Tips and Tricks to Make Them Work for You

Poker Odds and Blackjack Odds: Tips and Tricks to Make Them Work for You

All good poker players know the odds and probabilities by heart. So if you want to be one, you also need to know how to calculate the odds in a game of poker. By knowing the odds and probabilities, you can make better judgments when it comes to making bets and winning more pots. Knowing the odds and probabilities does not mean that you will win all the time, but you won’t lose needlessly. Knowing the odds means that you become smarter with your money, and you play hands that have a good chance of winning. In poker, there are always risks involved; there is no sure hand that can win you the pot. And even if you win the pot, you can’t expect to get good hands at every deal. This is why it’s essential for you to know your odds and probabilities in a game.

Calculating your pot odds

In most scenarios, you would consider the odds when you’re on the draw, meaning when you need additional cards to strengthen your hand. The cards that you need to come out on the turn and river are called “outs.” What you do is calculate the odds of the outs coming up on the turn or the river (or coming up with a hit), then look at the pot and bet amount and see whether the rewards are greater than the risk. For example, you have a K-J of spades for the pocket hand, and you have 9-10 spades and a 4 hearts on the flop, then you have possible flush or straight on your hands. What you need to consider is the chances of you getting the cards that you need on the turn or the river. You need to count the number of outs that can strengthen your hand. In this example, you need a spade or a Q to come up with a flush or a straight. When you look at the cards, there are still four (4) queens that can come out and nine (9) more spades for a total of 13 outs. Then you compare that to cards that will not help your hand, which are 34 cards. From that you get 2.6: 1 odds of getting the out that you need. From that, what you need to consider is the amount in the pot and the bet that you need to pay to keep your hand in play. Based on the odds that you have, your possible winnings (that is the pot and the bet amount) should be at least equal to the total amount of your bet multiplied by 2.6. If the pot amount is lesser than that, then it means the risk you’re taking is higher than the rewards. You can now decide whether the risk is worth it or you would rather invest your money on a pot that can give you better rewards. You can use the pot odds to determine if you will call, raise, or fold the hand that you currently have.

Sticking to a simpler rule

There’s a simpler rule when it comes to calculating the probability of you hitting an out during the turn or the river. This is roughly called Four-Two. It’s not that difficult to remember. All you need to do is multiply your number of odds by four during the turn, and multiply it by two before the river to get the percentage of your cards showing up. In the example above, you have 13 outs before the turn comes. Multiply it by four (4), and you get 52% of getting a hit on the turn. If the card did not turn up, you multiply 13 by two (2) to get 26%. You need to remember that these are rough estimates, and not exact figures. The actual figures are 48% for the turn and 28% for the river. As you can see, the figures are not exactly that far-out, and this rule can help you make quick calculations with relative accuracy.

Checking the odds charts

There are several charts that you can find online with ready calculations for the odds and percentages depending on the number of outs that you need. These are helpful notes when you’re playing. You can just count the number of outs that you need and refer to the chart for your odds. Then, you just have to factor in your bet and pot amount to get your actual pot odds.

Your other option would be to memorize the chart. It would seem daunting at first, but as you continue playing, through time, knowing the odds would be second nature. You would be surprised at how well you can recall the odds and probabilities during a game, given enough playing experience.

Using the odds calculators

When you’re playing online poker, getting these calculations is made easier by online odds calculators. There are online calculators that can be built into the game where you can get the values in real time, while there are also other calculators where you have to input the values manually. Whatever calculator you have, this makes getting your pot and hand odds faster and easier. Specially if you have the HUD (heads up display), you can see the odds in real-time, that is, during a game. Aside from that, you have other information displayed by the HUD such as player profiles, tendencies, and statistics. Through the information from these tools, you are able to make smarter decisions during games.

Knowing the pot odds can make you a better poker player. This is because the odds tell you whether you’re betting on the right hands or not. By taking into consideration the odds and probabilities in a game, poker becomes more of a game of skill and strategy, rather than just a game depending on luck. Though you may not be certain about the cards that will come out on the turn or river, knowing the chances makes you smarter with your money. It helps you with betting only on hands and pots that have good chances of winning and return greater rewards.