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Mastering Poker Math, Volume 1


8.7 Total Score

While reading the book, I could feel the positive energy and passion Chuck Clayton has for poker and math. That blend often guarantees a good product but is it also true with ‘Mastering Poker Math, Volume 1’ book? Read the below review and find out.

7User's score
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Author’s authority
Writing style
  • Clear explanations
  • Poker Math shortcuts
  • Nicely written and concise,
  • Charts, tables, and infographics that are easy to understand
  • Well organized and informative
  • Free with Kindle Unlimited in the US
  • Free live and online tracking spreadsheets
  • Too few specific/real hand examples
  • Not for very advanced/pro players
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Mastering Poker Math
The book focuses mainly on the NLH tournament. But, some of the concepts you can also apply to cash games. It teaches you basic as well as complex poker math.


Mastering-Poker Math Book ReviewSome parts of the book are straightforward, and some are more complicated. Chuck Clayton wants you to gain a deep understanding of the mathematics of poker, not only to memorize it. Thus, when playing, you will be able to use it automatically, without thinking about it too much… of course, before you can do that, you need to practice it as well.

“The reward of understanding the math at a gut level is a significant competitive advantage resulting in a higher level of confidence. You will know more than most players who depend heavily on good cards and good luck” .

After you gain a full understanding of poker math, you will be ready to use it with other equally essential poker skills. 

“Knowing the math isn’t enough. NLH is incredibly complex. To be a complete player, your math skills need to be integrated with your other poker skills.” 

What will you learn from the book?

You will learn quick & straightforward poker math shortcuts. Mastering Poker Math provides you with easy ways to calculate if your poker choices are mathematically correct. The author transforms some of the old poker math tricks into new ones and presents them in an easy-to-understand way. 

It is impressive how Chuck clarifies different aspects of poker through simple math and logic. 

“All players experience bad beats by other players. The bigger the pot, the more intense and painful the experience.  Over time, this intensity of their pain from repeated bad beats is seared into their memory. This causes many players to think that suck outs happen to them more often than they do. This is what is known as selective memory. It is also faulty logic since the probabilities don’t care what you, I, or any other player’s think. The math is dependable and consistent.” 

The book also goes beyond the mathematics of poker. It presents a bit of history, psychology, reading your opponents, recognizing patterns, and more. 


Kindle Unlimited poker books Stuey Ungar

The ‘Preface’ section nicely describes major historical poker events, from the invention of Texas NLH until the appearance of Poker Strategy Software.  It covers all the major events that contributed to the evolution of Texas No–Limit Holdem and of poker in general. Although I was aware of most of the poker cases described in that chapter, it opened up my mind and helped me to see clearly and understand the fantastic evolution of poker. 

I particularly enjoyed the ‘Chip Management Skills’ chapter. It teaches how to manage your chips properly to survive in tournaments as long as possible. 

Despite the complexity of its subject, the book is easy to read, well organized, with a good structure of chapters, sections, paragraphs, and steps. Chuck Clayton phrases poker math in an easy-to-follow and understand way. The writing style reminds me of my favorite high school math teacher.

The book includes tracking spreadsheets that you can use for online and live tournaments. It will help you to know where you are in the tournament when to consider going all-in, what mistakes you made etc. 


I find Mastering Poker Math absorbing because I like numbers, probabilities, statistics, and all the calculations related to poker.

But this is my perspective.

If you are someone who doesn’t like math, then you might not enjoy it as much. Though, remember that to be a successful poker player you need to master all the required skills, including the mathematics of poker.  A must-read if you are serious about improving your poker math. You can get a free version of the book with Kindle Unlimited on Amazon. 

About The Author

Chuck Clayton comes from Georgetown Texas. He has been playing Texas No-Limit Hold’em since 2016. Mastering Poker Math is his first book written on poker. His poker adventure began with playing freerolls in the Austin, Round Rock, and Cedar Park Texas region, which helps to learn the game without losing money.

