Pot Odds and How To Apply Them
When you use any stragedy when playing poker, you have to make some tough decisions. One of the major factors considered is pot odds
. I came across an article the other day, written by Daniel Negreanu on pot odds
. The article dealt with understand how to quickly calculate pot odds and applying them. Pot odds are the odds of the pot is laying you compared to the bet you are deciding. How does this whole thing about pot odds work?
First off, you should calculate what the pot odds are. To do that, you must count what's already in the pot then add it to the amount of the bet you are deciding. Then, compare the total amount to the bet your opponent has bet. The article gives an example to clarify.
"If there is $500 in the pot and your opponent has bet $100, your pot odds would be 6 to 1. Why 6 to 1? Well, since there is already $500 in the pot and your opponent has bet an additional $100, that totals $600. Since you need to call $100 to stay in the pot, your odds are 6 to 1."
Once you know your pot odds, apply them. Now, you have to calculate your actual odds of winning. TO do that, you must count your outs then compare that number to the number of unseen cards still in the deck.
Now, you know the pot odds and the actual odds of winning the pot. The article gives an example to clarify.
"Let's say the board reads KC 7S 6D 2H, and in your hand you hold 8H 9H. Now with just one card to come, you have eight outs — the four remaining 5's and the four remaining 10's - to make your straight. There are 52 cards in the deck, and since you already know what your two cards are, as well as the four community cards on board, that leaves 46 unseen, unknown cards. Of those 46 cards, eight will give you a winning straight, while 38 will miss. So the actual odds of making your straight then are 38 to 8, or 4.75 to 1 (38/8 equals 4.75 to 1)."
Both of these odds must be in your favor to call or raise. If only one is in your favor, it would be best to fold. Why? If your pot odds are in your favor but the actual odds to win the pot aren't and you call or raise. YOu may end up losing a lot of chips. If your actual odds of winning the pot are in your favor but the pot odds aren't. you may win the pot but you probably won't win a lot of chips.
The article concludes with this statement. "It's not about how many pots you win. It's about making good investments, much like you would in any business venture. By understanding pot odds, you can make educated decisions as to whether calling or folding would be good long-term investments."