# POT/HAND ODDS HELP

#### Sammyv1

##### Legend
Silver Level
Ok Ive been playing poker for about 8 months now. I am still a beginner. I play mostly on line. I do pretty well on most of my sessions and tournaments. I never use pot or hand odds. I need some help with this. I've read some books on it. I'm not sure I understand all the strategy behind it. Should I make up a chart or try to memorize the card odds? Is there any where I can get a copy of a chart on line? Whats the best way to practice it? Do you use it in just tournaments or ring games also? I think my game will improve if I can use this.

X

#### xdmanx007

##### Legend
Bronze Level
There is no chart really. Although I am sure you can find one that preflop odds on starting hands. Very simply odds are how you determine when you should call fold or raise. Determing pot odds is actually very simple. Ration of money in the pot to the amount of money it takes to make your next move/bet. Example \$10 in the pot \$1 to call 10:1 pot odds. Next you determine the number of "outs" you believe you have left in the deck to make the best hand out of the unseen cards, not the best possible hand the best hand of the players in the game. For instance on turn there are 6 seen cards 4 on the board and 2 in your hand so 46 unseen cards. outs/46 compared to pot odds determines your move. If the pot odds are higher or equal to the odds of hitting your hand you continue on other wise you fold. Hope that helps.......

#### Crumble

##### Enthusiast
Silver Level
Here's a ready reckoner for comparing outs to pot odds. Not quite as accurate as xdmanx's flawless exposition, but easier on the brain:

First, estimate percentage of pot you need to pay to call. Example: \$9 in pot, \$1 to call, your \$1 call is 10% of the total pot.

Then, count your outs and double it. This is your percentage chance of making your hand on the next card.

Compare the two. If your chances of winning are bigger than the money you are putting in the pot to call, then you call. Otherwise you fold.

Here's an example hand from limit hold'em:

A64 all diamonds on board, you have the King of diamonds and 9 of clubs. (I guess you must have been in the blind!) You have 9 outs, because any of the 9 diamonds left will give you the nut flush, about an 18% chance.

18% is better than 10% so you have an easy call on the turn.

Suppose the turn is a blank. Now there's \$13 in the pot and it will cost you \$2 for you to see the river. Without a calculator, that's still less than 15%.

I've still got my 9 outs, so my chances of winning are still about 18%. So I call again. I'm not going to get rich quick with this small edge, but casinos are built on smaller margins.

The best thing of all is, people will mutter about "chasing" and "lucky" when the D hits on the river

That's pot odds.

P.s. if you reckon you are going to win extra bets if you make your hand but fold if you don't, you can have fun estimating "implied odds", but that's one for another day!

#### Sammyv1

##### Legend
Silver Level
So if I have 4 hearts after the flop and nothing else and I believe my opponet has top pair. My odds are 52-5=47 47/9(hearts left)=5.2 So 5.2 to 1 or 5 to 1 so with your 10 to 1 example I'm calling every time. But if there is \$4 in the pot and it costs me \$1 to call, do I fold that every time? With 2 cards to come do I use these odds litterally every time. Like in this example where I need 5-1 to call but it is just 4-1.

#### diabloblanco

##### Legend
Silver Level
Crumble, that method does get you close to the exact pot odds and is a good way to do an "on the fly" assesment and is an interesting way to look at pot odds. Great for beginners still trying to master the game. It doesn't confuse them with numbers while they're trying to decide if their hand is still live. Good post.

