Learn Basic Poker Odds

POKER odds

Poker odds can seem confusing at first, but if you’re going to take poker seriously then having a basic knowledge is critical.

Like it or not, poker is an odds game. Every hand you play has odds, probability and statistics attached to it.

But don’t worry: You don’t need to become a math expert to be a strong player. As complex as poker strategy is, the core of the game is still very simple.

Pot Odds

The odds you’re “being offered by the pot” to make your call are called pot odds. It’s the amount of money in the pot compared to the amount you must pay to stay.

Equity

After figuring out your pot odds you need to figure out your equity, which is your chances of winning the pot compared to your opponent’s.

To calculate your equity, take your total number of outs and multiply it by four on the flop (or two on the turn). This will give you your chance at winning the pot as a percentage.

Pot Odds vrs Equity

Simply compare the two numbers on the left-hand side of the ratios to know if you should make the call.

If your pot odds is higher than your equity, it’s a good call. If it’s lower, then you’re making a bad call.

Here are some poker odds and statistics to help improve your poker games:

  • The chances of getting a top starting hand, is a minute1%. Hold out for one of these and you’ll never get started.
  • Don’t play any two cards just because they’re suited. It only improves your hand by5%.
  • If you flop an open-ended straight draw this gives you eight possible cards that will complete the hand, so you’ll hit your hand by the river 5% of the time. Just make sure you’re getting pot odds to see the next card.
  • If you already have a pair, the odds of flopping a set (three of a kind) are only 5/1. Make sure you only play small pairs modestly, and only if the pot is worth it.
  • When two pairs go head to head, the bigger pair will win roughly 80% of the time (or four times out of five). So if you’ve got queens, and see a bet and raise in front of you, you might be up against aces, kings or both. Time to fold.
  • A pair against two over cards is often called a coin-flip or race, because they each win about half the time. If the over cards are suited, the pair will win 46%-54% of the time.
  • Middle suited connectors are better than aces because of the straight and flush possibilities. But if you’re holding aces, the over-pair will beat the suited connectors 80%of the time
  • If you get two pairs on the flop, the chances of making a full house by the river are 74%. But if you flop three of a kind, the odds of making a full house or better go up to 33.4%.
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