Title: Texas Hold’em Poker Odds for Your Strategy, with Probability-Based Hand Analyses;   Author: Catalin Barboianu;   paperback: ISBN 9789731991344, 210 pages, 6 x 9 in format.



In the flop stage, what are your odds of achieving a straight by river and what are the odds of your opponents achieving something higher? If you will achieve the straight, what are the new odds of your opponents beating it in the river stage? How about the full house? How strong is your hand from mathematical point of view and how can you use this information in your play? This is the kind of questions that this book deals with.

In improving poker skills, acquisition of information is vital, whether we talk about data a player collects during a specific game or pre-established mathematical facts behind the card distribution, including prediction. Texas Hold’em Poker is a game highly suitable for probability-based decisions. The power of a single card changing the hand hierarchies at every stage is a strong argument that every objective strategy should be probability based and so the card odds should be part of such a strategy. The author of this book claims that poker players don’t need to go back to school in order to use mathematics in their poker strategy, because they can use only the relevant mathematical results without following their theoretical basis and computation, if these results are well organized and presented properly for the common player. Providing these results, their organization, and guidance on how to use them is the applied mathematicians’ job and not player’s, and this book is the proof of that claim.

The book is a complete probability guide of Hold’em Poker, covering all possible gaming situations, an improved edition of the bestseller Texas Hold’em Odds, published in 2004. In this edition, the author focused on the practical side of the presentation and use of the probabilities involved in Hold’em, while taking into account everywhere the subjective side of the probability-based criteria of each player’s strategy.

The first part of the book deals with the odds of specific card formations, from one pair to straight flush, at every stage of the game, grouped in three large categories: long-shot odds for own hand, long-shot odds for opponent’s hands and immediate odds. These odds are collected in tables at the end of each section and, where generating two-dimensional tables was not possible, the compact formulas returning the odds are provided. All tables and formulas are followed by examples of how to use them for finding the desired odds in a specific gaming situation. All probability results were worked out through compact mathematical formulas and not by the use of any software based on partial simulations. The chapter "Operating with and Weighting the Odds" is the main new material added to the first edition and deals with the rules of estimating and evaluating the probabilities of complex gaming events in order to use them in a strategy, by using the odds provided in the first part of the book. When we are allowed to add together the partial probabilities of a union of events for an overall probability and when we are not, methods of approximation and tips of avoiding hard calculations, all have their dedicated subchapters, packed with suggestive examples of application on concrete hands. The author also introduces the concept of strength matrix of a hand, within the adequate mathematical model of the strength of a Hold’em hand, and argues why the strength of a hand should be defined through mathematical probabilities. At this point, he proves that what most of the so-called odds calculators return are not mathematical probabilities and cannot stand as objective strength indicators for Hold’em hands.

The last chapter is a suggestive collection of probability-based hand analyses on concrete Hold’em hands that can be generalized to categories of hands having identical results associated.

The author is a recognized authority on casino/gaming mathematics and his books are in the official bibliography of the students of several gambling institutes and organizations around the globe. This book is the most trusted and professional source for the mathematical facts of Hold’em Poker, a must-have completion for any strategy book.

About the Author
Catalin Barboianu is a Romanian mathematician and author, whose fields of expertise and publication are topology, probability theory, mathematical modeling, and philosophy of mathematics. From 2003, his main work was focused on applied mathematics, especially on applications of probability theory in daily life, including in gaming, the outcome being six books on mathematics of gambling, published in several languages. His books have a guide style and are primarily addressed to non-mathematicians, being listed in the official bibliographies of the students of several gaming institutes and organizations around the globe. He also published several articles in leading academic and gaming periodicals,and became a recognized authority on mathematics of games and gambling. He is an active member of MAA (Mathematical Association of America), SIAM (Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics), and BSPS (British Society for the Philosophy of Science).

   From the publisher
In the recent years, several books on Texas Hold'em mathematics have been published that claim to deal with the probability aspects of the game. Some of their authors claimed to cover all Hold'em odds, while in fact they presented only a minute part of all probabilities involved in Hold'em, as you will see in our book. Most of the authors of these books are poker players who don't have the mathematical background required for such endeavor. Infarom is a publisher specializing in applied mathematics and we recommend that poker players first check the mathematics credentials of the authors of the books on mathematics of poker they want to acquire, as these credentials have a strong influence on the quality and reliability of mathematical information delivered by those books.