Variance – The Goddess That Dare Not Speak Her Name

Luck is dead, long live variance.

Back in the olden days there was a thing called luck. You could have good luck and bad luck. If you brought a lottery ticket and won that was good luck. If you got married to a princess that turned into a moaner, but not in a nice way, that was called bad luck.

It was pretty simple and easy to understand, and, you could blame everything that went wrong with a betting proposition on luck. Then came televised poker and that all changed. In came a new goddess called ‘variance’.

Variance was a completely new beast. It had legitimacy as it was based on mathematics and told the story of how good play could be undone by variance. It was equivalent to say a football team like Manchester United or Barcelona, will not go for years unbeaten even though they are one of the top 10 teams in Europe. Eventually a team of this quality will get beaten because it’s 11 men against 11 men and therefore there can be lucky goals or saves, which can alter the game, as long as the rules are fairly administered. 

The same thing applies to poker and this will explain why at the top of the food chain there will be great players but they will not win every year because of variance. They will win a lot until they begin to lose the ability to read a game, which all players seem to do after a while just as footballers lose pace and strength as they get old.

When our favourite US commentator Cousin Dobber (check out his videos in the sections T.V 2012 and 2011), argued that poker along with pool and the ‘quadathlon’ should be part of the Olympics 2012 since they are sports which need skill, stamina, speed of thought and strength. His reasoning has validity since no one can play the games on the off chance that they may win. They may do well for a time but in the end they will be beaten.

So why has the notion of ‘luck’ gone out of fashion. Well since poker has been on television, all the ‘know alls’ and wannabees now have a lexicon to use when they think they are brilliant and everyone else is rubbish. They use variance to explain their bad play or bad luck and they re-affirm their great play was due to skill and not variance when they win!

Variance is used to explain why going all in with king jack suited (44% chance of winning) is brilliant play against ace ten off suit (55% chance of wining). Yes it is a race but the maths tell you that the ace ten will win most of the time. So it is bad luck if you lose. But if you are the guy that had the king jack suited it was variance that made you lose??? This argument was strenuously argued for about an hour yesterday and I still could not get it into the guys head that he was wrong. 

Variance only apply when you are in the best position and you lose. Variance cannot be applied to bad play. Well it can, but it is not sensible to argue that point. Over time and with the rules fairly and justly followed variance will even out amongst all players.

You can apply variance to things such as roulette, but it will not be called variance it will once again become luck. The only time luck can be beaten is when you have the situation such as Casino 770 giving all poker and pool players £25 to play at their online casino for free. All winnings the new registered player can keep.

Now that is the time to pray to the gambling gods to let you have some luck as there are some serious prize money to be won and you’ve got £25 to win it! Don’t forget the bonus code EPA

If that does not do it for you then get back to a bit of grinding on the poker tables and if you’re like me winning the lottery never really happens but grinding maybe be boring but it does pay off.