When a modern poker player decides to get serious about the game, one of the first things he learns about is pot odds. He learns that pot odds are the odds the pot is offering you to win if you call the next bet. You shouldn’t have any trouble finding a Great poker odds calculator online, but it is always good for your game to know the basic math anyway.
If there is $20 in the pot and the bet is $5, the pot offers 4-to-1 pot odds. If you have a better than 4-to-1 chance to win, call. If not, fold.
A poker player also learns the odds of hitting certain hands. The odds of flopping a set are around 8-to-1. The odds of making a flush draw with one card to come are about 4-to-1. Making an open ended straight draw, close to 5-to-1. However, this is not quite the end of the story.
Using Pot Odds in Practice
The problem is that poker is a game of incomplete information. Sure, you are 4-to-1 to make your flush draw, but what if a flush is not good enough to win?
If you hit your pair of aces, is the pot yours or does your opponent already have two pair? The normal pot odds calculation is insufficient here, which is why you need to consider hand distributions.
Using Pot Odds With Hand Distributions
Using pot odds with hand distributions means comparing the pot odds to your odds of winning against a likely range of your opponents’ hands. You may decide that you are 4-to-1 to beat hands a-c and 2-to-1 to beat hands d-f.
Then you must weight the likelihoods of the hands. If a-c seems 75 percent likely and d-f 25 percent likely, you need to weight the 4-to-1 three times as much, putting you at about 3.5-to-1 to win.
Hand Distributions in Practice
Of course, complicated math is not easy to do quickly at the poker table, nor is developing a trustworthy range of hands. However the more you play and the more observant you are, the better you will become at creating accurate ranges and understanding what they mean. If you play a lot of poker on the net, online Texas holdem odds can be calculated for you by using calculating software. If you keep at it, you should find it much easier to make correct decisions even in your offline play.
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