Pot Odds

  Pot odds are an important consideration when you’re deciding whether to call with a hand   that’s probably not the best hand. 

 Pot odds are just the ratio of the amount of the current bet to the amount of money already   in the pot. 

  For example, if five people called before the flop, on the flop one person has bet and one   has called, thenthere are seven bets in the pot, and you are getting 7-1 odds to call.

  You also need to keep in mind that if a player behind you raises, then your pot odds will be   cut almost in half.  

  Let’s say your hand is 8 7 , and the flop is 9 5 2 .  Should you call?

  This is an example of when pot odds are important.  You’ve got an inside-straight draw on   the flop. 

  Any 6 will make you a straight, and the flop does not have two of any one suit so it’s not   possible for a 6 to make someone else a flush.

  There are forty-seven unseen cards, and the next card is equally likely to be any one of   them. 

  You have four “outs,” which is just another way of saying that four out of the forty-seven will   make your straight, forty-three don’t help you. 

  So the odds against making a straight on the next card are 43-4, or about 11-1.  For every   time you make the straight, there will be about eleven times you don’t make it.  With 7-1 pot   odds, the pot is probably not large enough for a call. 

  If the pot had eleven bets in it and you’re reasonably sure that you won’t be raised after you   call, you should call a bet to draw one card to an inside straight.

  To evaluate your hand in terms of pot odds, you need to keep track of the size of the pot. 

  When you’re keeping track of the money going into the pot, it’s usually easier to just count   the number of bets and calls rather than the total amount of money. 

  If ten bets have been put into the pot and you’re now considering calling a bet and a raise   (two bets), then you’re getting pot odds of 5-1. 

  At the turn, when the bet size doubles, just divide the count of the number of bets in the   pot by two to put the pot-odds calculations in terms of the new bet size.

  Pot odds are important anytime you’re considering a call, not just when you’re on a draw   and have more cards to come. 

  Pot odds should also be taken into consideration whenever you have a mediocre hand, and   someone bets on the river. 

  By this point in the betting, the pot odds are often very large, and you need to compare the   pot odds with your estimate that a player is bluffing or is betting a mediocre hand slightly   worse than your hand. 

  In many cases the pot will be large enough to be worth a call even if the chances of a bluff   are very small.


Pick the Right Table / Picking a Seat / Theories of Poker

A Theory of Starting Hand Value

A Theory of Flop Play: Counting Outs and Evaluating Draws

The Dynamics of Game Conditions / Table Image / Player Stereotypes

Women and Poker / Spread-Limit Games / Double Bet on the End Games / Kill Games

Short-handed Games / Tournaments / No-limit and Pot-Limit Poker


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