View Full Version : Which books do a really good job of explaining math in poker? MASON?

10-23-2004, 10:58 PM
Can someone tell me which book(s) is really good explaining the math in poker and how to calculate everything?

10-24-2004, 12:26 AM
Mike Petriv's Holdem odds www.gamblersbook.com (http://www.gamblersbook.com) <font color="green"> </font>

10-24-2004, 09:47 AM
What I'd like is a really good beginners book on probability. Something like 'Probability for Dummies' - which doesn't exist, I've looked. Does anyone know of such a book? I regret not taking my maths further at school and would like to follow it up now, especially as it is relevant to poker.

10-24-2004, 10:31 AM
I'm in the same boat. Avoided math at all costs in school and now I find myself looking for the best way to gain the math skills I need to take my poker game to the next level. Perhaps this thread will catch the eye of Ed Miller or David Sklansky and they'll have some advice to offer us.

10-24-2004, 11:56 AM
try a textbook from an intro stats course. half of it will be about analysis of data sets, which won't be of interest, but it will teach you probability. mine last year used devore (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0534399339/qid=1098633002/sr=1-2/ref=sr_1_2/103-9309390-9411849?v=glance&amp;s=books) , which seems to have gotten some pretty awful reviews on amazon. i'll admit that i didn't open it that often, but it didn't seem that bad. alternatively, if you dont't mind deciphering the theory, ross (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0125980558/qid=1098633336/sr=2-1/ref=pd_ka_b_2_1/103-9309390-9411849) does a fairly complete job of explaining ev calculations.

10-24-2004, 03:00 PM
Something like 'Probability for Dummies' - which doesn't exist, I've looked.

[/ QUOTE ]
There is a 'Statistics for Dummies' and a 'Complete Idiot's Guide to Statistics,' as well as others in the same category, all of which have sections on basic probability. These are good because they go beyond probability to statistical concepts like EV, distributions, and variance that are also useful for understanding gambling issues.

For something dealing exclusively with probability, I recommend 'Probability Without Tears: A Primer for Nonmathematicians' by Derek Rowntree, which has hundreds of simple examples and problems. It's out of print, but you can find cheap used copies at places like amazon.com or half.com.

Also try your local library. It's free and they probably have one or more of the above books or something equivalent.

10-24-2004, 03:13 PM
If you're willing to shell out for a good freshman-level probability book, try Bertsekas and Tsitsiklis' Introduction to Probability (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/188652940X/qid%3D1098644705/sr%3D8-2/n%3D507846/002-4133478-4077626). The authors have a clear and easily-understood writing style and the book evolved from course notes for a popular long-time intro probability class (http://web.mit.edu/6.041/www/) at MIT.

10-24-2004, 10:55 PM
I haven't read the Hold'em odds book previously mentioned, but I just read a very interesting book last night that should help called "Chance: A Guide to Gambling, Love, the Stock Market and Just About Everything Else" by Amir D. Aczel. Also this website (http://mathforum.org/library/drmath/sets/select/dm_poker.html) has some good stuff.

10-24-2004, 11:41 PM
I recommend The Cartoon Guide To Statistics by Larry Gonick and Woollcott Smith.

You should probably check it out in the book store first. I think it does a good job of laying out how to do the probability math but it's very, very dense with information. It's definitely a book to work through and study and not read once.

However, it explained really well the probability for drawing cards (although their examples were dice) and I had lots of Aha! moments.

Also the cartoons are a riot.


10-25-2004, 03:31 AM
assuming this is the same book i saw slides from in my stats class, it is excellent.

10-25-2004, 05:04 PM
"Getting the Best of It" (Sklansky). In Part One: The Mathematics of Gambling, you'll learn all the basics you need to caluclate odds and probabilities, EV and distribution for poker. It's amazingly simple stuff, and when I learned this way back when, this book is invaluable to me. I HIGHHLY recommend it. This section is only 54 pages long and very easy to grasp. Good luck!