# Poker odds

#### bubbasbestbabe

##### Suckout Queen
Silver Level
Can you be a successful poker player without knowing about or figuring out odds? Do thy matter that much? And if they do, what can you do if you are very mathmatecally challenge?

#### shinedown.45

##### Legend
Bronze Level
good post BBB, I don't rely on odds b/c I can't seem to grasp the concept either and am looking forward to those who can simplify it.
I was just afraid to ask.

#### titans4ever

##### Legend
Silver Level
I am not an odds guru but you must know the generals to have any chance. You can bend them but if you don't know them then how do you know when you cross the line into true gambling mode.

Outs:
take the # of out and multiply by 2. Then multiply by number of cards reamaining. Gives you a general area. This will work on figuring out draws, overs cards hitting, getting your sets etc.

example: You have A 10 and are all-in and get called by JJ. You have 3 As to catch up. 3x2x5=30. You have about a 30% chance to hit your A.

Here are some of the basics that you should just know but you can use the above formula to figure out some as you go.
Flushes:
2 suited hole cards: 10% flop will come with 2 of your suit
you got 4 on the flop: 2x9x2= 36% chance to catch on turn and river
you got 4 on the turn: 2x9x1= 18% chance to catch on river

striaghts:
open ended on flop: 2x8x2= 32% chance to hit on turn and river
open ended on turn: 2x8x1= 16% chance to hit on river
open ended and 2 overs on flop: 2x14(8 for straight + 6 overcards)x2= 48% one of next two cards will help

sets:
PP hitting set on flop: 2x2x3= 12% they hit on flop
PP hitting set by river if all-in: 2x2x5= 20% hitting set

Why use them?
Take these odds and decide of calling the bet is in you best interest. If you only have a 1/3 chance to hit your cards and you have to call a pot size bet then you are only getting 1/2 odds. You will, in the long run, not catch enough to make this a profitable play.

A

#### Alfoldem

##### Enthusiast
Silver Level
Odds

have often thought about this, you read lots on how its an important part of becoming a long term winning player and i can appreciate how and why that works but there is a lot to be said for the psychology of poker and playing the player rather than the cards.

Better understanding the maths involved in poker is an area of my game i know i need to improve but keep putting it off - it was never my favorite subject at school.

i play live with friends a lot and find subtle mind games quite effective although how effective this would be online is debatable!

#### NineLions

Silver Level
I'd like to find a whole bunch of test questions for different situations. I keep thinking I understand, but then I'm not sure.

Plus after years of using computers I could use the practice doing the calculations in my head. That part of my brain has thickened to mud after years of non-use.

#### F Paulsson

##### euro love
Silver Level
I'd like to find a whole bunch of test questions for different situations. I keep thinking I understand, but then I'm not sure.
What are you guys unsure about? I mean, is it how outs relate to odds, or what we mean when we say "six-to-one" or the relationship between percentages and odds, or...?

#### shinedown.45

##### Legend
Bronze Level
eg: What were my odds here and should have I called

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#### Egon Towst

##### Cardschat Elite
Silver Level
Nice post, Titans. It`s a complex subject, and that`s about as close as one can get to a brief and clear explanation. +rep.

#### Lo-Dog

##### Cardschat Elite
Silver Level
eg: What were my odds here and should have I called

if you think that a 7 or a 4 will win it for you then you have 6 outs.

easiest way to calculate is to times your outs by 2. its usually a little on the low side 1 or 2 % so you only have about a 14% chance to hit your cards on the river or about 7-1. your pot odds are only 2-1 so you are not getting the odds to call.

after the flop times your outs by 4, after the turn times your outs by 2.

P

#### ph_il

##### ...
Silver Level
if you think that a 7 or a 4 will win it for you then you have 6 outs.

Actually, if he put his opponent on a flush draw, he only has four outs.
---
Im probably just repeating what others have already said...

Outs: Cards that will improve you hand. When counting outs, make sure you arent counting outs what will hurt your hand. Example: Say you have an open ended straight draw, but theres a flush draw showing. If you think an opponent is on a flush draw, then you do not have 8 outs, but only 6. Why? Because 2 out those outs will acutally hurt your hand.

Odd percentages: Titan did a very good job in explaining this. Another way of figuring out the percentage of hitting your outs is...

-On the turn: multiply the number of outs by 4
-On the river: multiply the number of outs by 2
Its not 100% accurate, but its very close.

