon as you sit down.

Playing poker as a string of tactically best plays does not usually lead to an optimal strategy. However, best playing strategy will lead to best playing tactics. This is because a focus on strategic issues tends to maximize the opportunity for profit. Without maximizing opportunity, you can't maximize profit. For example, if you play in a game continuously where the other players aren't going to lose much money, then no amount of tactical superiority will win as much money as you would win by playing in a game where other players will always play until they go broke. Strategic issues such as game selection, come first. Only then can you deal with tactical issues such as a choice of what drawing hands to play. In poker it is generally the case that strategy focuses on the other players and tactics focus on the cards. This distinction is not so accurate but you should not go wrong by thinking of holdem bluffing strategy and tactics in these ways.

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