Pot Odds & Bet Odds
of the biggest mistakes you can make when playing poker is not being
selective enough and playing too many hands. The other is hoping
to draw a hand that you probably will hit, but that still won't
be good enough to take the pot.
Outs are the cards which are still
in the deck that will help your hand; Pot odds
are the odds on the pot as it is now compared to what you will be
called on. Bet odds are the odds based on what
the other players will do in response to you raising them, and implied
odds are what shape you think the betting is going to take over
the course of the hand.
Now, I hope you've got your Math hat on, because you've
got some figgerin' to do here. What you'll have to do is divide
the number of outs you've got left in the deck with the amount of
cards that haven't been seen (and this includes your opponents cards
and the burned cards), leaving you with your percentage odds of
actually drawing that 6 you need to complete your straight.
For example, let's say you were dealt a 4 and a 5 off
suit. Then the 7 and 8 came up on the Flop, and you're waiting for
the Turn to see if you draw the inside straight. That leaves you
with 4 outs and 47 unseen cards, making the odds of you catching
that four on the Turn about 8%. If it doesn't come up, your chances
on the River (now with 46 cards left unseen) is closer to 9%. Not
so hard, right? Just divide the outs by the unseen cards.
Pot odds aren't much more difficult. You compare your
outs ' your chances of winning the hand ' to the size of the pot:
if your outs percentage is better than the pot-to-bet ratio, that's
good pot odds. Say you needed that 6 from earlier while you're playing
in a $10/$20 head's up game of hold'em. The only guy left just bet
$20, & if you call the $20 you could end up winning a $300 pot.
That's a 1-to-15 ratio on the pot, and on the river you've got about
a 1-in-12 chance of pulling that 6. Since 1/12 is higher than 1/15,
calling isn't a bad idea.
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