Odds are an important part of Poker game. If you don't know how to calculate poker odds you will have a hard time playing your poker 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. Poker, 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 Poker odds.
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 poker probabilities if you want to become a winning poker player.
Using Pot Odds in Poker Games
Once you know how to calculate pot odds, you'll know whether you should call a bet by knowing your odds of winning the hand, also known as poker odds. This can be established by calculating the ratio of cards remaining to cards that will give you the win.
Poker odds most often come into play when you are on a drawing hand. You'll want to know if the odds the pot is offering you are better than your actual odds of hitting your hand. To calculate your odds of making your hand, simply count the number of cards that you can consider to be "outs" cards that will complete your hand, and compare them to the number of cards that remain. For example, let's say you hold AK on a board of 3 9 5 8 and you are convinced your opponent has top pair. This means that any ace or king should give you the pot. This gives you six outs, for the three remaining aces and three remaining kings. Since you know your two cards and the four on the board, there are 46 cards you have not seen, 52 minus six. Out of those 46, six give you the win and 40 do not. This is an odds ratio of 40-to-6, which reduces to about 6.5-to-1. This means you need better than 6.5-to-1 pot odds to continue.
Although these are rough calculations, they still may be difficult to make in a game. For this reason, you should have certain poker odds committed to memory. The most important ones are as follows:
Your odds of flopping a set from a pocket pair are about 8-to-1. Your odds of making a flush on the next card if you flop a four flush are about 4-to-1, if you get to see both cards it is closer to 2-to-1.
Your odds of making a straight on the next card if you are open-ended are around 5-to-1.
If you have four outs with one card to come you are roughly 11-to-1, two outs and you are around 22-to-1, one out and you are 45-to-1. (That one is easy. There are 46 cards in the deck and only one of them helps you, the other 45 do not.)
In a no limit game, you'll also know how much to bet so that opponents aren't getting the right odds to call to try to hit a draw (a pot-sized bet or greater will usually do the trick if you're not sure).