Harrington on Hold'em Vol. 1 discussion: Part 4

ChuckTs

ChuckTs

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Pot Odds and Hand Analysis

Introduction
:

What are the two key facts about assessing a bet and odds in gambling?
What is the real difference between gambling at a casino (roulette, craps etc) and gambling in poker in regards to odds?

Analyzing the poker bet:

What are implied odds and what are expressed odds (aka pot odds) and how do you calculate them?
Why does Harrington suggest that it is generally considered correct to call a bet that gives you slightly less than favourable expressed odds?

Hand analysis:

What is hand analysis?
What are the probabilities of hands against each other preflop in the 5 examples?

The problems and examples section for Hand analysis in this part is huge. This is something every great poker player runs through his head every hand. Very complicated stuff, and I was fascinated to read it.

Harrington really stresses pot odds as an essential ingredient to profitable poker, and this is a key section worth reading and rereading.

NOTE: Please do not quote the book. This thread is to help broaden the understanding of the book, not rip off the copyright of it. Feel free to discuss, but try doing so without infringing on Dan Harrington's, Bill Robertie's or 2+2 publishing's intellectual property rights. Thank you.
 
medeiros13

medeiros13

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This was a section that I really had some problems getting a grasp on; infact, I still don't fully understand implied odds :( I hope someone else may have more insight on this secton than I do.

There are two things that I took out of the pot odds section. The first is the calculation of pot odds. This is pretty straght forward. When calculating pot odds, you have to figure out how much you have to contribute to the total pot. So it's possible to make a poor initial bet but then have correct pot odds to call after the turn. An example, lets say you called K 10 unsuited in middle position. That's probably not the best play to make in that position but you do it. You get two additional callers. The flop come 2 6 9 rainbow. The pot is currently 300 chips. The SB bets 100 to you, the BB folds, now there is 400 chips in the pot and it costs you 100 to call. Your pot odds are 4:1. It doesn't matter that you've already committed 100 of your chips to the pot, you deal with the current bet in relation to the current pot size when doing pot odd calculations.

The second item I took is that if you get 3:1 pot odds or better (especially preflop) those odds are too good to pass up. Call and see the flop. If you're on a shaky hand, you can always get out after you see the texture of the flop.

How I've applied this to my game. In addition to making a lot more calls preflop when getting 3:1 pot odds or better; I also use pot odds in conjunction with the rule of 4/2. Simply put, if the odds I'm getting to make my hand are better than pot odds, I call. If they aren't, I usually fold. (nothing really insightful here...)
 
ChuckTs

ChuckTs

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Implied odds are simple, medeiros, I think the hard thing about them is estimation.
Say you're drawing and are getting slightly unfavourable odds. Not a great situation, but considering your opponent is a going to call a bet that will make up for those bad odds if you hit your draw, then your call is acceptable.

Here was an example from the book:
you have Q♣9♣ and the board shows

A♣
K♣7♦6♥

You estimate that your opponent has you beat with aces or kings, and with both of you having 3000 in front of you and the pot at 1000, your opponent bets 500. Your getting 1500:500 or 3:1, which are slightly unfavourable. Whatever bet you think you can get out of your opponent on the river you should add to the current pot size (1500) to see if it would give you favourable odds. So here, you'd need to get a bet of at least 550 to make the implied odds 4.11:1, which are favourable to you.

(1500+X)/500=4.11
1500+X=2055
X=550


Hard to do quickly in your head, but basically you know that if the pot were 2000, then his 500 bet would be giving you 4:1, so you'd need a little more than a 500 chip bet on the river to compensate.

The hard thing about implied odds is estimating how much your opponent will call. That part's pretty much all guesswork.
 
medeiros13

medeiros13

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Thanks for the example Chuck. Now I remember why I had so much trouble comprehending this. I just wasn't advanced enough in my game to put this into practice. It's nice to know that I've been doing this (a bit) without even knowing it now that I've advanced my game :)
 
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