Poker Bankroll Poker Hand Odds Explained

Poker Hand Odds Explained

If you were good at math, odds won't be a problem for you to calculate. If you weren't there are ways that you can still benefit from doing some quick figures in your head to determine if you should make a call or throw in some more chips while you attempt to pull down a pot.

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Why are Odds Important in Poker?

If you are holding a hand that has many ways to mature and win a big pot, you'd like to know it's time to bet the farm, wouldn't you? If that draw that you are contemplating calling a huge bet to chase is a one-outer, you'd like to know what your chances are wouldn't you?

The fact is that any poker hand can be boiled down to a mathematical formula. Once you've figured the odds that your hand will win, you'll know exactly what your chances are. And if you compare the odds that you'll pick up the hand you are looking for to the odds you get from the money in the pot, now you'll be able to decide whether or not to make a big call.

There are obviously more factors than just the odds. Some pros depend on their feel for the game, which includes other issues, like being able to read other players, than just going with the numbers. But, it's always good to know where you stand before taking chips from your stack and potentially giving them away. Of course, you may just be making a wise investment.

Hand Odds and Poker Odds(your outs)

The first odds you'll come in contact are the Poker Hand Odds that any particular hand will be dealt to you. You'll get A-A dealt to you once every 220 hands. Of course, that's in the long run. If you played millions of hands of Hold 'Em, the numbers should work out to about once every 220 you'll get A-A in the hole.

Since you are actually playing in the short run, you might just get A-A back to back or even three times in a row. The odds that are most important to you are the odds that the two cards you get will work with the community cards and make a winner for you.

Your first step in making an odds calculation is counting your outs. Outs are the cards that can come on the board that will actually fill in your hand. If you've got four cards to a flush, you've got nine outs, since any of nine of that suit will complete your flush. If you've got an open ended straight draw, you've got eight outs, since any one of two cards will make your straight. The more outs the better. You may have a flush and a straight draw. You would have nine for the flush and six for the straight, since two of those would be in the suit you were looking for to make a flush. Those two possibilities alone would give you 15 total outs.

How To Calculate Hand Odds

But you need to know your chances of having those outs come through. Let's say you are on the turn, after the fourth community card is dealt, and you have those 15 outs. You have two cards in the hole. There are four cards on the board. You've seen six of the 52 cards, leaving 46 that you haven't seen. Divide 15 by 46 and you have the percentage that you'll get one of the needed cards. That breaks down to .326, or about 32% that you'll get your card. You can also divide 46 by 15. That calculates to 3.1 to 1. Either way, you've got about a 33 percent chance to hit your hand. If you want a shortcut, just multiply the outs by two and add two. The number won't be perfect, but during a hand, it might be all you have time to work up.

What Are Implied Odds?

While all these calculations are going on, the situation is always in a state of flux. You're adding chips to the pot, cards are being exposed. In order to really make the most of your immediate future, you need to speculate. How much money do you think will be in the pot by the time the cards are shown down? These numbers will give you implied odds. So, if you have a pot with seven bets in it, and your call will make it eight, but after the river you're probably going to be calling another bet, to make it ten bets total, you've got to figure that in to your pot odds.

Pot Odds And Poker Odds

To calculate pot odds, you have to take the amount of money in the pot and compare it to the amount you are being asked to put in. In the above example, with seven bets in the pot, you'll be getting 7-1 odds on your money to make a call. If you figure in the next two likely bets, you'll be getting 10-1.

That's a pretty good price. If your hand is better than a 10-1 chance to be a winner, you'll be happy to put your money in the pot.

Mathematically speaking, you are getting favorable odds when the pot odds you are getting are higher than your hand odds. Taking your 15 out hand above, with the bets in the pot above that give you 10-1 pot odds, your hand is giving you 3-1 odds. You would make that call every time.

Most odds calculations are going to make for tougher decisions. The best thing you can do is work out the numbers and factor them into the rest of the information you have on the players, your position and the cards on the board.