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October 17, 2019, 7:23 am

Greatest Falsehood in Poker

When one tosses a coin for the first time, what will be the probability that the heads will come up? The easy answer is 50%. But if this same coin has been tossed for three consecutive times and the heads came up all the time, what will be the probability that the tails will come up on the next toss? Some people will tend to think that the probability will be higher than 50%. After all, the tails must be due to come up. After so many instances of having heads, the tails will surely come up anytime soon. But the truth is that the probability of having the tails coming up remains at 50%.

There will always be two sides of the coin. And no matter how many times it will be tossed, and what was the result of the previous tosses, those two sides will always have equal probabilities of coming up. In instances, such as the tossing of coins, the past circumstances will have no influence on the present or on the future circumstances. The same principle applies in the game of poker. Once chances at winning the pot, in the beginning of the hand will be equal to the chances of winning the pot in the beginning of the next hand. And whatever the result of the previous hand (whether the poker player won or lost), such will not affect the result of the next hand.

Unfortunately, many poker players believe otherwise. A poker player may have been receiving garbage hands for several hours already. But he remains in the game believing that sooner or later, he will get the premium hands. He feels that after a losing streak, he is due for a win. Perhaps he will, but perhaps he will not. In the next hand, this poker player may receive a pair of Aces. Or he may never get those pair of Aces at all.

The idea of being "due" is contrary to the truth that past circumstances do not affect the future ones in gambling games like poker. One cannot predict when a poker player will be enjoying a winning streak or suffering a losing streak. Streaks follow no pattern. And the occurrences of streaks are purely luck.

Therefore, the poker player must relinquish the idea of being "due" for a win. In order to win in poker, the player must accept the fact that his chances can only be increased by his own mastery of the game. He should not be tempted, lured, or ruled by mere coincidences.

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