Poker may seem like a simple game of cards but there is a lot more to it than meets the eye. There are several types of digital card games these days, with many poker games available to play online and it is now possible to enjoy playing against real people from the comfort of your own home. There is a great deal to learn when it comes to playing poker and one of the toughest elements of the game for a new player to learn is calculating the odds of success.
This can involve knowing the odds or probability of a specific card being overturned and the impact this will have not only on your own hand but that of the other players. For those who struggle to work this information out quickly during the process of an online poker game, there is some help at hand thanks to the introduction of poker calculators.
In simple terms, a poker calculator can help you to make decisions based on your hand. It can calculate the odds of you having a winning hand based on the cards you have received and the number of players in the game. The majority of good quality poker calculators will provide you with results in seconds. They work by calculating all the remaining possible hands based on the known information and evaluating your own hand against them or taking a random sampling and forming a prediction based on the sample.
Basically, the poker calculator will provide you with the odds of winning a hand. At this point, it is worth noting the software is not going to play the game for you and create a winning hand each time. It will assist you to make an informed decision based on the information available.
So, having calculated the odds, the calculator will tell you if you should stay in the game until the end or fold.
Moving on and we come to something known as the Independent Chip Model and every player entering a poker tournament should be aware of this model. Known as ICM, it calculates the fairness in an online poker tournament. The data used for the ICM includes size of the prize pool, the number of players remaining in the tournament, the number of paid seats, and the size of the different paid seats. Using this information, it is possible to decipher the likeliness of winning the tournament.
As you can imagine, it is extremely difficult for most players to work out this information, even when given plenty of time to do so. Now imagine trying to do it in the middle of a tournament. That is where an ICM calculator comes into play. However, it is worth pointing out that the ICM calculator does not consider the skill level of the players involved in a specific game. Therefore, if you are a highly skilled poker player and you are participating in a tournament against players with a lot less experience than yourself, you are advised not to ‘sell’ your mat for the amount shown on the ICM calculator. In the long term, you are likely to make more money by continuing the tournament.