Poker is a game that goes much beyond just luck. It has various elements involved. Your skill and the ability to gauge the possible outcomes play a crucial role in your poker success. And who in poker is not aware of variance?
Poker variance is the natural statistical fluctuations that occur in short-term results. It refers to the ‘ups and downs’ in the possibilities of winning. In other words, variance in poker is the difference between how much you expect to win based on your win rate over the long run and the short-term results.
Thus a variance can drive a player to experience different periods of both winning and losing, although they might be playing well or poorly.
Let’s consider an example to understand poker variance better. Say, a player is dealt a strong hand, such as Pocket Rockets. This is the best-starting hand one can have. But that does not mean they will win the hand. They might still end up losing if their opponent’s hand improves on the following streets. Here there is a difference between the results that a player expects and the actual results he/she achieves. This is known as poker variance.
Several skilled players are able to make decisions that will eventually help them increase their long-term win rate. However, in the short-term, poker variance can significantly impact their results.
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Recently, Poker Org shared a poker hand that took place at the World Series of Poker (WSOP) Circuit Gargantuan final table at Choctaw Casinos. The three-way pot displays how poker variance can affect your game irrespective of the cards you have and how well you play your game.
In the hand, three hands are in contention, namely A ♦ K ❤ , Q ♣ Q ♦ and A ♠ Q ♣. All these are great combinations of cards to have in poker. In the battle of the beat hands, what makes things interesting is the board.
The flop brought A ♣ 4 ♦ Q ❤ , giving the first player an Ace-pair, the second player a three-of-a-kind, and the third player gets two pairs (AA, QQ). Note that all of these are pretty strong hands to hold.
The turn then brings another Ace, which again improves all three hands in contention. Now the first player has a three-of-a-kind with aces, while the second and third players both get a full boat with queens and aces full, respectively.
Finally, the river brings a T ♠, and the player with aces full wins the pot. The hand beautifully conveys how variance can impact your short-term result and how variance changes with each street, even though you may have been dealt with the best of hands.
Amarylisa Gonsalves is a Content Writer at Gutshot Magazine. Advancing from a marketing background, she found her calling in writing. She takes delight in exploring genres and is a curious learner. Patient and ambivert, she believes in letting her work speak for itself. Apart from content writing, she finds solace in writing poetry by expressing herself through words. Additionally, she adores indulging in anything that satisfies her creative self, like drawing and DIY crafts.
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