Glossary

Fundamental Theorem of Poker

David Sklansky, renowned American poker player and theorist, proposes his fundamental theorem of poker (FToP) in his book "The Theory of Poker". This is, in his opinion, the most important statement of poker theory:

Whenever a player plays differently to how he would have played if he had known his opponents' cards, his opponents profit; and any time a player makes the same move he would have made if he had known his opponents' cards, he profits.

The consequence of this is that one profits by causing the opposition to make mistakes. If a player knows his opponents' cards, there would be at least one correct move that maximises EV, i.e. generates the maximum profit or minimum loss. As soon as a player deviates from this move, he makes a mistake with regards to the fundamental theorem of poker, which leads to his obtaining a sub-optimal EV. In poker terms, profits that could have been are the same as losses.


Related Topics:

Expected Value, Equity