#### Four Dogs

##### Legend
Silver Level
Like anything, the more you use it the less mysterious it becomes. I use pot odds most frequently when I'm setting them for an opponent. Most people simply overbet the pot to keep an opponent off a draw, ,n effect, chickening out. They drive out the opposition instead of enticing them to make another, unproffitable bet. You don't have time in a game to whip out the calculator each hand, so there are some tricks that you must commit to memory.
CALLING A BET AFTER THE FLOP OUTS CHANCE OF FILLING
Gut Shot or inside straight draw 4 16.5% or 1:5 +/-
Open Ended Straight 8 31.5% or 2:1 +/-
Flush 9 35% or 2:1 +/-
Straight Flush Draw 15 54.1% or 1:1 +/-

THE RULE OF 4, Another Trick.
For quick approximate determination of all other scenerios take the number of outs you have with 2 cards to come and multiply that number by 4 to get your percentage chance of filling your draw. The results are surprisingly accurate. They do start to drift a bit after 10 outs.
example 3 outs x 4 = 12% or 7:1 the actual percentage is 12.5%
7 outs x 4 = 28% or 2 1/2:1 the actual percentage is 27.8%
This also works well with 1 card to come, but then you must multiply your outs by 2 instead of 4.

One final trick.
When your fixing the odds for an opponent.
A bet of 1/2 the pot gives your opponent 1 1/2:1 odds
A bet of the entire pot gives your opponent 2:1 odds
A bet of 1/3 the pot gives your opponent 4:1 pot odds
A bet of 2/3 the pot gives your opponent 2-1/2:1 odds
A bet of 3/4 the pot gives your opponent 2-1/3:1 odds
A bet of 3/4 the pot gives your opponent 2-1/3:1 odds
A bet of 1/4 the pot gives your opponent 5:1 odds
Don't bother trying to cut it too close when fixing the odds. Just remember, gamblers are opptimistic and are more inclined to call with marginally unfavorable odds than to fold. And Please, no bad beat stories when then the draw out on you.

#### Sammyv1

##### Legend
Silver Level
Thats some good stuff there Four Dogs. I'm gonna start using it and maybe I'll catch on. The fixing odds for an opponent trick is a great Idea. I'll try and use this one too. 20 seconds is how long I have to act so it will be hard to impliment this all at once. As far as bad beats go. Do'nt worry about me complaining about em. I can't stand reading about em so I don't write about em. Thanks dogs. You Rock.

#### Jesus Lederer

##### Rock Star
Silver Level
Four Dogs said:
THE RULE OF 4, Another Trick.
For quick approximate determination of all other scenerios take the number of outs you have with 2 cards to come and multiply that number by 4 to get your percentage chance of filling your draw. The results are surprisingly accurate. They do start to drift a bit after 10 outs.
example 3 outs x 4 = 12% or 7:1 the actual percentage is 12.5%
7 outs x 4 = 28% or 2 1/2:1 the actual percentage is 27.8%
This also works well with 1 card to come, but then you must multiply your outs by 2 instead of 4.
Sorry to say Dog but in some way you´re wrong. The rule of 4 should just be called "the rule of 2". I agree that if you multiply your outs by 4 with 2 cards to come, you will get the "real odds" of making your hand. Maybe that can be consider as truth, but it´s useless at the moment of calculating pot odds.

After the flop, if you´re using the rule of four, you´re adding up the turn and river odds of making your hand. But that is not how it works. You don´t have to add them up. Why? Look at this analogy: How many odds do i have of getting at least one head if i flip a coin twice? According to the rule of 4 philosophy, you have to add up the two odds of getting head. The odd of getting head in the first toss is 50%, and the odd of getting head in second toss is also 50%. If you add them up, that´s 100%. Obviously that cannot be, because it can happen that in the two toss you get head.
It´s the same in poker. The first toss is the turn and the second is the river.
Now let´s take this into a poker situation:
You have K J and the flop comes 2 Q 9.
You think that there are two cards that make your hand winner: the 10 (giving you the straight) and the K.
You have 7 outs (four 10s and three Ks)
The pot size is \$4 and there is a bet of \$1.
According to Crumble´s tip to calculate the percentage of the pot, it would be 20% (1 is 20% of the total pot of 5)
Now according to the rule of 4, you multiply 7 by 4 and you get 28% of making your hand.
28% is higher than 20%, so it´s a right call?
The answer is no. Why? Because that 28% doesn´t have to be there. That 28% represent the add up of the turn odds and the river odds, and for calculating pot odds you don´t have to do that.
Let´s do it right:
It´s just so simple like changing the 4 by 2. You multiply 7 outs by 2, and that´s 14%.
Now you compare your hand odds and the percentage of the pot.
14% is less than 20%. So you should´t call.

