This is a general guide to odds in poker. Different types of odds will help you determine whether or not it’s worth it to call until the turn, or what your realistic chance is to win the hand. Mathematical odds become increasingly important in online play. Since you’ll be playing many hands per hour, you can be pickier about what cards you want to play. Let’s get started with some basic poker odds.
Basic Poker Odds
This is a general guide to odds in poker. Different types of odds will help you determine whether or not it’s worth it to call that bet, or what your realistic chance to win the hand is. Mathematical odds become increasingly important in online play. Since you’ll be playing many hands per hour, you can afford to be picky about what cards you want to play. Now, let’s get started with some basic poker odds.
An “out” is simply how many cards in the deck will help you make your hand. I’ll give you a few examples of what I mean. Let’s say you’re holding a pair of 8’s. There are two cards in the deck that could help make your hand better. Those two cards are, naturally, the 8’s. There may be other cards that could make your hand better, but they’d also help out your opponents. This can also be applied after more cards are in the mix. For example, let’s say that you’re playing Texas Holdem and you’re holding Q-5 of diamonds.
The flop is 7-A-2. The A-2 are diamonds. That means there are potentially 14 cards in the deck that will work for you and give you a better hand. 3 Queen’s, 3 fives, and the 9 remaining diamonds. Note that it is not possible, except for sometimes in 7 Card Stud, to take into account whether or not your opponents may be holding the cards you need. You can do some guesswork, but you also need to remember that any folded hands also may have had some of the cards you needed.
When considering whether or not it’s worth it to call, pot odds can play a very significant part in helping you decide. Pot odds are how much it will cost you to call a bet versus how much you stand to profit. For example, let’s say you’re playing in a $5/$10 game. You’re near start of the game. The betting goes around, and someone raises $5. Several people either call or fold and then the play comes to you. There’s $30 in the pot. What this means to you is that you’d have to risk your $5 to win $30. This translates to 6 to 1 pot odds. So, if you risk it, so long as you win one time out of six, you’re breaking even by making that call. This works for anything. It’s a great way to decide if it’s really worth risking your money to see the final cards.
These are how many callers you think you’ll have for a specific betting round. For example, let’s say you’re one away from a flush draw. You want to bet, and expect there to be 4 people who will call. These are 4 to 1 bet odds. These are good odds to use, as they can be easily done before your hand is made. If you think that you’d get 6-7 callers, you will have good bet odds on your hand should you bet.
These are similar to pot odds, except it goes with assumed amount in the pot at the end of all betting rounds. For example, at the start of the game, if you think that the pot at the end will most likely be X, you can better determine what you want to call or bet, and whether or not it’s worth it to stay in the game until the end. This is more speculative way of telling poker odds than other methods, but it can still help you reach a decision if you’re having trouble.
I’m Jason Rockwell. When I’m not winning playing online poker, I enjoy writing about my love of the game. Thanks for visiting!