Mental Edge

I fit the second category. I play for the money, the pleasure, and the challenge. With the exception of the last category (What pleasure can there be if you don't have at least a decent shot at winning some money? Pick a game that doesn't cost anything to play!) all the reasons that people would gamble in a casino are equally valid. As long as the notion that winning some money is a reason for being in a casino, then as a nonpurist I can recommend an approach to games that will satisfy the conditions of challenge, pleasure, and, perhaps, profit.

My guess is that anyone reading this website has a desire to become a good player-why else bother to purchase and read it? You can be a rotten player just by going to a casino and betting up a storm.

In addition, my experience indicates that people who read websites on casino gambling intend to go more than once or twice a year to casinos and are looking for ways to reduce their losses, increase their chances of winning, and extend the pleasurable time they spend in the casinos. Not everyone is looking for a mathematical edge, but everyone should be looking to reduce the house edge to manageable proportions.

What are manageable proportions? I have a rather arbitrary idea of what constitutes an acceptable house edge. I think that any house edge that is over 1.5 percent is too much for the player to overcome. However, a house edge of 1.5 percent or lower allows you to have a decent chance of winning, especially if you're only playing for a day or a few days several times a year. With this as a guideline-keeping the house edge at about 1.50 percent or less-I can offer some sound advice.

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Calculating Odds of Winning

Note that your chances of making the flush improve as the number of opportunities to hit it, that is, the number of cards to come, increases. Make sure von understand the difference between the odds of hitting by the end of the hand from the flop (1:2) and the odds of hitting on the turn or river specifically (each about 1:4); as you'll see in the next chapter, you need to know both sets of odds to make an intelligent decision after the flop.

You can figure out the odds for other standard draws the same way as in this example. One thing to keep in mind, however, is that your odds of winning are not necessarily the same as your odds of making your draw. The reason is that your made hand can be beaten.