If you see, my example it´s the same as Crumble´s. Maybe FourDogs you didn´t realize that he also multiplied the outs by 2 after the flop instead of multiplying them by 4.

Do you understand now why the total odds (adding up the turn and river) are totally useless? If you didn´t understand the coin flip analogy, i can tell you in few words why in you musn´t calculate the total odds and you must calculate each card for separated:
The reason is simple: you don´t know how much is going to be the bet after the turn.
In the same exaple as before, let´s say you called the \$1 bet and the turn is a 4. This card doesn´t help you. Now the player bets \$1.50 making a pot of \$6.50. You have to call \$1.50 to win a total pot of \$7.50.
You calculate the percentage: \$1.50 is the 20% of \$7.50
The same situation as before, but now the price is too high for you, because the 20% is higher than your 14% (7 outs x 2).

So remember, never use the rule of 4 after the flop to calculate your pot odds.

#### twizzybop

##### Legend
Silver Level
To make a profit the pot odds have to be > then the your out odds.

#### MicheleW

##### Rock Star
Silver Level
Twizzy is correct. If you know how to calculate pot odds but don't know what to do with your result - what good is knowing how to calculate them.

And as far as "never" use the rule of 4 - that goes against any pros info I've ever read. You use the rule of 4 on the turn and the rule of 2 on the river - or so I've read.

And yes, there are charts online... just search "pot odds chart" on google or ?? and you'll find some to print out or look at.

#### Jesus Lederer

##### Rock Star
Silver Level
MicheleW said:
Twizzy is correct. If you know how to calculate pot odds but don't know what to do with your result - what good is knowing how to calculate them.

And as far as "never" use the rule of 4 - that goes against any pros info I've ever read. You use the rule of 4 on the turn and the rule of 2 on the river - or so I've read.

And yes, there are charts online... just search "pot odds chart" on google or ?? and you'll find some to print out or look at.
Who´s the pro here? Phil Gordon, Clonie Gowen or me?... lol

I didn´t say "never use the rule of 4". There is a tricky thing there, i said: "never use the rule of 4 to calculate your pot odds".
That changes pretty much not?
You have to use the rule of 4 when you want to know your hand odds as a total, but if you want to calculate the pot odds, the thing changes. I hope the reason of why it changes i gave you on my last post were clear, if not, please tell me.

#### Four Dogs

##### Legend
Silver Level
Jesus Lederer said:
So remember, never use the rule of 4 after the flop to calculate your pot odds.
Sorry Jesus, I didn't invent the rule of 4. It is a formula that works quite well with 2 cards to come. It WILL give you a very good idea of your chances of picking up your out card after the flop. Not on the next card. The Rule of 4 is for Poker, not coins. Here's the math. Lets say your on an open ended straight draw. There are 8 cards left in the deck that can help you. Outs. On the next card, the Turn, you have an 8/47 chance of a pickup = 17% or .1702. You have an 83% chance of missing or .8298. This is the important number. Assuming You do miss, your chance of the pick-up on the river is now slightly greater. .1739. But once again, we work with the chance of missing, not hitting which is .8261.
So .8298x.8261=.6855 is the chance of not filling your outs with 2 cards to come. 1-.6855=.3145 is your chance of catching your dream card. Thats about 31%. Remember the rule of 4? Number of outs 8, multiplied by the magic number 4 = 32%. Pretty darn close.
But that's not the end of the story. There's another step which for the sake of brevity, and because it seemed to obvious to bother with. Lets look at our straight draw again, assuming you don't question my math. You have a 31% chance of filling the out after the flop, by the numbers. A 32% chance using the rule of 4. For the sake of ease, lets just call it 33%. That means there's a 66% of missing right? 2:1. Pot Odds. Done! Unless your trapping with a flush, you don't want to give your opponent better odds than that to call. A bet of slightly larger than the pot will play on his optimism while, in the long run, turning you a profit.
ANYONE ELSE WANT A PIECE OF ME!

