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Guarding yourself against Suckouts

By: baud2death @ 16:25 (EST) / 941 / Comment ( 2 )

You can't...



Sorry if you thought this was going to be a magical "How-To" on how to avoid a Suckout but there is nothing at all you can do, sorry.

What you can do however is guard yourself against being bothered by it.


Suckouts are a part of poker. Just like blinds, antes, chips, dealers... If there were no suckouts every hand that was the best would win and this would be B-I-N-G-O instead of P-O-K-E-R.


You can't let yourself get bothered by them. Poker is all about making smart decisions at each decision point using skill and the data at hand to get the best results.


What you don't want to do is play sucky hands because of it. Just because your opponents are getting lucky doesn't mean that you need to play looser to make up for it.


In a spot where you have , flop comes . It is checked to you with $1000 in the pot and you make it a $500 bet which your single opponent calls.

Turn comes and your opponent checks and the pot is $2000. They have just $850 chips left so even a 50% bet here is a shove, so you shove and they call.

You show cards and he turns over

So what were the odds at each decision point for our Donkey-Fish?

Preflop : 31% to win

Flop : 2% to win

Turn : 9% to win


He now has 4 cards to help him win which is around a 9% chance.

This is the classic example of a poor player playing poor cards and getting the win.

You are a good 91% favorite to win and they are on the other side of that probability.


Lets simplify this a bit. Lets say our opponent is stupid enough that they are going to Shove-Bluff with this hand on the flop. Knowing what we know, the opponent would have had around a 2% chance to win and if they made this move 100 times, they would lose 98/100 of them.


Compare this to you, if you made this move 100 times, you would win 98/100 of them.


It can seem annoying when we get suckouts and that is just the nature of Poker. Unless you are only ever playing hands that you commit your entire stack to when you have the absolute nuts, suckouts will happen to you to you.


The key thing to realize is that the majority of the time, you will win and your suckout opponent will lose. A good dominating hand is around 70-90% fav to win in most cases. This means that if you play these types of hands well, you will be ahead a lot more than the type of opponent that is only winning 10-20% of the time.


What would you rather be? The player that is shouting "Gimmie a 4, gimmie a 5, gimmie something" at the Computer Screen or would you prefer to be the right type of player that doesn't need to rely on luck to win?


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