Targeted poker quiz 39: Review (advanced)


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

Explanations at bottom

(See the index to this series)

Review of concepts (level: advanced)

  1. A four-card flush is easier to complete in seven-card stud than an open-end straight…

    (a) true;

    (b) false.

  2. Here are important ways that 5-5 is better than 2-2 as a hold ’em starting hand. Which doesn’t belong on the list?

    (a) 5-5 can beat starting pairs 3-3 and 4-4, but 2-2 can’t;

    (b) if the final board is J-9-J-3-4, 5-5 might win with a larger two pair than an opponents’;

    (c) because of the distribution of cards in the deck, you’re much more likely to flop three-of-a-kind when you begin with 5-5;

    (d) if two pair and no deuces show on the board, 2-2 will always be a worthless hand, unless a deuce completes the only flush. However, 5-5 can sometimes survive as a pair, even if two pair land on the board.

  3. If you begin a hold ’em hand with A-A and the flop is K-Q-J, no flush possible, what percent of the time will you finish with just the aces you started with after seeing the turn and river cards?

    (a) 78 percent;

    (b) 41 percent;

    (c) 60 percent;

    (d) 20 percent.

  4. You should be more eager to buy coffee for the player on your left…

    (a) true;

    (b) false

  5. If you present a solid, tight, stable image, which of the following is an advantage?

    (a) you’ll get a lot more calls with big hands;

    (b) you’ll have less fluctuation in your day-to-day earnings;

    (c) you’ll be competing for bigger pots, on average;

    (d) all above and more are advantages — there are no disadvantages to a solid, tight, stable image.

  6. The odds against something happening twice in a row can be found by multiplying one more than the odds-to-one against it happening once times that same number and then subtracting one from the answer.

    (a) true;

    (b) false.

  7. If an opponent places a blind or ante very exactly in front of him, it’s a good idea to subtly readjust it, because…

    (a) the chip has mystical strength in that position;

    (b) the exact positioning is probably a sign of superstition, and you can make a player feel unlucky by “accidentally” moving the chip – and he won’t play as well;

    (c) it’s a bad policy to let opponents position their own chips;

    (d) you want to show that you’re even more experienced at positioning chips.

  8. Female players make less money by calling than male players, on average…

    (a) true;

    (b) false.

  9. How did the saying, “All you need is a chip and a chair” get started?

    (a) In a 1982 tournament, Jack Straus bet what he thought were all the chips in front of him without declaring all in. It was discovered that he had a chip left, and recovered to win the tournament.

    (b) It originated in a scene from a classic W. C. Fields movie

    (c) It was quoted in the classing poker Herbert O. Yardley poker book, “The Education of a Poker Player.”

    (d) It was a recurring line from the TV series Maverick, but was mysteriously left out of the movie.

  10. Opponents who seek sympathy by complaining about missing many flushes in a row are likely to…

    (a) surrender if they miss another one and throw their cards away in a secretive manner ;

    (b) bluff if they miss another one;

    (c) act confident and expect to make a flush the very next time they have the opportunity;

    (d) surrender if they miss another one and show their futile cards to you, proving that they missed again.


Answers and explanations (with questions repeated for convenience)

Review of concepts (level: advanced)

  1. A four-card flush is easier to complete in seven-card stud than an open-end straight…

    (a) true;

    (b) false.

    Answer: (a) Yes, in seven-card stud it’s true that it’s easier to make a flush when you have four suited cards than to complete a straight when you’re open ended. This is true of most other forms of poker, too, because – even though a flush is higher-ranking and harder to get dealt to begin with in five cards – there are nine remaining suited cards out of the original 13 to complete a flush and only eight (four at each end) to complete an open-end straight.

  2. Here are important ways that 5-5 is better than 2-2 as a starting hand. Which doesn’t belong on the list?

    (a) 5-5 can beat starting pairs 3-3 and 4-4, but 2-2 can’t;

    (b) if the final board is J-9-J-3-4, 5-5 might win with a larger two pair than an opponents’;

    (c) because of the distribution of cards in the deck, you’re much more likely to flop three-of-a-kind when you begin with 5-5;

    (d) if two pair and no deuces show on the board, 2-2 will always be a worthless hand, unless a deuce completes the only flush. However, 5-5 can sometimes survive as a pair, even if two pair land on the board.

    Answer: (c) In hold ’em the distribution of cards in the deck does not make it much more likely that you’ll flop three-of-a-kind when you begin with 5-5 than when you begin with 2-2. So, that reason to prefer 5-5 over 2-2 didn’t belong on the list.

  3. If you begin a hold ’em hand with A-A and the flop is K-Q-J, no flush possible, what percent of the time will you finish with just the aces you started with after seeing the turn and river cards?

    (a) 78 percent;

    (b) 41 percent;

    (c) 60 percent;

    (d) 20 percent.

    Answer: (b) If you begin a hold ’em hand with A-A and flop is K-Q-J, no flush possible, you’ll finish with just the aces you started with 41.4 percent of the time after seeing the river card.

