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How to Calculate Pot Odds

A very important part of solid poker; is to know Pot Odds and what they mean. Not only should you know pot odds, but you must now how to calculate pot odds. This is actually one of the simplest mathematical equations in poker. Pot odds are really just the ratio of the amount of money in the pot compared to the amount of money you need to put into the pot to continue to play in the hand. So for example, if there is $200.00 in the Pot, and you must put in $20.00 to call a bet, then the pot odds ration is 10:1.

All you have to do is take the amount of money in the pot and divide it by the amount of money that you must put into the pot, and you will have pot odds.
$ in pot / $ to be put in pot = Pot Odds

Pot Odds are pretty useless when you try to use them by their selves. You must be able to use hand odds together with Pot Odds. They work together with each other to create a great way to know when to call a hand and when not to. There are many players out there that strictly play by the odds and the odds only. When you here odds and probabilities being talked about, it is reference to pot odds and hand odds.
What are hand odds?
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Hand odds are just simply the chances that you will make a winning five card poker hand. One of the most common drawing hands is a flush draw. If you have two spades in your hand, and there are two spades on the board then the odds of making a flush will be about 2:1. What his means to you, is that you will hit your flush one out of every 3 times that you play for a flush in this situation (which is usually quite often). Yes, 3 times, not 2. If your hand odds come out to 3:1, then you will hit your flush 1 out of every 4 times you play the hand.

The first thing you must know in order to calculate your hand odds, is the amount of outs you have in order to make a winning hand. Once you know the outs it is easy to figure out the percentages and odds.
Calculating Hand Odds

1. Count the number of cards that will make a winning hand.
2. On the flop, multiply your outs by 4 then add 1.
3. On the turn, multiply your outs by 2 then add 1.

Example:

Your Hand = A(d) K(d)

Flop = 10(d) J (d) 2(h)

In this situation you can see that right now you do not have a winning hand. It is safe to assume that if any diamond comes up you will win with a flush. It is also safe to assume that if any queen comes up you will win with a straight.

Outs = 17 (13 Diamonds, 4 Queens)

This means on the flop you will have a 69% chance of winning this hand

17 outs X 4 = 68 + 1 = 69%

On the turn you will have a 35% chance of winning this hand

17 outs X 2 = 34 + 1 = 35%

Now that you understand how to calculate hand odds, you must be able to use them with pot odds. This is the whole purpose of calculating all of this. Remember that poker is a game of the long run. If you play the odds, you will win in the long run.
You see, in this example you have approximately a 7:10 chance of winning this hand, which means you will win 7 out of 10 times on this draw. So in order for you to call a bet, you must have pot odds that match up to this. Your odds here are of winning this hand are 3:1.

Let’s say that there is $100.00 in the pot, and the bet is $20.00 your odds are 6:1 which means that you can afford to lose this hand 5 times before breaking even. Well since your hand odds are 3:1. That means that you are getting double out of your pot odds then what you are looking for. This means you should profit nicely from this hand, and it is a great opportunity. It is hard to understand on paper, but once you practice it and read over this article a couple times in between you will get the hand of the odds.

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