He final tabled a $10,000 tournament in Cedar Park Texas and chopped the prize together with 3 other players. He was a chip leader most of the final table. Chuck loves reading books, especially on Texas No-Limit Hold’em. He is fascinated by the strategy, complex nature, and fun that poker offers.

Outside of poker, he is a mechanical design and development engineer.

You can follow Chuck on Twitter @Chuck87305355


“Even blind squirrels get nuts.”

“The wonderful thing about the game is that we all get the same cards in the long run.  The difference is which cards we choose to play, when we choose to play them and who we choose to play them against.”

“Excelling in Texas NLH is all about using as many if your advantages as possible to defeat opponents. Those advantages have changed over time.”

“Self-delusion is common in poker because of occasional runs of good cards and good luck. But good cards dry up, and good luck runs out.”

“So, what is luck? Simply put: A low probability event that goes in your favour is good luck. A low probability event that goes in another player’s favour is bad luck”

“A key to success at the tables is to put your opponents in tough situations so they must make difficult decisions.”

“The gambling gene is too deeply rooted in the American psyche to destroy such an incredible game such as Texas NLH” – in relation to Black Friday and the 2006 Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA)

Book Promo Video

Table Of Content

Table of Contents
Preface: A New Breed of Poker Player
The preface presents important historical events that contributed to the evolution of Texas No – Limit Holdem and of poker in general.
Introduction: Mastering Poker Math
Section I – Foundational Poker Math Skills
This section covers some crucial poker math terms that lay the basis for the whole book
Chapter 1 Decision Making with Imperfect Information
This chapter includes Five Steps that can be applied to every choice at the poker table.
Chapter 2 Probabilities, Fractions, Odds, and Counting Your Outs
This chapter shows the importance of Probabilities, Fractions, Odds, and Counting Your Outs when playing poker
Chapter 3 The Rule of 2 and 4
Quick shortcuts to determine the right decision from math perspective.
Chapter 4 Key Percentages and Probabilities
Most important Percentages and Probabilities that you can face when playing NLH.
Chapter 5 The Importance of Equity
Covers different types of Equity
Chapter 6 Expected Value (EV)
Section II – Mastering the Math
Chapter 7 The Core Math
This section will teach you how to do your own probabilities
Chapter 8 Selecting Great Starting Hands
Learn which hands to play and which to fold
Chapter 9 The Power of Betting
That chapter will help you to understand the importance of aggressive play and different types of betting
Section III – Mastering the Math Applications
Chapter 10 Chip Management Skills
This chapter will teach you how to manage your chips properly
Chapter 11 Why It’s Smart Math to Bluff?
Here Chuck will show the relation between bluffing and math
Chapter 12 The Power and Problems with Aces
Find out how to play every player’s favourite hand effectively, and when to fold it
Chapter 13 The Power and Problems with Pocket Pairs
In this part, you will learn how to play pocket pairs intelligently
Chapter 14 Decision Tree Analysis
This section teaches you a system that helps you putting the opponents on a range
Chapter 15 The Explosive Energy of All-in!
This Chapter will show you how to use logic, math and common sense when going All-in
Chapter 16 Capitalizing on Patterns
Chuck will teach you to discover opponent’s patterns and hide your own
Chapter 17 Math and the Phases of a Tournament
Different phases of a tournament and math application to each
Section IV Becoming a New Breed of Poker Player
Chapter 18 Game Theory Optimal
Learn how to make the smartest game using GTO, which is a branch of mathematics responsible for analyzing strategies of your opponents
Chapter 19 Strengthening Your Skills
Chuck will help you to find your poker strengths and weaknesses that you can improve
Chapter 20 Tracking Your Results
Receive a super system to track and record your live and online poker results
Chapter 21 Next Steps
Additional tips to improve your game

Book Details

Number of Pages: 279
Game: Poker Math
Live/Online: Both
Required Skill Level: Beginners
Format Available: Kindle, Paperback
Free with Kindle Unlimited: Yes
Free with Audible: N/A
Publication date: February 13, 2019
Reprinted: No
Special Features: game tracking spreadsheets, tables, charts, info-graphs, examples
Languages: English
Publisher: Charles W. Clayton

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