It is hard to believe that the American engineer Edward Aloysius Murphy, Jr. (1918 – 1990) had the slightest idea of the impact that the statement he made about his assistant while working for the United States Air Force would have: “If he has any chance of making a mistake, he will.”
Murphy’s maxim would quickly morph into the much more famous “If something can go wrong, it will”, and many similar “laws” have emerged in various fields since then.
The so-called “murphology” is enriched every year with new and new maxims, and in this material, we present those listed in poker.
If you have played online or offline poker at least a few times in your life, you will definitely appreciate the dark humor that “oozes” in Murphy’s Laws of Poker, and you will probably find yourself in most of them.
Murphy’s Laws in Poker
- If there are any cards left and there is any chance you will still lose the hand, you will lose it
- The odds of losing an all-in are inversely proportional to the size of the stack. For example, if you also waited to get Aces/Kings etc. and you lost to any stack with any two higher cards!
- Decided you need to steal the blinds and go all-in? You get the snap call and you are sure to hit aces or pops. Or worse – someone accidentally calls a hand like 2,7 and beats you
- Are you BB and have bad cards? Surely someone will go all-in in front of you. Are you BB and have a monstrous hand (AA/KK)? In a maximum of 2 seconds the whole table folds. Or your internet goes down, or you hit the Shut Down button of your computer.
- Did you go to the bathroom and have a sit-out? You missed Aces, Kings or any other monstrous hand. No, you cannot go to the bathroom and peek to check if the Aces come, but you can try.
Do you feel better now that you know it’s not just you?
- If there is a chance that an opponent will get the best hand when you seriously C-Bet or move all in after seriously raising pre-flop, they will.
- If you go all-in with any two cards other than Aces, you will get Aces.
- If you push all-in with Aces, you will get Aces and your opponent will have a flush.
- If you go all-in with Aces and don’t hit Aces, 3 cards will come on the flop from a different suit than the two your Aces are part of. Obviously, most of the time your opponent will have a flush.
- If you have Aces, someone will flop a set.
- If you flop a set, someone always flops a higher set.
- The more annoying a table player is, the luckier they will be, at least against your hands
You think it can’t get any worse?
- Are you on the bubble in an MTT? You will get bad hands until you are out from blinds, or you will quickly get a hand that you go all in with and lose. I know players who have “bent” Karma by folding in the Bubble phase even with pre-flop Aces.
- Fold any hand and you would be Nuts on the flop! Especially in the important stages of an MTT tournament, you would have won any hand you folded (Look… if I kept going, I would have been Nuts… but how could I call with… any 2 cards)
- If you raise preflop with two cards of the same suit, and in the flop you see two other cards from your suit – so you have a draw – there are several ways to lose the hand: 1 – Bet on flop, bet on turn, check on river as you did not get a flush and the hand is gone 2 – You go all-in, someone calls with a low card (usually the lowest) and you lose 3 – you get a flush on the turn, and another one of the same suit comes on the river, for the opponent to flush Ace, Queen, etc. And those are just the 3 most common ways to lose such J hands
- You go all-in with any different pair of Aces and get called by 3 opponents, all with Ace High hands (AK, AQ, AJ, AT, A9, etc.)? Should I say more? Inevitably, the last Ace in the pack will be on the table, usually on the river, after that big break that lasts just long enough to say – Don’t tell me the last Ace in the pack is coming!
- Any sit-out player wins hands in which he is all-in.
- Has anyone gone all-in and are you thinking you should call with AQ? Do it if you have to, and as soon as you call, 2-3 other players with similar cards (AK, AQ, AJ, AT) will also call.
All of the “laws” above are inspired by the game of NL Texas Holdem (the most popular variant of poker), but let’s be clear that things don’t always work out that way, and from my experience and that of people I know, I can tell you that good money can be made in online poker.
It’s not easy at all, you need a lot of free time, nerves of steel, patience, luck, study and a lot of discipline, but the rewards can be fulfilling.