  4. You should be more eager to buy coffee for the player on your left…

    (a) true;

    (b) false.

    Answer: (a) It’s true that you should be more eager to buy coffee for the player on your left than the one on your right. The player on your left has a positional advantage by acting after you, and anything you can do to reduce his urge to exercise that advantage could work in your favor. Make friends with those on your left; declare poker war with those on your right.

  5. If you present a solid, tight, stable image, which of the following is an advantage?

    (a) you’ll get a lot more calls with big hands;

    (b) you’ll have less fluctuation in your day-to-day earnings;

    (c) you’ll be competing for bigger pots, on average;

    (d) all above and more are advantages — there are no disadvantages to a solid, tight, stable image.

    Answer: (b) One of the advantages of a solid, tight, stable image is that you’ll tend to have fewer day-to-day fluctuations in your bankroll. A lively and loose image may sometimes win more money in the long run, but it also invites much bigger swings of fortune along the way.

  6. The odds against something happening twice in a row can be found by multiplying one more than the odds-to-one against it happening once times that same number and then subtracting one from the answer.

    (a) true;

    (b) false.

    Answer: (a) It’s true that the odds against something happening twice in a row can be found by multiplying one more than the odds-to-one against it happening once times that same number and then subtracting one from the answer. For instance, we know that the odds against being dealt aces before the flop in hold ’em are 220-to-1 against. So, you add 1 to 220, get 221, multiply it by itself (221 x 221), get 48,841, subtract 1 from that and we discover that it’s 48,840-to-1 against being dealt aces before the flop on both of your next two hands. Mathematically speaking, it’s the chances-squared-minus-one to one against.

  7. If an opponent places a blind or ante very exactly in front of him, it’s a good idea to subtly readjust it, because…

    (a) the chip has mystical strength in that position;

    (b) the exact positioning is probably a sign of superstition, and you can make a player feel unlucky by “accidentally” moving the chip – and he won’t play as well;

    (c) it’s a bad policy to let opponents position their own chips;

    (d) you want to show that you’re even more experienced at positioning chips.

    Answer: (b) If an opponent puts a blind or ante very exactly in front of him, you can sometimes get an advantage by subtly readjusting it. That’s because the exact position is probably a clue that the player is superstitious about the placement. If you make the player feel unlucky by “accidentally” moving the chip, he might play poorly out of frustration and negative feelings.

  8. Female players make less money by calling than male players, on average…

    (a) true;

    (b) false.

    Answer: (b) It’s false that female player make less money by calling, on average, than male players. Exactly the opposite is true. While there are, of course, exceptions to the situation and both chemistry and resulting interactions vary, in general men take more shots at women than at other men. Since most of their opponents are men, women instinctively call more often because of this. And since men are trying too often to run over women, these calls – within reason – net a long-range profit. Women should be aware that some men act just the opposite; they go out of their way to “take it easy” on women – sometimes just to be nice, sometimes to avoid humiliation in their minds. But that’s the exception. Mostly, women can profit from calling a little more often than men.

  9. How did the saying, “All you need is a chip and a chair” get started?

    (a) In a 1982 tournament, Jack Straus bet what he thought were all the chips in front of him without declaring all in. It was discovered that he had a chip left, and recovered to win the tournament.

    (b) It originated in a scene from a classic W. C. Fields movie

    (c) It was quoted in the classing poker Herbert O. Yardley poker book, “The Education of a Poker Player.”

    (d) It was a recurring line from the TV series Maverick, but was mysteriously left out of the movie.

    Answer: (a) In a 1982 tournament, Jack Straus bet what he thought were all the chips he had in front of him, without declaring himself all-in. His opponent called the exact amount of the wager. Then, it was discovered that Straus had a single $500 chip remaining, and he used it to rebuild and win the tournament. Thus, the expression, “All you need is a chip and a chair,” was born.

  10. Opponents who seek sympathy by complaining about missing many flushes in a row are likely to…

    (a) surrender if they miss another one and throw their cards away in a secretive manner ;

    (b) bluff if they miss another one;

    (c) act confident and expect to make a flush the very next time they have the opportunity;

    (d) surrender if they miss another one and show their futile cards to you, proving that they missed again.

    Answer: (d) Opponents who seek sympathy by complaining about missing many flushes in a row are likely to surrender if they miss again and then show their futile cards to you, proving they were right – they missed again. That’s why you often need much more powerful hands to call when a player who’s been complaining about bad luck and seeking sympathy suddenly bets.


You have finished 39th and final “Targeted poker quiz.”

(See the index to this series)


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Mike Caro

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/mikecaro FaceBook: http://www.facebook.com/caro.mike Known as the "Mad Genius of Poker," Mike Caro is generally regarded as today's foremost authority of poker strategy, psychology, and statistics. He is founder of Mike Caro University of Poker, Gaming, and Life Strategy (MCU). See full biography at Poker1.com.

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