Angular Momentum Conservation in live poker

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Jeffrey | Poker Articles, Poker Mathematics

Submitted by Rakewell, this article belongs to the Poker Mathematics series.

Whoever said poker players are superstitious? The article below written by Rakewell treats the dealing and receiving of cards when playing live poker from a purely natural scientific viewpoint. It’s all about angular momentum conservation baby:-)!!! Enjoy……

I’ve decided to break down and share with my readers an important poker principle that you won’t find in any book or DVD or training video currently on the market. That’s because there are some things that the pros keep to themselves in order not to give up all of their edge to the general public.

You’re sitting in a casino poker room and the dealer pitches you a card. It lands nicely right in front of you. But you see that it is not oriented the way you’d like in order to be able to peek and see what it is. Personally, I like them with the long axis pointed toward/away from me, but others like them with the long axis oriented right/left. Either way is fine, but whichever way you prefer, you have a problem when the card lands close to 90 degrees from the way you need it.

The dilemma is this: You have to rotate the card(s) either clockwise or counterclockwise–but which?

Amateur players often assume that it couldn’t make any difference. After all, what is printed on the face of the card can’t change because of how you turn it. “Preposterous,” these people would say.

But it does matter. You absolutely must apply the rotation in the same direction that the card was spinning as it arrived in front of you (which usually depends on whether the dealer is right-handed or left-handed). If you rotate it in the opposite direction, terrible things happen. The cards get dizzy from the sudden change. This is especially true with the face cards. If you upset the delicate equilibrium of, say, a queen, do you think she is going to call out to her peers to come join her in this hand? No! She’s upset. She’s nauseated. Her inner ear thing is all out of whack. She’s going to just sit there and try to recover. She might even throw up a little. By the time she’s feeling better, the hand is over and you’ve got nothing except a little spot of queen vomit.

The underlying mechanism is different for the non-face cards. It’s not a dizziness problem, but one of conservation of luck, which is closely related to the conservation of angular momentum. Do you remember a carnival ride when you were a kid, in which you stand against a round wall, and they start spinning it, and after it’s really going they drop the floor out from under your feet and you stick against the wall by centrifugal force? It’s the same with the cards. You need to keep them spinning in the same direction that the spinning was initiated by the dealer. If you suddenly reverse it, the luck all falls out, in precisely the same way that you would have fallen down into the pit of that ride if they had suddenly thrown it into a reverse spin.

The mathematics of this has actually been worked out in some detail by the boys at Lawrence Livermore Laboratory. It’s beyond the scope of this blog, but trust me on this. Or go to your local library, ask where they keep the back issues of The Journal of the American Society of Theoretical and Applied Serendipity, and look it up for yourself.

You have to treat the cards with respect, and that includes not jarring them into a sudden reverse spin. Once you think about the underlying mechanisms, it’s rather obvious, isn’t it?

So now you know.

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3 Comments to Angular Momentum Conservation in live poker

December 22, 2008

:-) funny stuff Rakewell!!

December 25, 2008

Just testing the new commentluv system…

Mark’s last blog post..Poker Bankroll blog is do follow

Abu Garcia
September 1, 2009

A few weeks ago I discovered this website and have been reading along steadily. I thought I should leave my opening comment. I dont know what to write except that I have enjoyed reading. Cool blog. I intend to keep visiting this site very often. I have also grabbed the feed to get any updates.

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