#### diabloblanco

##### Legend
Silver Level
Ooo, ooo....me, me.

#### Sammyv1

##### Legend
Silver Level
We know you want a piece of him diablo. When is the "Match" by the way. I will watch if I am free. Hope you and your family are doing O.K. down there, been thinkin about you, be safe!

#### Jesus Lederer

##### Rock Star
Silver Level
Four Dogs said:
Sorry Jesus, I didn't invent the rule of 4. It is a formula that works quite well with 2 cards to come. It WILL give you a very good idea of your chances of picking up your out card after the flop. Not on the next card. The Rule of 4 is for Poker, not coins. Here's the math. Lets say your on an open ended straight draw. There are 8 cards left in the deck that can help you. Outs. On the next card, the Turn, you have an 8/47 chance of a pickup = 17% or .1702. You have an 83% chance of missing or .8298. This is the important number. Assuming You do miss, your chance of the pick-up on the river is now slightly greater. .1739. But once again, we work with the chance of missing, not hitting which is .8261.
So .8298x.8261=.6855 is the chance of not filling your outs with 2 cards to come. 1-.6855=.3145 is your chance of catching your dream card. Thats about 31%. Remember the rule of 4? Number of outs 8, multiplied by the magic number 4 = 32%. Pretty darn close.
But that's not the end of the story. There's another step which for the sake of brevity, and because it seemed to obvious to bother with. Lets look at our straight draw again, assuming you don't question my math. You have a 31% chance of filling the out after the flop, by the numbers. A 32% chance using the rule of 4. For the sake of ease, lets just call it 33%. That means there's a 66% of missing right? 2:1. Pot Odds. Done! Unless your trapping with a flush, you don't want to give your opponent better odds than that to call. A bet of slightly larger than the pot will play on his optimism while, in the long run, turning you a profit.
ANYONE ELSE WANT A PIECE OF ME!
Doggy, doggy, doggy...where can i start....ok, let´s go:

I know you didn´t invented the rule of 4. Clonie Gowen told it on a mail and Phil Gordon told it chatting on FTP. I know that the formula works quite well with 2 cards to come. I know that it will give you a very good idea of your chances of picking up your out card after the flop. Not on the next card. I know all that. Actually, i use that rule. But when do i use it? When i want a general idea of where i´m standing on the hand. For example, it helps to know that if i have an inside straight draw i probably don´t have to chase it, because 4 x 4 = 16% and that´s very low, but if i have a flush
draw with two overcards probably i should be raising, because 15 x 4 = 60%, and that´s very high.
That rule works pretty well to calculate the total hand odds. And it´s very useful.
But where it´s useless? When you are calculating the pot odds. Why?...i already said the reason, but i´m going to repeat it until you finally understand it.
To calculate pot odds you need a pot and a bet. And that factors are variable. The only case where you should use the rule of 4 after the flop to calculate pot odds is if you know that on the turn your opponent will check. But if not, you don´t know how much is he gonna be the bet, so that´s why you must calculate the pot odds on each card, not both at the same time. The right odds you can calculate with the rule of 4, but the pot odds no.
You can calculate the turn and river odds of making your hand, but you can´t calculate the pot odds in advance if you don´t know what the bet is going to be.
If you don´t believe, search for information or ask to a pro (you play at FTP) is your pot odds for catching a flush should be 2:1 as you say or 4:1 as i say. I´m 100% sure that they are going to say you that if you have a flush draw after the flop, your pot odds are 4:1. If you call with a flush draw after the flop with 2:1, in the long run you aren´t going to have a profit.
Remember: you should use the rule of 4 after the flop to calculate your pot odds ONLY if you are 100% sure that there is not going to be a bet on the turn.

