Secrets To Beating The Pot Odds
If you play poker, you should
always pay close attention to many
different elements of the game.
Players who are on tilt...
opponentswho are on poker runs...
and the size of other players'
stacks are all elements that you
should be CONSTANTLY thinking
While many players are aware of
these different aspects of Texas
Hold 'Em, many players ignore one
of the most important parts of the
The SIZE of the POT.
There are many reasons that you
should pay close attention to the
size of the pot when you are
involved in a hand:
The MOST important reason is that
it will give you an accurate gauge
of the RISKS and REWARDS that each
If you are involved in a hand
where many players have put money
into the pot, the hand likely has
very good "pot odds
"- which is the
ratio of the money which you stand
to WIN versus the RISK REQUIRED to
For example, I was recently
playing a hand at the final table
of a no-limit Texas Hold 'Em
I was dealt pocket 10's and played
it aggressively. My opponent
checked to me every turn and then
called each bet.
Finally, after the river came, I
was holding two pair (10's and 8's)
with a flush draw on the table. My
opponent led out and bet $50.00.
I was worried about the possible
flush, but it only required an
additional $50.00 to possibly win
I knew that if he had a flush, he
would call any raise I was willing
to make. So, I decided to call.
Using the laws of pot odds
, I was
able to bring in a pot of $625
when my opponent turned over his
lousy pocket 7's.
The law of pot odds should be
considered every time you are
involved in a pot.
I can't help but laugh when a
player folds to a small bet on the
river when they could win a huge
pot if they call.
You should also remember that pot
odds applies to when you should
NOT call or make bets.
Recently, I was playing in an
online poker tournament when a
player moved all-in before the
Unfortunately, there was nothing
for the player to win but a few
There was absolutely no reason for
this player to move all-in when
there was nothing to win but a few
Unfortunately for my opponent, I
was dealt a monster hand (pocket
aces) and I went on to win his
Never risk an unnecessary amount
of your chips to win a small pot.
(Of course, if you are small-
stacked, it is plausible to go all
in when you are late in a game and
the blinds are considerable.)
The size of the pot will also
dictate how other people play
their hand. When your opponent has
placed a great deal of money into
a pot, he is unlikely to fold
unless you make a huge bet.
So, if you catch a monster hand,
you should always try to get your
opponents "pot committed." Then
you can turn your opponents into
"calling stations" and make away
with all their chips.
If you sense weakness, and you
think that you might be able to
buy a pot off of a pot-committed
player, there is a way to scare
him off without putting all your
chips in jeopardy.
I have learned that when a player
is pot-committed, they are far
looser than if they weren't.
So, the TRICK is that you want to
DISCONNECT the final moves from
the rest of the hand.
A good way to separate the plays
you make from the rest of the hand
is to force a BREAK in the action.
I like to ask my opponent to count
their chips before I make a move.
This action forces a break in the
action and also puts any bets I
make in context. Let's say that
I'm up against an opponent who has
$1,000 in chips...
If I bet $500 in this position, my
opponent will realize that the bet
constitutes HALF his chips and
will usually fold unless he has a
very good hand.
However, you should remember that
with YOUR OWN hands, you should
never worry much about the money
that you have already placed in
When you put money into a pot, it
is NO LONGER YOUR MONEY. That
money belongs to whoever wins the
Unless you are playing with great
pot odds, you should never call
any bets unless you are confident
that you have a better hand... or
can pull a bluff.
If you have put $100 into a hand,
and you are contemplating calling
a $50 bet, think about your move
in the context of the MOMENT.
In other words, forget the money
that you have already invested
into the pot. Instead, if the
current situation merits a call or
a raise, make it.
However, you don't want to make
such a move simply because you
have already put a large portion
of your stack into the pot.
Paying close attention to the size
of the pot and the betters who are
putting money into it is a great
way that you can control the game,
which is essential to WINNING
texas hold 'em poker.