Miracle cards
Friday February 17th 2006, 3:09 am
Filed under: Casual Play,Full Tilt Poker,No-Limit Hold'em

After my prior rant, I want to get back to a more “normal” post. After the disturbing tourney/SnG session earlier on I decided to give the ring games a whirl as this seems to be the quickest way to clear my signup bonus – after all you get points for every raked hand you’re in, so multi-tabling is definitely an option. So that’s what I did.

I finished the night slightly up despite running into some slow played made hands – sometimes it’s really ironic when you think that you’re slow-playing someone with a made hand, but (s)he thinks the same as his/her made hand is even stronger which happened on numerous occasions tonight (note to self: have another look at the board and if your current made hand isn’t the nuts try to find out where you’re at).

Preface: This is not a post about how online poker is rigged ๐Ÿ˜‰ I know that it isn’t. I’m just trying to figure out what happened today..so I need to do a little bit ofรƒโ€šร‚ thinking aloud. I guess it could all be related to the fact that you’re paying more attention to “bad beats”/”miracle cards” (happening at the table not necessarily including you in the hand) when you’re experiencing a bad day poker wise…

Looking closer at the post title:

  1. “miracle card” – What is a mircale card? I would define it as a card that saves your behind when you’re behind, usually on the river – although that definition is a little bit loose as this would be the same as an out (outs). So I guess it’s better defined as a single card (or a single card of one kind) that can save your behind, usually on the river (i.e. your opponent is holding 8c-9c, you’re holding K-Q, board 10c-Jc-8h-8s- ? The miracle card you need is any Ace which isn’t a club…so basically a three outer, even better: opponent J-J, you 10-10, board 8-7-8-3-? the only card that can save you is a ten – this example came quite easily as I’ve seen that exact hand and the miracle ten drop in one of the ring games).
  2. “miracle cards” – you need two running perfect cards to beat your opponent, possibly while having to dodge some of those outs (i.e. you need a running 9 and 10, but neither of those can be of a suit (i.e. no spade)).

How often does a miracle card hit?

  1. We all know a little “outs-theory”…so if you’re in need of ten to hit and you don’t hold any or see any there’s 4 outs…or if you need to hit a card of a certain suit and you hold two and see two..there’s 9 outs (unless one of the cards completes a better hand for your opponent)…I would say that a miracle card is more in the ranges of a one-three outer…
  2. If we consider one-three outers to be a “miracle card” how come that I’ve seen such a miracle card around five times in 3 orbits on three different tables this evening? I mean the chances of a miracle card to hit the river is 2/52 (in case of a two outer…although this isn’t considering some information that we have got and some we haven’t got…hmm…how should I explain that: …you know that the deck consists of 52 cards…10 player table…10x 2 hole cards dealt (20 cards gone)…burn a card preflop (21)…drop the flop (24)…burn a card prior to the turn (25)…drop the turn (26)…burn a card prior to the river (27)… – so we know that 27 cards out of 52 are already gone…in an online scenario you only know 6 of them atm (your hole cards + flop + turn as the chance of peeking at your neighbour’s cards are non-existent)…and you know that there are 25 cards remaining…what you don’t know is if the miracle card is even still left in the remaining deck…I guess that’s why poker is considered gambling (to a certain degree) – after all if we all knew the “shuffling-algo” and all cards what would be the point of playing… ๐Ÿ˜‰ )…pfeew…I lost my train of thought a little now…okay…
  3. …so I guess you could say that the name is deserved and a miracle card shouldn’t hit the river all that often (after all that’s why such draws are often referred to as belly-buster or gutshot…)
  4. I guess it was just a coincidence that all those miracle cards dropped on numerous tables at the same time…and that’s that? Or is there more to it? I guess not. At least nothing that could be proven without a huge amount of tests (and who wants to deal hundreds of thousands of hands manually and calculate the exact percentages considering that there are roughly 2.6 million (2.598.960 if I didn’t miscalculate) different hands (consisting of five cards))

Now that I’ve got that off my mind I can get some well-deserved sleep (and maybe laugh at the stuff I’ve written above tomorrow morning…although I’m getting more and more excited about getting to work on some of the math that is poker related – maybe I’ll even (at least) try to refine some of the concepts for my use…we’ll see)…night night…

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