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Fundamental poker theorem of David Sklansky

Among many theoremes that help to make the best decisions when playing poker, the fundamental theorem of poker theorist David Sklansky holds a specific place. The basic principles of this theorem are covered in detail in his work “The Theory of Poker”. Despite a rather extensive statement of the theorem, its meaning is quite easy to understand.

Review of the fundamental theorem

A key challenge for the poker player is the accumulation of information, sufficient to read the hands of the opponent. In its turn, knowing of the opponent’s cards allows you to take adequate decisions. This very idea is the basis of the fundamental theory of David Sklansky.

Statement of the theorem

Whenever playing the hands, you choose a method different from the one you might have chosen having seen all the cards of your opponent, he is on velvet. Whenever playing the hands, you choose a method which you might have chosen having seen all the cards of your opponent, he comes off a loser.

Whenever playing the hands, your opponent chooses a method different from the one he might have chosen having seen all of ypur cards, you are on velvet. Whenever playing the hands, your opponent chooses a method which he might have chosen having seen all of your cards, you come off a loser.

The best this theorem works in heads-up. It also can be effective when more than two players participate for the pot.

The key point of the theorem is as follows: no matter whether known your opponents’ cards or not, you should play as well as possible, thinking several moves ahead and groping for information. Following the statements of the theorem will allow you to play more profitably.

An example of the fundamental theorem

For better understanding of the theorem, let’s consider the following example.

Player A has reached the river, with 8-7 of hearts. In the previous rounds he betted, hoping for a flush. It did not happen because the opponent – a player B – constantly called. Player A decides to take a risk by investing the rest of the stack into the pot. He goes all-in, assuming that the opponent does not have a strong position. However, player B decides to fold. Once player A shows his bluff, player B shows better hand. Under the fundamental theorem, player B is avowedly in the wrong – being the first, he would not have folded.

You have to understand that you cannot play in accordance with the fundamental theorem in all hands, but it is a goal to be attained. Taking the most appropriate decisions, you get an opportunity to increase your profits.