Getting serious about the game of poker? Then you need to know something very important; something all professional poker players know. No, it’s not how to use a poker odds calculator. It’s how to be your OWN poker odds calculator. You can’t bring a program or calculator with you to a game, so if you want to be a serious contender, you need to know how to quickly calculate the odds of various aspects of a game you are involved in.
Before you get discouraged and stop reading, let me just assure you that it isn’t as difficult as it might seem. You don’t have to be a math wiz to figure out the pot odds for a given hand or to calculate the odds of making your hand. Sure, you might need a little practice, but what doesn’t take practice to get good at?
Since Texas Hold’Em is one of the more popular poker games being played right now, we can use it in learning how to calculate poker odds, but you can use these formulas in other poker games as well.
These are the odds you get when you compare the odds of making your hand with the size of the pot. If your odds of winning the pot is higher than the ratio of the pot size to a bet, then you are said to have good pot odds. Using these odds, you can help you decide whether you should call a bet or not. Calculating them is a matter of simple division.
For example, let’s say a pot is up to $30 and the bet to call is $10. This would make the pot to bet ratio 30/10, simplified as 3/1 or 3 to 1.
Odds of Making Your Hand
Now what you have to do is compare the pot odds to the odds against your hand. We’ll use this example to demonstrate how to figure out the odds of your hand:
Let’s say you have two hole cards and there are three on the board. First, you’ll have to figure out how many cards there are that you cannot see. The simple formula in this example would be: 52 – 5 = 47 (52 cards in the deck, 5 cards seen. Of those 47 unseen cards, you have your “outs” (the number of cards left in the deck that you can’t see, but that you need to make your hand) and the cards you don’t need. So, if you have a gutshot straight after the flop (a straight with a card missing from the middle), there are four “outs” in the deck that could make your hand, and thus, 43 cards you don’t need.
As such, the ratio of cards you don’t need to cards you need is 43/4 (43 to 4) or about 10.75/1 (10.75 to 1).
Poker Odds Comparison
Now all you have to do is figure out if you should make the call, fold or raise. If the pot odds are higher than the odds against making your hand, you should call or raise.
Bet Odds and Implied Odds
These poker odds are a little more difficult to calculate. These odds refer to the number of callers to a raise. It is harder to calculate them because they rely on the actions of other players and try to predict the number of betters that will call. This means you’ll have to use your knowledge of the other players and whether you think they have a good hand based on their past and present actions. With bet odds, you’re trying to determine how many people will call or raise, and with implied odds, you’re trying to think of the player reactions in the long term. We will look at an example to demonstrate these odds.
The pot is at $100. One player bets on the flop, but everyone else folds. You are trying to make a set into a full house. The first thing you’ll want to d is figure out your odds of hitting a full house on the turn. This comes out to 5.7 to 1. Let’s say it’s a $10 bet vs. a $100 pot. That means that the payout is 10 times what you’ll put into the bet. This means that, since 5.7 to 1 is better than 1 to 10, these odds aren’t bad. However, you’ll need to take into account what the other player is going to bet on the turn and the river as well. It gets even more complicated if the other player raises you.If all this seems too complex, just remember, it’s wroth it. Continue to practice, little by little every time you play poker and eventually you will master it. Once you are able to become fluid in figuring out the pot odds, the bet and implied odds aren’t too much more difficult to learn. Just keep in mind, there is no substitute for becoming your own poker odds calculator!