Texas Hold’em Odds Explained
We have all heard the advice to bet when you think you have the best hand and fold if you think you a bad hand. If you follow this advice you will be missing out at the chance to win more money. There are times in poker when continuing to play is the right decision if have the right odds. By using simple math and odds you can decide if continuing in a hand is a profitable adventure.
Odds tell you how many times something will not happen. Probability however tells us how often something will happen.
Mastering drawing odds is the first part of this process. It all comes down to if staying in the hand gives you positive or negative expectation.
An out is a card that will improve your hand. To find your drawing odds you will first need to know how many outs you have.
For example, if you are holding 2 spades and there are 2 spades showing on the flop, you need one more spade to make your flush. So, you may say I have 1 out, but you are incorrect.
There is a total of 13 spades in a deck, and 4 of them are showing. If you subtract 4 from 13 we are left with 9 spades, thus there are 9 outs left in the deck that can make your flush.
Calculating Drawing Odds
Properly calculating your odds requires you to know the number of unseen cards; after the flop there are 47 unseen cards. To calculate your drawing odds take the number of ‘unseen cards’ subtracted by your outs and then divide this number by the total number of outs that will help your hand.
Using the example above there are 9 outs that will make your flush. 47 subtracted by 9 is 38. 38 divided by 9 is 4.2. Your drawing odds to hit your flush are 4 to 1.
These are the odds of hitting your card on the turn, even though there are two cards to come. I always suggest to find your drawing odds one street at a time.
Pot odds are a much easier concept to understand. Pot odds are the relationship between the overall amount of chips in the pot and the amount of the bet you need to call.
To find your pot odds you simple divide the total pot by the bet you must call. For example if the total pot is $20 and you need to call a $2 bet you should divide 20 by 2 giving you 10 to 1 pot odds.
Putting it All Together
Now that you know the basic concepts of odds in Texas Hold’em you can learn how to use these concepts to your advantage. Use these steps to decide if you should call a drawing hand:
– Find your number of outs.
– Calculate your drawing odds.
– Calculate your pot odds.
– If your pot odds are higher than your drawing odds you should continue.
That’s go through these steps with the examples from above. Your calculated drawing odds to hit the flush were 4 to 1. The pot odds of calling a $2 bet with $20 in the pot was 10 to 1. Your pot odds are more than twice that of your drawing odds which gives you positive expectation to continue in the hand.
There are a number of concepts that you need to remember to understand basic odds in Texas Hold’em, but even with only a few hours of practice you can easily grasp them. Carbon Poker offers a free odds calculator that can help you practice and better understand the math behind Texas Hold’em.
Using odds to decide how to play drawing hands will increase your overall profit at the poker table, so take the time further study these concepts.
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