# Pot Odds and How To Apply Them

#### t1riel

##### Legend
Silver Level
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."

S

#### shwingzilla

##### Enthusiast
Silver Level
I've always done it by counting total cards, then my outs, then outs/total cards. The pot odds would be my contribution to the pot/total pot after I have contributed. I suppose it's the same either way.

S

#### Styrofoam

##### Visionary
Silver Level
thats basically what my friend says.... that you need a 35% chance to win if you're contributing 35% of hte pot... that sounds a bit off though, but i know its nearly the same mathmatically...but its much easier for me to calculate 4-1 on flush draws, and determine if i have odds to call (besides, if its heads up if someone bets the pot you're getting odds to chase your flush..

#### twizzybop

##### Legend
Silver Level
if someone bets the pot you're getting odds to chase your flush..
If someone bets the pot you are only getting 2:1 odds to call so you aren't getting correct odds to call on a 36% chance on the turn or a 18% chance on the river.

T

#### TheAudition

##### Enthusiast
Silver Level
twizzybop said:
if someone bets the pot you're getting odds to chase your flush..
If someone bets the pot you are only getting 2:1 odds to call so you aren't getting correct odds to call on a 36% chance on the turn or a 18% chance on the river.
no..2:1 works just fine after the flop, but too bad you don't get to see both cards for free.

C

#### ChrisHrobak

##### Rising Star
Bronze Level
Nice post this helps me a little now i have to understand implied odds.

LOL

Chris

#### Kj Sexton

##### Rock Star
Silver Level
Couldn't agree more! and Well I'd be a fool to not! Though if you're feeling the aggressive mojo stealing some blinds might not be in your favor due to the pot odds, but it's still money. Then again this is coming from the guy who only folds 10% of the time ;-)

#### twizzybop

##### Legend
Silver Level
How so? Lets say pot is \$100 and clearly it shows you are getting incorrect odds to call when an opponent makes a pot bet.

Adding the turn and the river together.

9 outs / Bet: \$100 / Pot: \$200

35% chance to turn or river an out

To justify betting \$100:
the pot must be \$186

For a pot of \$200:
the max you can call is \$108

Now either the turn or the river.
9 outs / Bet: \$100 / Pot: \$200

19.1% chance to turn an out

To justify betting \$100:
the pot must be \$422

For a pot of \$200:
the max you can call is \$47

You need correct odds to call on a pot bet and a flush draw is not correct odds.

S

#### Styrofoam

##### Visionary
Silver Level
oops, my math was off.

T

#### TheAudition

##### Enthusiast
Silver Level
The pot is offering you 2:1 odds meaning you must win more than 33% of the time for it to be a +ev play. You have 37-9 (19.5 percent)for the turn and 35-9(20.5 percent) for the river card. Meaning you will hit your flush 40% of the time which is greater than 33. I duno where you are getting your calculations from.

#### robwhufc

##### Cardschat Elite
Silver Level
TheAudition said:
The pot is offering you 2:1 odds meaning you must win more than 33% of the time for it to be a +ev play. You have 37-9 (19.5 percent)for the turn and 35-9(20.5 percent) for the river card. Meaning you will hit your flush 40% of the time which is greater than 33. I duno where you are getting your calculations from.
No, you cant add the 2 percentages together - If you flip a coin twice have you got 100% chance of getting heads (50% + 50%)? Of course not!

#### El Viajero

##### Rock Star
Silver Level
I know this method t1riel but I have to ask, do you use it every time you have draw possibilities? I only use it sometimes as I'm pretty lazy and it takes me a few moments to calculate the odds in my head. I guess that's why I don't win much but hey, I don't have the time to spend hours each day playing. Wish I did though!

#### t1riel

##### Legend
Silver Level
No. It's a useful tool if you're in a situation where you are not sure if you want to call/raise or fold.

M

#### MercilessKiller

##### Rock Star
Silver Level
TheAudition said:
The pot is offering you 2:1 odds meaning you must win more than 33% of the time for it to be a +ev play. You have 37-9 (19.5 percent)for the turn and 35-9(20.5 percent) for the river card. Meaning you will hit your flush 40% of the time which is greater than 33. I duno where you are getting your calculations from.

Ouch.. must hurt to think that like?

No offence but that maths is really really off... The turn and the river depend upon each other and aren't mutually exclusive.. due to this you must manipulate the odds using math rather than just adding odds together.

