I am so unlucky. Why?

EVERY time I play poker I hear someone saying these immortal words and in every Casino and card club all over the world, being unlucky is a professional occupation.

Believe me, I really wish I had a Euro for every time I have had to listen to the ‘Bad Beat Story’ how the other player is so bad and called all their chips off with crap and beat me with Queen-Seven, I mean what’s he doing in the pot­? I had Ace-Jack, how can I lose? So are they really unlucky or is there more to this than we understand.


First of all, every hand dealt in poker is situational, a deck of cards has no memory, after a shuffle it’s for the moment and totally random, within the confines that is of how many possible combinations of cards there can be in a standard 52 card deck, in fact, we can receive any one of 1326 two card starting combos.


When all of these combinations are considered in terms of their relative value i.e when Ace-Ace is considered the best starting hand and Seven-Deuce, off suit, the worst, there has to be a medium or average starting hand slap bang in the middle of the range, and that hand is Queen-Seven. Of course now we have to try and use these cards in conjunction with the possible five card combinations of community cards that will be dealt on the flop, turn and river.

Amazingly there are 2,598,960 five card possible combos.  So when your Ace-Jack misses one of these combos and the Queen-Seven hits something, it’s not as surprising or unlucky as you would think, you have just been beaten by the average and the average wins more often than we want it to.

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