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I just got Theory of Poker by Sklansky. I just finished the chapter on
Effective Odd's and it blew my brain up:mad: . It seems to me that it throws pot odds out the window and all must be right in the universe to play any hand at all.

say you have a flush draw. odds against your hand 4-1

100(pot)+20+20+20 =160
say the pot is 120 after villan bets on the flop. it cost you 20 to win 120
20 x 4 =80 so you call all the way down getting the right pot odds to call.

Effective odds states that it will cost you 60(20+20+20) to win 160.
60 x 4 =240
so you are not getting the right odds to call effective odd's wise.
(I know you don't call the last bet on the river if you don't make your flush but for the sake of argument lets leave it in)

it seems to me that effective odds don't consider the money you have put into the pot goes to the pot total (320 total pot). It only consider what you win not what you spent to win that pot. We are not suppost to consider what we have in the pot it's just dead money.

So what am i suppost to do? How do i use effective odd's?:confused:
F Paulsson

F Paulsson

euro love
You're a little off the mark, here. Let me see if I can break it down properly:

First, disregard the effective odds (and implied odds), and let's look at your immediate pot odds:
Presuming you're referring to Hold'em, and you're on the flop, your odds of hitting the flush on the next card are about 4-to-1. The pot is offering you 120-to-20, or 6-to-1 odds. This is a call you should make, because your odds of hitting your draw on the turn are profitable!

Where you went wrong in this particular example is that you're confusing your immediate odds (of hitting your hand on the next card) with your "total odds" (in lack of a better term) of hitting your hand either on the turn or on the river. In fact, you have almost a 40% chance of improving to a flush if you combine both the turn and the river.

Effective odds come into play when you're looking at your chance for improving either on the turn or on the river, but in this case, you have the odds to call just based on the immediate chance of improving.

Does that make sense? I could go into deeper detail, but I'm on a bit of a tight schedule right now. Be happy to help later, though :)

Edit: Just proof-reading shows me I didn't make perfect sense - sorry about that, but I'll have to get back to you a little later.
F Paulsson

F Paulsson

euro love
I got a little bit of a respite, so here's a better stab at explaining it:

Like I said, effective odds come into play if you're - for whatever reason - comparing your chance of improving altogether (considering all the cards to come) to the current pot odds, because then you're fooling yourself.

The only time I ever think of my total chance of improvement (as opposed to my chance of improving on the next card) is if my opponent has gone all-in on the flop. If the pot is giving me 3-to-1 odds (I need 1000 to call, and the pot is currently 3000), and I have four to a flush, I would make the call. 40% of the time, I'll win, and I have the odds for that.

Most other times, you don't need to worry about effective odds, as they are mostly a by-product of wishful thinking.

Let's hope THAT made sense, at least. Otherwise, I'll have to make a third attempt, but this time I'll wait to see what you say. :)

PS. Great pick for a book - I'm sure you won't regret it.


F Paulsson,
Thanks for the great responce. It makes a lot more sense now. I re-read the chapter a couple of times last night and it started to make more sense. I like your analogy of the all in call. that really cleared it up for me.
:) Thanks a lot and i'm sure i'll be posting more....
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