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The Fundamental Theorem of Online Poker Games
 
There is a Fundamental Theorem of Algebra and a Fundamental Theorem of Calculus. So it's about time to introduce the Fundamental Theorem of online poker games. online poker games, like all card games, is a game of incomplete information, which distinguishes it from board games like chess, backgammon, and checkers, where you can always see what your opponent is doing. If everybody's cards were showing at all times, there would always be a precise, mathematically correct play for each player. Any player who deviated from his correct play would be reducing his mathematical expectation and increasing the expectation of his opponents.

Of course, if all cards were exposed at all times, there wouldn't be a game of online poker games. The art of online poker games is filling the gaps in the incomplete information provided by your opponent's betting and the exposed cards in open-handed games, and at the same time preventing your opponents from discovering any more than what you want them to know about your hand.

That leads us to the Fundamental Theorem of online poker games:

Every time you play a hand differently from the way you would have played it if you could see all your opponents' cards, they gain; and every time you play your hand the same way you would have played it if you could see all their cards, they lose. Conversely, every time opponents play their hands differently from the way they would have if they could see all your cards, you gain; and every time they play their hands the same way they would have played if they could see all your cards, you lose.
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Is the Comfort Worth It?
 
Playing in your bathrobe probably won't hurt your Internet poker results, but many of the other acts you can indulge in while safely ensconced in the privacy of your own home can. Beer and poker might go together, but beer (and/or other drugs) and winning poker don't go together.

Just as playing multiple games can lower your expected bets-per-hour winning rate, so, too, can distractions such as television, food, drink, and other work. These other distractions can't add to your bottom line the way playing in a second or third game can.

Playing in a completely relaxed state might be fine if you're looking to Internet poker as a way to relax. If you want to win, you might want to turn the TV off and stay focused on the task at hand.
 
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