How to devise your own poker system

I have written before about the concept of poker systems but to a certain extent then we all have a “poker system” as we all do certain things in certain situations. However for a system to be useful then it has to find an edge. To find an edge then it has to take advantage of errors either in your opponent’s method of operation or in their conception of certain areas of the game. So to build a poker system involves a lot of fundamental poker knowledge and then an understanding of the game dynamics of the environment that you will be using this system in.

Many so called “expert” poker players deride “systems” in the belief that we are discussing set parameters that cannot ever change. However this is where an understanding of how trading firms operate can be very instructive. Many trading firms these days use what are called “algorithms” that help them to trade electronically and in much greater quantity. These algorithms or “algo’s” use pre-determined rules that allow the program to enter and exit trades electronically! The bottom line is that these programs are in most cases not left to trade in solitude without expert outside analysis and help.

In this respect then it isn’t too dissimilar to poker because we are implementing a poker system whatever we do. Even if you think that you are a “situational” player and that your style is totally fluid, you will still be using fixed rules in certain situations that repeat themselves. If your normal 3/betting range is say 10% but you think that an opponent is raising very widely and you expand that to 15% then you will clearly do the same again in the same situation given the same dynamics…….bottom line is that it is a system.

What we are looking at in this situation is a system that has more parameters to it and is thus more complex but we are still looking at a system. For a poker system to work then it has to find an edge somewhere. This edge can be obvious and clear or it can be subtle and deep. It is pretty obvious to say that the edges that are obvious and clear will also provide the greater profit potential. This is unlike the edges that are deep and subtle and require expert analysis.

This is precisely why it is difficult to make money at the middle stakes levels. Our opponents systems are designed to interact with our own and so it then becomes a battle of styles and systems. Whichever player has the greater level of experience and theoretical background will be a better position to adjust their own “system” in order to combat yours. To then get into a battle of system versus system is thus very difficult in this environment. The ideal environment for system based play is one where your opponents are not adjusting to your system, are slow to adjust or who adjust in small numbers.

If you can find a game or a level where this applies then you can build a very successful poker system. The advantage to having a system is that it is then easier to replicate the rules over a larger number of tables which should in theory give you a greater earning potential. However as we have said previously, we need to ascertain how our system is going to make us money.

If you don’t have any idea of how you are going to make money then what you are essentially doing is going into a game blind. Once you have the system parameters in place then you need to beta test your system. Unlike in electronic day trading then this will involve manually operating the system yourself which means playing poker and lots of it.

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