I'm Charles Bloom. This is an unfinished book on mathematical poker which I wrote mainly in the fall of 2004.

You might ask - why write a book on poker, aren't there already enough? Yes, there are a lot of poker books, written by players who are far better than me. However, none that I have ever seen actually explain the real theory behind poker. The best out there is "The Theory of Poker" by David Sklansky, but even that book is very approximate. He talks about river betting and how should bet given different estimates of hand strength - but how do you actually estimate an opponents hand strength? The answer is not just "gut feeling" or "experience" - there is a real method that you can use to play poker. Note that playing the correct mathematical way also does not mean that you don't bluff, you don't play wildly - in fact Gus Hansen is one of the best mathematical players around; in my rants you can find some analysis of Gus's plays.

The goal of this book is to describe the Bayesian Probability way of thinking about poker. I also try to describe how you actually use this style of thinking when you play. No, you aren't actually doing very complex math in your head, it's just not possible, but it gives you a structure and a way of thinking that I think is very beneficial. It's also very useful when you go back and analyze your play after the fact.

zip of the whole book The files here are stored as ".met" , but actually they are plain text files. On my computer .met is associated with metapad .

directory of the loose files as HTML, thanks to CyberMatrix Text2HTML

Charles Bloom / cb at my domain

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