The two areas most neglected by neophyte poker players are hand percentages and pot odds
. OK, I'm on an open-ended straight draw after the flop with two more cards coming. How many other hands are involved? What is my betting position at the table? How many "outs" do I have? What are the odds that I will make them? If I miss my draw on the turn, what are the odds that I will make it on the river? What are the pot odds? Is the payoff in the pot worth the investment I'm about to risk? If I'm 24-1 to make my river straight, and the pot is going to pay me 4-1 on my bets, do I stay or do I fold?
These aren't the sexy features of the game. They're...(gulp)..."the numbers." But until these are questions that you are asking yourself, and which you're able to answer with at least a general degree of accuracy, you haven't really started playing poker yet. You're just another chaser among a sea of chasers, rolling the dice and praying for a strike.
Mike Caro's poker odds
tables which appear at the back of Doyle Brunson's "Super System" and "Super System II" are the industry standard. Read them, learn them, use them. Boring as hell... until you see them begin to win you a ton of money because you're the only guy at the table who bothered to memorize them.