# Mathematics in poker

• Bronze
Joined: 19.07.2011
Hey guys

I want to get a grasp on why the ranges are what they are, how the tweak of one range affects another, and eventually the optimal range for my preferred playstyle. I have a degree in electrical engineering where i aced all my math classes including probabilty and statistics, but i forget so much so fast.
Still i feel i could teach myself to become adept in poker math to get myself even more interested and also gain an edge.

Do anybody play with math in poker or do you stick to software and/or tables etc. for that part?
If anybody have some good sources on where to learn id be appreciative.

Here's the first example i'm trying to work with:

Hero is MP and has AQo
Villain raises 3bb from UTG with assumed raise range: 66+, A9s+, KTs+, QTs+, JTs, ATo+, KJo+ (12.82%)

What is most profitable in the long run, and what variables affects EV the most, and how?
Should hero 3bet, call, or fold?
How does his stats affect my decision?

I want to be able to answer these questions myself, but i could use some pointers as to where i begin.

• 7 replies
• Moderator
Moderator
Joined: 27.01.2013
Hi Festfingre,

With AQo you would have over 50% equity against that UTG range. That hand is too strong to be folded, so it leaves call or 3bet.
Usually we don't want to 3bet that much vs tight UTG range. 3betting is still usually very profitable since ppl at the micros fold too much vs 3bets. Also by 3betting you avoid being squeezed. You are in position and your hand has blockers. So it is decent 3bet hand.

As a standard I would 3bet KK+ as value and weaker hands like AJo,KQo and ATs I would 3bet as a bluff (MPvUTG) and then I play mixed strategy with other big aces and KQs (meaning that I mix 50/50 calls and 3bets).

There are some variables that can affect our decision: does villain fold too much vs 3bets, is he exploitable postflop, is there active squeezers behind us.

I'm not sure if that was what you were asking for but I hope it helped a bit

Regards,
la55i
• Bronze
Joined: 19.07.2011
This answered my questions and that helps ofcourse.

But what i am more interested in is teaching myself the math to calculate the outcome of different scenarios.
This will give me a great deal of insight into why a certain range is good vs another etc.

I could go buy a probability book and relearn what i learned in school but i'd rather save time by viewing similar calculations.
Just don't know where to look
• Moderator
Moderator
Joined: 27.01.2013
I think you will find something helpful if you browse our strategy articles.
Those calculations are mainly for postflop. Constructing good pre flop ranges is a bit more difficult. W34z3l has one video about that, but unfortunately it is for gold members: https://www.pokerstrategy.com/video/40425/

To construct pre flop ranges I think some kind of tool like Flopzilla would be great. That will tell you how often you hit something on the flop and you can compare those to villains range etc..
• Bronze
Joined: 19.07.2011
I suppose using tools is what normal people do, and it is probably alot more effective.
Maybe calculating this manually wont give me any more insight than just playing around with the tools.

I should probably wait until i'm gold anyway, focusing on some areas too early may cost me money.

But thanks ill check out Flopzilla for sure
• Bronze
Joined: 16.12.2015
Originally posted by Festfingre
I suppose using tools is what normal people do, and it is probably alot more effective.
Maybe calculating this manually wont give me any more insight than just playing around with the tools.
If your looking to practice your range and position play , you try searching the web for poker hand drills software.
• Bronze
Joined: 05.11.2008
You can't do difficult calcultations ingame. Just a google search should give you plenty of formulas to use away from the tables.

In-game I basically only use the rule of 2 and 4 I think.

You can also just use you're own logic. If you can't do the basic stuff by using your logic, then maybe you're not going to learn much by doing manual calculations because you're not really going to grasp what all the numbers represent and how they should be interpreted.
Well, you'll probably learn some math.

If you don't have the PokerStrategy Equilab free for download, I'd highly recommend it. You can learn a lot quickly by Just putting in some different ranges and see what hands have what kind of equity against it.
• Bronze
Joined: 21.06.2007
Don't mix it up. There are poker maths questions AND there are questions about creating a game plan.
You questions seems more like "how to creat a gameplan" for me.

Math: there are some good gold strategy articles in here and the book "the mathematics of poker" is praised a lot (haven't read myself"
gameplan: it's getting more difficult. There are some articles (gold). More over there are some good videos. But also gold content only.

The thing is. Unless you are gold status, this content should be not that important practically. You can go with the pre defined gameplans that have been done by w34z3l's walk through the micros series. <-- pretty good one (video series - silver)