Increase your chances by reducing risk

Mar 28, 2005 2:15 AM

In a recent column here in GamingToday I wrote that everything in life is a gamble!

Today I would like to continue to write about life and the living of it and about poker and the playing of the games of chance.

You should try to take as much of the gamble as you can out of the living of your life. You should always attempt to minimize the risk of all the things that relate to the work you choose and the life you live.

This is also very true when you find yourself in gambling situations.

But when you get right down to it, an awful lot of things are just games of chance.

However, if you follow the rules of the game, you will be able to eliminate a lot of the risk involved.

For example, playing poker is a lot like driving your car.

If you set up your poker game plan in advance and follow the rules of the game that you wish to play that day, you’ll probably be all right.

Yes, most of the time if you stick to your poker game plan, you will be able to take the money home and count it there.

If you are planning a driving trip from Las Vegas to Los Angeles, you service your car and get ready for the trip.

If you obey the speed limit, watch the red lights, and drive defensively you will probably complete your journey without much trouble.

I have never touched another man’s fender in over 70 years of defensive driving.

But if you drive helter-skelter as fast as you can, run a few of those red lights and speed through a stop sign or two, someone’s going to fly into the side of your car and wreck it.

Sure you may get away with a few violations here and there, but sooner or later the police will catch up with you and/or you may hurt yourself or someone else.

Games of chance are the same way. If you don’t follow certain recommended rules, you’re going to have a wreck just as you may have had when you were driving recklessly, the poker police will get you and you will damage your pride and your bankroll.

You need to have a knowledge of all the rules of the game you’re playing and be able to evaluate the risks therein in order to minimize the gamble.

The mathematics of the probability of things occurring at a certain rate is what builds the billion dollar hotels and casinos in Las Vegas.

The mathematicians with the computer at their command know what the math probability is of each of their games of chance.

They take this information and set the payouts in the casino’s favor.

The house odds are always in their favor, and when you buck the tiger, the tiger will always win; so play games of chance very carefully.

Do not take unnecessary risk. The odds on the games of chance in the casino vary greatly, from very small to very great against you. Learn these odds and play the games with the least risk to you.

I recommend poker where you can sometimes control the risk and change the odds to your favor.

Sure there is luck in the living of your life and yes there may be a little luck now and then in a poker game. But if you know the math and the rules, you will find situations where you have the odds in your favor and you can use this information to win and it is fun and profitable to cash the chips at the cage.

Oklahoma Johnny Poker Tip of the Week

Last week, I asked Carol this question — Honey, if I give you two aces in a no limit hold’em poker game, and both of us are all-in, and you let me choose any two cards from the deck (except the other two aces), which two cards do you think I will choose that will give me the best chance to outdraw your pocket rockets?

Well a lot of you folks could not wait for the answer, so those that emailed me at [email protected] learned I would take the two 9s but that two 8s, two 7s, two 6s were all of equal value.

Now this is one of the very few cases where smaller is bigger or the little ones are better to hold than the bigger cards.

Here is why. If you choose the Ks or Qs or Js or the 10s (or the 2s, 3s, 4s or the 5s), you may improve your hand by catching the third one and still lose the pot when it help’s the aces make a straight.

The odds are the same that you will catch another 9, 8, 7or 6 just as easy as for you to catch another K, Q, J or 10, or the little one’s (2, 3, 4or 5).

If you are lucky enough to improve your pair by catching a third one you do not want to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory by having it make the ace’s a straight.

If you improve your pair of 9, 8, 7 or 6s it will not help the aces make a straight and you must improve the hand to trips or better to beat the aces.

Sure this is just a small chance, but I have seen it happen so often that you think that the poker god (you remember a few months ago I told you about one of the poker gods — old King Tantalus) is just tantalizing you by giving you a set (three of a kind) only to take the pot away from you.

Until next time remember to stay lucky.