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IA (HL) Mathematics and Poker Odds

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Hi everyone,

I was wondering if I could get your opinion on whether this topic is appropriate for a Math Exploration in HL. I am planning on analyzing Poker Odds, mainly by focusing on Pot and Card Odds. I will certainly be using conditional probability, Bayes Theorem, Factorials, Permutations, etc.

I will basically give an invented scenario and, from there, I will find the probabilities of having a certain hand and of winning based on the opponent calling or betting. I will also use probability to determine if the odds of the hand are profitable to continue playing.

So, what do you guys think? Do you think this is a good topic and that the math used is appropriate for HL?

If anyone has a recommendation on what I should investigate in the exploration, or on any changes I should make, feel free to tell me! Anyone who has done an exploration or IA on a similar topic, please comment too!

Thank you!

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Are you going to use game theory, or just mathematics from the HL probability topic? When we studied probability in class, we calculated the odds of getting a certain type of hand as an exercise, so if that is the main part of your IA I would guess its too basic. I'm sure there are many complicated situations you could mathematically model involving poker though.

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We cannot distribute the 50 excellent EEs as they're copyrighted IB material, but one of the math EEs (number 4 I think) was about poker. I didn't read through it carefully as I dislike probability so I've forgotten its general gist. But you should have a look: it might be an inspiration. If you don't know where to find it, google is your friend :)

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Hi guys,

Thanks Hollath for your input. The truth is that I'm not just calculating the chances of getting a certain hand. In fact, I am finding the chances that it is worth continue playing based on the money in the pot and the card odds. So technically, I would be doing a similar problem to the one you did in class but taking into account many more things. I might as well take a look at Game Theory!

Maroctam, I just looked over that essay! It is certainly a very interesting EE on zero-sum poker, however, I'm not really diving into that type of topic. Apart from seeming to descriptive, I still haven't covered matrices in Math, and I really had trouble understanding everything! Thanks, though!

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Hi guys,

Thanks Hollath for your input. The truth is that I'm not just calculating the chances of getting a certain hand. In fact, I am finding the chances that it is worth continue playing based on the money in the pot and the card odds. So technically, I would be doing a similar problem to the one you did in class but taking into account many more things. I might as well take a look at Game Theory!

Maroctam, I just looked over that essay! It is certainly a very interesting EE on zero-sum poker, however, I'm not really diving into that type of topic. Apart from seeming to descriptive, I still haven't covered matrices in Math, and I really had trouble understanding everything! Thanks, though!

Ah makes sense. In that case I'm sure what you are proposing is at the level of an HL maths exploration, but sounds like you might want to consider using game theory to me. I don't know much about it, but I'm pretty certain that doing those calculations using conditional probability would be very tedious and time consuming.

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Hi guys,

Thanks Hollath for your input. The truth is that I'm not just calculating the chances of getting a certain hand. In fact, I am finding the chances that it is worth continue playing based on the money in the pot and the card odds. So technically, I would be doing a similar problem to the one you did in class but taking into account many more things. I might as well take a look at Game Theory!

Maroctam, I just looked over that essay! It is certainly a very interesting EE on zero-sum poker, however, I'm not really diving into that type of topic. Apart from seeming to descriptive, I still haven't covered matrices in Math, and I really had trouble understanding everything! Thanks, though!

Ah makes sense. In that case I'm sure what you are proposing is at the level of an HL maths exploration, but sounds like you might want to consider using game theory to me. I don't know much about it, but I'm pretty certain that doing those calculations using conditional probability would be very tedious and time consuming.

I completely agree with you, I should consider Game Theory. I hope I can also use conditional probability, though. I am going to start trying out things for the exploration. Have any of you started the exploration yet? How did you do in setting a clear topic? Did you make an outline?

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I have to hand mine in on the 1st of November...

I wrote mine on the applications of linear differential equations, I applied them to problems involving dilution.

Basically once you have your general concept, you need to focus on one specific area you are really interested in, and then start doing the maths to see if it is actually a plausible exploration.

I did all of the maths in my exploration before I wrote it, and sort of described it in steps as my essay.

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I haven't written mine yet, but it's going to be about the effect of spin on the trajectory of tennis balls. I've done quite a lot of research so I have an idea as to how I am going to write it and what math will be involved. But I've stumbled upon an issue (how to measure the spin on the balls) but as soon as I figure it out, the writing process should be fine.

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