We card players are all familiar with Bill Thorpe’s contribution to winning at cards with his basic strategy for winning at blackjack. Some blackjack players are poker players and some poker players are also card counters. Even though one is a matter of mathematics and the other is a more complicated mix of psychology, mathematics, and showmanship, there are some similarities and winning at a card table, whether playing hold em or blackjack, is still sweet.
Computer models can be used to determine odds with any opening hand you may have and any flop and memorizing those odds and knowing the outs will make you a better player. In a way, that is basic strategy for poker. But is there also a way to rate your hand mathematically with a simple point system?
The answer to that is twofold, yes there is, but if you are looking for a magic bullet, guess again. Just as in blackjack, even when you have the edge, you may not win short term play, in poker, when you seem to have the upper hand, unless you have the nuts, you aren’t guaranteed to win. Beginners have to learn that principle and avoid the tendency to marry those strong hands. Weak hands don’t beat us but often times a strong hand, whether it is ours or someone else’s, will do us in because we stay in too long.
That being said, if you are a beginner, then using power points from power point poker can help to determine if your hand is playable and above average. Just because a hand is above average, of course, doesn’t mean it is a guaranteed winner, but knowing how it rates stacked up against others will help to make your decision easier. So the good news is, that there is a basic strategy, but like all basic strategies it is limited and there are no guarantees. In poker as in life, there is no substitute for practice. If you are a beginner, I recommend you learn basic strategy power points and practice, practice, practice.