Poker strategy

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Poker is a popular card game that combines elements of chance and strategy. There are various styles of poker, all of which share an objective of presenting the least probable or highest-scoring hand. A poker hand is a configuration of five cards, either held entirely by a player or drawn partly from a number of shared, community cards. Players bet on their hands in a number of rounds as cards are drawn, employing various mathematical and intutitive strategies in an attempt to better opponents.

Given the game's many different forms and various dynamics, poker strategy becomes a complex subject. This article only attempts to introduce basic strategy concepts.


The fundamental theorem of poker

The fundamental theorem of poker, introduced by David Sklansky, states that: every time you play your hand the way you would if you could see your opponent's cards, you gain, and every time your opponent plays their cards differently from the way they would play them if they could see your cards, you gain.[1] This theorem is the foundation for many poker strategy topics. For example, bluffing and slow-playing (explained below) are examples of using deception to induce your opponents to play differently than they would if they could see your cards. There are some exceptions to the fundamental theorem in certain multi-way pot situations, as described in Morton's theorem.

Pot odds, implied odds and poker probabilities

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