Casino Game Odds: The Poker Pot Odds

By: Jerrod Mcjunkin

Knowing your poker pot odds is simple and easy to learn. It is also considered essential in choosing your strategy in each of your poker play. Pot odds basically pertains to the ratio between the pot size compared to the bet size. For example if the pot is $250 and a player must put in $25 then you got 10 to 1 pot odds or 10:1 expressed in ratio. Say, if we have $60 on the pot and you must put in $10 to call, then you have 60 to 10 or 6:1 pot odds ratio.

Some expert says that poker pot odds are the number of times you need to play to break even. As an example, if we have $50 pot and you need $10, that would give us a 5:1 pot odds. It would mean that even though you lost 4 times, a win on the 5th time will be paid and scores $50 or a break even.
Usefulness of both the hand odds and the pot odds becomes clear when you start comparing the two. To have good enough pot odds, generally you need to have better pot odds than the chance of winning the hand. So if you have only 20% chance of winning the hand, you should only play that hand 5 times your bet or more in the pot. As we know, in a flush draw, hand odds for making your flush are 1.9 to 1 or 35%. For example, you have a hand with a nut flush draw and it’s $5 to you on the flop to call. Do you call or not? Lets take a look at the odds.

There is $20 in the pot and a $5 bet from an opponent, then you have 25:5 or 5:1 pot odds. This means that in order for you to break even, you must win 1 out of every 5 times. However, with you having flush draw, your odds of winning are 1 out of every 3 times! Then not only are you breaking even, you’ll be making a profit from this in the long run.
Let’s try another example just to make the concept more clear. For example you have four to the flush, which leaves you with odds of 5.2 : 1 for the turn. It does not matter how much you need to call, as long as the pot has 5x that amount or more then it is worth your call, since that would make your pot odds higher than your hand odds, which would mean that the hand would work to your favor in the long run.The point is if your Pot Odds are greater than your Hand Odd then it gives you an advantage in the long run.

Knowing how to figure out your odds is one of the most important factors you need to consider to become a solid poker player. The capability to memorize or to calculate hand odds and pot odds will lead you to make the right decisions in the future play. And remember that playing drawing hands requires that your pot odds are greater than your hand odds.

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