Poker Articles

Chaos Theory and Poker – Getting Mathematical For Higher Profits


A few people have asked about poker math, and more specifically, chaos theory. Now, we don’t like getting too technical on here, because poker is about settling back to have a good time. However, we also want to give you any type of information that you’re going to help you be more profitable.

Simply put, chaos theory is a whole field of study that revolves around the “butterfly effect” — the idea that small inputs have bigger effects than we know about. Chaos is actually all around us. You might think that poker is a set of static conditions, but it’s not that way at all. You will have more factors affecting your win-rate than you can even imagine. It’s going to be up to you to figure out how to weave in what you’ll learn about chaos theory into your regular poker games.

chaos theoryChaos theory also deals with error — we have to estimate a lot of the data that we use all of the time in the world of poker, and sometimes we’ll get it wrong. So we have to assume that our strategy will be thrown off not just by the luck of the cards, but also that the assumptions we make about the players around us can be wrong. This includes misreading players. You might think that a player is being passive, when they’re actually switching into a tight play. If your strategy is completely based on that player going loose passive, you’re going to be thrown for a loop when they start trying to shove their weight around the game.

This is also where leaks come into play. You might think that as long as you’re coming out positive in terms of making money, that everything is alright. Not only are you leaving money on the table, but your poker leaks are actually making your strategy erode on its own over time, according to chaos theory. This is definitely not where you want to go.

This is just an opening introduction to chaos theory. Given that this is a highly technical topic, we’ll try to break it down into multiple sections. This is just to get you thinking in the right direction. For now, take the time to really look at the data behind all of your poker games. Reviewing your statistics coupled with hand history can give you insight that you might not have considered before. Good luck!