By Davida Mintz Nov 17, 2013
Have you ever had a copy of the answers for homework you haven’t completed? Notice how having the answer allows you to work backwards to teach yourself how to solve the problem. It works so well, I’m proposing we try it with combinatorics on Five-O-Poker. Remember, nearly every card is played face up, and the dealer goes through almost the entire deck in one game.
Combinatorics is sometimes called the science of counting. It helps to tell how weak or strong the cards in your opponent’s hand may be. Let’s start with the basics. Since there are four of every card in the deck, there are six ways to be dealt any pair pre-flop. Here’s an example with pocket aces.
AsAh AsAd AhAd
AsAc AhAc AcAc
Let’s use the edge we’ve gained to count some cards on Five-O-Poker. Here’s what to watch for. Your opponent is clearly trying to pair his ace. You know there are three left in the deck, and if you have all three, he’s out of luck. If you’re the one dealt a single ace, you have a 32% chance of making it a pair. For your first exercise, pay attention to pairing face cards. It’s time to put this to use on Five-O-Poker, but don’t forget to come back. The article is only half over.
Don’t worry if it was overwhelming. It’s hard to keep up in the beginning, but completely worth it because Five-O-Poker allows you to learn combinatorics visually. The top poker players could benefit from this opportunity available only on Five-O-Poker.
A flush is one of the strongest hands in poker, especially a nut flush (A high flush.) That’s why it’s important to know that your odds of making one are 19%. The main thing to remember is that there are 13 cards of each suit in a deck. Try counting suited cards on Five-O-Poker. When your opponent is working on a diamond flush, he’ll need five, so count the number of diamonds in his five rows, and yours. Let’s say there are nine, and he only needs one more to hit his flush. Watch for the four diamonds to be dealt to see if his flush comes in. Do the same if you’re working on a flush. See how many possibilities, or “outs” you have, then decide whether to continue, or look for a better purpose for that row.
Five-O-Poker makes it possible to learn Combinatorics while looking at the cards. In tradional poker, it’s up to the player to evaluate what they think their opponent has, without seeing the cards.