No, you don't need to have good math skills to win at poker. I mean, you do have to know that having 13 outs on the flop means you're near 50/50 and you need to understand pot odds when calling all in in tournaments, but those aren't a very big part of the game. You can learn that in a week or two and just check out some table with percentages of certain hands vs certain hands to quickly get a feel of the math.
So what do I think poker is really all about? I really think it has more to do with logic and trends and observing other playing styles. You need to understand what I call other players' level of commitment, meaning what hands does the player feel committed to go all the way with if he hits. If you sit down at a table and see two people go all in on a flop of K35 and one person shows KT and the other K9, what would you think about that compared to say sitting on a table with that same flop and two other players showing 33 and 55 in an all in? So it's also important to understand table dynamics, how loose or how tight people are (or how fishy they are) or how they are adjusting after losing or winning a bit pot.
At certain tables, raising on the button is enough to steal the blinds. But at other tables, raising after the small or big blind raises you because they assumed you're stealing is actually the button steal. (Hope that makes sense). These are things you have to note at certain tables. There are also things like betting frequency. If someone keeps raising pre-flop, you must take a stand and 3 bet them like every 6 to 7 hands (it doesn't matter if you have 27 or 35). These are not mathematical concepts for the most part. (Well, maybe you can argue they are, but I wouldn't think so).
There's more I can talk about but for the most part, math is a small part of poker. You can be a winning player by just studying opponents and having sharp instincts and just understanding the table, and making other adjustments.
· 5 years ago