Kelly Betting

The plan, it turns out, is the same as it has been: Bet big when we have the advantage and bet small when we don't. Only now we would like to correlate the size of our big bets more closely with the size of our advantage.

The question is how to quantify the betting scheme. Kelly" has determined that the optimal method of betting, so as to minimize the chance of ruin and "maximize profits,"1' is to wager an amount that's proportional to your current capital. The constant of proportionality, or "ramp" factor, turns out to be equal to (slightly less than) the percentage of your advantage."

Kelly wagering requires that you constantly re-evaluate your present bankroll in order to properly calibrate the next wager. The "Kelly Criterion" method of wagering therefore presses up the bet sizes of an increasing bankroll at opportune times when the player has the advantage (not just because the bankroll is increasing), and also limits the potential of "gambler's ruin" by decreasing wagers when the bankroll is dwindling.

 [ 1 ][ 2 ][ 3 ][ 4 ][ 5 ][ 6 ]
Table Talk

If you play in more than one game, keep separate track of that. For example, if you start in a \$3-\$fi hold'em game, move to \$4-\$8 Omaha, and then end up in \$5-\$10 seven-stud high-low, make separate entries for each with complete statistics. That way you'll know how you do in each variety of poker. You don't necessarily have to keep track of table changes if you go from one game to the same game at the same limit, but if you do very well at one table and poorly at the other, you may want to log those results separately to help track the factors that make the difference.