Poker Odds & Pot Odds
Odds are an important part of Texas Holdem. If you don't know how to calculate hand odds, poker odds and pot odds you will have a hard time playing your Texas Holdem hands correctly in difficult situations. Although many successful poker players claim to play by "feel," a solid grounding in math is vital for successful poker play. Texas Hold'em, like all other forms of gambling, is based on odds.
The likelihood of something happening vs. how much you get paid if it does happen is the basis for all gambling propositions. This likelihood is referred to as odds, and it will be very difficult for you to bet or call bets correctly if you do not understand Texas Hold'em odds. Download a good poker odds calculator and you've got this covered.
What are the chances of hitting a flush draw? What are the chances of your pocket pair improving to a set on the flop. You will find the answers to these questions, and many more, on this page. It's difficult to memorize all this information, but you should at least have a basic understanding of the texas holdem probabilities if you want to become a winning Texas Holdem player.
Pot odds are the ratio of the amount of money in the pot compared with the call you have to make. If there is $200 in the pot and it takes $20 to call, your pot odds are 10:1. If there is $100 in the pot and it takes $20 to call, then your pot odds are 5:1. A higher ratio means better pot odds. Pot odds are used to determine whether a certain play will be profitable in the long run or not. If there is $200 in the pot and it takes $20 to call, you must win this hand 1 out of 11 times to at least break even. If you make calls like this 11 times, it will cost you $220 and that is exactly what you will get when you win, ($200 + your $20 call). Comparing hand odds and pot odds help you determine whether you should make a call or not. For example, if you're drawing for a flush you have to look at the pot odds. As mentioned above, a flush draw on the flop gives you 35 % chance of hitting the hand, meaning that you will hit about one in three times. Consequently you will need pot odds of at least 3:1 to call. In this case it would be correct to call a $10 bet into a $40 pot (4:1 pot odds), but it would be incorrect to call a $10 bet into a $20 pot (2:1 pot odds).
Sometimes you should disregard the pot odds and look at the implied odds the situation is offering instead. It might be mathematically incorrect to make a call at one stage, but if you're sure that your opponent(s) will put enough money in the pot if you hit your hand, you should make the call.