Hand Odds: Lets say you flop a 4 flush draw. What are the odds of you hitting your hand?

47*[unknown cards] - 9[outs] = 36[dont improve]/9[improve] = 4:1

Pot Odds: pretty simple stuff. \$100 pot and its \$10 to call. You're getting 10:1 odds.

A nice rule-if the pot odds laying to you are greater than your hand odds, you should consider calling. If its the opposite, you should fold.

#### NineLions

Silver Level
-On the turn: multiply the number of outs by 4
-On the river: multiply the number of outs by 2
Its not 100% accurate, but its very close.

Pot Odds: pretty simple stuff. \$100 pot and its \$10 to call. You're getting 10:1 odds.

Comment, and question.

Some people think you shouldn't look at multiplying by 4 on the turn because there's a good chance you're going to have to bet again on the turn, so just look at each card/betting situation as one time odds.

And question; \$100 pot, \$10 to call, is this not 11-1 odds as it costs you \$10 to win \$110 after you call?

I still think I need practice doing the math in my head too. Although that should be simple enough to make up stuff. .. \$56 pot, \$8 to call, I've got a straight draw, but count the upper card as only 2 outs as they might not be good ...

#### Egon Towst

##### Cardschat Elite
Silver Level
Some people think you shouldn't look at multiplying by 4 on the turn because there's a good chance you're going to have to bet again on the turn, so just look at each card/betting situation as one time odds.

Valid point. It depends on the table. If you are up against aggressive players then yes, you have to figure your bet will only buy you one card, not two.

#### F Paulsson

##### euro love
Silver Level
Some people think you shouldn't look at multiplying by 4 on the turn because there's a good chance you're going to have to bet again on the turn, so just look at each card/betting situation as one time odds.
True. The total cost of seeing the river (or showdown) is sometimes referred to as effective odds.

And question; \$100 pot, \$10 to call, is this not 11-1 odds as it costs you \$10 to win \$110 after you call?
No, although this is a common misconception. Odds are used to calculate break-even points, and as such you're looking at profit, not size of the pot. When your opponent bets \$10 into the \$90 pot, thus giving you 10:1, your profit if you win will not be \$110, it will only be \$100. Your loss, if you lose, will be \$10. That's the relationship the odds show: Profit:Loss. 100:10.

It's easy, then, to make the mistake of discounting the money that you yourself have already put into the pot ("that's not profit, it was me who put that in there") but that's faulty thinking. Money in the pot doesn't belong to you anymore; If the pot is \$100 it doesn't matter how the money got there. If you win it, it's profit.

I still think I need practice doing the math in my head too. Although that should be simple enough to make up stuff. .. \$56 pot, \$8 to call, I've got a straight draw, but count the upper card as only 2 outs as they might not be good ...
One of the first chapters in Small Stakes Hold 'em by Ed Miller has one of the best sections on counting outs I've seen. I recommend it.

#### F Paulsson

##### euro love
Silver Level
Can you be a successful poker player without knowing about or figuring out odds? Do thy matter that much? And if they do, what can you do if you are very mathmatecally challenge?
To answer the original question, I believe you can be a winning, but not expert, no-limit player without playing by the odds. "Successful" is a term that means different things to different people, though.

#### edge-t

##### Rock Star
Silver Level
To answer the original question, I believe you can be a winning, but not expert, no-limit player without playing by the odds. "Successful" is a term that means different things to different people, though.

agreed, I count my outs and odds before calling, but sometimes, I prefer to depend on my intuition or my read on this person.

The concept used to confuse me a lot, I'm not a maths person either. However, I think understanding the basic will help alot in your decision making and serve to booster your confidence in making that call to a flush. That way, you never doubt that you made the wrong decision. You know that you were right, even though you lost that battle, but the war is yours to win.

#### F Paulsson

##### euro love
Silver Level
Hmm, I feel like part of my intent of that reply went missing. I said "I believe you can be a winning, but not expert, no-limit player" but also wanted to get across the idea that "but you won't stand a snowball's chance in hell at any higher stakes limit tables without it."

#### NineLions

Silver Level
No, although this is a common misconception. Odds are used to calculate break-even points, and as such you're looking at profit, not size of the pot. When your opponent bets \$10 into the \$90 pot, thus giving you 10:1, your profit if you win will not be \$110, it will only be \$100. Your loss, if you lose, will be \$10. That's the relationship the odds show: Profit:Loss. 100:10.

