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By Susie Poppick
July 22, 2015
Frazer Harrison—Getty Images

A new free online course offered through the Massachusetts Institute of Technology gives students the opportunity to use math and applied theory to get better at playing poker.

The class is taught by finance graduate student Kevin Desmond. It’s part of MIT’s OpenCourseWare program, which opens up course materials and video lectures from many of the school’s classes to the public.

Why is MIT teaching poker? The course comes out of MIT’s Sloan business school, and the course description says poker theory and analysis can be applied to investment management and trading.

Terminology and strategy is covered in eight lectures (you can watch the first one below. Learners who prefer printed material can check out the course notes. Some commenters have noted that the class might be best for poker novices, though the coursework becomes more challenging as it progresses. Beyond basics, like the benefits of sitting at different table positions, you will learn how to calculate odds using statistical probabilities.

The class also requires that you practice your skills within online cardrooms—though you will be betting only fake cash, not the real thing.

Of course, what you do after the course is your own business: You wouldn’t be the first MIT student to make money from playing cards.

Read More: 6 Crucial Life (and Money) Lessons I Learned Playing in the World Series of Poker

Advertiser Disclosure

The purpose of this disclosure is to explain how we make money without charging you for our content.

Our mission is to help people at any stage of life make smart financial decisions through research, reporting, reviews, recommendations, and tools.

Earning your trust is essential to our success, and we believe transparency is critical to creating that trust. To that end, you should know that many or all of the companies featured here are partners who advertise with us.

Our content is free because our partners pay us a referral fee if you click on links or call any of the phone numbers on our site. If you choose to interact with the content on our site, we will likely receive compensation. If you don't, we will not be compensated. Ultimately the choice is yours.

Opinions are our own and our editors and staff writers are instructed to maintain editorial integrity, but compensation along with in-depth research will determine where, how, and in what order they appear on the page.

To find out more about our editorial process and how we make money, click here.

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