Poker Basics

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It is often important to disguise your big hands so that your opponents don't know what you have because you want to get as much value for them as you can. However, there is one special application of the Fundamental Theorem of Online Poker Games, which we hinted at: As a pot gets larger and larger, you nearly always want to win it instantly. Naturally you would like your opponent to play incorrectly and throw away the best hand. But even when your hand is the best hand, you generally prefer your opponent to fold rather than call when the pot is large. The reason is that when you bet in a limit games and the pot is large, your opponent's hand, though second best, is rarely so much of an underdog that he is not getting good enough odds to chase you. Hence, his calling you with good odds is a profitable play for him in the long run. Since he is correct to take the odds, you do not gain when he calls. You gain only when he folds and turns down those odds. When he calls, you lose even if you happen to win that particular pot; for over the long run his call has positive expectation. It will end up costing you money.

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