Learning how to count cards in poker is something that takes time and patience. It is considered more prevalent in Blackjack. However, it can also work in poker, which we’ll discuss in today’s blog.
Counting cards in poker is complex, and if you’re familiar with counting cards in Blackjack, you should note early that poker counting cards are different but can still be as effective.
We’re going to talk about how to count poker cards and MFortune.co.uk how to apply the strategy in Texas Holdem, so next time you play, you can put your counting into practice.
There are always legalities around counting cards in poker. Players are always left wondering if it’s even legal. So, we’ll also look at how the industry perceives it and finish with some tips to lead you on your way.
What Is Card Counting in Poker?
How to count cards poker style is very different from Blackjack, so how does counting cards work in poker? Let’s look.
In online poker, the deck is shuffled after every hand. Unlike in Blackjack, what happened in the hand before does not affect what will happen in the next hand.
You will not be counting cards to gain the house edge; this is where poker vs blackjack counting differs. Instead, you are making decisions that will be profitable to you over your fellow players.
You are trying to gain an advantage over your fellow players, not the casino. In poker, you don’t go up against the casino. You’re up against other players, which is why card counting isn’t frowned upon like in Blackjack. In Blackjack, you are trying to beat the dealer, so by card counting, you are gaining a house edge over the casino, which is why it becomes illegal.
What Is Poker Equity and How to Calculate it?
You will find many different types of poker at your favourite online casinos, MFortune but what is poker equity? It is merely your chance of winning your hand if the money is all-in.
It is calculated by applying the percentage chance of winning your hand to the total amount in the pot. Understanding what is happening around you will help you become a better poker player, which involves calculating your equity.
If your opponent has the better hand and you have reached the flop, it’s time to work out your equity because all is not lost. You still have a chance of taking down the pot.
Equity is not calculated on the river. If no more cards are to be dealt, and you don’t have any other chances to improve your hand, you express your chances of winning that hand as a percentage.
Let’s say an Ah and Kh were up against a 5h and 5c, and they were all-in before the flop. The 5h and 5c would have the highest equity. It’s always better to have a pair when all in. You can find equity calculators on the web to help you.
How to Count Cards in Texas Holdem Poker
Count cards in Texas Holdem Poker is an option, provided you know how to play poker first. If you’re a novice poker player, we suggest you learn the ropes before getting bogged down in counting cards. Once you know the basics, you can get the ball rolling.
If you have a hand in poker and look at the flop, you must start making decisions. You need to decide if you will carry on playing based on what your opponents are doing. You’ll need to think fast; are you going to call, raise or fold, and that is where your card-counting skills will come in handy.
You will need to work out your equity, which we discussed above, and your fellow players’ equity to make a profitable decision on your next move.
It’s all about forward-thinking. You can gain a strategic advantage over your players if you have a particular card.
For example, if you have a card, only several poker hand combinations can be made with that card. If you hold an Ah and a Kc and the board reads Jh, 9h, 6h, 5s, and 3c, your opponent cannot create an Ace-flush because you hold the card they need, the Ace of Hearts. And that is card counting in poker!
Is Card Counting Legal?
Counting cards poker style is not considered illegal. It is often encouraged to help you earn more over an extended period. It is legal and often a crucial part of your game and strategy.
To give you the advantage, you should use your hole cards and the community cards to figure out which cards your opponent has. This isn’t illegal because you are not gaining an unfair advantage over the house, you are merely trying to beat your opponent’s hand, and this is where it differs from Blackjack.
Still, casinos can remove professional blackjack card counters from the table if they so wish.
Tips for Counting Cards In Poker
Count the outs
A card that will make your hand (or your opponent’s hand) better or worse is called an ‘out’. If you can count the outs you have, it can make you a better poker player. From this, you will be able to work out whether or not you can improve your hand.
The same applies if you can work out the outs of your fellow players. If you can work out what percentage they have of improving their hand, it can help you make profitable decisions regarding your own hand.
We mentioned that card counting is about forward-thinking, and if you can master the art of outs, you will be able to predict how strong your hand is.
RELATED ARTICLE: How to Count Cards in Blackjack
Work out the pot equity
Earlier, we explained poker equity and how you can calculate it, which is why it has become one of our top tips. If you can count out the pot equity, you’ll know the percentage you have of winning the pot to help you make better decisions.
Calculating pot equity is something that will come with experience. The more you play, the better player you’ll be.
If you can calculate the pot equity, you’ll know whether to continue playing with your current hand. If your calculations suggest that you have more than 50% equity, you have a good chance of being able to improve your hand and keep playing.