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How to Make Decisions Under Uncertainty in Poker


Poker is a game that pushes a player’s analytical, mathematical and interpersonal skills to the limit. It is also a game that indirectly teaches life lessons that can be applied to other areas of your life.

One of the most important things poker teaches is how to make decisions under uncertainty. There will always be uncertainty in the game because you don’t know what cards your opponents are holding, how they will bet and play those cards or what other hands might come into play. However, there are certain things you can do to reduce this uncertainty. One of these is by learning how to read other players and their betting behavior, or in poker parlance, studying their tells. This can include everything from eye movements, to idiosyncrasies of hand gestures, betting patterns and more.

Another way to decrease uncertainty is by playing in position, or in other words, acting before your opponent does. This can allow you to pass on a hand if it is weak, or bet if it is strong. It will also enable you to control the size of the pot, which is important when determining how much to raise.

A final piece of advice is to always play within your bankroll. This means only playing with money you are willing to lose and making sure you never play a game with players who are above your skill level. Also, be sure to track your wins and losses if you’re serious about becoming a better player.