Poker And The Law

Please note that this was written back in 2005. Since then the US of A has passed a bill that defines online poker much more harshly than the Wire Act of the late 70’s did. If you’ve never heard of the Wire Act it states that bets cannot be placed over a phone line, which in today’s day and age would be a modem, cable modem, or DSL modem. Certain online casinos no longer allow US players to open an account.

I didn’t know the law. Can I be charged with a crime?

Yes. Ignorance of the law is never an adequate defense, no matter what state the law was in, or whether you lived in that state or not. If you are of age, you are charged with knowledge of the law, whether or not you actually knew it, regardless of the crime. You may argue that a law was unconstitutional, unfair, or applied selectively, but you will never win with “I didn’t know the law.” – quoted directly from The Legal Database – free legal information – Legal Questions : I Didn’t Know The Law – know-the-law.htm retrieved on 07/12.2005.

The following is a link to the most useful website we’ve found on the internet relating to poker laws that does not charge a rediculous sum of money to view its contents. Check it out: and make sure you know you’re states laws to avoid winding up in serious trouble. is another website you should check out.

Basically we can sum up online gaming for you real easy. The feds have something called the “Wire Act.” The Wire Act is a law that states making or taking bets over a phone line is illegal. It’s actually a felony and punishable by up to two years in prison for anyone who takes bets over a phone line (be it telephone, internet, or fax machine.) Every state that hasn’t put into writing yet that online gaming is illegal currently has it on the floor waiting to be passed.

Q and A

Question: What’s with the name From Goldfish To Piranha anyway?

Answer: Poker players seem to refer to newbies or amateurs as “fish” and professionals as “sharks.” Being that we are not professionals our strategy guides cannot turn you into a shark. But we know a little bit about the game, at least enough to make sure the weak players aren’t constantly taking all your money (incredibly weak players never bother to learn anything about odds, outs, probabilities, starting hand charts, position at the table, etc so they tend to chase every inside straight draw and longshot they see meaning they will lose in the long run if the bet sizes are large enough every time and new players don’t really know any of these concepts because well, they’re new) we learned a little something about Fish and found out that Goldfish are fed to Piranhas. Goldfish are known as “Feeder Fish” for Piranhas so we thought it sounded good.

Math Equations

Here is a list of all the mathematical equations found in this e-book, from Outs to Odds.

Turn Or River Outs Equation

# Of Outs divided by Remaining Cards in the deck. For Texas Hold Em the Turn has 47 unknown cards left in the deck (52 cards in the deck minus your 2 hole cards minus the 3 cards on the flop equals 47) and 46 for the River. Pineapple would be 46 and 45 because you start with 3 hole cards instead of 2 and Omaha would be 45 and 44 because you start with 4 hole cards instead of 3. To make it easy we always multiply by 100 to avoid 0.XX numbers.

Turn AND River Outs Equation

1 – ((47 minus # of outs) divided by 47) multiplied by ((46 minus # of outs) divided by 46)) *100 to avoid messy decimals. The reason everything is subtracted from 1 is because without it you would know the percentage you WOULD NOT hit your hand.

On The Fly Turn to River and River Outs Equations

It’s called the 4 2 method and its pretty close to being acurate, although not exact. To determine your outs on the flop all the way to the river multiply your # of outs by 4. To figure out just the turn or just the river multiply your # of outs by 2. For turn or river you want to add 1 from that number on 3 – 8 outs, add 2 for 9-14 outs, and add 3 for 15 outs. For Turn AND River you want to subtract 1 for 8 – 9 outs, subtract 2 for 10 – 11 outs, subtract 3 for 12 outs, subtract 4 for 13 outs, subtract 5 for 14 outs, and subtract 6 for 15 outs. It’s fairly accurate and a percent or two here or there won’t really matter in the short run, it won’t even really matter in the long run unless we’re talking subtracting 6 which would be 6% or 6 out of 100 games, which still isn’t a huge difference.

Odds Against Equation

This is by far the easiest equation. Cards that hurt you divided by cards that help you is odds against. In other words if there were 47 cards left in the deck and you had 4 outs it would be 47-4=43/4.

Odds Against Pot Odds Equation

Money In Pot divided by Cost To Call gives you Odds Against Pot Odds. Only call when the Pot Odds Against are less than you Odds Against to win the hand. (example you are a 3.7 to 1 to win the hand and the Pot Odds Against are 5 to 1. then its a good call because you will win 1 out of approximately 5 hands yet the Pot Odds are set for you to break even every 1 in 6 hands.)

% To Win Pot Odds Equation

Cost To Call divided by (Money in Pot plus Cost To Call) gives you the % you need to win the hand Pot Odds. Only call when your % to win is greater than the % you determined through this equation. (example if you have a 20% chance to win and the Pot Odds are 11% then it is a good call because you will win 1 out of every 5 times yet the Pot Odds are set so you only have to win 1 out of every 9 times to break even.)

Investment Odds Equation

note: Investment Odds are an Implied Odds formula that you create in your head rather than what the current pot size is. It is an educated guess of what will happen by the end of the hand.

Total Pot Size multiplied by your percent chance of winning divided by your total investment (your total bets) gives you investment odds. If the number is greater than 1 your Investment Odds are good, less than 1 is a bad gamble.

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