In the introduction to this side, we introduced the
notion of non randomness. Scientists claim that nothing
in this universe is really random, ergo everything
must be predictable. Let's apply this notion to Online
In January 1990, the New York Times published an article
by Gina Kolata describing the results of a major study
on card shuffles. The study, conducted by Dr. Persi
Diaconis, a Harvard mathematician, proved conclusively
that it takes seven shuffles to obtain randomness
in a single deck of cards. In describing the study
results, Ms. Kolata wrote, "The realization that
most shuffled decks are not actually random allows
gamblers to improve their odds of winning." She
went on to quote Dr. Diaconis: "There are people
who go to the casino and make money on this,"
he said. "we know people who are out there doing
that now." Diaconis may have been referring to
my students and me, because we had known about this
phenomenon for almost a decade prior to the publication
of his study.
Most of our research was aimed at detecting biases
in the shoe game because, even if the dealer shuffled
seven times (and few, if any, do), with the extra
decks it was still insufficient to obtain a random
should be able to sense how much better you're playing.
If someone tries to sell you a package of 50 lessons,
run, do not walk, in the other direction. Poker teachers
haven't earned the reputation of dance studios, but
the year is young.
Watch out for mentors who frequently use the words
"always" and "never." Poker is
not a game of absolutes: Context is king. After you
master basic principles, you will find out there are
times when it's right not to follow them. Using hand
guidelines can help you when you start, but everything
in poker depends on circumstances. Sometimes you need
to deliberately violate guidelines. A good mentor
will teach you those times.
If a potential mentor guarantees that you'll be a
winner, find someone else. The mentor has no idea
what your potential is. Guaranteed improvement is
credible; guaranteed winning is not.