I assume you say 37=9 because you mean 9 cards out of 37?... well, that's true I suppose, but (i may be wrong to think like this).. as you don't know what suits other people are holding, the only 5 cards you should exclude from the calculation are the ones on the flop! Otherwise you're eliminating the possibility of some suit appearing on turn or river when it may well happen... any thoughts?

T

#### TheAudition

##### Enthusiast
Silver Level
TheAudition said:
The pot is offering you 2:1 odds meaning you must win more than 33% of the time for it to be a +ev play. You have 37-9 (19.5 percent)for the turn and 35-9(20.5 percent) for the river card. Meaning you will hit your flush 40% of the time which is greater than 33. I duno where you are getting your calculations from.
Ok there is no edit button, but anyway here is the edited version.

The pot is offering you 2:1 odds meaning you must win more than 33% of the time for it to be a +ev play. Alright just trying to make my case a little better anyway its approximately 35% of the time you are going to complete your flush. Which is still higher than 33.

#### robwhufc

##### Cardschat Elite
Silver Level
MercilessKiller said:
I assume you say 37=9 because you mean 9 cards out of 37?... well, that's true I suppose, but (i may be wrong to think like this).. as you don't know what suits other people are holding, the only 5 cards you should exclude from the calculation are the ones on the flop! Otherwise you're eliminating the possibility of some suit appearing on turn or river when it may well happen... any thoughts?
didn't spot this! 47 cards post flop is right (52-the 5 cards you can see) - this relates to the 19% figure, and 46 cards post turn. Too busy focusing on the other bit of the post!

M

#### MercilessKiller

##### Rock Star
Silver Level
robwhufc said:
didn't spot this! 47 cards post flop is right (52-the 5 cards you can see) - this relates to the 19% figure, and 46 cards post turn. Too busy focusing on the other bit of the post!

haha no worries.. was starting to doubt my math for a minute

M

#### MercilessKiller

##### Rock Star
Silver Level
TheAudition said:
Ok there is no edit button, but anyway here is the edited version.

The pot is offering you 2:1 odds meaning you must win more than 33% of the time for it to be a +ev play. Alright just trying to make my case a little better anyway its approximately 35% of the time you are going to complete your flush. Which is still higher than 33.

35%?!??! there are 4 suits... and you're saying that when there are already more than one of your suit on the flop, theres more than a 1/3 chance that you're going to get another one on the turn OR river?

as you said in your previous post: I duno where you are getting your calculations from.

#### beardyian

##### Scary Clown
Silver Level
ChrisHrobak wrote

now i have to understand implied odds.

To all - i cannot reccomend it enough, you really can learn something new from each page David Sklanskys' - Theory of Poker.

Top book for learning pot odds and implied odds etc.

IanT

M

#### MercilessKiller

##### Rock Star
Silver Level
Harrington's book taught me

T

#### TheAudition

##### Enthusiast
Silver Level
MercilessKiller said:
35%?!??! there are 4 suits... and you're saying that when there are already more than one of your suit on the flop, theres more than a 1/3 chance that you're going to get another one on the turn OR river?

as you said in your previous post: I duno where you are getting your calculations from.
Its a freakin fact there buddy and don't ever question my math. Obviously theres more than a 1/3 chance if its 33%. Lets learn the basics of counting 35 is higher than 33.
MercilessKiller said:
Harrington's book taught me
Clearly, you skipped over the whole calculating odds section then? Where he clearly states use this as a rule of thumb 4*numofouts to calculate odds of making your hand from flop to river. and 2*numofouts to calculate odds of making your hand from either flop to turn or turn to river. (4*9 = 36)

#### twizzybop

##### Legend
Silver Level
LOL@audition and yes you are correct..

But to all those who aren't mathmaticians.. to calculate a flush draw while holding 2 cards of that flush in your hand and 2 come on the flop.

That is 4 cards seen for your flush. There are 13 cards in the deck to make that flush. So you subtract 13-4 which gives you 9 cards left to make you that flush. Now you take 9 multiply it by 4 which gives you 36% to get that flush all the way down to the river. Yet individually the turn and the river you have 9 cards multiply each(the turn and river seperately) X2 and that is 18%.

That is the most simplest way to calculate your odds.

#### RickH2005

##### Legend
Silver Level
WOW!!! All this is relly confusing! I guess I gotta rely on LUCK!

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