Understanding Texas Hold Em Poker Odds
If you are going to ever play at the peak of your game as a poker player, then you have to have a mastery of Texas Hold Em poker odds that is unmatched at the table.
Many players know all about the psychological side of the game and these players are quite good at reading their opponents. Though they can make moves and put their opponents on a hand, poker education is not complete unless you understand some of the math behind the game.
That is where pot odds, implied odds, and the rest of these theories come in handy.
So what is all this about?
What must you learn in order to be successful?
What Are Pot Odds in Poker?
When we talk about Texas Hold Em Poker Odds, we are primarily talking about pot odds.
This is a somewhat imperfect science that gives us a good idea about whether or not a call is in order.
If you are going to make a call, you will want to know that this play is going to give you a chance to win over the long haul.
For that reason, pot odds in poker are highly tied to the idea of variance.
If you are in a pot and you have reasonably put your opponent on a hand, then you can figure out that you have a certain number of outs in the deck.
The odds of winning that hand are one part of the equation, with the other being how much money is in the pot.
If you come to find out that you have a 33% chance of making your hand and taking down the pot, then you should look at the pot to see if you are getting 2:1 or better on your money.
If the pot is $300 and the amount to call is $75, then you would be well advised to make the call. This is due to the fact that you are being offered 4:1 (300/75) on your $75 with a chance of 2:1 to win $300.
In this scenario, you might know that your opponent has you beat at the moment, but the chances of winning the hand, coupled with the relatively small price for seeing an additional card will make this a solid move over the long run.
Why Do These Pot Odds in Poker Matter?
Texas Hold Em Poker odds matter because of the fact that poker is a game of expected value.
If you play enough hands, the amount of money you make is going to correlate closely with the expected value of each of your plays.
For instance, if you are constantly getting your money into the pot with a 56% chance to win, then you will come out ahead in the long run.
Likewise, you need to understand which hands are worth drawing at. Since so much of poker has to do with playing these drawing hands, it is in your best interest to know which hands are going to give you a positive return.
However if you only had a 20% chance to win a hand and you had to pay $100 to win a $200 pot, then making the call would be the wrong move.
In this scenario you would be being offered 2:1 odds ($200/$100) or 33% on your money for a 4:1 or 20% chance to win $200.
You might call and win this time but 80% of the time you will lose!
When you can calculate your poker pot odds on every hand you play, you will have this information at your disposal which your opponent may not. In poker, information is key because it enables you to make quality decisions and increase your expected value over the long run of the play.
How Do You Calculate The Odds Of Making A Poker Hand?
Now that you understand how to calculate pot odds which is crucial for determining whether to call or fold, you are probably wondering just how to come up with the percentages that tell you your chances of winning a specific poker hand.
After all, there is not going to be an ESPN broadcast to put up the win percentage beside your hand like you see on TV!
Lets take a look at how to calculate the odds for making a flush if you need to call to see the next card.
If you are looking to make a specific poker hand you will have a number of outs or remaining cards in the deck that can complete your hand.
In the case that you wish to make a flush, with 2 hearts in your hand and 2 more on the board, you know that there are 9 other hearts in the deck. This is calculated by subtracting the 4 hearts in play from the total 13 hearts in a standard poker deck of 52 cards.
By subtracting the five cards you have seen, your two hole cards and the three cards on the board that make up the flop, from the total 52 cards in the deck gives you 47 remaining cards.
With only 9 cards out of these remaining 47 completing your flush, gives you a rough percentage of around 20% (9/47). That means that the chances of hitting your flush are somewhere in the neighborhood of 20% on the turn.
This means that you would need to be getting 4:1 on your money to make this an acceptable call over the long run.
If intend to call to the river, the chance of hitting your flush with two cards to come increases slightly to 35% or roughly 2:1.
The important thing to remember is that these pot odds calculations are going to be somewhat rough. Without knowing your opponent’s hand or exact information on the available cards in the deck, you are just making an educated guess.
Poker is a game that requires you to make some guesses, though, and the more educated guesses they are, the better your chances of winning the money.
Understanding Implied Odds in Poker
Another concept to consider when thinking about Texas Hold Em Poker odds is the idea of implied odds.
This requires you to take into account the amount of money that you might win if you were to hit your hand.
With this principle, if you had something like low connecting cards (56 off suit) and you were sure your opponent had a set, then you might be able to make more money if you hit your straight.
In this case, the opponent probably wouldn’t put you on a straight and wouldn’t be able to lay down his hand. This increases the value of your play by a great deal.
The basic tenet of this philosophy is that if you will win a big pot by hitting a hand, you should be able to call an amount greater than what Texas Hold Em Poker Odds indicates is a correct call. You expect your total winnings to be greater than what is already in the pot.
The concept of implied odds is especially important in No Limit Texas Hold Em since your opponent’s entire stack will be at stake if you hit your draw providing huge implied odds and a big incentive to call.
But remember, you have to be pretty sure that you can win it all for implied odds to work in your favor. This is why it is so important to know your opponent’s style of play and how your opponent perceives you.
Now that you have a basic understanding of Texas Hold Em Poker odds, how they are calculated, and why they are important, you are ready to take a look at our Texas Hold Em Poker Odds Chart that provides a quick reference guide to the most common and important odds that you need to know while playing the game.Share This With Others:
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