When describing a single hand in poker is it best to give all possible relevant information for that hand(your hand, table cards, opponents range/vpip/pfr/bluffs, etc) EXCEPT the outcome?

I say this because if you are asking a question where the answer must always be phrased in terms of probability, then would one instance of an outcome be statistically irrelevant?

  • At least one question has an outcome that a commeter found relevant.poker.stackexchange.com/questions/5789/…
    – yaki moto
    Apr 13, 2015 at 18:05
  • Not often you see a question that works on both the main site and the meta! (Although personally I think this fits somewhat better on meta.)
    – Pops
    Apr 14, 2015 at 0:46
  • Agreed with @Pops : this fits better on meta. Apr 14, 2015 at 6:58
  • Can you move this to meta?
    – Jon Mod
    Apr 14, 2015 at 22:38
  • To all, I agree. Better suited to Meta. I'll move this asap when/if I can, or another mod will do it first.
    – Toby Booth
    Apr 15, 2015 at 2:54
  • Outcome cards (with suite), bets, and pot size. Don't make people total up the bets to get a pot size. If you know how to do pot odds then include that. By giving the outcome answer can post where they think you went wrong.
    – paparazzo
    Feb 16, 2016 at 18:57

2 Answers 2


Referring back to an answer I posted on Meta (https://poker.meta.stackexchange.com/a/174/88), specifically setting the scene for the situation and then what you observed or more likely did yourself, is crucial for a successful hand history discussion.

Often, a player may find themselves adding more info about the hand than they explicitly thought of at the table. This should give a player pause for thought, because why include it now and not whilst playing! It's possible a Hero should be thinking with the added info in the first place.

"...it's more important to accurately represent what you were thinking at the time, as changing those decisions will be the ultimate influence on your future success."

In terms of probability, yes, a single hand will not be significant. I agree, as I think you allude to, that shouldn't be our focus when discussing hand histories, as inevitably it is a players decisions that add up to their results. The long term statistics will take care of themselves.

Importantly, my reasoning for not including outcomes for a hand, is that they are irrelevant at the time a decision is made, and thus are unnecessary. They are more likely to bias an answer than they are to help it. I always leave them out.

  • 2
    Agreed. If you think that including the outcome is significant for the discussion, at least enclose it in a spoiler tag so that the readers will see it only if they explicitly want to. Apr 14, 2015 at 8:25
  • The last paragraph here is the cruicial one IMO and the reason I've always omitted (or enclosed in spoiler tags) any action or results beyond the point of the decision I'm asking for advice on when posting hands online.
    – 3N1GM4
    Dec 29, 2016 at 20:14

Poker has variance. If they hit a 2 outer on the river that should not change the analysis of the hand. Pros that do channels always include the outcome.

Call or bet the river is just one decision. How you played the hand before is often more important than the final decision.

Knowing the river allows for analysis of how the villain played. They may have got there but still played poorly.

You can lose a hand a play it properly.

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