Thanks FP. I'm pretty sure my confusion arose from my various readings on websites as well as books. It was probably a early-read website rather than a book that showed how to read odds the wrong way and it stuck with me and I've been unsure ever since. I'll take your word as gospel, as I always do.

P

#### ph_il

##### ...
Silver Level
i didnt go over implied odds. Im assuming this is what FP was talking about.

#### Stefanicov

##### Legend
Silver Level
I think you can get by without knowing odds so long as you play the right games. I dont know the exact odds nor do i count outs but i have played enough hnds tht i can have a rough idea based on the size of bets too wot to do. It is very rudimentry but it seems to work for me (when i listen to myself). As fp said limit is a game of odds so u cant really play tht but nl i think you can be a very good player without knowing the exact odds of every hnd tho being able to read patterns of play is more important if you dont.

#### medeiros13

##### Rock Star
Silver Level
This is a very interesting topic. To answer the original question, I think you can get away with not playing odds all the time. After all, where do you think the saying "play the player, not the cards" came from.

I do play the odds myself because I think it helps with tilt control. When you play hands by the numbers, you are not allowing emotions to get involved in hand decisions. I am certain that there is a significant downside to playing this way but it does work for me.

For you posters that struggle with math, maybe this will help you. I do use the rule of 4 and 2 that has been talked about in here. So if I'm on a flush draw, I know I have 9 outs (2 on the board, 2 in your hand) so I have a 36% chance of hitting on the turn. When the betting comes to me, I'll take the total pot and take 10% of that. So if it's 500 chips, I know that 50 is 10% of that pot. If I need to call a bet less than 175 (36% is 50+50+50+25; actually a bit more but i'm simplifying), I will make that call. If it's above that, I will fold because the odds are not right.

#### F Paulsson

##### euro love
Silver Level
As fp said limit is a game of odds so u cant really play tht but nl i think you can be a very good player without knowing the exact odds of every hnd tho being able to read patterns of play is more important if you dont.
And a lot of the time, the bets you're being asked to call in NL are pot-sized, meaning that you usually have a fairly straightforward decision ("is my hand good or will improve to win, one-time-in-three?"), whereas a lot of the time in limit, you're looking at 7:1, or 9.5:1 decisions where "I'm probably behind" isn't good enough to make the correct decision. This is why limit players that don't know (or don't care) about odds quickly lose their bankroll.

#### tenbob

##### Legend
Silver Level
BBB did you get and understand all of that ?

Let me know if you didnt and ill go do a pot odd guide for dummies type thing. The thing that amuses me lots on poker forums, is that if someone starts a thread like this stating that they have a hatred of math, there is sure to be a waft of math related replies to it. Unfortunatlly in a lot, but not all cases its essential.

#### bubbasbestbabe

##### Suckout Queen
Silver Level
I got some of it and copied titans answer. His seems to be the simplest form on which to base my question. The reason I asked this was I've been laying down hands and I'm not sure if I should have considering the draws I had and the pot size. I'm going to post some of those hands when I find them for discussion.
Actually a dummy form would be a good thing for this site. I know a lot of people would use it.

#### Tammy

BBB did you get and understand all of that ?

Let me know if you didnt and ill go do a pot odd guide for dummies type thing. The thing that amuses me lots on poker forums, is that if someone starts a thread like this stating that they have a hatred of math, there is sure to be a waft of math related replies to it. Unfortunatlly in a lot, but not all cases its essential.
Tenbob, I would love to see a guide for dummies like me. I can do it in my head, and I understand how to count my outs, etc., but I am unsure of what are the correct odds to call, etc. I think Medeiros' post has helped a little though. So, if you have a 36% chance of making your hand, you shouldn't call off more than a 36% size of pot bet? Did I read that right...

#### tenbob

##### Legend
Silver Level
Basically basically, you have a flush draw on the flop.

The pot is \$100 and someone bets \$1.

The pot is big, your getting 100-1 ---> You dont need to understand pot odds to be able to call here

The pot is \$1 and someone bets \$100

The pot is small the bet is big. 1-100 -----> calling with a flush draw is obviously its a mistake to call.

Ok an extreme example, but these two extremes get closer together, your need to understand when to call and when to fold becomes more a math call than a logical one.

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