Why neglect past and future bets?
Past bets have gone. You are only interested with the odds to continue. Once you put money in the pot, it has gone, it is not yours.. dont believe me.. try getting it back!! LOL
This isnt horse racing, I can see the why you use the analogy and why you dont understand.
Essentially the first round is where you declare a hand.. if many people declare a hand then you can expect a large pot, but will need a good hand to get it.. If few declare, then the pot can be won with any sizable bet.
NOw where is the equivalent in horse racing??? can you walk up to a bookie and ask the odds on a race, to which the bookie says 5:1
you say 'I like those odds' ill bet $200.
the bookie replies oohh I dont fancy taking that bet.. I have only made $50 today... take my $50 and keep yur $200... have a nice day sir.
But that is the equivalent as to what goes on in poker.
So a bet isnt always made because of favorable odds.. it is also made to scare off opponents.
So on the flop, you might make a continuation bet as you had a good hand pre-flop.. you made it to try and scare off your opponent, and also to guage his reaction and try and gain infomation as to his hand strength.
He raised.. so now you look at odds to continue. He is declaring a better hand than yours.. and as you can see the flop, you can assess the likelyhood that he is being truthfull.
This is nothing like horse racing... you put some money in the pot preflop.. because you declared an interest to play.. nothing more (there has to be money in the pot to have a game)
Then you put more in to gain infomation and beccause there was a chance you would win there and then.
You got raised, so now, for the first time you look at the odds of continuing... this has nothing to do with past bets.. that has gone. its all about whether or not you should continue.
ON poker the pot increases in an exponential fassion, thats why we bet it ammounts relative to the pot, i.e. 1/2 pot, 3/4 pot etc so that past bets can be ignored. Many times you will simply fold.. but one or two good sized pots will pay for all of that and more because the early rounds are woth less than later rounds. In limit the fixed bet size doubles on the turn.
The only way to include future bets into the equation is implied odds.. that is look at his chip stack and look at yours.. can you put enough in the pot to get the odds you want.. i.e. if you want 7:1 by the end.. do you have 7 times the current bet and does he have enough to pay that off?
The you ask yourself.. if I make my hand.. how likely is he to actually put his money in.. if you feel that it is likely that he will pay and there are enough chips to do it... then you are getting implied odds.
As I said earlier.. I understand why you use the horse racing analogy... but this isnt horse racing.. its poker and its very different!!