Look at this example:

You hold: flush draw
Flop: \$10 Pot + \$10 bet
You call: \$10 (getting 2 to 1 odds)

Turn: \$30 pot + \$10 bet
You call: \$10 (getting 4 to 1 odds)

If you are right Dogs that play should make you a profit in the long run (i chose 100 hands to make it more exact).
Let´s see if you are right:
Cost to play = 100 Hands x (\$10 flop call + \$10 turn call) = \$2,000
Total won = 100 hands x 35% chance to win x \$50 pot = \$1,750

You paid \$2000 to win \$1750....a profit? I don´t think so.

Now let´s play as i say:

You hold: flush draw
Flop: \$30 pot + \$10 bet
You call: \$10 (getting 4 to 1 odds)

Turn: \$50 pot + \$16 bet
You call: \$16 (getting about 4 to 1 odds)

Again let´s see in the long run of 100 hands:

Cost to play = 100 hands x (\$10 flop call + \$16 turn call) = \$2,600
Total won = 100 hands x 35% chance to win * \$82 pot = \$2,870

You paid \$2600 to win \$2870.....a profit? Of course.

If you realize on the first example i used 2:1 pot odds because i used the rule of 4, but in my second example, where it exist a profit, i just multiplied the outs by 2 (after the flop).

Again, if you calculate the pot odds using the rule of 4 after the flop, you´re assuming that there will not be a bet on the turn.

Now let´s go with the funny coin: I know it´s bad math to add the two 50% to make a 100%. I told it was bad math. Why i told that? Because even if you don´t believe that analogy works to explain the same thing of pot odds that i explained before. If you use the rule of 4 to calculate pot odds after the flop, you´re adding up the turn and river odds. And as i said before, unless it´s going to be a certain check on the turn, adding the turn and river is incorrect. I also know that the coin has really 75% of getting head at least one time. 1 - (1/2 x 1/2) = 1 - (1/4) = 3/4 = 75%.
Here in chile the schools are bad, but at least i know something of probabilities.
Now, ANYONE ELSE WANT A PIECE OF ME! lol

#### Four Dogs

##### Legend
Silver Level
I wonder how many people here look at the post above and just assume Jesus is correct because it's so long and has got a lot of numbers in it? Since I haven't seen anyone else chime in it looks like I'm going to have to battle this one out alone. But that's OK, I'm a gamer. I can see now I'm going to have to give you the Diabloblanco treatment. Give me a day to give this the attention it deserves. THEN I WILL CHEW YOU UP AND SPIT OUT THE PIECES!
Don't worry Diablo, I still hate you too.

X

#### xdmanx007

##### Legend
Bronze Level
Don't worry I have more than 2cents 2 put in! Of course I will be doing so shortly.:stupid: Be warned though there are just as many opinions on pot odds as there are Chinese. I see alot of terminology errors in this thread. Might take a minute to sort...........

#### Four Dogs

##### Legend
Silver Level
Great XD, you can handle the editing.

X

#### xdmanx007

##### Legend
Bronze Level
OK Since this thread has the potential to be very active I will post proper definitions of the terminology that will most likely be used so that we cut down on confusion.
Pot Odds: The ratio of the current size of the pot to the bet you must call. Considered critical in determining the correct move. The number you come up with strictly concerns the money or bets in the pot!
Implied Odds: Pot odds adjusted for future betting. Somewhat speculative because you must predict what will happen in future betting rounds.
Outs: The number of unseen cards that improve an inferior hand to a winning hand. This is what you compare to pot odds to determine the proper mathmatical play.
Now Michele made a critical point these numbers mean absolutely nothing if you do not properly apply them to the game. I personally don't take the numbers to the percentage stage I leave em in raw odds form to compare them. If you are more comfortable with percentages they work as well, simply a different way of expressing the same concept. I'll actively monitor this thread to try and keep it on track. Remember words are extremely important so try and make sure you have the correct terms. Please ask if you want or need a definition I left out!

