Targeted poker quiz 13: Review (beginner)


Note: Not at the old Poker1 site. This 39-part series of quizzes, originally published (2004-2006) in Poker Player, is based on the Mike Caro University of Poker library of research and advice. In each entry, Mike Caro presents 10 questions covering a category of poker, targeted for beginner, intermediate, or advanced players. Answers with explanations appear below each quiz, with the questions repeated for easy reference.


The MCU Targeted Poker Quiz series

(See the index to this series)

Review of concepts (level: beginner)

  1. In seven-card stud, often you should simply fold starting cards whose ranks aren’t in sequence. If you do begin with no pair and three cards that aren’t in sequence, it’s better if they

    (a) rank as high as possible;

    (b) have all the same suit;

    (c) aren’t the same ranks you see exposed as the up-cards in opponent’s hands;

    (d) all of the above.

  2. In hold ’em, if a pair flops…

    (a) it’s impossible for anyone to have four of a kind so far;

    (b) it’s impossible for anyone to have a full house so far;

    (c) it’s impossible for anyone to have three of a kind so far;

    (d) it’s impossible for anyone to have a flush so far.

  3. What are the odds against beginning with a pair in hold ’em?

    (A) 16-to-1;

    (B) 25-to-1;

    (C) 47-to-1;

    (D) 3-to-1.

  4. In the movie “The Cincinnati Kid,” the form of poker used to determine the world champion was…

    (a) hold ’em;

    (b) five-card draw;

    (c) five-card stud;

    (d) seven-card stud.

  5. The nickname of renowned world champion and Hall of Fame player Doyle Brunson is…

    (a) Oklahoma Straw;

    (b) Houston Hailstorm;Tennessee Stallion;

    (c) Texas Dolly

  6. If your opponent bets with a suddenly shaking hand, it’s a sign that…

    (a) Your opponent has made a big hand;

    (b) Your opponent has a medium-strong hand, but is worried;

    (c) Your opponent has probably seldom played poker before;

    (d) Your opponent is bluffing.

  7. You should go into a game…

    (a) hoping to play hands;

    (b) eager to make correct decisions;

    (c) certain you’re going to win;

    (d) unwilling to accept a loss.

  8. If first place pays $100,000 and second place pays $60,000, then…

    (a) The final two players are fighting over $100,000;

    (b) The final two players are fighting over $60,000;

    (c) The final two players are fighting over $160,000;

    (d) The final two players are fighting over $40,000.

  9. Opponents who just sat down are…

    (a) usually very aggressive at first;

    (b) usually going to bluff at least once in the first five hands;

    (c) not very choosey about the hands they play;

    (d) easier to bluff.

  10. In hold ’em, the most profitable starting hand is J-10 of the same suits…

    (a) true;

    (b) false.


Answers and explanations (with questions repeated for convenience)

Review of concepts (level: beginner)

  1. In seven-card stud, often you should simply fold starting cards whose ranks aren’t in sequence. If you do begin with no pair and three cards that aren’t in sequence, it’s better if they

    (a) rank as high as possible;

    (b) have all the same suit;

    (c) aren’t the same ranks you see exposed as the up-cards in opponent’s hands;

    (d) all of the above.

    Answer: (d). All of these factors make your chances better whenever you play a seven-card stud starting hand that has no pair and three ranks not in sequence: (1) If the ranks are as high as possible, so if you make pairs, they’re likely to win; (2) If the cards are all of the same suit, giving you an extra opportunity to win with a flush; and (3) You don’t see the same ranks face-up surrounding you, meaning they’re not available for you to pair. You should also, consider other factors, of course, such as the ranks of your opponents’ exposed cards.

  2. In hold ’em, if a pair flops…

    (a) it’s impossible for anyone to have four of a kind so far;

    (b) it’s impossible for anyone to have a full house so far;

    (c) it’s impossible for anyone to have three of a kind so far;

    (d) it’s impossible for anyone to have a flush so far.

    Answer: (d). In hold ’em it’s impossible for anyone to already hold a flush when a pair flops. A straight is also impossible.

  3. What are the odds against beginning with a pair in hold ’em?

    (A) 16-to-1;

    (B) 25-to-1;

    (C) 47-to-1;

    (D) 3-to-1.

    Answer: (a). It’s 16-to-1 against beginning with a pair in hold ’em. It’s easy to understand if you think about it this way: Once you get your first card, there are only three more of that rank left out of 51 cards. Three out of 51 is the same as one out of 17 (just divide 51 by 3 to prove this). So, you can divide the pie into 17 slices or chances and one of those gives you a pair, while 16 don’t. Thus, it’s 16-to-1 against.

  4. In the movie “The Cincinnati Kid,” the form of poker used to determine the world champion was…

    (a) hold ’em;

    (b) five-card draw;

    (c) five-card stud;

    (d) seven-card stud.

    Answer: (c). In the movie, “The Cincinnati Kid,” the form of poker used to determine the world championship was five-card stud.

  5. The nickname of renowned world champion and Hall of Fame player Doyle Brunson is…

    (a) Oklahoma Straw;

    (b) Houston Hailstorm;Tennessee Stallion;

    (c) Texas Dolly.

    Answer: (d). Doyle Brunson’s nickname is “Texas Dolly.”

  6. If your opponent bets with a suddenly shaking hand, it’s a sign that…

    (a) Your opponent has made a big hand;

    (b) Your opponent has a medium-strong hand, but is worried;

    (c) Your opponent has probably seldom played poker before;

    (d) Your opponent is bluffing.

    Answer: (a). A suddenly shaking hand almost always means your opponent holds a big hand.

  7. You should go into a game…

    (a) hoping to play hands;

    (b) eager to make correct decisions;

    (c) certain you’re going to win;

    (d) unwilling to accept a loss.

    Answer: (b). You should go into a poker game eager to make correct decisions.

  8. If first place pays $100,000 and second place pays $60,000, then…

    (a) The final two players are fighting over $100,000;

    (b) The final two players are fighting over $60,000;

    (c) The final two players are fighting over $160,000;

    (d) The final two players are fighting over $40,000.

    Answer: (d). In a poker tournament, if first place pays $100,000 and second place plays $60,000, then the final two players are fighting over $40,000 — winner take all. They’ve each already won $60,000, the second-place guarantee.

  9. Opponents who just sat down are…

    (a) usually very aggressive at first;

    (b) usually going to bluff at least once in the first five hands;

    (c) not very choosey about the hands they play;

    (d) easier to bluff.

    Answer: (d). Opponents who just sat down are, on average, more conservative and willing to fold hands. Therefore, they’re easier to bluff.

  10. In hold ’em, the most profitable starting hand is J-10 of the same suits…

    (a) true;

    (b) false.

    Answer: (b). It’s false that jack-10 of the same suit is the most profitable hold ’em starting hand, even though in the games earlier days, some players believed it was. They thought that way jack-10 was the highest-ranking two suited cards that gave maximum room to make a straight.


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Known as the “Mad Genius of Poker,” Mike Caro is generally regarded as today's foremost authority on poker strategy, psychology, and statistics. He is the founder of Mike Caro University of Poker, Gaming, and Life Strategy (MCU). See full bio → HERE.

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