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EXAMPLE ON THE DEALER’S LEFT

If you are on the dealer ’s left, and hold this poker hand you would not wish to fold.  You have two options:

(A) BET

            There are six chips already in the pot (the ante) and with the hand dealt your current chances of winning poker it are little worse than 2 to 1 against, so you could bet.  If you bet, it is possible that all players with a hand smaller than yours at the deal will fold, because many players don’t risk adding chips to the pot if somebody has already bet and their own hands are worth less than a pair of Jacks.  This would mean that in about a third of the cases, you could win the pot immediately.

TO THE DEALER’S LEFT With a pair of Jacks, player 1 has a one-in-three chance of currently holding the best hand, so it is worth risking a bet with six chips in the pot.

(B) CHECK

            This keeps your options open.  Suppose by the time the betting reaches you again, one other player has checked, one has bet, and three have folded.  With seven chips in the pot, it might be worth a chip to call.  This might get rid of the other player who called, leaving you with one opponent for a pot that starts at eight chips.

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