X

Bronze Level

#### Sammyv1

##### Legend
Silver Level
Well, I started this thread cause I wanted to get some help figuring out how to impliment the card and pot odds. Remember I'm a beginner and now with all these posts I'm getting kinda confused? So I gues the rule of 4 with 2 cards to come and the rule of 2 with 1 card. Right? perhaps u can clarify 1 time xd.

#### Four Dogs

##### Legend
Silver Level
NICE XD! I could't have said it any better, and didn't. I'm going to review the thread and see if it's worth it to comment further.

#### diabloblanco

##### Legend
Silver Level
Jeebus christ, this is another AA consecutively thread in the making.

P.S. I hate you too fourdogs

#### Four Dogs

##### Legend
Silver Level
Sammy, I think what Jesus is trying to say is that, as the Rule of 4 is usefull in determining your pot odds with 2 cards to come, it is in effect useless in all practicality because you should only be concerned with your odds of hitting the next card. Well, I wouldn't go so far as to call it useless, but technically he's correct. Its variation, the Rule of 2, is equally convenient for that purpose. But lets not dismiss the big brother. There are several common situations where you need to figure your pot odds with 2 cards to come. Here are some examples.
1) The most obvious application is the forced All-In. Are the pot odds favorable? Remember, once you call, your opponent can't make you bet again. 2) This is my favorite! When the 1st bet will leave you short stacked, it is often the case that when you miss your draw, your opponent will no longer be able to raise enough to make a final call unproffitable. You may in fact get far better odds than you need to see the river. This should be taken into account on your previous bet. Unless your playing with Chris Ferguson it's unlikely that your opponent considered this. 3) Your Implied Pot Odds, a more abstract concept which XDMANX touched upon, justify the 2 combined bets. Implied odds are tough to figure. There's no cute math trick for this. It's really more of a confidence level that, when you draw out, the future size of the pot will justify your first 2 bets. In short, when you hit, your gonna rake it in! How the heck are you supposed to know that? Good 'ol poker instincts, my greatest failing.

#### ChuckTs

##### Legend
Silver Level
i understand what jesus is on about
-basically the rule of 4 gives the odds of hitting your hand by the river when calculated post-flop
if you're trying to figure out your pot odds and your odds of hitting your hand after the flop,
for your odds of hitting you're hand in this situation, you can't use the rule of 4 because it doesn't assume that your opponent will bet next hand, and at such a time you will have to recalculate you're odds of hitting again
but if you're using the rule of 4 after the turn, you're only calculating for 1 more card, and don't have to worry about a bet after that since it's the last

that's my take on it at least

Four Dogs said:
Sammy, I think what Jesus is trying to say is that, as the Rule of 4 is usefull in determining your pot odds with 2 cards to come, it is in effect useless in all practicality because you should only be concerned with your odds of hitting the next card. Well, I wouldn't go so far as to call it useless, but technically he's correct. Its variation, the Rule of 2, is equally convenient for that purpose. But lets not dismiss the big brother. There are several common situations where you need to figure your pot odds with 2 cards to come. Here are some examples.
1) The most obvious application is the forced All-In. Are the pot odds favorable? Remember, once you call, your opponent can't make you bet again. 2) This is my favorite! When the 1st bet will leave you short stacked, it is often the case that when you miss your draw, your opponent will no longer be able to raise enough to make a final call unproffitable. You may in fact get far better odds than you need to see the river. This should be taken into account on your previous bet. Unless your playing with Chris Ferguson it's unlikely that your opponent considered this. 3) Your Implied Pot Odds, a more abstract concept which XDMANX touched upon, justify the 2 combined bets. Implied odds are tough to figure. There's no cute math trick for this. It's really more of a confidence level that, when you draw out, the future size of the pot will justify your first 2 bets. In short, when you hit, your gonna rake it in! How the heck are you supposed to know that? Good 'ol poker instincts, my greatest failing.
oops
didn't see that post
LOL ignore my last one then!

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