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)

Motivation (level: intermediate)

  1. Complaining about your bad luck will have no predictable influence on the quality of cards you’re dealt in the future…

    (a) true;

    (b) false.

  2. Bringing a serious demeanor to the table…

    (a) makes you a more profitable player;

    (b) helps you get more calls;

    (c) will make it easier for you to bluff;

    (d) all of the above.

  3. Money you don’t lose…

    (a) can be spent just the same as money you win;

    (b) isn’t worth saving when you’re more than 100 minimum bets behind in a game;

    (c) isn’t as important as money you win, but is still valuable in the long run;

    (d) is money saved, but can’t buy anything

  4. Against weak opponents, you should often…

    (a) refuse to communicate;

    (b) play looser than usual;

    (c) play tighter than usual;

    (d) communicate only about poker strategy.

  5. You will win more money if you appear to be a weak player…

    (a) true;

    (b) false

  6. Which attitude best conveys how you should handle opponents you feel sorry for in a game?

    (a) You should avoid getting involved in pots with them;

    (b) You should try to destroy them at the poker table, knowing that you always have the option of giving the money back after the game;

    (c) You should quit the game until they leave;

    (d) You should talk to them at the table, trying to motivate them.

  7. Your only mission in a poker game is to…

    (a) win pots;

    (b) create the right image;

    (c) play hands selectively;

    (d) make good decisions.

  8. When other players seem to be taking turns going on tilt (which means playing poorly), your best option is to…

    (a) bluff more often;

    (b) pass your turn;

    (c) tighten up on your hand selection;

    (d) all of the above.

  9. When you’re not comfortable with the game, you aren’t able to make the same quality decisions as when you are comfortable…

    (a) true;

    (b) false.

  10. Which statement is false…

    (a) luck at poker will tend to even out over the years;

    (b) luck at poker is unlikely to be exactly equal for two players, even over a long period of time;

    (c) after two or three months of playing poker, you should be able to determine whether you’re likely to be a lucky or unlucky player over the years;

    (d) a bad losing streak has no bearing on the quality of cards you’ll be dealt next hand.


Answers and explanations (with questions repeated for convenience)

Motivation (level: intermediate)

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  1. Complaining about your bad luck will have no predictable influence on the quality of cards you’re dealt in the future…

    (a) true;

    (b) false.

    Answer: (a). It’s true that complaining about bad luck will have no predictable influence on what cards you’re dealt next. However, complaining about bad luck does have consequence. It makes your opponents believe they can beat you, so don’t do it.

  2. Bringing a serious demeanor to the table…

    (a) makes you a more profitable player;

    (b) helps you get more calls;

    (c) will make it easier for you to bluff;

    (d) all of the above.

    Answer: (c). Bringing a serious demeanor to the table will make it easier for you to bluff, which is one of that image’s few benefits. Against loose, carefree opponents, though, a serious demeanor is likely to bring fewer calls and earn less money overall.

  3. Money you don’t lose…

    (a) can be spent just the same as money you win;

    (b) isn’t worth saving when you’re more than 100 minimum bets behind in a game;

    (c) isn’t as important as money you win, but is still valuable in the long run;

    (d) is money saved, but can’t buy anything.

    Answer: (a). Money you don’t lose can be spent just the same as money you win. Although it might not feel the same, losing $3,700 instead of $3,900 means that $200 remains in your pocket the next day and can be spent exactly the same as $200 won.

  4. Against weak opponents, you should often…

    (a) refuse to communicate;

    (b) play looser than usual;

    (c) play tighter than usual;

    (d) communicate only about poker strategy.

    Answer: (b). Against weak opponents, you should often play looser than usual. Some hands that wouldn’t have been profitable against strong or average opponents will be profitable against weak ones, and you can afford to add these hands to your selection.

  5. You will win more money if you appear to be a weak player…

    (a) true;

    (b) false.

    Answer: (a). It’s true that you’ll win more money in the long run (assuming you’re a skillful player) if you appear to be weak. Opponents will make mistakes because they wrongly evaluate your play. When I’m in a game, I don’t want opponents to think I’m playing well. In my case, most of them realize that I can play well, but I can still make them think I’m choosing not to. It’s always an advantage when opponents underestimate your game, specifically because they’ll call more often with losing hands.

  6. Which attitude best conveys how you should handle opponents you feel sorry for in a game?

    (a) You should avoid getting involved in pots with them;

    (b) You should try to destroy them at the poker table, knowing that you always have the option of giving the money back after the game;

    (c) You should quit the game until they leave;

    (d) You should talk to them at the table, trying to motivate them.

    Answer: (b). Poker isn’t a game where it’s right to show mercy. It’s your duty to act only in your own selfish interests, avoiding directly or indirectly assisting opponents. If you feel sorry for opponents, you can always refund the money you won later.

  7. Your only mission in a poker game is to…

    (a) win pots;

    (b) create the right image;

    (c) play hands selectively;

    (d) make good decisions.

    Answer: (d). Your only mission in a poker game is to make good decisions. Everything else takes care of itself.

  8. When other players seem to be taking turns going on tilt (which means playing poorly), your best option is to…

    (a) bluff more often;

    (b) pass your turn;

    (c) tighten up on your hand selection;

    (d) all of the above.

    Answer: (b). Just because your opponents seem to be taking turns going on tilt doesn’t mean you have to participate. You can pass your turn.

  9. When you’re not comfortable with the game, you aren’t able to make the same quality decisions as when you are comfortable…

    (a) true;

    (b) false.

    Answer: (a). It’s true that you won’t be able to make the same usual quality decisions when you’re uncomfortable. If something bothers you about a game, it’s often best to quit.

  10. Which statement is false…

    (a) luck at poker will tend to even out over the years;

    (b) luck at poker is unlikely to be exactly equal for two players, even over a long period of time;

    (c) after two or three months of playing poker, you should be able to determine whether you’re likely to be a lucky or unlucky player over the years;

    (d) a bad losing streak has no bearing on the quality of cards you’ll be dealt next hand.

    Answer: (c). The only false answer is: “After two or three months of playing poker, you should be able to determine whether you’re likely to be a lucky or unlucky player over the years.” First, cards you’ve been dealt in the past won’t help you know what ones will be dealt next, so your luck in the future is unpredictable. Second, even if luck were predictable, “two of three months” of poker wouldn’t be long enough to make a judgment.


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