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Back to school time: MIT offers free poker theory lessons

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You’ve probably seen online poker sites offer poker schools of sorts. Sometimes called poker academies, poker sites try to teach you the ins and outs of Holde’m, Omaha, and other variations so you’ll feel comfortable playing the game. While some strategy is taught, the goal is to get you to the tables, not make you a poker pro.


But one Ivy League school is going one step further. MIT has developed a new course called Poker Theory and Analytics. Yup, that MIT. As in the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

The course is offered as part of MIT OpenCourseWare, which means you can take the course right now if you like, all without having to travel to Massachusetts. In the spirit of all things Internet, the course is taken entirely online and includes several video lectures.

Part of the course includes putting your theory to practice at online poker sites. These are free-play sites, so you won’t be spending actual money as you aim to become the next big thing in poker.


If you’re wondering what a big school like MIT is doing teaching gambling, you’re not alone. However, unlike other casino games where luck plays a huge factor, poker is in fact a game of skill. After all, it’s one of the only games where you can have the worst hand in poker and end up winning a hand. It’s all about how you play the cards you’re dealt.

The fact that MIT is offering poker lessons isn’t that surprising. Known for students and professors that reinvent what it means to be mathematical and statistical geniuses, MIT is one of the top post-secondary institutions in the world. If you’re not familiar with the school itself but the acronym MIT sounds familiar, then chances are you’ve seen the movie 21.

Yup, the Blackjack movie, based on a true story, about a group of MIT students who develop a method for counting cards at the Blackjack tables. Staring Kevin Spacey as the professor, 21 follows the group of math geniuses as they tour Vegas, and the world, in an effort to count cards and win big. And win big they did. In the movie (and in real life) the group won millions of dollars and were banned from casinos all over the world.


Remember, it’s not illegal to count cards. But doing so does get you on a blacklist if you’re caught. And as rumor has it, it could also get you your legs broken, but that’s a story for another day. The group did try to evade authorities by wearing disguises, at least according to the movie (Hollywood does have a way of embellishing the truth).

If you’re interested in learning about poker, you don’t have to take a course to fine tune your strategy. While we don’t offer online poker at Prism Casino, you can try your luck at video poker. Instead of playing against other players, you’re essentially playing against yourself. As long as you make the board (which usually means having a pair of Jacks) you’ll win. We offer lots of variations of video poker, so check it out. You can even play for free to test the waters.

Gemma Sykes

Gemma is not only a great game player who enjoys casino halls, she is also a great jazz dancer. She has a very keen interest in the way things work, her curiosity got her a job on online gambling industry as a writer. Always looking for new and fun ways to do things and still have time for the spotlight.