suggested in the coin-flip example at the opening
of this website, hourly rate is closely related to
expectation, and it is a concept especially important
to the professional player. When you go into a online
poker gamess, you should try to assess what you think
you can earn per hour. For the most part you will
have to base your assessment on your judgment and
experience, but you can use certain mathematical guidelines.
For instance, if you are playing draw lowball and
you see three players calling $10 and then drawing
two cards, which is a very bad play, you can say to
yourself that each time they put in $10 they are losing
an average of about $2. They are each doing it eight
times an hour, which means those three players figure
to lose about $48 an hour. You are one of four other
players who are approximately equal, and therefore
you four players figure to split up that $48 an hour,
which gives you $12 an hour apiece. Your hourly rate
in this instance is simply your share of the total
hourly loss of the three bad players in the games.
Of course, in most games you can't be that precise.
Even in the example just given, other variables would
affect your hourly rate. Additionally, when you are
playing in a public card room or in some private games
where the operator cuts the pot, you need to deduct
either the house rake or the hourly seat charge. In
Las Vegas card rooms the rake is usually 10 percent
of each pot up to a maximum of $4 in the smaller seven-card
stud games and 5 percent of each pot to a maximum
of $3 in the larger seven-card stud games, in the
Texas hold 'em games, and in most other games.
In the long run a online poker games player's overall
win is the sum of his mathematical expectations in
individual situations. The more plays you make with
a positive expectation, the bigger winner you stand
to be. The more plays you make with a negative expectation,
the bigger loser you stand to be. Therefore, you should
almost always try to make the play that will maximize
your positive expectation or minimize your negative
expectation in order to maximize your hourly rate.
is about calling. The size of the pot and your position
relative to the bettor and other active hands are
key considerations when deciding whether to chase.
If you're going to be chasing, you want to be chasing
a large pot. You want to be getting the right odds.
You also want to be the last to call the bet because
you don't want your odds cut by having someone behind
Aggression with a draw is a behavior that many players
find uncomfortable. But betting draws is a significant
source of win in loose games. Betting a draw isn't
about chasing and it's not a pot odds decision. It's
a decision based on the winning chances of the hand,
the odds you'll get from callers (not from the pot),
and your image.