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One of the common card games people engage in today is poker. It is played with a deck of fifty two cards. The ranks of a player’s cards and the combinations of these cards help determine the winner. In order to win big, players risk larger sums of money, hoping that they do not loose. Therefore, poker, just like any other gambling activity, is purely based on chance. In mathematics, one of the widely covered topics is probability, which is the study of the likelihood of an event occurring. For this reason, poker is directly related to this mathematical concept because outcomes are based on chance. Although most people question the importance of studying mathematics in school, the application of mathematical concepts in the real world are varied. Probability, which is a branch of mathematics, is one of the most used concepts in the world. This research aims at demonstrating how probability is used in gambling by focusing on the game of poker.
For most poker players, there is strong belief in experience, skill and luck. Most players have an illusion of control in which a person beliefs he has the ability to understand and determine the outcome of uncertain events. Professional poker players are seen as those who have the ability to read their opponents with a high level of accuracy based on tiny or non-existent clues (Istrate, 55). Experienced players are those that have the ability to make accurate predictions, thereby increasing their chances of winning. In approaching the game of poker, most players look at their opponents to identify certain flaws or features that will help them to win the game. These flaws will tell them the weaknesses of their opponents, and thus capitalize on these weaknesses to win games. For this reason, players look at the position the opponents occupy on the table, their timings and pace, and the way they behave and move
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