Addiction

18 January 2010

Novice poker players likely to lose

Play more online poker and you'll get better and win, right? Wrong, says a new study of gambling behaviour that suggests players win less money the more hands they play.

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Play more online poker and you'll get better and win, right? Wrong, says a new study of gambling behaviour that suggests players -- especially beginners -- win less money the more hands they play.

The findings, which came from a study of 27 million online poker hands, suggest that small stakes translate to more wins, while playing longer means you'll lose, occasionally by a whole lot.

According to Cornell University sociology doctoral student Kyle Siler, the findings show that "people overweigh their frequent small gains vis-a-vis occasional large losses, and vice versa."

The study, released online in the Journal of Gambling Studies, also reports that pairs of small-numbered cards -- from twos to sevens -- are more valuable than pairs of eights, nines, 10s and Jacks for small-stakes players.

How the study was done

"This is because small pairs have a less ambiguous value, and medium pairs are better hands but have more ambiguous values that small-stakes players apparently have trouble understanding," Siler said.

Siler, a poker player himself, analysed hands of No-Limit Texas Hold'em. "Riskiness may be profitable, especially in higher-stakes games, but it also increases the variance and uncertainty in payoffs," he said.

"Living one's life, calibrating multiple strategies and managing a bankroll is particularly challenging when enduring wild and erratic swings in short-term luck and results." - (HealthDay News, January 2010)

 

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