The Fundamental Theorem of Casino Malaysia theory that David Sklansky first presented in his book “The Theory of Poker”. The concept itself is very simple and even almost obvious, one could say; but it is precisely that simplicity of logic that allows us to understand how the game of poker works, and what we should do to play winning poker.
The Fundamental Theorem of Poker says, literally: “Every time you play a hand differently than you would have played it if you could have seen your opponents’ cards, they win; And every time you play your hand the way you would have played it if you could have seen all their cards, they lose. Similarly, whenever your opponents play their hands differently than they would have seen your cards, you win; and every time they play their hands the same way they would have played your cards, you lose.”
To keep things simple, this means that to play poker at its best, we should always play it as if we were looking at our opponents’ hole cards.If we had a worse hand, we would fold.If we had a better hand than our rival’s, we would raise the bet.
If both we and our opponent had marginal hands, but our opponent’s marginal hand was better than ours, we would bluff.
However. It is clear that we cannot see our opponent’s hole cards, but we can try to read his hand, and we can analyze the texture of the board , and deduce how much it could benefit our opponent’s draws. But doing this requires a skill that not all poker players have, although it is possible to acquire. The only way to do it is practice, experience; play hundreds of hands of poker until we become experts. The better we get, the closer we get to playing perfect holdem poker .
To further clarify the concept, let’s see a couple of examples. It is clear that we will take into account only our and our opponent’s cards, and the flop cards, and we will not involve elements that we must always take into account when deciding our play, such as the opponent’s playing style, the size of the stacks and the bets etc.
For the first example, suppose we are in a full ring game with 6 players at the table. We have pocket 9s, and we make a standard raise of 4 times the big blind. The player on the button calls our raise with an unsuited AK hand. The blinds fold, and the flop comes 2-6-9 offsuit. This gives us a high set.
Now we have to decide which is the best option. And the best we can do is pass. The reason is that our opponent only has Ace high and if we raise, he will most likely fold. This would mean that he is making the best possible decision and playing “perfect poker” , just as if he were looking at our cards.
For our part, that our rival abandons is not the best thing that can happen. What we want is for them to stay in the game, even if they have a worse hand than ours, to get the best possible value for our hand. If we check, our opponent is likely to try to bluff on the flop or turn. Or, better yet, perhaps a King or Ace would come on the flop, which would allow us to raise and our opponent to call the raise, since he will surely assume that he has the best hand.
Let’s look at one more example. We have pair of Aces and our opponent has KJ of the same suit. We raise pre-flop, our opponent calls, and the flop comes K -9 -8 of two different suits, one of which gives our opponent a flush draw.
The best decision is to bet, for several reasons. First, we want to get as much value as possible for our pair of Aces, against a worse hand than ours. The callers of our raise will be the high card holders, including our rival KJ. Also, we need to protect our hand. Therefore, we have to bet a sufficient amount so that our opponent does not have the odds that he needs to continue in the hand trying to complete his draw.
In the last example, we have a pair of 2s, we raise pre-flop, and an opponent calls the raise with a pair of 10s. The flop is A-Q-7, unsuited. The best poker strategy is to make a continuation bet. Our pair of 2s generally have showdown value. But this time we won’t win in that instance because our opponent has a pair of 10s. So, we try a bluff and bet. Our opponent is likely to fold.
Even with an A -9 -3 flop, we might want to continuation bet , as our opponent can’t be sure that we don’t have an Ace in hand.The idea presented by the Fundamental Theorem of Poker is, as we said, to play as if we were seeing the opponent’s cards, that is, to play perfectly. And, while we’ll never quite get there, we can try to get as close to this form of play as possible, putting our opponent in as close a range of hands as possible, and trying to figure out how the cards on the board may (or may not) help him. to complete your project or improve your hand.